I Pray that my Testimony reaches someone and sheds some light in an area of darkness –Marita
A lot of you who have been reading some of my material have probably by now come to know three things. 1) I’m a straight shooter and write exactly what I’m thinking to the point that my slang comes out in my writing. 2) I’m not an expert or Pastor. I’m just a member of the body of believers. 3) I like to get into detail and explain things a lot or in other words define things. Not just for people reading this but for my own personal breakdown and help with deciphering things. I find it helpful to explains things in a way where I can’t assume people know what I’m talking about. That’s not to put down anyone reading this but I want to put it as simple as I can while conveying the truth (God’s word) and what’s come to be true in my life but also my freedom to express my thoughts and shed some light on the topic.
For some people out there my recent writings on what some would call “religious” or “faith-based” writing or opinions might come as quite a shock for most people that have known me in my past. Believe me, no one is more surprised than me so the good news for you is that you’re not the most shocked person out there, I am. If you told me 2 years ago, heck let’s say one year ago that I would be saying the things I’m saying, doing the things I’m doing, and acting the way I’m acting I wouldn’t believe you. I would think it’s possible because I’ve always had that mentality that anything is possible. I’m a believer, and always have been a believer but not in the right way. I have always been a believer in the fact that anything is possible and that this world is too big and so ever-changing for me to be so simple minded into thinking that there isn’t something much bigger out there than just us as human beings. I just didn’t know what that something was yet until now (& Yes I’m talking about the fact that Jesus and or God is real and very much presently existing).
People might think to themselves, what changed? How did this Lady Gaga worshipping, swearing, gossip girl (When I picture my old sense I picture that, HAHA! I don’t know if that’s 100% accurate) go from point A to point Z. She went to work for a Christian radio station and she must have gotten brain-washed or converted. HAH! I wish it was that simple. Really I do, because that story would be a lot easier to tell than my real one but that’s not the story that God intended for me. No, he knew that it wasn’t going to be that easy for me to see or hear him. We all have our unique stories and that seems like a logical one for most people to think is true but it’s not. I can’t say that my workplace setting didn’t get me curious because it did but what I realize now is that God was setting up my environment, my support system for when he finally woke me up or when I finally had my eyes opened. Now I know this all sounds like bullshit to some people like okay Marita went off the deep end and now she has “God” (I use quote-unquote because I’m assuming that’s how people would project it when referring to me in this sense) in her life so clearly she found a new hobby or interest. Isn’t that nice for her, whatever works from keeping her from having severe panic attacks. Hey, you know I don’t blame people for thinking that because at one point I did have them and that was true but it’s not the truth in this situation. While it’s great to have more confidence and assurance in my life, that’s not why I went looking for God. Truth be told, I didn’t go looking for him no matter how many signs or signals he might have sent my way. Until my eyes were open and I was forced into seeing this world in another light and from another perspective. I was put in a situation or should I say I walked into a situation that was pretty bad. In the midst of it all things could have gone two different ways. I thank God that he swooped in and it went in the direction God wanted and he literally guided me towards help and ultimately led me towards saving my life where I was shown hope, Jesus who is “the truth, the way, and the life”, and the truth of this world and the things that no one knows exists. God took a bad situation and turned into a learning moment for me and a moment of clarity and hope. He turned the situation into the way he wanted it. I know this sounds sci-fi! I could tell you the exact moment in time in explicit detail what changed for me but to be honest now isn’t the time and I’ll spare you the details. Plus it’s a personal testimony between God and I that I don’t share very often. Not to mention my testimony changes all the time. There are so many things that have happened thus far in my journey and every time I talk to someone my testimony changes in the way I share it or in what piece of information I share. I really try to leave it up to God to help him lead me in telling parts of my story with the people that need to hear it. I like to look at it as a novel and God tells me what chapters to share with which people. Ultimately it’s not how I got woken up or how my switch turned on to what life is really about, it’s the fact that I did wake up and come around. Now some people might say okay Marita your life seemed to be going pretty well, you were not a drug addict, drunk, abuser or victim of abuse, or anything of the typical things people seem to go through and find Jesus. No you’re right but I did suffer in other ways, in ways that I didn’t know really weighed me down and controlled me. I have to tell you that God doesn’t just save people from addiction problems, he saves people from what some would think are “normal” lives; normal for this current world we live in anyway. His arms are open to anyone, not just the drunk abused, alcoholic inflicted, victimized stereotypical charity case. We may think we are living “okay” lives but seriously who wants “okay lives” don’t you want great lives? I didn’t know what I was missing in my life because honestly I thought my life was “normal”, just the way it was supposed to be. Yeah, I had anxiety but who didn’t have that these days? I was afraid of the future, of the unknown. I was afraid of change. I didn’t know my purpose in life. I didn’t know my direction. Now I didn’t have severe depression or life problems, not more than any other recent college grad trying to figure out what I’m going to do with my life. I was just a girl from Quincy until God told me one day that I was more than that.
This may seem like some motivational/inspirational writing that you shy away from because either one you think it’s a bunch of crap and that it may work for me but not you. Or two you might in a subconscious way be afraid because letting go and letting God in is scary. What’s God? Who’s God? I’ve never met him or talked to him. The thought of welcoming God into your life can be confusing and scary. Confusing? Yes because you might ask yourself how do I do this whole God thing? What do I have to do? Just go to church? Do you want the answer? No! What? Are you ready for this? I’m going to blow your mind. I can say this because I went through the exact same thing. Welcoming a relationship with God is not about going to church in the stereotypical sense. First off the key thing to remember that everyone gets confused on (me included when I first started my walk) is that it is RELATIONSHIP OVER RELIGION. You might think um yeah going to church is my relationship with God…no. It’s not. That might be part of it but it’s not. At least I hope that’s not all. There is a big difference between faith and religion. Religion is an organized set of ideas or beliefs that one specific group sets doctrines and rules for pertaining to what they interpret and believe in. Now that includes all the denominations like Catholic, Protestant, Baptist, 7th day Adventist, etc. There is nothing wrong with denominations but your personal relationship is what takes precedent. It’s your daily prayer time, reading the Bible, learning, and letting the Holy Spirit guide you in your life in making wise and smart righteous decisions. I am in no way insulting any of the denominations, and most would agree that your personal communion with God is what’s most important. Now I encourage being part of a church to share in worshipping your love for God but you should not let others dictate how you want to express yourself and what to do in your relationship. I highly respect Pastors, and Ministers, and Reverends, etc. and I believe they are there for spiritual guidance and teaching but remember it’s your relationship with God not theirs. God might lead you to them for guidance but God wants you to have a personal relationship with him not you him and so and so. You don’t need a middle man. If we needed a middle man Jesus’s death would have been in vain. Jesus died for us and to break that separation from God. We can now go directly to God and talk to him. We don’t need someone else to speak on our behalf. Jesus already spoke on our behalf and still does. Jesus opened up that segway for us and that’s why we praise his name. That’s what I mean by him saving us. He took on the world of sins for what? For us. Don’t you think that deserves some praise? If not maybe you should reexamine some things in your life…
Now don’t misinterpret my comments on church. I think it is important to find that church that fits you and your needs. It’s like trying on a pair of shoes. I learned this myself that the first place you go to might not be the right place for you. I’m not saying it’s bad, I’m just saying what works for one, might not work for everyone, just like shoe sizes! You have to try on the church, get a feel for it. This also pertains to denominations. One set of doctrines might work for one person and not another. It really doesn’t matter how you get there as long as you are getting there and like I said it is relationship over religion. Have that relationship and the religion aspect is your choice. I’m not saying you don’t need church and I’m not saying you do. What I’m saying is that church can be great for support and for gathering with other like-minded individuals to worship. Now sometimes you might not always agree with a sermon, other times you might find it very helpful and like it is being directed at your life. God works in many, many ways. He might have you listen to a message that you don’t necessarily see eye to eye on with the preacher and that is okay! People are going to have different opinions. I learned that too. God wants you to interpret his word in your own way. There are just teachers there spreading God’s word to get you to think. You can choose to believe God’s word but it is how you interpret it and it’s always going to be different. Let me tell you something that is going to surprise you and open your eyes in a different way. A spiritual teacher of mine told me once that church is not going to one specific place and meeting up and because I am there in this decorated house I am at church. No. Church is not just a place it’s an action. Church is two or more people coming together to talk about God, his word, spiritual beliefs, etc. I don’t have to be in a specific building to have church. I can sit in my bosses office (as I have done) and have a conversation about the Bible and converse back and forth and that right there is church. When you spend your time focusing on God with others that is church. I don’t care if you are out to lunch, in the park, in a workplace setting, it is church. Do you think God thinks “oh hold up these people are not at 103 park avenue in such and such town so this does not count.” NO! Let’s be real here people!
Each and every single one of us has a story, has a journey and I’m going to tell you this. You can chose two options. This may should blunt but it’s reality. You can use good or evil. Every one seems to agree that there is such thing as good or evil and yes there is. How is it that people can believe in good and evil deeds but not God or the devil? It’s real. I can tell you it’s real because I have seem examples of both and I’m sure you have too you just decide to brush it off as “natural causes”. The choice is yours how you want to live your life but why leave it up in the air. Do not wait until you are old and on your deathbed to accept Jesus. DO IT NOW! I’m telling you it is a powerful thing, Jesus is a powerful thing, and more powerful than anything and I mean ANYTHING in this world that tries to harm you. When you have Jesus, accept him as your Lord and Savior and believe in your heart he is who he is and it says he is, and then you my friend will have life. Eternal life. You can sit there reading this right now thinking I’m crazy but the only person who’s crazy is you if you think you can live in this world and have life after death without him because you cannot. & Let me tell you this. Jesus is not someone who only accepts whites, straight-people, clean cut non-tattoo bearing people, NO, absolutely not .I do not care who you are or where you come from, if you are gay, bi, straight, whatever Jesus died for EVERYONE. Don’t be fooled or shy-ed away by extreme cult Christian groups that project the Bible in one way and their way only because Jesus is for everyone! There are extreme groups out there and it is a shame that some of them give true Christianity a bad name or bad reputation. I’m not here to tell you that you are “going down the devil’s path” because you are gay or drink or smoke, or whatever. That’s ridiculous. We are all human and Jesus died for us because he loved us Humans and thought that we deserved another chance so why not give him a chance? It’s the least you can do for the man who gave you the option of eternal life. Accept him, believe in him, and he will show you what life really is because you think you have it now but you my friend are blinded. Declare him as your Lord and Savior and take off those blinders and stop listening to this ridiculous bullshit about Jesus and God not loving you for who you are and who you were made to be in him. I will leave you with a very appropriate Bible verse and one that I can say describes my personal testimony and everyone else’s…
“ I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”