Hi my name is Ivan. I will try to tell my story as much as I can remember it
I was raised in a semi Christian background through my father and I went to a Roman Catholic School in a small town.
As a small kid I was extremely impressionable and highly aware, life seemed "hyper realistic" as a kid and I had a very vulnerable personality and gave love freely (I loved my dad, I had lots of intense crushes on teachers and people being hurt and crying made me feel horrible). I never pondered my faith a ton as a small kid, I just really felt like what I was taught about the Bible was the truth deep in my heart. life was honestly almost amazing.
Around 8-9 I stumbled on internet porn and by 9 years old Porn had become a part of my life. "Coincidentally" enough I noticed that from 9 on wards I grew alot more unempathetic, I lost my sense of awareness, and I bullied other kids, I was really selfish and gluttonous too. I really think it was the devil and his demons oppressing me by entering through lust looking back now. By nine years old I also started moving away from my faith, I watched alot of athiest/anti christian videos and by 11 I was an athiest/agnostic and would mock christians online and rejected Christianity and I was knee deep in porn I was bullied alot when I was 12 too and that was the real start of my insecurities. Still, life was good for the most part (although nowhere near as good as it was when I was a small kid) Life progressively got worse though from 11 and so did the situation between me and my parents specifically me and my dad, I would consider life to have stopped being good shortly after beginning Grade 9. The summer right before Grade nine was a very good Summer, I had lots of friends, I felt confident and attractive, and did alot of fun things with my friends, the weather that summer was one of the best it had ever been. After that life truly began downhill, I developed bad insecurities where I thought I was ugly and the insecurities kept getting worse and worse. By the time I was in highschool life definatley lost its luster and started feeling empty for the first time. by 16-17 I KIND OF came back to my christian faith but I say kind of because i didnt really come back to it i just wanted to be self righteous and judgemental against people i deemed below me. by grade 12 my parents were fighting alot more too and I really disliked my dad, my mom verbally abused him quite a bit. I blasphemed god and purposely went away from my conscience because of my vanity, I was so vain I wanted to be attractive to women and bed them because I was insecure and prideful/selfish and I thought god would get in my way so I constantly insulted god, fate, anything I thought would get in my way against my conscience. I also had a really wierd idea that my mom was basically the female version of myself and i tried getting closer with my mom (didnt work) who was becoming more sinful herself, she had new agey beliefs and she told me about them ("panentheism", eastern "spirituality" occultism/philosophy), I didnt really believe in them myself, not most of it anyway but her mindset of always doubting and rebelling from concrete definitions and always believing in subjective truth and constantly inviting self doubt really messed with my mind, me trying to get closer to my mom backfired hard, she is emotionally volatile and she made me feel emasculated and sad and more unloved due to her constant rejections in her emotional outbursts. (I was really selfish in thinking this though, God loves me, my dad loved/loves me and the few but real friends i had really valued me) i had alot of anger and hate towards myself and god.
I still hated god by the time I was 18, not only because i thought he would get in the way of my vanity but because i feared he would ruin my life to teach me a lesson (i definatley deserved that looking back, also, Proverbs 13:24) I was a disgustingly selfish person, I was more and more selfish, and I also hated myself. I was tormented of OCD of thoughts of self hate, doom, despair and worthlessness. Shortly after turning 18 I joined a summer camp and met a friend who was very religious, i told him i would be open to going to church with him when he invited me, I went to a country side church with him, I felt a small but noticeable sense of goodness/god at the church especially when we sang songs of worship, after that i kind of forgot about the church and continued my disgusting wicked sinful, god hating and prideful lifestyle that still bothers me to even type about now.
By the time I was approaching 19 I progressively stopped blaspheming against God and started hating him less and slowly started letting go of my vanity. Eventually I stopped hating God but I still had alot of anxiety and enmity against him, i still considered my vanity more important than him or as important (disgusting, I know). I think my dad helped me alot because he told me god loves me/is looking out for me if i remember correctly and it soothed my heart a little bit. Things with my mom got really bad though, I started to HATE my mom, because I was disgusted by her, I was disgusted of her mindset and beliefs because I felt they had affected me, and I hated her because she made me feel like a worthless selfish idiot (I was extremley selfish, i dont think I was awful to her specifically but i was an extremley selfish person due to my vanity and pride and i hated myself) i hated her so much to the point where she had a really bad emotional outburst at me and I was so angry and hateful I literally thought about killing her right there on the spot in the middle of her outburst, not that i actually planned to kill her but I entertained the thought and imagined it in the moment.
I started to believe more that God was good and loving, and i also started letting go more and more of my vanity/selfishness. I still had my moments where I had alot of enmity/ against God and I put my selfish fears and desires above him but things were changing. at 19 I stopped having so much enmity against god, maybe I had a little but but I didnt hate him him anymore, or dislike him. I was beginning to open up to the idea of him I was beggining to feel peace with the idea of him in my life. i started watching testimonies of saved again christians and I started to think that I was dealing with demonic oppression (I really think I was with my constant OCD of believing nothing/rebellion and doubting everything even though I wanted to be stable in something. Yes I was extremley sinful and selfish by my own accord but I really think satan took advantage with this and made it alot worse with my messed up mind.) Fearing the demonic and starting to open up to my christian faith again combined with starting to really let go of my vanity/insecurities I wanted to seek Jesus again, mostly for selfish reasons because i wanted to feel good again sadly and that is really disgusting of me and also because demons make me absolutely terrified, but also, a small part of me in my heart once I started letting go of my selfishness and pride was really drawn to Jesus and his love, (atleast I hope thats what it was not just another selfish desire disguised as something pure). I decided I wanted to become a born again christian and be baptized. I got in contact with a christian friend I met at a summer camp and he gave me his pastors number and I set up an appointment with the pastor to repent my sins and confess Jesus as my lord and to give up my life to him. I really hope I Was being honest in my repentance, at some point I put my selfishness/pride/vanity below god and thought that even if God made me extremley ugly I could live with it and i would pray for strength that even in that situation i would not rebuke god, I dont remember if I had that thought before or after my repentance. Right after my repentance i felt some sense of peace and my mind being quieted, and a sense of goodness, they werent particularly intense but they were definatley there.
I still fell into sin of enmity against god and blaspheming at times but a milestone less compared to before. I also noticed that before my prayer with the pastor I could watch horror movies with demons in them, like before repenting I watched a demonic horror movie and I was creeped out by it but not really that scared. after my repentance i was PETRIFIED by the movie I couldnt even finish rewatching it i had to stop watching it. Even simply entertaining the thought about demons and picturing them made me feel terror when before they would only make me uncomfortable or slightly spooked at worse.
Months after my baptism/repentance i had doubts fester in my mind "Did you really repent?" "What if you committed the unpardonable sin for trying to ignore your conscience?" "all your desires are really for selfish reasons, including finding god" "god has condemned you" "damned to hell" and they filled me with dread, I prayed and called out to Jesus to grant me true repentance or assure me of my salvation but I was still being tormented by my messed up mind (and under demonic oppression as well) I started being tormented that every desire i had was selfish and sinful and nature because i went against god for so long i started being filled with fears that i was beyond repentance now and that my conscience was permanetly seared and therefore god will never accept me. I realized that I do know what unselfish love is and I prayed to jesus that he could help me have this for him i prayed to jesus to help me love him and to strenghten my faith by revealing himself to me. the doubts filled me with so much despair they said "even if you knew jesus and he revealed himself to you you would eventually rebel against him because that is who you are" I had NEVER been filled with so much despair in my life, I thought being ugly was the worst at 18 but in that moment the thought of being abandoned by god or never being able to accept him was INFINITELY WORSE THAN ANY FATE IN THIS WORLD. I gave up and cried out to jesus that I could no longer do anything to save myself or even save my faith i begged god to save me I felt completley broken and i was sobbing feeling the misery, abandoment and condemnation. the thoughts in my head kept saying to me "Even if Jesus revealed himself in this very room to you you would end up doubting him and eventually rebel against him because you are wicked to the core and beyond salvation now" I screamed at the thoughts, I really now think at that moment the Holy Spirit intervened and let me know that the thoughts WERE NOT ME, THOSE THOUGHTS ARE NOT WHO I AM. I WANT TO BELIEVE, I NEVER WANT TO TURN AWAY FROM GOD. I opened my moms room in tears and bawled to her even though she is not a christian that I want to believe in god so bad that i want god so much that i want a stronger faith i want to LOVE HIM and that i ABSOLUTELY HATED eastern "spiritualism" mysticsm, panentheism and all that crap that teaches subjectivsm and denies that God is an ETERNAL LIVING AND LOVING PERSON/PERSONAL LORD WHO LOVES US AND WANTS A RELATIONSHIP WITH US.
My dad came into the room and I was still crying and in tears told my mom and dad that I want to have total faith in christ and not just feel like im trying to believe and that i prayed constantly for christ to reveal himself to me but he didnt. My dad in that moment said, and i truly believe that by Gods perfect plan that my dad said what he said and by the power of the Holy Spirit that I could see the truth in what he said, my dad said that God does and already has revealed himself to me, all the times my dad had to hold his plans for me to help me in my situations, my best friend who trusts and cares about me, all the times someone has loved me and trusted me that that was all the ways God has revealed himself to me. And in that moment I realized how blind I was. I was pretending Jesus was some genie that I could just summon him with prayer at my own will, or that my constant prayers to jesus that I would somehow reach salvation through my own will to pray so much. Jesus was with me all along, he was there all along! With outstretched arms, ready to embrace me as his son, though I hated him, rejected him and blasphemed against him HE STILL LOVES ME. HE WAS STILL THERE FOR ME. I can imagine Jesus saying to me "I heard your cries, help is on the way, do you trust me?" Thank the good Lord!!!!! HALLELUJAH