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For I was lost, but now found. Broken, and now mended.

At a young age, I accepted Christ into my heart. As I grew up and became a teenager, I started to become distant with God, and as a result, I developed a huge void inside. I tried everything I could to fill the emptiness that came from within. Some examples include getting into relationships, partying, and tried to seek perfection in my grades and performance in order to feel loved and accepted. I grew up without a father, and always remembered feeling “not enough.” I could not understand why my own father never really made the effort to be in my life, and wondered what was wrong with me. I struggled with my identity, and my worth and value. Also, because I did not know who I was and whose I was, I allowed people to use, abuse, and mistreat me. I was in a three-year relationship where the guy I used to date was very emotionally and mentally abusive to me. This made me feel even less of a person, and I started to question my existence. I wondered why God was still keeping me alive when life was only just an endless struggle of pain, disappointment, rejection, and heartbreak. I also struggled with anxiety and depression. Even though God gave me the strength to leave that relationship, I still did not devote my life to Him because I still wanted control over my life. After being in another hopeless situation, I finally surrendered my life to Christ. I realized that God is in control and that I am not capable of directing my life in a positive way. I was in awe of the God that constantly pursued me and never left my side. It was a picture of this verse:

"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which I was lost! I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance" (Luke 15: 4-7).

I was the prodigal daughter that came back into the arms of her loving Father who waited for her return and welcomed her back with rejoicing.

After this, I became intentional about reading the Bible and praying, and I started attending a church where I served in Children’s Ministry and Outreach Ministry. Even with the new things that were happening in my life, I was still broken and had a lot of scars that did not fully heal yet. I knew that this was going to be a long road of recovery, but I was excited and hopeful of the day that I would be completely whole in the Lord. The road to healing and freedom from my sins was very difficult, and I had to revisit some dark places. I had to learn to forgive, leave the past behind, give God complete control over my life, and fully surrender my will and desires to Him. The beautiful thing about it was that the Lord would continuously speak promises into my heart. He promised that everything that I had gone through would not be wasted, and that He would redeem and restore my life. In His Word He also declared, “Now to Him who is able to do exceeding and abundantly above all we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:10).

After some years of this walk with God, I can confidently say that the Lord is faithfully fulfilling His promises to me. At this present moment, I feel more joy, peace, and wholeness than I ever dreamed of having. I also feel a sense of purpose and zeal for life. He broke the chains that once kept me bound, and I now put my identity in Him. He is my Shepard and I follow wherever He leads. I believe that my personal testimony is not over; it is just beginning. With God, the opportunities are endless. I will continue to grow and point others to the One who made a way for me when I thought there was no way, and to the One who laid down His life so that I could live a life of abundance with Him.

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