Monday, May 13, 2013

This is Samantha's Story

Hi PP & P readers! Remember me? Samantha from Designer in Teal....I guest posted a while back about Maximizing Space. Well today I am going to share something completely different. While Veronica is away in Chicago she asked me to share my story with you. I LOVED this idea. I have never gotten really personal on my blog so why not start here. I am a part of the Overcome the Lie challenge that I am sure you've heard Veronica talk about. It has really brought me closer to God, helped me trust him and be more open about my faith. So I am just going to put these words and thoughts out there and pray that he will reach out to you. 

Here is my story...

 I guess I should start with a little background on me and how I grew up. I lived in the middle of nowhere for the first 18 years of my life. My church and school were very small and everyone knew everyone. I loved going to church, Wednesday bible study and especially vacation bible school over the summer. I grew up in a christian home but as I got older, I noticed that we were doing our own thing and putting church on the back burner. Of course I didn't think this was a problem because most of my friends from school at the time didn't go to church either. Towards the end of middle school my friends pushed me away because I didn't want to be involved in the things they liked so I started searching for a new group. Chelsey, Celia, Angelina, Ashley and Morgan became my new "circle" and I am so glad they did. Probably without knowing, they each showed me what it meant to be a real christian. I started becoming more involved again but there weren't that many people/opportunities at my church and I didn't live very close to any of my new friends' churches. 

minus Ashley...

Once I got to high school, I met my future husband Timothy in the 10th grade. I started going to church with him some Sundays and made the decision to go on a missions trip with him to New York City. This was the first time I had taken a trip to tell others about Christ. Most of the trip involved painting an elementary school but we also helped a local church that was starting up. We passed out fliers for them and were encouraged to converse with people and share our faith. I struggled with hearing people call us mean names and tell us to get off the streets. I was so oblivious as to why they wouldn't want to learn more about this church. Coming back from this trip I wanted a better relationship with God so that the next time I went on a trip I would have the courage to share my faith and better understand where people were coming from. 

Once I graduated high school, I started my freshman year where I got involved in Cru (campus crusade for Christ). I found some friends there and they convinced me to come to fall retreat. Well I am really glad they did because this is where I decided to ask God to come into my heart and save me from my sins. I bought a new bible...the one I still use today and had a notebook to journal in. We had small prayer groups, women's time and a play that brought everyone to tears with arms stretched high. I had never seen the story of Jesus' crucifixion like this. I spent 2 more years in Cru and never found my niche. The group was about 400 people or so and I felt lost. I decided to start going to Blacksburg Baptist Church.

fall retreat

I signed up for their spring break trip to Orlando without know ANYONE. I instantly clicked with one girl Kristin and she got me involved with the BCM when we returned (baptist collegiate ministries). We had 3 different volunteer opportunities during the week. We did Habitat for Humanity, served food at a women's shelter and did yard work/served lunch at a homeless shelter. Each night we regrouped and share the most memorable part of the day. I loved hearing what everyone else was soaking up from these projects and it helped me to open my eyes more. The part that pulled at my heart the most was the women's shelter. Some of these women had been abused and couldn't even look at the guys in our group. They were so thankful for us and seemed very comforted by our words. It was so sad to think that there are so many women like these that are lost and don't know Gods love for them.  

oh and we got a free day at Disney!

Now that Tim and I are married and living in a new place, we are searching for our new church home. I am trying to learn how to be a godly wife and have a godly marriage but I know I can do much better. Veronica has even been an inspiration to me in her new marriage. So in a nutshell I have had many ups and downs but I am so thankful to know God at such an early stage in life. I was nervous to share this thinking maybe it won't be interesting enough but its not about sugar coating my story it's about sharing my testimony. You have a testimony to share too and I would to hear it!

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Wasn't that just the best way to start this new week? Thank you Samantha for sharing your heart and being open about the journey God has taken you though! For me, it was such a pleasure to be able to read through it! Samantha has been, as most of you all know, my best friend in this blog world and I'm just so encouraged reading her story and just being able to identify with her even more.  (Can't wait for our skype time tonight!!!)

God uses our stories in ways we can never fully know. I pray Samantha's words touched your heart, made you smile or encouraged you. We are each called to know the Lord intimately and oh how good it is when we do!

I hope you enjoyed reading stories today and this past week from some of my dear friends in this blogging community. I also hope it has encouraged you to share your story on your own blog. If you would rather share your story on my blog, send me an email and we can work on a guest post for you :)

Have a blessed Monday!

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