Category Archives: Testimony
Meet Karisa!! This is her lovely testimony…
What started out as a simple “Thank You” note to those who contributed to my Choir tour expenses, soon developed into a full-blown Testimony of what God did in my life during Priority Tour 2011. Please read the letter/story/testimony I wrote below… 🙂
Hi _______, I just wanted to say THANK YOU for your generous donation to my Priority choir trip in June! Your gift went sraight towards paying for part of my trip, and helped me reach my goal of $550! I had a wonderful time, and really enjoyed worshiping God and serving others in sunny California. We sang at several churches, the Salvation Army (for children and the elderly), at a Men’s Shelter, at a Women and Children’s shelter called Shepard’s Gate, and also at Great America theme park for thousands of people! It truly was an amazing experience.
I wish I could tell you every detail of the trip, but I could write pages, and I’m sure you’d get bored of reading a novel written by me… 😉 However, I can share with you one occurrence that really made a difference in my trip and in my life.
After singing at Great America, we had the awesome opportunity to have a break from singing and serving and to enjoy a free day at the theme park! Unfortunately, on my very first ride in Great America after we performed on stage, my bag was stolen from the holding area while I was on a roller coaster. I was devastated. My bag had contained several valuables, including my wallet, money, cell phone, iPod, camera, makeup, and more, and all of that had suddenly been taken from me. I tried not to let it ruin my day in the theme park, but it really hit me hard when we went home that evening and I had to face the realization that I had so much less with me leaving the park than I had had coming in.
“Why would this happen to me? How do I deserve this?!” These thoughts constantly ran through my head in the remaining days of the trip, but I tried to stay as positive as I could. Thankfully, I was surrounded by 60 amazing people who were more than willing to lend me money, makeup, cell phones, and anything else I needed that had been taken from me. People kept reminding me that God has a plan for everything, and that everything happens for a reason. At first, this was hard for me to believe. What good could come out of something so horrible? Especially since replacing everything would take a lot of time, money, and patience. I prayed and prayed, asking God to show me what his purpose was for this tragic event, and it wasn’t until after tour was over, and I was back at home, that I finally got an answer.
One of the songs we sang on tour was called “All Things New”. At first, I wasn’t too fond of the song… it was kind of slow and a little boring to me. However, as we sang it multiple times on every day of the tour, the lyrics really started to stand out to me, and it started to become one of my favorite songs. Here are some of the lyrics that I love:
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19 NIV
~ “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 ~ MESSAGE REMIX VERSION: (Proverbs 3:5-12) I love this version. “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil! Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life! Honor God with everything you own; give him the first and the best. Your barns will burst, your wine vats will brim over. But don’t, dear friend, resent God’s discipline; don’t sulk under his loving correction. It’s the child he loves that God corrects; a father’s delight is behind all this.”
Thank you Karisa for sharing your testimony!! Karisa blogs over at “a beautiful mess” check out her blog, and send some <333
Meet… Alyssa Duncan!! Thank you Alyssa for sharing your beautiful heart/testimony to all my readers!
First off, thanks to Olga and her sweet family for allowing me the opportunity to share my testimony on her blog! 🙂 Her sweet words have given me inspiration on numerous occasions, allowed to laugh over silly moments with a fellow momma, and marvel at what God is doing in the lives of others. I’m attempting to break into the blogging world, but as I only seem to make it onto my blog once or twice a month (if that)…I’m not ready to call myself a true “blogger” yet. For now, I’ll just enjoy following blogs like Miss Olga’s instead. 🙂
So, my story starts back at the very large Independent Fundamental Baptist church that I attended in California as a little girl. I grew up with godly parents, Bible stories, attending VBS, and memorizing scripture as song. God was just interwoven into the daily fabric of my life and I didn’t know any different. I accepted Jesus into my heart at the young age of 5 and was baptized not long after. But then, upon attending a youth camp at age 12, I came to the realization that as a 5 year old I didn’t fully understand what it meant to be “saved.” So I re-committed my life to Christ and asked him to show me what it really meant to follow him. But, being a teenage girl, I quickly forgot about my commitment to Christ and upon entering into high school, became consumed with other (MUCH less important things). I fell into some pretty deep pits my sophomore year, dabbling in some areas that I am NOT proud to say I entered into. My family had stopped going to church around this time and so I definitely didn’t have the support system around me that I needed to get through these tough times. I made friends with the wrong people, got it into my mind that my parents only wanted to make my life as hard as possible, and at one point, became so low that I simply did not want to be alive anymore. My parents chose to move me to a different high school my junior year in an attempt to put me in a little bit better of an environment and we started going back to church. I had turned my back on God at this point, I was so set in my ways and I was NOT going to change. Then, I met Eric.
I’m convinced that the ONLY reason God led me to Eric was to show me how a relationship was NOT supposed to work. I didn’t care that Eric wasn’t a Christian, I overlooked the fact that he constantly was trying to get me alone and compromise my integrity, and I didn’t listen to anyone who tried to point out any of the obvious issues he had. I defended him, thought I loved him, and at one point…was engaged and only a few weeks away from marrying him. Then, one Sunday at church, God used a message about loving your children to show me the light. The message was about absolutely nothing that pertained to me but somehow (because He is God) he used it to show me that I was not being loved, cherished, and treated how Christ loved the church. He used this message to show me that I could not be married to an unbeliever, that there was something out there that was so much better for me and that if I turned my life over to him once more, he would show me the way. So I did. I bared my soul, exposed my heart, and pledged my life to Him once and for all.
At a birthday party for a little boy that I used to babysit later that afternoon, when Eric was upset that I was planning on going to a sleepover at our youth leader’s house for the girls in the youth group and not spending time home with him like a good fiancé, I knew that was it. I couldn’t marry him. So with my sister by my side, we sat and cried on the bathroom floor as I called my mom and broke the news. She told me the best thing I could have heard, “I am taking your hand and running back down the aisle with you, away from him. Everything will be okay. I love you.”
The funny thing about all of this, is that same day, when God was breaking my heart for Him during the worship service at church, I looked over at Chad (a guy whom I had met at our church Life Groups a few weeks before) and said to myself, “I want to marry a guy like that. He would love me!” From the moment that Eric and I broke up and he went back to Arizona, Chad and I became instant friends, fell madly in love after a mere few weeks, and 7 months later were engaged. Chad and I both came from horribly disastrous relationships so we just fell madly, passionately, and quickly head-over-heels in love with each other. I can look back now and see that God used Eric to make me appreciate Chad so very, very much. Where Eric was harsh, Chad is tender. Where Eric was snobby, Chad is rugged and man’s man. Where Eric was cruel, Chad was uniquely understanding and sweet. He is my very best friend.
The best part of it all was my renewed passion for the Lord. I poured over my Bible night and day, until I had read it cover to cover, over and over…I couldn’t get enough of this amazing book! I had read the Bible all my life but it was like all of a sudden it had been revealed to me in a way that it never had before. Chad and I would spend hours talking about things we read, the sermon at church on Sunday, or where we felt God was calling us in our lives. For the first time in my life, I FELT God in my heart leading me, talking to me, and guiding me in my day-to-day life. It was so freeing!
Chad and I got married (legally) on January 15th, 2010 and then once he was back from a brief deployment we got married in a formal ceremony on February 19th, 2010. We spent the next year traveling, cuddling, playing games together, and just having SO much fun. I enjoyed being with him so very much!! We found out in early November that we were expecting a baby and it’s amazing how fast nine months flew by! Our son, Jonah Maverick, was born just a few short months ago on June 30th. He is already 2 months old and growing like a weed before our very eyes! Chad is currently involved with the Safety and Security Ministry in our church and I sing on the Worship Band at our church. We used to teach Preschool as well at the church, but we stepped down for a time to focus on growing and nurturing our little family. My mom and I are best friends now and I couldn’t be happier that her and my dad didn’t give up on me when I turned my back on them. My family and I are closer than ever and they have been such a HUGE help as Chad and I embark on this new journey in parenthood. Jonah is the physical embodiment of my heart on the outside of my body and I couldn’t be happier (or more blessed) to be his Momma. All of this because two people fell in love…and one girl started listening to God. All of my dreams are coming true. 🙂