Conversion Testimony

EVAN 525

Conversion Testimony Instructions

Write a 2-page essay discussing how you became a Christian. Structure each section of your essay according to the details given below. It is wise to write out a first draft and practice sharing it. This will give you a gauge as to the need for more or less information.

NOTE: Your Conversion Testimony should outline how Jesus changed your life through the gospel, not church, family, etc., but how you were “born again” through being confronted by your sin resulting in genuine repentance and surrender to Christ. In other words, your testimony should include the whole gospel in reference to being convicted of sin through the Holy Spirit, thus resulting in spiritual transformation. In short, it is your Jesus Story, it should glorify and point people to Him, not you!

Submit this assignment by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of Module/Week 1.

Use the following outline to prepare your conversion story:

1. “I have not always been a Christian.” (Briefly describe your life

before becoming a Christian.)

2. “I realized I needed Jesus and received Him into my life when…”

3. “The biggest change I have noticed in my life is…”

4. “May I share how something like this can happen to you?”

The heart of your conversion testimony is answering the first 3 questions above. Question number 4 is a transition question into a Gospel presentation. You are not required to write anything in reference to question 4.

The key to your conversion story is brevity (no more than 2 pages) while retaining the important elements. You should be able to communicate your story in about 2–3 minutes!

A few things to remember:

· Be real and guardedly vulnerable!

· Do not use “church” words. Remember, you are sharing with unsaved people who do not attend church. Be conversational.

· Always point people to Christ regardless of how amazing your story may be. Christ is always the point of our testimonies!

· Be truthful and honest. Do not embellish your past life and story.

· A good approach is to write out a first draft and practice sharing it. This will give you a gauge as to the need for more or less information.

· Relax and recall how God worked to bring you to Himself. Then, exalt Him by communicating how He has changed your life!

Kristie H. Gentry

EVAN 525 – D02

Conversion Testimony

Dr. David Wheeler

My Life, A Testament of the Power of Yeshua

Interestingly, it is easier for me than for many to admit, I have not always been a Christian. Despite growing up in a Christian family with an active church and youth group, challenges to my faith, as well as mental illness would lead me away from the Father who I once loved without question. As a child, I would be divided between two churches, my mother’s which was a Messianic Jewish faith and her parents who were United Christians. Until the age of 11, I remain divided, spending all my time between each of the environments, when I would finally make a difficult decision and follow my heart to the Messianic Jewish faith. Sadly, my life would not continue with such dedication, devotion, and faith. At the age of 13, several women who were important pillars of my life would be diagnosed with various types of cancer. The moment when I needed my church family the most, hoping for assistance during this trying time, the entire congregation would crumble as a new minister attempted to alter the Messianic Jewish practices of the church into a polar opposite direction of what any wanted. In less than a year, I lost the pillars of strength I had always turned to and the church family where I had always found comfort.

This was when the loss of faith began to creep into my life. Not only was my foundational strength destroyed, but years of abuse (not from my parents and in fact hidden from my parents) began to morph and shape my understanding of the world. I was starting to be swallowed by the curse of Bipolar 1 Disorder. Instead of finding strength in my faith, I began to dabble in drugs and alcohol (self-medication) and was led into a darker path in regards to religion. I discovered New Age religions, and various pagan faiths, seeking the comfort I had lost and the strength I needed to continue forward. It was a dark and challenging time of life, which while after accepting Yeshua, took many years to overcome and move beyond.

Yeshua’s Calling to a Lost Heart

When I was 16, I would experience the NDE (near death experience) which would awaken me to the dangerous path my life had taken in just a few short years. January 14, 1999, I was involved in an accident with a drunk driver who ran me off the road and fled the scene. Careening at 70 mph, my car would wrap around a tree, trapping me inside. During the spinning, for the few moments before impact, I prayed for the first time in three years. Not for life, but for understanding, a prayer I should have prayed before allowing myself to become so very lost. It was in these moments I finally felt the embrace of Yeshua once again, with a promise I would survive, but my journey would be difficult and trying.

During this accident, I would sustain numerous injuries, and many doctors even suggested the death was the only path for my life. If I survived, my parents were informed their only child would remain more likely in a vegetative state, and if I did not, I would probably never walk or talk again.

Six months after the accident, I would finally answer Yeshua’s call and walk (with no assistance) to the altar where I would be saved. October 31, 1999, I would be baptized and began a journey few will never understand. Despite accepting Yeshua into my heart, praying for guidance and forgiveness, I still would face many struggles as the Bipolar 1 Disorder would continue to sink its claws into my life. Unfortunately, I would continue on the path of self-medication, especially after my first marriage when my husband’s actions would lead to numerous hospitalization; however, unlike the earlier part of my life, I turned to YHWH for strength and guidance. It would be several more years and various sinful events before I would finally experience true change.

Life Changes and Spiritual Growth

When I was 26 years old, my prayers were finally answered, a solution to the disease leading me to destruction would finally be revealed. I had accepted Yeshua into my heart at the age of 16, but it would take a decade for medicine to help me become the person I was meant to be. During this time, I was hospitalized more times than I could count, had numerous suicide attempts, and relied heavily on self-medication. I had spent years hiding my illness from family, friends, and loved ones, but finally, when my parents recognized the depravity of the disease, they helped me to discover an answer.

In January of 2009, I found out about a treatment option which provided balance and controls the disease which had been ruling my mind for many years. The day I had to meet with psychiatrists, and my mother discovered how badly the disease had impacted my life, she was told I had only two years, at most, to live if they could not find the proper program to reign in the severe disorder. It would take six months before I would reach what for me is a healthy life. Today, barely eight years later, I can proudly say I am drug and alcohol-free. I have found joy in this life few could even imagine.

It has also been eight years since my last suicide attempt. I have once again returned to my Messianic Jewish faith and now am pursuing a life and career where my focus can be to help others discover the peace and joy I have found. Statistically, Bipolar 1 Disorder claims the lives of many via drugs, alcohol, and suicide as they attempt to silence the voices which exist in their minds. The disorder is something many psychiatrists and counselors can only understand based on the information discovered within the pages of a textbook. I want to be an anomaly. It is the desire Yeshua has placed in my heart that I become one who is able to speak with others, openly proclaim that despite my past and the challenges I have dealt with, there is forgiveness and love of the Father. One must remain vigilant in prayer and live with faith that a solution can be revealed.

The road to reconciliation may not go as smoothly for some as it does for others, but as long as one turns his/her heart to the Father, seeking His guidance, it is possible to overcome, rebuild, and renew one’s life. It is this mission I feel called to follow. My path is the evidence that even after asking for forgiveness, one must learn to forgive themselves and those in their lives who have hurt them before they can feel the love and forgiveness of the Father. The struggles and challenges may appear never-ending, but in time, the Father will reveal to one’s heart the purpose of these difficulties and struggles. Each day is a blessing and a gift, do not squander it by reliving and rehashing the past.

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