Hi there! I am going to start off by giving a bit of a backstory, and please hear me out by reading all of this because I am in dire need right now.
I grew up in a lovely home with Baptist parents who attended church every Sunday. However, I hit very traumatic times at about 7 years old, and now I am 16, going on 17, and my life is healing from the trauma of divorced parents, dealing with calling defax on my own mother for emotional, verbal, and sometimes physical abuse, hating my father for years due to my mother calling him unworthy every chance she got- only to find that my father did everything he could to make me realize he meant no harm, and all the mental issues which came with these life experiences. Shortly after turning 12, four years into my nearly 10-year real-life conflict, I found myself falling far from God. Although I had become fully saved according to the Baptist faith and believed with all my heart that God was my savior and my all at age 10, I fell far from Him only two years later. Two years later, at 12, and hardly 12 at that, I text my friend late one summer night.
"I don't know that I believe in God anymore," I sent her, crying my eyes out because all I needed right then was someone to pull me back to God and say that I needed to hold on. I desperately needed someone to grab my ears and pull me up saying, "Hello!! Jesus is alive! He is alive! And He loves you more than you'll ever comprehend!"
But, the reality was far from this. My friend responds less than a minute later.
"I am an Atheist."
My heart dropped at the message. But... strangely enough, it later was found with relief. I felt ACCEPTANCE for falling from Him! It sounds crazy because it is. I researched for a long time, mainly in the wrong places, and I found myself to identify as an Atheist. This lasted for years, all the way until a month or so ago to be frank. I am going to be 17 in July and going into the 12th grade next year, and I believe this all happened in the summer of going into 6th or 7th grade, which would have put me at 11 or 12. So for 5, possibly 6, years I have been very lost and falling blind of God. I fell into believing I was transgender, from female to male, to believing I was gay and dating a girl almost a full year. Many, many tragic things followed this initial start of trauma when my parents got a divorce at 7 years old.
Now, having all that said... I still feel a strong incomplete pit in my life, this being my relationship with God. I still question my sexuality today. I believe that being abused for all those years led me to believe I was homosexual because beforehand, I never EVER questioned my sexuality. I was your typical "boy-crazy" little girl who would go to their mom after school and say, "Guess what mommy! [Enter name here] talked to me today! I was so nervous!" I can tell you confidently now that I know I am a beautiful, straight female who deserves just as much as everyone else. In my heart, I feel that. However, I hesitate to answer so confidently in person because it takes denying my past conflictions to find my true self deep within me that, yes, I am that person. For a long time I denied this person that I was because of the many times my mother would tell me that I wasn't her daughter, I wasn't what she wanted, and I was a mistake through and through. I believe truly, within my heart, that abuse can cause lifetime problems such as this. Abuse, especially that in childhood, does not just affect your personality, your social life, and your way of coping with life situations. Abuse affects your lifestyle, your beliefs, and all the critical things of yourself.
I am stuck. My ex-best friend and I started talking recently. We grew up together and shortly after I went from a true Christian to Atheist, we fell apart from one another. In the past month, we found each other via social media and I have come to find, not to my surprise, that she is still very faithful and connected to God. Even when we were little and very close, I was inspired by her connection with God and trust in Him, despite our different beliefs. She was raised Apostolic Pentecostal. I was raised Baptist. However, now that we have reconnected, I have caught her up with everything that happened to me in the past years that we haven't talked. She amazes me still at her immaculate trust in God. She is now involved in leading many youth groups to teach the Bible to younger kids, as well as attending her own youth group herself. This makes me intrigued in her beliefs since I am currently not under any official belief besides that in which God does indeed exist. My mother is not much in the picture anymore, so I have free reign to explore all sorts of Christianity that I please without fear of being bashed or shunned for doing anything other than Baptism. I have been looking into Apostolic Pentecostal all day, trying to actually understand what the belief is all about compared to Baptism, since that is what I know best, and it makes so much more sense to me compared to what I grew up with. Is there anybody who is an Apostolic Pentecostal that could please help guide me and help me in understanding the beliefs? I am very intrigued by this way of praise and church-going. So please, if you read all of this, which I hope you did because it contributes so much to my reasoning behind this, and you are an Apostolic Pentecostal, please give me information on your beliefs and ways of praising and keeping faith. I am finding God again, and I do not plan on losing Him this time. Not again.
By Lauren Lehman
Here is a link to my music that I hope will bring peace and healing to people. www.laurenlehman.com or you can listen on Spotify, Itunes, etc.
Below is a link to my song, "Peace Be Still" from my new album, "Peace Be Still."
"Peace Be Still, and know that He is God... Come on into His place to seek His face, Peace, Peace, Be Still."
Peace Be Still - on Youtube
This is the cross, both just and true,
That I should give My life for you.
More than tears and blood alone,
More than a life or broken bones.
Through the pain, beyond all fear,
I took those steps to make it clear.
The Father’s love, so deep and wide,
That He would give His Son to die:
To suffer loss and feel despair…
To lead the way and meet you there.
A place of peace and joy abounding:
Many a voice in praise resounding.
It was for you, I bled and cried…
The curtain rent to open wide.
That you may come into My throne,
And know My Father as your own.
The price of sin and death was paid,
When on the cross My life I gave.
But now you must stand up and run,
From sin and strife, deceptive ‘fun’.
Into My light and joy and peace…
Now is the time: Proclaim Release.
(originally given to me in 2003)
I'm new here and new to the San Diego area. After I graduated in December, I just got up and drove 37 hours to San Diego to start a new chapter in my life. I started going to church here and getting my life in order. I just need a little boost with a little prayer or some support. I've been here for almost two weeks now, and I have been living on my friend's couch. I haven't had any luck with jobs and it is becoming so frustrating for me. Idk I just don't have confidence in myself and I'm terrible with interviews. I get so nervous interacting with people, that I just feel awkward.
I need to have a good job so that I can provide a good healthy environment for myself that allows me to work on this Christian Book I have been pursuing for some time now. The money that I would earn from a job would allow me to give money to the church and poor. I don't have anything hardly and the money I do have is for bills and I have been donating what I have left over to the church. I never told anyone this but I was homeless for 8 months. Not that I forced, but it's because I choose to be. I had a really good job and I just wanted to give everything I had to the needy and to the church. The 8 months I lived in my car was a very intimate time in my life with God, and that's when I really started to begin writing my book.
But right now I just feel like I can't give like I want to and it's very frustrating for me. I'm just asking for a prayer that would allow me to have a job that would allow Jesus to work through me. Everything I do is in his name, and I wouldn't ever sell him short.
By Omegaman 3.0
Daily Reading 72 If you prefer, you can look up the following verses in your own Bible, or by whatever means and in whichever version you choose.
Matthew 14:22-36 Leviticus 22-23 Proverbs 31 Audio 4:14 Audio 4:41 Audio 2:50 The above verse addresses are linked to Bible Gateway. That is an easy way to read (or listen to) the Bible verses, and choose your version. Personally, I prefer written, that way I can go at my own pace, and think about it, before moving on. Nothing wrong with doing either or both. The Bible says faith comes by hearing. See the picture below to get an idea of what to expect if you follow the above links.
Note: The audio will not play the exact verses, it will play the whole chapters, in which the verses exist. Thank you Lord for making the your word so accessible for us in these times. Amen