S H A N D R A
If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me.
I was raised in a churchgoing (Shan's note: going to church is good, but in this case it was a substitute for salvation) home. My parents were in high church positions and my family was in high positions as well. We valued working in the church a lot especially compel others to be a 'good' Christian first and a 'good' churchgoer second. At an early age I was taught to work in my local family church, a small country Baptist church. Even though my parents took the credit in instilling values, the Lord Jesus taught me those values, but to understand the rest of the story I must explain how it all began...
Again, I was raised in religiosity, steeped in traditions at an early age( my folks had high church positions and it was a family church). And sadly, regretted embracing them. I didn't know the plan of salvation. In fact, I went along for the longest time with what my preacher and what my relatives said, not the Word of God at times. Even when I was baptized at age 9, I wanted more. More of what? More of God, more of His presence, to actually meet God for myself. So for six years I was the good little "church girl", even masking my true feelings b/c of what they think otherwise...
Then one night on May 1997, I went with my high school's FCA (The Fellowship of Christian Athletes) group to a Christian play, called "The Rapture". It was about the Rapture of the church and the Great Tribulation. While I was there with my friends and my advisor, I was in the balcony just being me. After seeing the dramatization of what the world will be like, then the Holy Spirit really convicted me. I saw myself for what I really am, a sinner needing God's grace. I knew what I must do. When they gave the altar call, I came down and said the prayer with a genuine brokenness of heart. All of a sudden, I felt the Peace of God came over me and I was full of joy.
Ok, I would end it right there, but here's the real story. After accepting Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord, I pretty much was wanting more of God big time. Remember my traditional Baptist upbringing? Well for the past 3 years, the Lord has allowed me to throw my preconceived theology out the window.
He brought down walls in my thinking and walls between Him and me in fellowship. I have been taught from Him alone. Not my pastor or anyone would tell me profound truths (the few who told me some I dug for more). Even I have been very intrigued on the subject of spiritual gifts and the work of the Holy Spirit. My pre-conceived concept from a little girl about the work of the Spirit is to "Jump and Shout". When approaching the subject of spiritual gifts at my church they would attribute them to natural gifts, rather than supernatural. Okay, but I wanted to know the reason why the people are "jumping and shouting"? He practically taught me a lot about genuine fellowship and the true work of the Holy Spirit, is to glorify Jesus. Pretty much the 'Christian's best friend'.
It took many trials and situations to know this, but when I did finally approached God and became transparent before Him, He started to reveal Himself to me more. I became so absorbed in His presence and the word. The Holy Spirit began to teach me more about Jesus, His promises and the heroes of the faith that endured hardship and yet never gave up their faith. In this time, I was learning a lot about true worship too, to worship God for just being God. But the biggest thing the Lord has taught me, I don't have to put on a religious front to get His attention, but to only be sincere to Him.
This was the toughest lesson in my life slowly deprogramming the religious attitudes I had about this truth. But the biggest shock is when I was talking to my Mom in the Lord (more about her in extended version of testimony coming soon) when I was called to the prophetic ministry. I thought to myself, and regretted my response, "I'm just a Sunday School teacher." I had put God in a box inadvertently. A few hours after that conversation God delivered a prophecy through me. From then on, I never doubted Him on that ever again.
But of course, with the higher measure anointing of the sweet Holy Spirit and His presence and gifts bestowed on me then the attacks of the enemy gotten hotter. And so I started my college education last fall with many trials. My family turned against me, I had no friends, and at the time my GPA was low, risking academic suspension. However, God supplied for my need. He gave me a church family who loved me with the agape love of Jesus as well as more spiritual mentors who wanted me to go higher in Jesus.
The taunts of my family and attacks grew stronger. Even my 19th birthday was the worst day of my life with no phone call than other than my younger brother and friends.
Before I left this summer, God gave me a warning not to go home for the summer, to go somewhere else. I believed my father, who sided with my mother, who said, "Things are going to get better." Actually they've only gotten worse.
Being disobedient to the word of the Lord caused me much pain and unnecessary heartache. I had everything of value taken away from me, my computer, my relationship with my mom in the Lord, my trust, my dignity, my hope, even at one point my faith in God.
After being in shelters, with family members treating me like a cast-off, my mother and father welcomed me with open fists and tirades of curses to God, to me, and my friends. They taunted me every day until the pain nearly made me contemplated suicide. I was like Job, I had everything taken from me, even my peace of mind. I was diagnosed with severe depression and was given 50mg of Zoloft to take. I took the Zoloft and each drug has a spirit, I was substituting the peace of the Lord for a lousy pill. I got off the medication after 3 days until the Lord showed me that my parents was keeping me doped to prove that I wasn't in a right state of mind.
When I cried out to God saying, "Please restore me to where You want me to be. I am sorry for my disobedience and wherever You want me to be, I will go." God gave me a choice to serve my family or serve Him fully. Translation, separate from my reprobate parents for good and take Him as my source. Humbling myself, I did.
When doing that, Jesus had restored everything back to me. My relationship with Him grew stronger, the joy in my life came back to me, as well as the presence of the Holy Spirit became more evident. He restored my relationship with my mom in the Lord and delivered me from a lot of stuff.
Not only this, he has given to me Godly friends at my dorm and more that came in my life.
In my short time I have learned the boundless love of Jesus, His mercy and grace, and of course being led by His Holy Spirit. And yes at times the loving chastisement of our Heavenly Father. My desire is to see many people saved, healed, and delivered and filled with the Holy Spirit. And to mentor those in the body of Jesus Christ. This is my one purpose in life to minister, and to be at His feet to worship Him.
Until next time...
Always a handmaiden of Jesus (YAHUSHUA),
Shandra aka The Lightning Prophetess
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