Hey guys! It’s Raegan & today I will be sharing my testimony!
So I will start off by saying I was raised in a Christian family. My dad was a pastor of his own church for quite some years. Which means if I went to church with him early to help set up, I would get a free chocolate donut with sprinkles! That was the one main reason I looked forward to going to church early. When I was around five I did accept Jesus into my life but I had little understanding of what I was saying. The craziest part about this is I could tell you the exact road I was on and which way we were heading and everything about that day. I was heading home with my dad in the car I must have lied or something because now I can’t lie without feeling terrible. But I remember my dad telling me that I messed up and it was wrong and I should ask for forgiveness. But at the time I asked him that and he did just that.
My dad had a youth group in our basement for us 3rd-6th graders. That was the age that was supposed to be there, but it was but it was just the crew of the same Nine ish kids. My dad would teach us parts of the Bible through song. I thought it was the best thing ever. It was memory singing and dancing. But I said it was the worst thing ever the only reason why I hated it was because I liked a kid in that group and he thought it was the worst thing ever. But once the boy was gone I ran upstairs and would show my mom everything we learned. The next part is the moment I wanted to make my next step in my faith and decided I was in about the fourth grade when I realized I wanted to get baptized. I told my parents! There were things I had to do before I was ”allowed” to get baptized. My dads rule not biblical, but looking back I understand. We had to meet probably once a week for around two months to talk about the importance of getting baptized. I had one favorite rule and one I hated, understand I am a fourth grader GIRL. So the rule that was the worst thing ever was “no more Ke$ha.“ (She used to spell her name with a dollar sign when I was younger.)
was so upset I stormed inside to the bathroom and cried my eyes out! During this time my best friend who is still my best friend who also is my neighbor. We used to have the craziest dance parties ever listen to Kesha. So I, when I told her she thought, it was the dumbest thing ever. However, my favorite thing was every time we would meet up to talk about the importance of baptism we would get blizzards. After two months of blizzards every Sunday afternoon to no more Kesha, it finally was time to get baptized. Luckily it was a warm day, but the lake was cold. The lake was also GREEN! I completely freaked the freak-out! I asked my dad why it was green he said it was because the chemicals used to keep it clean made the water green. I hope that’s true.
After getting baptized nothing really changed, except in the summer of my 5th grade my dad closed the church. I was so sad, obviously for many reasons. Okay okay, remember again I‘m. 5th-grade GIRL I’m going to miss all my friends from my church. Closing our church means in my mind at this age I thought my life was over I was so sad I was going to miss him and never get to see him again. Just recently saw him, oh boy things have changed. I was also sad because we had to go church searching.
So now we went searching for a new church. We searched forever until we came across one. Took around a year and a half. But my parents found a church and were absolutely in love with this church. They loved the kids‘ room for us. It was pretty solid, my ex-boyfriend (Middle school love am I right?) went there. Life was good. Until I learned you got separated girls and boys. Once again I was very weird. I hated dresses I hated anything cute and nice. Anyone want to guess what I wore to church. If you saw me on a good day, I was in jeans otherwise I would convince my mom to allow me to wear my soccer uniform. Which meant comfy athletic clothes. Loved that fit. But also, on my feet, I wouldn’t just wear tennis shoes oh no I wore either my Kd’s, my Lebrons or my other basketball shoes ( At this time, the last time I played basketball was probably two years ago I just liked shoes and I still do. (Haven’t grown out of that yet). Let me just tell you girls who didn’t wear dressed at this were different. Like at most places all middle school girls like lots of pink Justice and SPARKLES! But not me! They always had candy in my group but no one would pass me the candy. This girl loves her some candy! This church was not a good fit for me. Not dissing the church just at this awkward stage I went through I was awkward and I made everything awkward. Finally, I told my grandmother because she could tell I was always upset after church. I told her everything. (and still, do, she is pictured below.) So we went back church searching. We went to one, never going to guess who was there the boy I liked from my youth group. However, this church wasn’t the right fit either. So I was like hey! Let’s check out the church with the red door, and we did just that.
I quickly fell in love with this church. It was so welcoming the room they had for middle school was incredible. I loved it. Every Sunday we had a youth group. I loved the youth group I had two great friends who went and all we did was talk about shoes. Which was perfect for me there were usually no girls which kinda sucked but not really because I got along well with those guys. Our main conversations were about either soccer and cleats or basketball shoes. After awhile boys became boys and it got weird and they stopped coming together.
Summertime was finally here which meant it was time for middle school summer camp. I was so excited I texted one of the guys which we did pretty frequency. And I asked if he was going to camp he basically said yes. So I was excited (once again I was crushing on someone). Time began to past it was one day before camp I started, so I texted the boy asking if he was packed yet. He had no idea what I was talking about. So long story short, I went to camp alone and the camp wasn’t the best this year (but I had high expectations I guess because of previous camps I went to.) After camp, I kinda came to notice that everyone had spiritual gifts. But maybe two weeks after camp, I forgot. Some of you might know how it goes the whole Jesus high at church. But my Jesus high was over. My favorite part if the camp was me facing my fear and reading a verse. I’ll talk about why that was a fear in the next paragraph. But that sparked something.
Youth group was starting up again, it was youth group season so of course, I went. However, we did a teaching one day at group and they talked about spiritual gifts and I didn’t think I had one. At this time I was one of the shyest girls you ever met. You really couldn’t get me to talk unless I knew you well like really well. The whole reason for this is because I have a speech impediment. So at youth group, I decided to ask the one leader I liked talking to, and I asked them “how are you supposed to have spiritual gifts if you don’t even like talking to people how in the world would he be able to use me? ” He told me that there has to be something. So as you figured I was a middle school girl full of tears, once I got home I ran upstairs and cried and cried. And I‘m going, to be honest, I definitely started to doubt God like 110%. So I was of course, in my head thinking, why would God create someone like me who can’t share the gospel is there even a point for me to believe. But my dad taught me as a child to pray in times of doubt. So I prayed and prayed and decided to play Bible roulette (to those who don’t know what that is its where you close your eyes and open your Bible to a random page and see what it says). So I did just that. The first turn I did was in Revelations I closed my Bible. I feared that book of the Bible. Now I love it, but back then it was definitely a no for me. So I tried again, I opened to 2nd Corinthians. One page had chapter eleven and one page had chapter twelve. I skimmed throughout, and the thing that caught my attention was verse twelve and it states “that is why, why for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. FOR WHEN I AM WEAK, THEN I AM STRONG!“That part actually blew me away and caused me to cry even harder. Luckily, at this time my mother came into the room to see what was up. I told exactly what was going on. She told me that, that was God working in my heart. That doesn’t just happen. Well, I decided to read the rest of that church of second Corinthians below.
“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
2 Corinthians 12:8-10 NIV
That definitely flipped everything around. The next Sunday I went to my youth leader and told him I wanted to teach upstairs in the middle school room during church. And he allowed me too! It was one of the most amazing things ever. When I shared everything that happened there was a lot of kids up there also struggling with speech. Tears filled the room, I definitely will never forget that Sunday. Now I volunteer with the middle schoolers twice a week.
Summertime of my sophomore year I went to the same thing as Alyssa, Momentum. I also visited the Operation Barnabas table, and I was like I so have to do this. I called my parents and told them, they thought I was going to forget about it. In case you have not picked up on it yet, but I always manage to find a boy and talk to him wherever I go. The boy I found at Momentum and we found each other’s Instagrams. We started talking and we both figured out that we both visited the Operation Barnabas and wanted to go together. Luckily, someone in his family went on this trip the year before because then he talked me into it more. (He wasn’t the main reason I went.) Also, someone from my church made me want to go a lot too. Two months after camp I decided to talk to my parents about this trip. I was so excited I practiced in the mirror what I was going to say. Just like Lyss hinted at. We both were able to go, and we will talk about that trip in a later blog.
Here are some pictures from Momentum & a picture with me & my grandma!