Friday, April 10, 2009

My Testimony - Part Three - Restoration

Photo Courtesy of bellemedia
"I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." ~ John 10:9-10

In my previous two posts, I have explained where I have come from and how I came to know Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I shared my personal experiences of growing up in a world full of lust, heartache and desire, topped off with sin and death. In this post, I would like to share with you what God has done with my new life in Christ

His word tells us that we put off the old man, we die to self, and we put on our new man in Christ's image and likeness, living for His will. This doesn't mean that we are puppets on a string; it means that we seek guidance and wisdom from the Holy Spirit when making decisions. 

It also doesn't guarantee that life will now be easy. No, quite the opposite; but it does become full of excitement and joy when Jesus is the center of it. His yoke is easy, and His burden is light, because we know that He gives us nothing more than we can handle with His help. 

The first word that came to my mind when considering what He has done since that day I chose to leave my sinful life behind was restoration. Restoration is when something is given back after it was taken, lost, etc. It is when something is returned to its former position, rank, use, etc. It is when someone is brought back to health, strengthened, etc. (Webster's New Dictionary, c. 2003 by Wiley Publishing, Inc.)

There was a lot of my life that was in need of restoration. It amazed me to watch and listen and feel as God has restored many things in my life.

The scripture I mentioned above says that Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Let me tell you some of the things that he tried to do or did in my early life.

I had a love for music. I can remember days and weeks when I was in elementary school that I would go home and pull out my mom's ancient RCA record player, the kind that folded up, and her albums, and I would stick my head between the speakers and belt out songs with Barbara Streisand and the Carpenters. I loved to sing and play the piano and flute. I knew I didn't really have the talent to sing professionally, but I loved music nonetheless. Mom says I knew the lyrics to every ABBA and Captain and Tennille song by the time I was three.

My hopes to have a career in music died by the sixth grade, because I knew I couldn't perform well enough to win a contract with a record company. So, I went on singing along with Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Prince and Janet Jackson.

I also loved to dance, but when we moved, my ballet lessons stopped. The nearest studio was over 45 minutes from our new home. We couldn't drive it as frequently as ballet classes would have made it necessary.

My relationship with my father went downhill throughout my teenage years. I lost respect for him when he typed me a letter telling me how he felt about the possibility that I was pregnant in high school.

I never did have a successful relationship with a boy. Many were abusive.

I had an abortion in college. The devil convinced me to kill my own flesh and blood, before she had a chance to live.

He almost took me, too, in an abusive relationship I had later.

BUT GOD...loved me so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die on the cross for my sins, because I chose to believe in Him, and I now have life and life more abundantly! Yeah for God!

Upon my salvation, I immediately forgave my father for all of the issues in our past. My dad had come to know the Lord, and if I had only had the guts to speak with him and my mother, they both would have told me to keep the baby and not get the abortion. His opinions and concerns had changed when he came to know the Lord. We get along wonderfully now, and I love him dearly.

When you become an adult, and enter maturity, you realize how wise your parents really were when you were a silly teenager with not as much knowledge about things as you thought you had. You realize just how much of your life was lived by your emotions, which most teenagers have no clue how to handle. I was very aware, quite suddenly, that I had a father who was very concerned for my well-being and was not as over-protective and over-bearing, as I had thought he was.

My life suddenly had new meaning, as well, and my self-worth was suddenly restored. Remember, the definition of restoration is a restoring of health and strength. We have emotional health as well as physical health. The depression from my teens and early 20's was gone. I was happy again, and I felt renewed strength inside. When God is your source of strength, you can overcome a lot!

I now realized that I was worth far more than I had thought. I now understood that I didn't need a relationship to be someone or to be valued.

My Pastor gave me some of the best advice ever, and I have even dared to pass it on a couple of times. If you are a woman or a young lady who feels you need a relationship in order to be someone, take a year off! Don't look for a date for a solid year. Look to the Lord instead. Find out who you are in Him. Read the Bible. Especially the Psalms and the New Testament. Find out who Jesus says you are, who you are in Him (bride), and how a real man should treat you and love you. Once you know this, you will not need the relationship to feel alive. It was only after I took his advice that I found out who God saw me as. I know my value now. And no one else can take that from me.

It was after that when I also found my husband. I will tell you our story another time, but for now simply know that I could not have chosen a better man, and I know that God had him planned just for me. And, if I could go back in time and undo those prior relationships, I would. It would have been well worth the wait.

Remember I mentioned my love of music before? I had allowed the enemy to steal that desire from me, but God is a God of Restoration. Once I returned from Binghamton, I decided to return to school. This time I would stay close to home and those that loved me. I went to SUNY Oneonta to pursue a degree in Music Business. I was suddenly aware that I didn't need musical talent to work in the music industry. I just needed a love for music and a desire to work in an amazing industry!

Now, before I get ahead of myself, I have to mention that I did not finish my degree. Finances can be a tricky thing, and I fell short here. However, the year of training that I did receive has been put to excellent use by God. So did the two years of Communications education that I had received.

Pastor Engelhardt decided to try hosting a Christian concert for the youth of the area, and he allowed me to head up the first couple of shows that we put on. It was an honor, and I will never forget my excitement! We hosted Christian bands like Bleach, Seven Day Jesus, Sierra, and Solomon's Wish. I got to raise funds to finance the shows, make the arrangements for the bands' stay, schedule with the agents, and much, much more! I wrote press releases, sent out fliers and bulletins and radio announcements. I even went to pick up the ladies of Sierra from the airport! God truly blessed me by allowing me to do these things in order to draw more youth to a knowledge of His love and His Son, Jesus. He had helped to bring a dream to reality for me.

And dancing? I haven't had much formal training since then, but God has taken my love for dance and used it to minister to others in His church. I am able to teach other young girls very basic dance steps. I have had the privilege of leading a tambourine routine with other ladies my age. I have done hip hop with the teen girls. I'm currently doing ballet with 6-12 year old girls. It is so much fun for me to be able to worship God through dance and to be given the opportunity to share my love for it with others!

God has taken everything that the enemy desired for evil and turned it around for His good. I give Him all the glory, and I am blessed beyond all I could ever think, hope, or imagine because He loves me!


  1. I love this verse!

    Thanks for posting!

  2. Thank you for being so transparent with your life so that we might learn from you. God bless you Peek :-)


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