Author: The Lord and humbly written by His servant
Shout outs: To the love of my life and most High God to whom gets all the praise and honor. May You, Father, be glorified by this testimony.
This is the testimony of how I gave my life to the Lord Jesus Christ who is the utmost Highest and center of my life. I am currently at Yokota Air Base, located on the outskirts of Tokyo, Japan. I arrived at Yokota in June 1998 still brand new to the military with only one year of active duty service under my belt. Japan was the first foreign country I had ever been to so I was nervous, scared, excited and had butterflies all at once. As soon as I arrived, I had already established a boyfriend and a bunch of friends from the plane ride over. I was just like the other airmen who were just as frightened as I was about coming to a foreign country. During my first couple months, I drank a lot and went to our Enlisted Club almost every night. Mixing and mingling about the crowds of drunken men and women trying to blend in was the immediate way to fit in here at the time. I often spent every Friday night learning how to country dance and hanging out with a more respectable crowd of folks. A very popular place to country-dance on Saturday nights was at Camp Zama, located 45 minutes from Yokota. Five car loads of women would drive up there to dance and hang out because a lot of the Marines and Navy would only be able to make it that far while they were on regular curfews. Well, I fell in love for the first time with a man named C who was in the Marine Corp. Little to my knowledge that when we fell in love that he decided not to tell me that he had a wife and 2 children already. C called me from Okinawa a couple of months into our relationship and told me about his family. I was broken hearted and told him, "Once a liar, always a liar," and hung up on him. I was a broken woman whose heart was in cardiac arrest due to the sudden news that we would not have a future together. About two months after the heartbreak, I decided that dating men was a way to let go of C. My thoughts on the Marines were of distaste, so I began to date a young Navy enlisted named B. During that time I treated him raw. I figured the worse I treat a man the more I protected my heart. Suffice to say that B liked the way I abused the relationship, which does not say a lot about B and his previous experiences in relationships. In November 1998, he told me that he had to go to Guam for 3 months, but that he desired for me to meet his closest friend in the Navy, D, before he left. B arranged a weekend for the both of us to meet up with D. Upon meeting D and his wife, K, she and I clicked. D, K, B and I were from the northeast United States between Philadelphia, PA, and Newark, NJ, so we had much in common. In January, B and D shipped out leaving K and I to hang out together.
I began spending the weekends with K and their daughter, J, and attending church with them. Although I was dating B at the time, my mind and heart still pondered on why C did what he did to me and why I could not seem to make the pain go away. I was in the depth of sadness and depression without hope of ever having love again. I can still remember the feeling as I pondered on the thought of taking my own life. If this was the hand I was going to be dealt then I might as well skip the pain and head straight to death. During those next couple months, K and J brought a lot of joy into my life. As we attended church and listened to the Word, I began to wonder, "Who could this Jesus be?" I had learned about Jesus throughout my life (having been raised Catholic) and could not figure out why people were raising their hands and giving Him praise in such a manner. I did not even know what kind of church service I was attending because I was too embarrassed to ask.
One Sunday in March 1999, the Lord tugged me and after weeks upon weeks of resisting, I finally went up to the altar. I did not understand the importance of the altar and no longer cared to analyze it so I went. The pastor said, "Put your hands up and say the Prayer of Faith." All I can remember is thinking, "What language is this man speaking, and why do I feel light-headed?" So that day, I gave my life over to Christ, but still felt empty inside and did not understand why there wasn't a change in me. I was so discouraged that nothing felt different that I gave up. I felt it must have been a lie, so I stopped speaking with K and began drinking again with my party friends. In April, about 6 carloads of people went on a camping trip to Mt. Okutama with several kegs of beer and enough liquor to sustain the group all weekend. All the passengers had begun to drink on the way to the campsite and the closer we got to the mountain, the more I had felt drawn to stop drinking. We arrived at the campsite and while some set up the tents, a friend and I went to chop wood for the campfire. The Lord whispered my name in the wind and the sounds of the birds intensified. I yelled at my friend and told him to stop calling out my name, but he said that he did not do it. By the time we got back to the campsite, everyone was drunk and still doing shots. I was a picky drinker, and during the course of the night I became aggravated at the fact that people drank my liquor without my consent. However, inside, I was upset; why I was not drunk with them? I went off into the woods to a cliff-side underneath a bright full moon. It was like something out of movie, graphed to perfection. I sat beside the quiet river in silence and began to speak out loud about taking my own life and how I was not going to do it. If there is was a God, then He needs to be the one to take it. For hours I just sat there pouring out my heart in the woods, not understanding why my life was so torn even after being in another relationship with a man. I sat there, gently rocking back and forth, asking that if there was really one true God then to show Himself to me. I called out Jesus' name several times saying, "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, who are you? Show yourself, tell me who You are." Next thing I know, I was in a brilliant white light and the Lord's first words to me were, " You shall love no other the way you love me." I began to scream and cry out. I did not understand at that time that I was filled with the Holy Spirit; it just happened (Praise God!!!) The only 2 people from our camp who believed in God came to fetch me upon noticing that I was missing from the party, which was now ending. Upon returning to the party, I did not believe what had happened so I revealed it to them; they were in disbelief as well. I was so high in the Spirit that I walk around the woods all night and all day singing praises unto God, not understanding what happened, but realizing that I had been awaken to see the true essence of life unfold before my eyes. That day, we left the mountaintop and went back to Yokota. A week later, I had lost all my friends who I had partied with on the mountain. Two months later, I went down to visit with K and J and told them I had been filled with the Holy Spirit. It is funny because the Lord had to tell me what I was filled with and name it before any man could. On that Sunday in all the excitement, a couple of ministers drove K, J and I about 3 hours south and baptized me in the Pacific Ocean. I will never forget when I was dipped into the water. I could feel the presence of the Lord in it. Of course, they had to pull me back up out of the water because I was in bliss underneath it. (hahah!!!)
All the trials and tribulations of what my old self went through and knowing that He truly wiped my slate clean and gave me breath, it makes me praise Him for being a promise-keeper, for His faithfulness in showing Himself to those who genuinely seek Him. I now know the truth - He is God and God alone. His loves endures and His mercies are new every morning. I can only pray that my testimony will bless those who read it and that each of you pay it forward by sharing your testimony of God's saving grace with others who do not know the power of His Love and Glory.