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Others’ Written Stories
Hi, I'm Greg Matthews, and this is my story. Read more...
I was raised in a Christian home, by which I mean that my parents were both Christians before I was born. So, my earliest memories are that we always went to church every week, and I learned very early at home and at church what the Bible says about God, man, sin, Jesus, and salvation.
I was never a really bad kid. I never got into drugs, alcohol, smoking or any other bad habit that I saw many of my schoolmates experimenting with. I probably caused my parents the normal amount of worry that any kid does, but I don’t think they ever had to be really concerned about my life choices.
Still, I was a classic hypocrite. At home and church, I talked and acted one way, but while I was away from home and family, my friends and I did things I am now ashamed of, like dabbling in pornography, cursing, and sharing crude humor.
It wasn’t until I was about 12 years old that God really got a hold of me. I was attending a church camp and heard a message that I really don’t remember, except it made me realize that I was a fake and destined for an eternity separated from God in hell. It wasn’t enough that I had Christian parents and wasn’t as bad as other kids. I could not rely on being “good enough”, but I had to rely completely on Jesus’ death on the cross for me.
At that camp, I surrendered my life to Jesus, and He began what has been a life-long process of changing me more and more into His image.
Now I am a husband, father, and grandfather, who still experiences the temptation to various sins, and both has victory over and falls to those temptations at different times. Regardless, by the grace of God and His Spirit working in my life, I know that my eternal future is secure and that I will spend it with Him in heaven.
I realize that everything good in me is a gift of His grace, and that every good thing (family, home, church, possessions, etc.) and every bad thing (aches, pains, pandemics, struggles with others, etc.) in my life is also a gift of His grace, working in me and on me to make me more like Him.
I desire nothing more or less than to bring Him glory, and I hope that He uses me however He wants to in order to build His kingdom, “whether it be by life, or by death” (Philippians 1:20).
Hi, I'm Darla Neubert. This is my story. Read more...
I was raised at First Bible. My parents were dear member of this church for many years, now both are in Heaven. You would think that being saved at an early age, being raised in a Christian home, going to church and attending a Christian school, then Bible school, that one would not have any problems.
However, my story is that of a life filled with anxiety, fear, and depression. I really did not notice it until, through various circumstances, I became a single mom to a beautiful boy. As I had the blessing of taking on this huge responsibility, life just got to be overwhelming.
I hear preaching about the fact that we are not supposed to be anxious or depressed, but it fell on deaf ears. When I was in the middle of the battle it was hard to understand how one can be free… One of the ways I would hide my hurt is through humor- always a jokester, because then I would not have to deal with my issues.
One Sunday morning we were practicing or service, and we were rehearsing the song “My fear doesn’t stand a chance…”. I had to walk away because I could not sing what I did not believe. This affected my mental health and physical health, to the point I would be physically sick. This lasted many years until I could not take it anymore.
One of my first steps was to get counseling- but real counsel or the first time. I attended the Rise Above class as well as It’s Not Supposed to be This Way. I met so many encouraging women, and made some sweet friends. I then found out about Healing Journey, and it was there that I began to dig in and really get a grip on what was really going on. With God’s help I can face each day, each trial. And instead of living in constant fear, anxiety, and depression, I gave these to God.
Healing is a life-long process, but I know now that I’m not alone, and that now I can sing… My fear doesn’t stand a chance!!!
Hi, I'm Brandi Christie, and this is my story. Read more...
From childhood, I had a life filled with pain from abandonment of a parent, rejection from relationships, sexual trauma, and it all left me with a deep wound of feeling like I was never enough.
I didn’t have church or know God growing up, so I searched for comfort in drinking, drugs, and unhealthy relationships. I jumped from one relationship to another trying to find my worth, and fill the hole in my heart. I eventually slowed down on the poor choices once I was married and became a mother.
In 2010 my brother died at the age of 19, and I grew very angry at the idea of God. I also went back to substances for my emotional pain. The pressure of life while grieving made me feel like I wasn’t enough. I took religion courses and rationalized that God was an idea people created to meet their needs.
Eventually my marriage failed. There I was with two sons, in the process of divorce. I did what I always did, and jumped into another relationship. The alcohol and fun times quickly wore off, and I was in another broken relationship, and pregnant. I felt like I was not worth enough to be loved.
I started to go watch my new guy play football, and the sorts ministry and people from FBBC drew me in. I saw something different in their lives- joy, hope, love, and peace. I knew that’s what I wanted, so I began to attend church. On Wednesday nights, Pastor Grace taught from Proverbs, and seeds of the gospel were planted.
On November 1, 2015 I was planning to get baptized. That morning as part of the service, they asked if I truly believed Christ. I evaluated my soul that day, and prayed for God to forgive me of my sins.
That day my circumstances didn’t change, but my heart did.
I began to take ownership of how I lived, I forgave everyone who had ever hurt me, including my father who abandoned me. I saw people as broken, needing God as much as I did. My bitterness dissipated. I had peace and joy like I’d never known, even about my brother’s death. I had hope in eternity.
Jesus healed my deepest wounds of insecurity and not being enough. I realized Christ died for me on my worst days, not just the days I attempted to live for Him. I was enough for Jesus, and that has radically changed my life. It has given me freedom to live out of love for God instead of guilt from my mistakes. It has given me freedom to forgive myself.
His love has allowed me to read scripture because I want to draw close to the only One that can fill the void. My life is His, because without Him I’d still be a broken woman addicted to substances, unhealthy relationships, and living with pain that controlled my life and my worth. Thank you, Jesus!!
Hi, I'm Gina Jalowiec, and this is my story. Read more...
I grew up in a Christian home- I’m a 3rd generation Christian. We were at church pretty much any time the doors were open.
I said the prayer of salvation asking God to come into my heart when I was 9. I believed Heaven and hell were both real places, and I knew I didn’t want to go to hell….but God wasn’t real to me. I was just going through the motions: sing worship songs, go to church, pray, repeat.
All of my extended family claimed Christianity, but both sets of grandparents were divorced and remarried and then divorced again. Family members struggled with addictions and substance abuse, and others made life look perfect from the outside while not really living for Christ behind closed doors.
I was 16 when my little sister was diagnosed with leukemia. My parents lived at the hospital caring for her and I lived at home, running the house, parenting and schooling my 3 younger siblings. My dad lost his job shortly after, and was diagnosed with a thyroid disease resulting in chemotherapy for himself. The pressure of trying to keep it all together for the family and carry burdens and responsibilities left me seeking approval and affirmation from anyone who would give it.
I found myself in a toxic relationship that resulted in warped understanding of self-worth and body image. I developed an eating disorder and crippling doubt that I would ever be worthy or good enough for anyone.
At church camp my senior year, I saw the camp leaders talk about their own personal relationship with Christ. It looked so attractive to me. I wanted what they had: joy, peace, confidence….mostly confidence.
It was that week I responded to an altar call and rededicated my life to God, calling out to Him asking that He would make Himself real to me!
I remember after that week I prayed differently. I prayed bigger prayers, then sat back watching God answer them specifically. It was then I knew He was a God that cared. He is a personal God and He wanted me to have my OWN personal relationship with Him.
I lived on a spiritual high for a few years after that, married my best friend, had my dream career and great friends. I thought life would be easy-breezy now that I was walking with God, but trials still came- broken relationships, loss of that dream job, I even struggled getting pregnant and had two miscarriages.
I was under the impression that walking with the Lord would make life easy, blessing after blessing. God never promises an easy life with no trials, but in the midst of trials I can say with certainty being in the presence of God brings so much peace. It’s the feeling of being carried through those tough seasons, comfort of knowing God’s strength is enough to sustain me.
I am now going on 7 years married, with 2 perfect healthy babies, I’m a stay at home mom (which ended up being my real dream job). Getting involved in life groups and church ministries has strengthened my personal walk with the Lord. God has made Himself so real to me that when trials come, I’m able to look back and see that He is faithful!
That’s my story, what’s yours?
My name is Samantha Devlin, and this is my story. Read more...
Before Christ, I went to a Catholic school but being young, nothing resonated with me, and it was hard to connect or feel anything from it. So, I developed a warped understanding of self-worth and crippling doubt that I would ever be worthy or good enough.
In 2009, I began attending Calvary Chapel Westside where I became more serious about my faith and came to really know Jesus. Mike and I attended church at Calvary Chapel Westside together and we were married in 2013. After suffering a miscarriage in 2013, we have been blessed with 3 beautiful children: Caleb, Avery, and Paisley. In 2017, I took a big step in my Christian belief and was baptized for a second time (I was first baptized when I was just 3 years old). Since then, Mike and I have become members of First Bible Baptist Church, and our family has been abundantly blessed by our new church home.
In 2018, I began facing some real hardships that left me feeling broken. My daughter was diagnosed with autism and my husband was diagnosed with kidney cancer. My marriage was broken. He was broken. I was broken. My faith and my relationship with God were broken. I saw my husband with bitterness and resentment, and I thought restoration was impossible. I thought healing from all that occurred between us was impossible. The years took their toll, and I decided I was not going to try anymore. I no longer felt love for my husband the way I did, and I didn’t even care about getting it back.
But the good news is that God has the power to completely turn things around. He is the God of miracles and restoration who makes all things new. My husband is now cancer free and God has restored all that was broken; forgiveness and humility that can only come from God has allowed us not only to have a marriage that was saved, but it is also now abundantly full of His love, and I have received unexplainable healing. God has made Himself so real to me and I’m able to look back and see that He is faithful!
That’s my story, what is yours?