Earth Shaking, Doors Opening, & Breaking Free! Acts16:26


 Shawna's Testimony

My testimony is somewhat long, also in a way, our testimonies should never end, right??

 I was born to an unfit household. My parents were abusive to us kids, and did drugs. Eventually we were all taken away and put in separate foster homes. I was placed with a wonderful family that just happened to attend the Ironwood United Pentecostal church in South Bend, Indiana.  They started me out in church, I was ten months old. Eventually when I was six years old they decided to make me their own and adopted me. I finally had my own family, who loved me and cared for me. They raised me in church.  All my life I was taught what was right and what was wrong. I was strong as a child; I could quote scripture better than anyone I knew. I loved church and I loved God.

As I grew older something happened. Its like the Devil got a hold of me. It was about the seventh grade when the real trouble started. I picked the wrong people to hang out with. My friends were all atheists; some even called themselves ‘Wicca’, which is a form of witchcraft. Not the best group to be with, am I right?? I started going with the flow of the world, doing the things my friends did. Lying, cursing, and cheating in school. I didn’t care what happened to me, or what other people thought, mainly the people at church. I wanted every one to know that I had rebelled. There were even times when my bad language was used at church. Because I just didn’t care. I was dating a guy that controlled my every move. He called himself  a warlock. I am not sure if he really was or not, but I could sense the evilness radiating out from him. It scared me, he scared me. I just did whatever would make him happy, and if that meant leaving God and the church then that is what I had to do. Later he threatened to kill me, which was an empty threat screamed out of anger and I never saw him again.

            I continued on being disobedient to my parents and treating every one badly with zero respect. I had lost respect for my own self as well. In the summer before my freshman year, I cut my hair. It was a foot shorter than it used to be, and it used to be to my knees. By that time everyone knew I had walked out on God. I started school that year at the Pentecostal church’s school they had just started.  I was a total nightmare to my teachers. My attitude was terrible. I threw my books when I got angry, or back talked my teacher. Whatever I knew would get me in trouble, I did. Just to be a rebel. Later in about the tenth grade I met and began dating a guy named Adrian.  To me he was my dream guy. I fell in love with him, and we were together for almost three years. We had all sorts of plans and things, but out of the blue he breaks my heart, and starts dating a girl, Joy.  Who in a couple months would become my best friend.

       The breakup with Adrian was the absolute last straw. I went hay wire. My mind set was that God had done this on purpose to cause me to be in pain. I cut my hair again only this time I shaved the back part of my head but leaving the front half a couple inches long. I went into depression. It even went as far as an attempt to commit suicide. But I survived.  In April 2003 I started a job working in the office at ABC Warehouse in Mishawaka. I started smoking pot and cigarettes with some guys I met there. In May I moved out of my parent’s house, because I wanted to live a party life, which they wouldn’t let me do. I went from place to place, staying the night at my managers’ places. One of my bosses gave me my first alcoholic drink, and from there it just got worse. I began sleeping around with one of the stock guys there, and drinking a lot. I was drunk almost every night. There wasn’t a minute where I wasn’t high on pot or drunk.  I eventually moved in with one of the managers there, Ray. It wasn’t long before I began sleeping with him as well. Things were going great or so I thought. I was having fun at the time but I was alone.  I tried to drown out my hurts in alcohol and weed. And I learned the hard way that it just doesn’t work like that. In August 2003 I married Ray.  We continued our life style of drinking, cursing, and smoking cigarettes. He had made me give up pot before he would marry me.

           We started fighting a lot over small stuff. And he would come home and basically just get drunk or space out somewhere. I would cry all the time. I started seeing my need for God. During all of this happening, my best friend Joy, would come over to comfort me or keep me company. She is a witness to what went on.  Finally it came down to, I needed God. I went to church on Saturday March 20, 2004. With Joy by my side. Ray and my step-daughter Caitlyn was there but they left in the middle of the service.  In the middle of the preaching I started to realize that I needed God. And it was going to be that night that I would pray through. I started crying. I looked over and saw that Joy was also crying. The sermon was called "The Cost of Being Lost" Bro. Linder was preaching and every word that came from his mouth seemed directed straight at me. Joy and I walked to the altar together, and received the gift of the Holy Ghost afresh. I felt like a huge boulder had been lifted off of my shoulders. No longer did I want the things that I had once found pleasure in.  I went home and told my husband, Ray, all about it. And he too became curious about church.

          The next night we went to church and he went to the altar and he received the Holy Ghost for the first time in his life. It was the happiest moment in my life. That Wednesday I prayed to God that if I could some way some how have a child to call my own. The next morning my sister called and asked me if we would adopt her unborn baby, once it was born. It was an answer to my prayers. In about seven months I will have a son or daughter of my own. My husband and I don’t fight as much or as bad as we used to. Our lives are so peaceful. He got rid of all his ungodly books. We dumped out all the alcohol. It’s just a miracle what God has done to this family.  We have been unemployed for two months. And no leads to jobs have been found. But since we got in church, he has already scheduled four interviews, and one place is wanting to immediately hire him. God has certainly been good to us and he has his hand in everything. I don’t know where I would be right now if God hadn’t protected me while I was away. I may have walked away from God, but He never walked away from me. I thank him every day for loving me… His Child.