As a young girl Samantha endured many hardships. From absentee parents, isolation and rejection. Questioning her worth due to molestation. To eventually claiming atheist as a tragic death occurred shattering any hope that she believed could sustain her joy to live. She grew up with a void inside her. Not knowing that her emptiness would only be filled by Christ's pure love; she sought out anything that could fulfill her. As a young adult, like many who are lost; turned to this world for answers. Read the following testimony in Samantha's own words. As she testifies of how God's love erased all lies rooted within her. Lies of unworthiness, the inability to receive true love, the price of her own life & real joy. Samantha's life was filled with darkness. The enemy of our souls had tested her and it appeared as though he had won. This testimony speaks on its own of healing, forgiveness, and best of all God's salvation.
"I never felt seen or heard growing up."
"I grew up in a family who claimed to be Christians. I never really understood what Christianity was about; or why we "sort of" followed it when the adults in my life thought it was convenient. My home was a broken one. My dad was hardly ever around and when he was most of his attention was directed elsewhere. As my siblings and I got older, the less of a priority we were to our mom. So, In a sense we lacked parents. My mom was there physically. Physically to go through the motions but not truly there as a parent should've been. I never felt seen or heard growing up. I always felt like my needs, wants and emotions were second thought over my siblings and parents. I had my first drink at 11-years-old, my first kiss younger than that and smoked cigarettes and marijuana by the time I'd turn 12-years-old.
"When I was taken advantage of by men I trusted; I became so lost."
My innocents was long gone before I even hit puberty and shortly after that so was my virginity. I struggled with self-worth and self-love. Struggled because no one in my life taught me how much I was truly worth. Struggled because I was molested multiple times by grown men. When I was taken advantage of by men I trusted; I became so lost. I felt ashamed, dirty and like it was my fault. I thought, "I must be doing something for this to happen to me, right?" It also warped my understanding of proper love and attention. I was in search of the love I was missing in my life. I became promiscuous and naïve. I would sleep with anyone who would show me any sort of “positive” attention. Believing that if I gave them my body they would fill the big empty hole in my heart. No amount of sex, drinking or partying ever did satisfy me. It never made me feel loved, happy or worth something. It only made me feel more lost and emptier. As I got more and more lost I started to declare myself an atheist. I thought, "surely there is no God!" How could there be a God when all these terrible things have happened in my life? How could He allow me to wander so far in the dark? I had so much anger and hate building inside me. At that point in my life I couldn’t have told you the last time I had actually felt pure joy. I had happy moments that faded as quickly as they came, but I didn’t have real happiness. This pain and emptiness went on for multiple years. I never thought I could feel any lower than I already did in my life and I was proved wrong. I lost a very important person in my life. The only person I could honestly say I loved unconditionally. I remember sitting in the hospital hallway declaring that there is no God and if there was, I didn’t want to follow him anyways because how could he take the only person that gave my life purpose?
"As I got more and more lost I started to declare myself an atheist. I thought, "surely there is no God!"
I wanted to die. I would sit alone in my room thinking of different ways to kill myself. Really in-depth ways to end all this pain and suffering I felt. I was drowning in darkness; not knowing what to do with myself. I don’t know why I didn’t hang myself in the closet like I planned. Something evil was pulling me closer and closer to the edge and all I had to do was go through with it but I just couldn’t. As much as I felt that it was my only option; I just couldn’t do it. At least not yet I told myself. I desperately needed to find some way out of this storm. I had one more thing to try. Something that would require me to step out of my comfort zone and let down every wall I built around me. I would try to give God a chance. If this didn’t work than I’d finally go through with suicide.
"..I was drowning in darkness....I don’t know why I didn’t hang myself in the closet.."
Some very close people around me were forming relationships with God and they seemed genuinely happy so I went to church with them. I was so closed off and felt so uncomfortable. I was totally out of my element. I stood there judging these “freaks” who were holding their hands up and crying to this music I didn’t know the words to. I rolled my eyes throughout the entire sermon. Desperate for it to all be over so I could crawl back in to bed and resume my self-misery. Finally it was closing prayer. Anyone and everyone was invited to the alter to pray. I don’t know how or why but my feet led me right down to that alter and onto my knees. I prayed “ if you are real and you love me please show me. Please take this pain away. Heal me.” I NEVER cry in public (I hardly cried in private) but in that moment I couldn’t control my tears. Everything around me fell silent as I wept. With every tear I felt lighter and by the time I stood up I felt free. Free of all my pain, anger and darkness. More importantly I felt love. Love I had been searching for in all the wrong places. There it was surrounding me like a blanket. That’s when I knew God is real and I’d never doubt it again. I finally felt complete.
"Everything around me fell silent as I wept. With every tear I felt lighter and by the time I stood up I felt free. Free of all my pain, anger and darkness"
Being a Christian doesn’t make life easier. It doesn’t make you a better person and it certainly doesn’t make you or your life perfect. It has given me understanding, love and most importantly freedom. I no longer feel the need to look for acceptance outside of my relationship with the Lord. I love myself and understand my worth now. It’s been a long road but it’s a road I never want to wander from. I fall sometimes but God loves me in spite of my shortcomings. He forgives me for my sins and in turn I have learned to forgive those who have harmed me. I even pray for those people from time to time. I finally understand what Christianity is...it’s a personal relationship with our Lord and Savior. He loves you and wants to show you that love. All you have to do is let Him in your heart. Invite Him in and let Him fill all those dark empty spaces that this hardened world has created inside you. Let Him break those chains and set you free. What do you have to lose?