My Testimony

I posted recently inviting people to share their testimony on this blog. I have a couple of people working on sending me theirs, but until then I thought I would share my full testimony. I have given bits and pieces of it in different blog posts, but never have I written it out fully.

I grew up in a somewhat typical Christian home. We went to church ever since I can remember, although my Dad stopped going when a scandal of sorts occurred with the pastor there stealing money from the church. My mom continued to take us kids to church though and I enjoyed going. I got baptized when I was 6 or 7 (to be honest all of my childhood memories blend together and to remember an exact age is a miracle). I would say that I loved Jesus, but I don’t think I really knew what it meant to follow him.

My older brothers stopped going to church with us when they reached high school. I am not really sure why they even had an option, but it wouldn’t surprise me to know that they used the argument that if my Dad never went, they shouldn’t have to go either. It never crossed my mind that I didn’t want to go to church. I just felt like I should.

When I was around ten or so, I discovered masturbation. I had no idea what I was doing, I just knew that it felt really good and I knew exactly where it was that made me feel that way. I wish it had ended there, but curiosity got the best of me and living in a house of  all brothers, you hear some things that you might not otherwise. Not only that, but I first learned about sex from a friend of mine. I didn’t know exactly what she meant by her definition, but it made me curious and the internet was very accessible for me.

I searched the term sex and saw pictures that repulsed me and at the same time drew me to them and I wanted to see more. My Dad walked in and I remember absolutely nothing else about what happened. There was no conversation afterwards, just a deep sense of shame and feeling like I had done something very wrong. I was a sick, twisted little girl in my mind.

Once you view porn, it is hard not to go further. It started out with pictures for me and then progressed into inappropriate movie scenes, which made me realize that I could look up videos of this stuff online as well. There were years that I didn’t look at porn as much, but there were also years that I looked at it a lot, especially in my later high school/early college years.

Why is all of this such a huge part of my testimony? Because I truly believe porn combined with masturbation is what stunted my growth as a believer. I was sinning and unable to break free from it. And I wasn’t turning to the Lord when I messed up, I ran from Him and covered my head in shame for weeks every time I looked at porn and/or masturbated. Masturbation wasn’t something that was done in innocence for me anymore. It was always accompanied by lustful fantasies, raunchy scenes in books, or video pornography. So whether or not I actually viewed porn, I was left feeling empty and defeated and far from God.

My Senior year of high school was when things began to turn around for me. You might be asking yourself, “Isn’t that when you struggled the most?”  Yes, it is. But it is also the time when I started to take my sin more seriously. And Satan wasn’t about to make it that easy for me.

I will share the rest of my testimony in my next post. For now I want to leave you with this:

When your struggle with sin is the hardest it has ever been, remember this: God is there with you and He will never forsake you. The fact that you are not resigned to your sin and wish to defeat it is a big deal and something God can work with. You are free in Christ. Don’t let sin tell you otherwise!

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” – John 8:36

What’s in a testimony?

What is your testimony?

As a Christian, you may have had several people ask you this. But what does it really mean to share your testimony?

I could tell you something along these lines, “Well, I don’t have much of a testimony. I grew up in church and never got into too much trouble. I did struggle with porn and masturbation throughout the majority of my childhood, but God has set me free from that.”

I would have a pretty boring testimony, and there is something about it that bothers me.

It bothers me because there are others who have gone through much more in their lives; involved in drugs, alcohol, sex, and just living a life of destruction. Their testimony seems a whole lot more interesting. They have had all kinds of horrible things happen and look at how far they have come.

In comparison, my own testimony is bland and uninteresting. In the past I have almost been embarrassed to share with anyone how pleasant my life had been thus far.

This mindset is wrong. The only reason I or anyone else might be thinking that our testimony isn’t worthy is because we are focused on the wrong person. Instead of focusing on Jesus and sharing what He has done, we are focusing on ourselves. We want to impress people with how messed up our lives used to be and if we don’t have a terrible story to tell we are embarrassed or even embellish our own stories to make them more interesting.

What is the true purpose of a testimony? To bear witness to something. Something greater than all of our own stories and messy lives. To bear witness to the beauty of a God who would send his Son to live among us and die for us. A savior who would take on our sin, conquer death, and rise again to be with us for eternity.

The Bible makes it clear to me what I should focus on concerning my own testimony.

“Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son.  And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” 1 John 5:10-11

Everyone may have a different story, but we all have the same testimony to share. None of us have a boring or unimportant testimony. If Jesus has touched our lives, what we have to share is just as important as the rest.

I shouldn’t try to make my past worse than it was and neither should someone else dumb theirs down. If we are giving Jesus all the glory and pointing to Him as the one who saved us from it all, each of us will have something to offer.

This is Sydney’s story!

Simply Sex(uality)

I was recently published in an online magazine for 17-22 year old single women (On My Own Now). Check it out! Thoughts? Feelings? Reactions?

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Time to Admit it: Women Like Porn Too by Sydney Clark (pg. 10)

Some girls when they are craving emotional intimacy from males go straight to guys. They jump from one boyfriend to the next and fill that void in their life with make-out sessions and erotic sexual behaviors. I wasn’t one of those girls. I found a much more subtle and unnoticeable (or so I thought) way of filling this void in my life—or more precisely, it found me…READ MORE

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