Testimony Tuesday with Nathen & Sara Bennett

Testimony Tuesday Nathen and Sara Bennett

In April 2016, my husband and I came to the Mission of Hope. We were shattered, broken, and homeless. We were ready to give up. When we had finally lost it all God intervened and brought us to our knees.

On May 11, 2016, we were on two separate campuses. I was at the Taylor house and Nathen was on the men’s campus. We both got saved that day not knowing that the other had made that decision as well. Now we are sanctified by the blood of the lamb. No longer are we bound by the chains of addiction. No longer are we a servant to sin. We are Gods chosen children, and we are blessed and highly favored. God has blessed Nathen with a job at Outokumpu and I am blessed to be a house mom at the Taylor house. God has blessed us with a house in Mount Vernon, Alabama not even four miles from both of our jobs. God has restored our marriage and is restoring our entire family back together. We are 14 months clean by the amazing grace of God. We are forever grateful for the Mission of Hope for being the vessel God used

Now we are sanctified by the blood of the lamb. No longer are we bound by the chains of addiction. No longer are we a servant to sin. We are God’s chosen children, and we are blessed and highly favored. God has blessed Nathen with a job at Outokumpu and I am blessed to be a house mom at the Taylor house. God has blessed us with a house in Mount Vernon, Alabama not even four miles from both of our jobs. God has restored our marriage and is restoring our entire family back together. We are 14 months clean by the amazing grace of God. We are forever grateful for the Mission of Hope for being the vessel God used

God has blessed Nathen with a job at Outokumpu, and I am blessed to be a house mom at the Taylor house. God has blessed us with a house in Mount Vernon, Alabama not even four miles from both of our jobs. God has restored our marriage and is restoring our entire family back together. We are 14 months clean by the amazing grace of God. We are forever grateful for the Mission of Hope for being the vessel God used

God has blessed us with a house in Mount Vernon, Alabama not even four miles from both of our jobs. God has restored our marriage and is restoring our entire family back together. We are 14 months clean by the amazing grace of God. We are forever grateful for the Mission of Hope for being the vessel God used

Today, we are 14 months clean by the amazing grace of God.

 And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten. Joel 2:25

Testimony Tuesday with Beth Johanson

Forgiveness

Beth is my youngest sister. We’ve shed many tears together. Here is her story.

Testimony Tuesday with Beth Johanson

My first thought when I see the word testimony is in relation to how and when a person initially responds to their invitation from God. Well, this is not that sort of testimony. You see I, oh my name is Beth, by the way, have been serving Christ in some form or fashion for quite a few years. I am a mother of two teens and have taught the Bible to children in church.

This testimony is tough to tell, tough to experience, and probably tough for others to hear. You see this testimony stems from that dreaded word—forgiveness. If you have ever gone to church and cringed when you heard the preacher announce a sermon of forgiveness, trust me, you are not alone. Matthew 6:9-15 Our Lord’s prayer, as well as many other verses, tell us that we must forgive others.

But the person that wrote that verse could not possibly know the pain that you’ve suffered. No one could be expected to forgive what you’ve endured. The thought makes you mad. Maybe?

Yes, I know that feeling very well. I was molested by an uncle at a young age. As horrible as that was, it was nothing—easy peasy—compared to the worst of my pain. What if someone hurt your child? That is the anger (the hate) that I have felt.

When my daughter was 14, I learned that my biological father sexually assaulted her. For 30 something years, I believed my daddy was a good man, and he was there to help protect my children. Wrong!

He betrayed that trust. He hurt my baby, and I was too blind to prevent it. That, my friends, is unforgivable. It must be.

How could a person ever forgive something like that? I knew that I could not. Maybe, I didn’t even want to try. But doesn’t the Bible tell that we must forgive to be forgiven? If I refuse, am I sinning against God? My preacher has told me that sin is anything that separates us from God. Unforgiveness fits this to a T. I don’t want to be separated from God. Do you?

Okay, so maybe I kinda want to forgive for my sake. But wanting to and being able to are totally different things.

I prayed and prayed. I told God that I could not forgive this.

I always assumed forgiving meant forgetting, justifying, forgoing punishment, or inviting your tormentor over for tea and cookies. Wrong. After years of praying, God led me to Matthew 18:6 The verse about better to have a millstone around their neck and be thrown into the sea. I immediately liked this verse.

God did not want me to take matters into my own hands, but He told me that it was okay to be angry. God gets angry. He forgives. But He also punishes sin. I prayed. Have you prayed and wondered if you’d ever get an answer? Well, I got my answer. God knew that I could not forgive.

“This is a sin against me,” He said. “This is not for you to forgive. I relieve you.”

Jeremiah 32:17… but nothing is too hard for thee.

We as humans, don’t have the ability to forgive some atrocities. But we can give our willingness to forgive over to God. We don’t have to let unforgiveness separate us from Him. I broke down crying in relief. I no longer feel the hate. We can’t do it alone, but even the impossible (the unforgivable) is made by possible through Jesus.

Don’t allow unforgiveness to hurt you or separate you from Christ. Tell Him how angry you are and why. He will listen. He can relieve you as He relieved me of my unbearable burden. Why are you still reading this? Stop now, and pray.

~Beth Johanson

Testimony Tuesday with Carol Davis

I love watching Carol grow in her faith, and I know you’ll be encouraged by what God has done for her. Please say ‘hi’ in the comment section.

Testimony Tuesday with Carol Davis Steele

My name is Carol, and I’m a new creation in Christ.

Before this, I was lost. I was a thief, a liar, an addict and alcoholic, and so much else. My life of misery began at an early age. Nothing terrible happened to me to me to MAKE me into that person. Things contributed to it, but when all was said and done, I chose the path that eventually led to my downfall.

I was a well-loved child, but for reasons unknown at the time, I always felt alone. As a teenager, I did as so many teens did; I looked to fill that emptiness and loneliness with anything and everything. My story isn’t so different from the rest. What began as “she’ll grow out of it” led to a life of misery.

I spent over half my life trying to get out of the dark hole I’d dug for myself. I spent time in jail, multiple rehabs, even a mental hospital. I had a child at age nineteen that was taken away by the state when she was only a few months old. She was adopted and raised by a family member. Today I thank God for that, but at the time all I could see was how I was the one being “wronged”.

I had another daughter a few years later, and though the circumstances were different, things were very much the same. My life came first. Period. I loved my daughter, but I loved the drugs and alcohol more. I was a miserable person, inside and out, living day to day, existing, and nothing more.

Deep down I knew there was more to this life. I knew about God. In my mind, I was saved because I’d said the sinner’s prayer when I was younger, but the words had absolutely no weight to them. I wanted the peace of knowing I’d go to heaven when I died, but I couldn’t have cared less about changing my life. I was stubborn in that regard to the end. I knew I needed something. But God? What about the things that went with it, the willingness to change, the sincere desire to put God above all else in my life? Nope. I didn’t need God.

Towards the end, my family intervened on behalf of my child. I was given a choice to go into another program, this time a ninety-day faith based program, or lose my daughter. I’d love to say that I went for her alone, but even as sick as I was, I knew that this had to be for me. In my mind, this was my last chance. So, on June 28, 2016, I entered the Haven of Hope. Halfway through my stay there, I truly gave my heart to God. This time, there was no longer a doubt of whether my salvation was real. I had God in my heart!

Since I graduated, I’d love to say that life has been perfect. It hasn’t. I’ve struggled. I’ve fought. I’ve had Satan attack me in every area of my life. But I finally have my life BACK. God, the same God who I rejected over and over, is now in control of my life. He has blessed me with so much. I have a wonderful, godly husband. I have a good job, and I see my daughter often. She will be coming to live full time with us in the summer. But there is so much more!

My God is a forgiving God, full of grace and mercy. I was completely undeserving. All those times I thought I was alone, He was there, always there. There is no doubt in my mind of that. He let me go through the bad for His own reasons. I don’t care what they were. I’m forever blessed to be here now. Faith is something I still struggle with daily, but in the end, I know God’s got me. He had me all along. I just had to be open to receiving Him.

To anyone out there struggling with anything, whether it be a bondage or wanting Christ in their life, but not thinking they’re worthy, I say, “None of us are worthy. We are sinful, evil creatures. But God knows everything about us, the good and the bad, and He loves us anyway. No one is too far gone. No one cannot be reached. Please receive Him now, because tomorrow is not promised.”

 

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. ~ Hebrews 4:15-16