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Karen Smith's Testimony


Hi there, let me tell you about my life and how I became a Christian and 
also what has happened throughout my Spiritual Walk. This is my testimony 
to how God waited for me, protected me, called me, saved me, and still 
guides me even today. It will tell you about the ups and downs, the good 
and bad, the blessings and loses that has happened in my life. You might 
think it is too long, but I hope you will take the time to read MY 
TESTIMONY. I hope it touches your life...

I didn't go to church, as a child, except for Easter and Christmas, until 
I was age twelve. Then a church from my neighborhood had a church van come 
and pick me up. I had fun and enjoyed the Bible stories I heard; I hadn't 
heard these since Bible Class in sixth grade. I knew who Jesus was but it 
never went past the stories that were told. I never associated Jesus with 
being a real, live person until I was in church about a year. I really 
wanted to know more about Jesus so kept going to church, because that was 
the only place I would ever hear about Him. I can't go into details, but 
at the same time in my life, from age seven thru ten, I was going through 
abuse by acquaintances to my family, and I had heard that Jesus protected 
people; I wanted to find out how He could help ME! 

When I was thirteen, I joined a Christian youth singing group called SOUNDS 
OF CONVICTION, and it was here that I really met people who loved to sing 
praises to the Lord and use this music ministry to witness to others. While 
in this group, I was touched by all the love and when I was spending the 
weekend with my cousin and her husband, we talked and on my knees, they 
led me to accepting Jesus into my heart. The dam of emotions burst open 
and I felt a change come over me. I couldn't understand it at the time, 
but when I talked to a close friend from my youth group about it, they 
explained it to me further. 

I was so overjoyed to understand what had happened that I couldn't wait 
to tell everyone I saw! At our next concert, I stood up during our time 
of testimony and told everyone what had happened and how I felt; that I 
didn't want to feel the way I had before. I had some long-term problems 
with my eyes sometime after and had to leave the group, but I went away 
a changed person and never forgot what these people meant to me. It was 
later on that I got acquainted with some people that would lead me away 
from God for awhile and down the wrong path. I was a new Christian and 
the church I had been attending didn't have the mentors I needed to help 
me continue to grow in the Lord, so I drifted away. 

Unfortunately, my so-called friends taught me about drinking alcohol, 
and smoking pot and I lost all the good judgment I had. I wanted to fit 
in so whenever they wanted to party, I partied with them. I was in my 
early twenties by this time and every weekend was spend going to my 
favorite club and getting drunk and dancing until the place closed. I 
was working but since I was living with my Granny and had only my 
personal needs to pay for, I spent alot of money at this club. I didn't 
stop this way of living; I ran into my childhood sweetheart and started 
dating him; we ended up getting married and I ended up drinking with him. 

He cheated on me two times and I asked him for a divorce. After I moved 
back to Princeton and got my first apartment, the shop I had been Manager 
of went out of business just overnight and I was left without a way to 
keep my rent paid. I finally found a job to support myself and after 
working there awhile, I made friends again that liked to drink. Again, I 
was going to clubs and partying my life away. But while I was at this 
job, my Assistant Manager started talking to me about God while we 
worked together; he never pushed me but I began to start asking questions 
and he answered them for me. I found out later that he was a Youth 
Pastor in a local church. I began to realize that God had put me here 
and was leading me back to Himself! 

I was invited to attend a pizza party being held for the youth at this 
church and wasn't pressured to go. I agreed to go and He and his wife 
gave me a ride. I enjoyed myself and felt comfortable enough to start 
attending on Sundays. Since I had no vehicle, they gave me a ride each 
week. It was there that I finally had my eyes opened completely and for 
the first time, since becoming a Christian, at the age of 30 years old, I 
rededicated my life and completely surrendered control over to God. I 
had had the bottom drop out of my life since my divorce and the losing 
of a job security that I finally found true direction. 

I became a dedicated church-goer and read my Bible all the way through 
two times in a year! I was like a sponge and the more I read, the more 
I wanted to learn about the ONE who had changed my life. I knew I didn't 
deserve what He had done and I had a strong desire to know Him as well 
as I would a best friend. It was at this time that my desire to sing 
praises to God came back to me and I started using this gift to give 
love back to God by singing Christian music. This is when my large 
collection of Christian soundtracks started. 

After reading my Bible regularly, I felt I wasn't meant to stay at this 
church and started looking for another one. One evening, I ran into a 
high school friend and they asked me if I were a Christian. I told them 
I was but was interested in finding another church to attend because I 
had stopped growing in the other church. My friend invited me to attend 
the church they went to and started giving me a ride the very next 
Sunday. The moment I walked into this church, I knew I was home! I had 
a peace about me that I had never felt this strong. After I sat down, a 
couple sat down beside us and introduced themselves and told me if I 
ever needed to talk about anything, I could come to them. This was the 
start of a very close friendship that has come to feel like we were 
meant to be friends. We are friends to this day and I love them like 
they are family. I will tell you more about my friends on a future page. 

I have been attending this church, Immanuel Baptist Church, for eight 
years now and have been through alot of good things like getting 
baptized, joining a great choir, making more new friends, getting 
married again there, dedicating my son to God there, and am now starting 
my third year as a Sunday School teacher for first and second graders. I 
have also been through my share of marital problems in this marriage and 
with the prayers of my church and the grace of God giving me strength and 
patience to wait on a miracle, a new beginning is starting. 

I have to admit that I haven't been the child that God wanted me to be; I 
have made choices that God wouldn't have wanted for me; I haven't been the 
wife God meant for me to be; I haven't been the Mom that I should be, 
even doing my best; I haven't nurtured my friendship with God like I used 
to but I can tell you something........God has never left me to fend for 
myself; He has always been waiting for me to remember that He is the reason 
that I live and if I will keep my eyes on Him, everything else is taken 
care of by Him. When I look back on my life, I can see it as if it were 
a movie and I know that God was walking beside me, and was even carrying 
me when I didn't have the strength to go on. There were times that I 
didn't want to live and God showed my why He wanted me to live. 

I know still have times that I fail God but I know that He will forgive 
me if I just repent and turn away from the sins and not repeat them. He 
won't remember them ever again. But I also know that I love God so much 
that I don't ever want to get to a point that the world and all that is 
in it causes me to stumble and fall so far away from God that I will lose 
my salvation! You can do that, you know. God doesn't leave us, it is us 
that leaves Him. Those that turn away and never return, never repent, 
never rededicate their lives anew to a relationship with Him, never seek 
forgiveness, will die the same eternal death as those who never were 
saved, cause God's forgiveness, mercy and grace do not give us a license 
to continue to sin and never follow God's commands and still go to heaven. 
The names of those who started out in the Book of Life will be taken out, 
if they die without being in a relationship with God! I don't want to 
be a Christian who is only one by name. I want my life to show that I am 
a Christian, whether I say anything or not. And I am working on it 
everyday, and I have failures everyday. But Thank God, as long as I have 
the desire in my heart and I stay in my relationship with Him, He is 
waiting for my time to come home. 

I found out that God truly loved me. He gave me JUSTICE: where I get 
what I do deserve; He gave me MERCY: when I don't get what I deserve; 
and He gave me GRACE: when I get what I don't deserve. It was in God's 
forgiveness for all of my sins. When He was beaten and crucified on 
the cross, was buried, and then resurrected to live in heaven, He gave 
me the greatest gift that I would ever receive in my whole life. 
Eternal Life! 

He gave me an a chance to accept this free gift willingly or refuse 
this gift. I chose to take it and am really glad I did! If someone 
gave you a gift that was paid in full and told that it was the best 
gift in the whole world and nothing else could compare to it, that you 
would never be offered this gift again, would you take it or refuse 
it? We all are sinners and the penalty for sin is death and separation 
from God. But the gift of eternal life is through Jesus Christ 
(Romans 6:23 and Romans 3:23). So, whoever calls upon the name of the 
Jesus shall be saved (Romans 10:13). If you confess with your mouth the 
Lord Jesus, and will believe in your heart that God has raised Him from 
the dead, then you will be saved (Romans 10:9) 

If you haven't yet accepted Jesus as your personal Saviour, please 
don't wait any longer; take a moment to go to Him and accept His 
invitation. He will take you just as you are, for He came to save 
those sick in their soul, as a doctor heals the sick not the well. 
Say this prayer to Him, with a sincere heart: Dear God, I am a sinner 
and need forgiveness. I believe that Jesus Christ shed his precious 
blood and died for my sin. I am willing to turn from sin. I now invite 
Christ to come into my heart and life as my personal Saviour. Did you 
accept Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour? 

Remember this: becoming a Christian doesn't mean that everything 
will be perfect for you; in fact, things may just get harder cause satan 
will try to get you back!! You will still have troubles with finances, 
family, marriage, etc. but now you will have someone who understands that 
you can turn to. Take it to God. To many people think that when they get 
saved, it solves everything; it doesn't; so they get discouraged and ask 
God why does the bad stuff still happen. It happens because of satan. We 
are born into a world that is sinful and sin can't enter heaven. Sin 
was started from the freedom to choose and this caused the separation 
between man and God. Now, we have to use our freedom to choose and make 
a wiser decision by giving our lives back to God and that breaks the 
bondage to sin. We still can sin, but we won't be destined to spend 
an eternity with out God. So how will you spend eternity? In heaven or hell?

God bless you,
Karen Smith


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