It's TESTIMONY TIME. Today's testimony comes courtesy of the lovely Anne-Marie Clarke. Anne-Marie and I have been following eachother on Twitter for months and when I first started blogging I was going to feature her in an inspirational interview feature I was running at the time. For one reason or another the interview never materialised. However, fast forward several months and now she's on the blog to testify to God's amazing love, grace and mercy. I'm telling you when you make everything about Jesus, things that you never thought would/could happen or simply gave up on start coming into fruition. IT IS AWESOME!! Thank you Jesus!!
So without further ado here is Anne-Marie's powerful testimony taken straight from her blog.
"Well It's been a while,I don't know why I've been procrastinating, but I'm finally here! So the Holy Spirit showed up and stirred up the hearts of the young people in our regional praise and worship service last Sunday night. WOW WOW WOW! How Great is our God? It was truly a blessing. I was filled with the Holy Spirit for the first time, and I felt strongholds being lifted off. WoW! I was truly in awe of God's presence, and since last Sunday I have been in the spirit of worship. I can't find words to describe how much I love God. On Tuesday night, I was talking to my amazing sister in Christ Kelsey and we were talking about the amazing things God has done in our lives and where He has taken us from. I felt in my spirit God saying 'It's time to 'Align myself with His word' I was like; '...errmmm, what does that mean God?' It simply meant for me that I had to get to know God truly for myself and what HE thinks of me! I was like 'woah'... that was truth right there. The enemy has a way of creeping in and feeding my mind with his lies, and for years I have believed him and carried on living my everyday life.
Since being sexual abused by my cousin at the age of eight years old the devil automatically allowed me to believe that it was my fault, that I was in the wrong somehow, and not knowing any better I believed him! My innocence was taken. I felt awful. I grew up thinking something was wrong with me, that no one would ever love me! I didn't know what love felt like from a male figure. My Dad left when I was seven years old and he was the only male role model in my life. So I walked around with this secret for years. Even at the age of nine, when I went to a child doctor for weeks of counselling to find out why I was different, disturbed and with drawn I still couldn't open up! I didn't speak up until I was 21 and I told a counsellor. But by then years and years and years of guilt, hurt and damage had built up! I believed there was no one out there who could help me! I felt useless, ashamed and betrayed. I remember being homeless and living on the streets. I would go to work with my bags and wash in the disabled toilets. An amazing family (the Beaumont family) took me in. I will never forget their grace and kindness, I will forever be grateful to them. After years of depression and self harm and 3 failed suicide attempts I am still here! Why?? Because GOD had a divine plan for my life!!! I did not see what God was doing in my life at the time, but He saw the best in me when the world could only see the worst. The pain had a purpose. He kept me even when I didn't want to be kept! He loved me when I was in my sin and shame. But what blows my mind is how he delivered me!
He delivered me from self harm. I was self harming two to three times a day. The fire, the iron, the blade, scissors. What ever I could get my hands on, where ever I was! I wanted to feel something, be something. But all I saw was blood, lots of it, It didn't heal my broken heart. But God!
Suicide. I was in the hospital many times, I went to the mental hospital for many different appointments. I was on all kinds of anti-depressant medicines. But in my head all I wanted to be was dead. I never thought there was a way out, a light at the end of a tunnel. My aim was to end my life. But God!
Depression. It took over my life for many years. I was forever low, unhappy, unpopular. I felt like I had no purpose, no goal, no ambition. I felt I was merely living to exist. I was bullied, pushed down stairs, bitten and blamed. I had no confidence no self esteem, no self worth. I couldn't even look at myself in the mirror, I cursed my life and asked God to not wake me up in the morning. I have no use or purpose in this life.
But God was there every step of the way. It's hard to believe that when I gave up on him, he NEVER gave up on me. When I began to seek God for myself and got to have a one to one relationship with Him I got to find him for myself. It was an awesome finding too. I began to see that I wasn't a disaster, I wasn't a mistake, I shouldn't have been aborted, I was here for a divine purpose and for a time like this. I had to really cry before God, and search deep into my heart and ask God for healing and forgiveness. I think that was the hardest part. But when I focused on God and His word, I began to feel and treat myself differently. I began to see myself like God see's me. I Am who I Am because I am His! Once you align yourself with God and his word you are going in the right direction!
Jeremiah 29:11 'For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.'
Psalms 139:14 'I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.'