8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
This week we received the greatest of gifts. Our daughter Jennifer responded to an alter call and asked to be baptized. We honestly couldn’t wrap our minds around it until we heard her testimony. You see, we have been in battle for Jennifer’s salvation since she walked into our lives at nine years old. When Jennifer became our daughter, she had already spent half her childhood in trauma and chaos. She was hardened, willful, and most of all wounded. We knew that the key to her healing was salvation. But Jennifer was not interested. She was a self-admitted hater of God.
It is no easy task to be at constant war in your home. To watch Satan lie to and control your precious daughter. She was so wounded by the sins of others she could not see the power of Jesus to defeat that sin. It was wrapped around her so tight, choking and stealing her very life.
But we were not helpless. 2 Corinthians 10:4 “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” And so we fought. Our church family rallied around us, praying constantly for our daughter. We changed jobs, minimized expenses, and spent as much time as we could at home with her. These were very long days and very sleepless nights.
And in the blink of an eye it happened. Jesus spoke through the words of a stranger and in that instant those “strongholds” that were suffocating our daughter were demolished and turned to rubble. It is a miracle. And when you see a miracle you praise God. It is the only response. There are no other words. All these years in constant battle and He has come and saved the day. Praise God from whom all blessings flow…
Below is Jennifer’s testimony. I hope it will lead many to turn and praise God.
When I was a baby, I was baptized in a Catholic church. But I didn’t know what that meant until I met my mom and dad while living at a group home. One Sunday morning they took me and my sister to this church where I heard about Jesus dying for us on the cross to save us. I also heard other amazing stories about Him. I wanted to tell everyone about Him. One day my mom got a call from the hospital. They told us that my brother Tony fell down the stairs. The only thing keeping his lungs going was a machine. I broke into tears, it felt like a nightmare. That day my brother died. Everything fell apart after my brother died. I felt like it was my fault. I got into trouble at school. I started hanging out with people that did drugs. So my parents took me out of school. They put me in counseling. But the counseling didn’t help.
But everything changed after this youth group trip to Magic Mountain. It was last Sunday that I heard this guy talking about how his father died and how he hated God but then later became a Christian. In that moment everything changed. I realized that the story he told us, was the life I was living in. I had hatred toward God because my brother died, even though it wasn’t His fault. That day I cried, because I saw that everything God did was for my good and my family. In that moment I also had so much love for Him and joy because I knew my brother was with God and that he is taking care of me. So on that Sunday I decided to give my life to God and to change my ways, to start all over again as a follower of God and to see what he has planned for my life.
In love 5 [e]He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the[f]kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7 In [g]Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He [h]lavished on [i]us.