My Test is my Testimony

A testimony is an awesome way to share how Christ has gotten you to where you are in your life. I had the opportunity tonight to share mine with a girlfriend and thought it would be worth writing down.

I was raised by Christian parents who had my brother and I in church on Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings, Wednesday evenings and actively involved in youth group on the weekends. I was raised knowing that this was an essential part of my life and my future. When I got to high school, I made the boyfriend in my life my god and without realizing it, in college they were the idol that ran my whole world. While I was in college, I found that my life was pretty good and on the right track just how it was going, so I continued to put the Lord on the back burner and live my life the way I wanted to.

When I wasn’t with my boyfriend, or getting drunk with my sorority sisters, I felt lost. I had the dream of getting into nursing school, and after 3 years of trying my hardest, I had to let the dream go and find another focus that would get my out of college with a degree without accruing too much extra unexpected student loans. I graduated one semester later than planned, with a wonderful man in my life. I went to Africa to teach English for 6 weeks, found a job as soon as I got home and have been in IT sales since.

Slowly after returning stateside, the Lord started working on me. I started seeing things I had always ignored in a different light. Like that my boyfriend wasn’t a Christian and wouldn’t go to church with me on the rare occasions that I attended. This started to slowly eat at me, and other things came into focus. I have always wanted a husband and a family. This boyfriend and I had always discussed the possibilities of a family, and had always been on the same page, but now in this new light when it was mentioned, we didn’t seem to even be speaking the same language. Ultimately, less then 2 years later, I ended the relationship because we were not on the same page when it came to families or faith. These were 2 things that I was never going to be willing to give up. I was going to marry a Christian man who would be a strong leader, and would share my desire to have a family and babies.

8 days later I booked my moving truck to get me to my fresh start in Austin, TX. God has been working in my life every day since, and I have been working hard to not ignore Him. When I look at all of the things that He kept me from, and all the amazing things that have occurred because of His hand on my life, there is no one that deserves the credit more than Him. God has opened doors and closed windows to give me the life that I have never dreamed of. He put me into a house that I could barely afford by giving me the loan officer that fought for me and got incredibly creative every step of the way. He has given me a women’s Bible Study that keep me focused on my goals and are incredible examples of the Christian woman that I strive to be every day. He has blessed me with a family that has loved me through all of the messes that I’ve learned to get through. He reminds me of the things that I will not give up and keeps me focused on the plan that He has laid out for me. He answers my prayers and is with me every step of the way.

I only have this life because God has provided every piece of it to me. He deservers every ounce of recognition and praise because I am only where I am because of Him. He leads me despite all of my poor choices, and mistakes, not in spite of them. God is so good every single day and the future will be full of blessings and challenges that continue to allow me to grow and further pursue Him.

Your test will become your testimony and your mess your message. ❤

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Know Your Worth

It took me many many years to figure out my worth. I dated a lot of men and thought that they would be able to help me define it, but honestly it made it more challenging and made me feel like I was worth less, not more. I also dated a lot to fill whatever hole of loneliness that I needed patched.

Knowing your worth is a challenge. But once it’s found, the thought of losing it is unimaginable. I can’t imagine losing what I’ve won. I’m so proud to be where I am and proud to know what I’m worth.

Dating is a time in life when many of my girlfriends, like my old self, lose that. They think that it’s more important to have a significant other who maybe doesn’t respect them, or won’t commit after months is okay because they aren’t alone.

Girlfriend! You are worth more than that. Being single is a phenomenal time to learn about yourself and make that your prime investment. Take up a new skill, or learn to bake something besides slice and bake cookies. Find a foundation you’re passionate about and get involved. Redecorate your house or get a side job. But never forget that you don’t need a man.

I’m in a situation where I’m trying to date a guy long distance. Trying is the key word. Long distance isn’t for everyone and having to maneuver around that is challenging, honestly. I totally get it’s not for everyone and I don’t lose an ounce of respect if that ends up being the case in my situation. But please understand, after I cry for a second I’m going to get up, dust my butt off from falling down and I’m going to move forward. Because I’m worth more than settling for someone who can’t give me 100%, and girlfriend you deserve more too.

I know in my heart that there is someone out there who will be willing to, and will want to give me 110%. Someone who appreciates how I love people, my family, friends, strangers and the Lord. There is someone who will share my dream of raising a family, adoption and traveling the world. That man is out there. Heck, it could be the guy I’m getting to know and dating now, but until God reveals that to me, I have to continue trusting the process and moving forward.

While you’re trusting God and moving forward in your own relationship, try keeping these things in mind:
– Why isn’t he committing to you? Is it because its brand new and you’ve only known him for 3 weeks or does he have another excuse that doesn’t make sense anymore 8 months later?
– Do you actually have things in common? I have a girlfriend who isn’t even sure she likes the guy, but their intimacy level is really compatible . Make sure that YOU’RE there for the right reasons.
– Has he done something shady that you’ve chosen to ignore and look past?
– Has he ever told you you deserve better? I learned that if a man tells you this, you need to listen and trust him.

If you said yes to any of those things, I would take a step back and look at the relationship from a different perspective. Ending relationships suck. I know because I’ve ended almost all of the relationships I’ve been in and it’s really hard, but staying longer when in your gut you know it’s not right for you is going to make leaving later every harder.

You are loved. And you deserve everything you want in this world. Please don’t stand in your own way and be the reason why you don’t get them. ❤️

Shaken

I recently decided to stop dating the man I’ve been seeing for a few months. He is everything I have asked God for, and all of the things I didn’t know I needed. But in this decision to take some time apart, he asked a question that shocked me. His offensive question has been in my head non stop since he asked. The night before our winery date, where I realized he was someone I could picture as being incredibly important to me, I went on a date with someone else. We were both single adults and both still dating other people, but I’d made a choice that I have never been proud of and for whatever reason felt that the space he and I shared was safe enough to share this in. I have no idea why, but I did. We have never talked about that night, until now.

His question has brought up issues from my past that are more than 10 years old, and some that are newer that I have chosen to not deal with. I thought I had, but now I’m realizing that I’m broken still, just covered my a mask. A mask I didn’t even know I owned.

The decision I made that night was my right as a female, whose in control of her own body. Which may have been a part of the problem. So many times in my life that power has been taken from me, so to have the power and the control to make that choice on my own is where I believe that decision came from. It came from a place of need to fill a void, rather than allow it to remain empty and lonely. It came from a place where I needed to be WORTH something to someone.

It’s incredible to me that I thought this break was for him. For him to heal, and be as ready for me as I thought I was for him. But it turns out, I may be equally as broken, but in different ways.

Sexual abuse causes people to act out. In grownups, people assume you’re just being promiscuous. But sometimes there is an underlying cause that needs to be acknowledged. I’m Kristi. I’m a repeat victim of sexual abuse, and I’ve never healed from it. I’ve moved forward and allowed myself to ignore it, while also forgiving those individuals, but I’ve never healed and let it go. It’s been almost 4 years since the last incident, and I have allowed the control that he took from me to eat me up, silently, over the years. This is letting the bad guys win. Over and over again.

In a webinar for a Bible Study I’m about to start, the author said this “Insecurity and lies we believe can shake us to our core and the foundations of our hearts.” The lie that my worth is only found in the bedroom, from men that take what they need, is no longer going to control me. Join me in letting go of the lies that are holding you down, and acknowledge that they are prohibiting you from moving forward.