I was raised in a Christian family, and when I turned 4, I went to Sunday school every week for about 6 or 7 years before stopping. I guessed I believed in God, but since I was too young, I didn’t have a real relationship with Him, and I didn’t really understand Him or know Him. It was an easy decision to quit at the time, since they made us move from a classroom setting to a more formal setting, and I didn’t like that. My parents didn’t force me to go, but I followed them to the adult worship service instead.
We then gradually stopped going to church. The summer before my first year of high school, we had to move, and we stopped completely. Now I’ll have to explain my depression. We always thought my mom had good hearing, because she heard things that me and my dad could never hear. When I was younger, she “heard” my aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends talking about her, and my dad would always say,
“Your mom has good hearing”.
And I believed that she heard the things she heard, and I believed my dad.
In grade 5, after my grandmother had a stroke, I started to develop a stutter. My stuttering got worse in grade 10. And it wasn’t until grade 10, thanks to my Psych/Socio/Anthro class, I finally realized my mom had schizophrenia, and still does to this day. She doesn’t take medication because she can’t and won’t admit that she’s mentally ill. We argued often (we still argue now, but not nearly as much).
I decided that I didn’t believe in God. Because of my stutter, I had no friends, and because of my mom’s schizophrenia, I seriously contemplated suicide. Evanescence made me change my mind (about suicide, NOT about God). (as a Christian, the song Tourniquet has a similar, but different meaning to me now, if that makes sense. A lot of songs in general have a different meaning to me now, actually.)
[fast forward to college years]
I found it easier to make friends in college, but I still didn’t have very many. In the second month of my second year at college, my grandma passed away, and my stuttering became worse, but didn’t affect my friendships.
MTV Canada is re-launched. (read on).
Watched Cheyenne Kimball’s show on MTV, became a fan, and joined a forum. I made 2 friends there, one who I still talk to, and one who I don’t anymore (I won’t get into the details). I joined MySpace, and met a girl named Amy there, who, as of this posting, I’m still friends with.
[more recent months – not necessarily in chronological order, but tried my best]
She knew I liked female-fronted bands, so she recommended Paramore and Flyleaf to me, and sent me some of their stuff. At first, I didn’t like them, but Paramore grew on me, and I became a huge fan after hearing Misery Business and downloaded all of their stuff.
Amy sent me one of her own songs, and I told her that she sounded like Lacey (lead singer of Flyleaf), so that inspired me to listen to them more, and they grew on me big time. I decided that I needed help with my depression/stuttering, so I went to see a psychiatrist, and was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. I saw Flyleaf at the Family Values Tour, and became a huge fan.
[August 2007 / September 2007 not necessarily in chronological order, but tried my best]
I’m not sure when Amy sent their stuff to me, but I had been holding off on listening to Aly & AJ. When I listened to them, I let them grow on me, downloaded all of their older stuff, and became a huge fan (I know I use that word too much). I decided to take a short break from MySpace, starting from August 15th. That “short break” became longer, and longer. I found out that Aly & AJ were Christian.
They were the third openly Christian band I got into (Evanescence doesn’t count, IMO, and definitely not Avril). That made me question my agnosticism. I had thought Christians, or religious people in general, were kind of stupid, but now I think differently. I then read up on C.S. Lewis and found out that he converted to Christianity from atheism, so I thought, “if he can do it, I can do it too.”
I was already depressed, and had suicidal thoughts (as usual, and for the same reasons I mentioned earlier), so I prayed before going to bed, and asked God to show me that He was real. When I woke up, my entire field of vision was covered with flashes of light. And when I looked to the left, I saw a blanket, or a sheet, of bright light. I was scared. I couldn’t see properly.
My parents took me to the hospital. The doctor told me that he didn’t know what was wrong, and he scheduled an appointment for me to see a specialist the next day. The specialist referred me to another specialist. He showed me He was real. I was converted.
The next Sunday, I went to church for the first time in approximately 8 years (and continued to go every week, and still do). During the sermon, I noticed that my vision had improved. My eye started slowly getting better. I prayed almost every day (currently, I pray EVERYDAY, not almost).
During my extra-long MySpace hiatus, I was compelled by the Holy Spirit to learn, read, and research as much as I could about God, Jesus, Christianity, and how to get closer to Him and please Him. I learned A LOT, but I still haven’t learned as much as I wanted to.
I plan to read the Bible from cover to cover. By the time I saw the specialist, my eye was A LOT better, and he told me that he expected a full recovery. I’ve regained almost 100% of my vision, and I have God to thank for that. God answered my prayer.
He chose to answer it with a test, a trial, a suffering, because He knew that it would draw me closer to Him. He knows each one of us best, even better than we know ourselves. God hears the prayer of everyone, even agnostics and atheists. It only takes a small amount of faith for prayer to be heard.
Vision is something that people take for granted, and I’ve learned not to take anything or anyone for granted. I have learned that out of every bad thing comes a good thing, even though it may not be clear. I have made my decision to devote my life to God, and to do everything to please Him.
God has been planting seeds in my life since the moment I was born, those seeds eventually led me to Him, and each one of them have been explained in this testimony. Nothing I mentioned here happened by coincidence. My mom still has schizophrenia, but the Bible teaches patience. I still stutter, but I’ve become less depressed, less alone, more hopeful, more optimistic, and more thankful.
Out of every bad thing comes a good thing, and I plan to overcome my stuttering and depression with God’s help.