My name is Christina and I would love to share my testimony with you. In Ezekiel 36 God promises to give us a new heart, to remove our heart of stone and give us a heart of flesh. And that’s what He did. He pulled out my rancid, apathetic heart and replaced it with a heart that was sensitive to Him.
I grew up as a PK and a MK. For those who don’t know, that means Pastor’s Kid and a Missionary Kid. Our family moved frequently and sometimes with what seemed no rhyme or reason except that God had opened a door somewhere. Because of this I had many opportunities to meet such diverse people groups and be immersed in numerous different cultures. I also had to quite often give up family, friends, schools, and churches that I had put down roots in. I was “saved”, a term we use to explain our decision for total abandonment to God and choosing to serve Him, when I was 8 years old and baptized when I was 10. I was a righteous child - terrified that I would go to hell or miss the rapture. And then I moved out at 18 - well, I moved across an ocean. While my family was in Croatia, I moved to Toronto to study. And it went well, at first. But by my third year, working multiple jobs while being full time in school had left me drained of energy. Some unwise relationship choices left me feeling alone and very isolated. I slunk into a period of episodic depression and anxiety. And to be honest, I think I hid it quite well. There are few who know how far I fell at the time. I will never say I stopped believing in God - the God I had met on the mission field was too real of a God to deny. It would be like denying the air I breathed. I would have to say I stopped believing that I was worthy of His love, His forgiveness, His salvation. The person I saw in the mirror every morning hated me. And that’s what sin does. It cuts off your supply from God and then consumes you from the inside out. And the sad thing is that sin is a decision. And many choose to deny God and stay in their sin. Thankfully, my story has a happy ending - obviously. I took an opportunity to travel to Australia and work as a research assistant for a few months. I thought it was an opportunity to run away - and potentially never come back. Before I left, I told God, “if you don’t change me, I’m not coming back.” And by coming back, I meant coming back to a church. My first week in Australia I had already started thinking up all the reasons and excuses I could so that I wouldn’t have to find a church. But my dear mother questioned me enough until I finally gave in. I snuck into the Paramatta church right as worship was starting so no one would have the chance to talk to me and sat in the back. I was hoping to run out before anyone could catch me but unfortunately a wonderful woman of God caught me. This woman, for what seemed like the first time in my life, started asking me questions about my salvation, asking me if I was right with God - and these were questions that as a veteran church kid I don’t think I had ever been asked. Obviously, I said the right thing - I always knew the right thing to say. I kept pushing her off until she texted me randomly one day, “I know I don’t know you and I don’t usually say things like this to people, but God has put this on my heart.” And she spoke exactly what was going on in my life. We met for coffee shortly after and spent two hours talking and crying in a suburban shopping centre food court. But in the centre of that chaotic shopping mall God got a hold of my heart. And He performed a drastic life-saving surgery. In Ezekiel 36 God promises to give us a new heart, to remove our heart of stone and give us a heart of flesh. And that’s what He did. He pulled out my rancid, apathetic heart and replaced it with a heart that was sensitive to Him. I was filled with a joy that I hadn’t felt in a very long time, and this gladness that made me want to tell everyone I saw about this salvation that I re-experienced. From that moment on, I’d like to say life has been bliss, but it hasn’t. But I am alive. And I am saved. I had become cold and callous about life, and now I can revel in the life God gave me. I had become weary and depressed, but now I have joy that even a global pandemic can’t take away. I had struggled a lot with relationships, having been hurt and used in the past, but I am now married to a kind and godly man, who I am crazily in love with. We look forward together with anticipation to the glorious plans God has laid out for us.