Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Testimony Tuesday: Amelia


Sorry folks, the blog has taken a break.  And I know it's really Wednesday, but we are still rolling with Testimony Tuesday just a day late.  I've been out of town with work stuff.  So here we goooooo..

Meet Amelia!  Amelia and I met during seminary through our mutual friend Jonathan.  She visited Bay Leaf one night with us, and we have been chatty-Cathy's ever since.  She no longer lives in Raleigh, but we venture to talk at leassstttt every other week.  I am thankful to call her a friend.  She is a wonderful listener.. prayer warrior.. and encourager.  Here's her story!

“Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice” (Philippians 4:4).  That is one of my favorite Bible verses and one that I have tried to live by my entire life. However, that has not always been easy. I was born three months premature, and because of that developed a disability called Cerebral Palsy. Living with CP over the years has definitely been a challenge, but Christ has been with me every step of the way. I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior when I was eight years old, and that was the best decision I have ever made. Thankfully, I am blessed to have parents who love Jesus Christ more than anything else, and have always been an example of Him to me. In the years to come, it was that strong faith, that carried us through.
             Up until I was in the fifth grade my life consisted of school, physical and occupational therapy, and a multitude of surgeries.  I did not live the same type of life that the majority of kids my age lived, and went through a major depression in my elementary/middle school years because I did not understand why I was different.  My CP affected the way that I walk, and I am required to use arm-crutches for assistance. Because the other kids my age did not understand this, they would choose not talk to me and make fun of me. I would come home every day in tears, but when I started to mentally comprehend Christ and His character, and see myself as a true daughter of the King, my perspective changed. A passage of Scripture that has always encouraged me in this is Psalm 139: 13-16 which states, “For you created my inmost being,  you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful and I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in that secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”  I began to realize who I was IN Christ and I no longer worried about what others thought. My main desire became to know Christ better with each day and live a completely surrendered life for Him. I knew that God had a purpose for my life and that purpose was greater than any struggle that I would face. 
            2 Corinthians 12:9 states, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” My life is a continued evidence of God’s grace. Doctors told my parents that I would never graduate high school, but because of Him I did, and went on to graduate college. It has been God’s grace that has sustained me through all of the adversity I have faced as an adult in society and the work force. It is also because of God’s grace that in all of my daily health challenges God gives me the strength to serve Him in a job and ministry that I love, and to rejoice in Him day after day.
             God daily reminds me that I am not alone in my suffering, and that it was because of His suffering on the cross that I am able to live this beautiful life. God has called me to a life set apart for Him, which means living a joyful life always no matter what comes my way.
            God has always used the example of Paul in scripture to encourage me. Paul experienced many hardships and sufferings while following Christ, and Scripture tells us that he dealt with a “thorn in the flesh,” but through it all he remained joyful. Paul tells us the secret to this joy and contentment in a letter he wrote to the church of Philippi. Philippians 4:11-13 states, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content in whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether fed or hungry, whether in plenty or in want. I can do all things through him who gives me strength.”   Throughout my life I have learned that  no matter what is going on in and around you, you can still have joy even in the worst of times. That is when Christ can shine the most. It is easy to get caught up in what we want, and be selfish. It is also easy to think that a joyful life is defined by a series of happy moments and fulfilled desires. However, life is really defined by the work Jesus Christ is doing in you, and how He allows the “not so good moments” to mature you. In some of my hardest seasons of life I have experienced some of my sweetest moments with Jesus.
            Everyone of us, no matter who we are, have struggles. However, we are called to glorify God with the life that He has given us. I want to encourage you today to not let your circumstances define you and steal your joy. Be thankful for what God has given you. Know that He loves you and created you for His purpose. Spend time reading His word daily and ask Him to give you His never-ending joy.   If you do this, the weight of your worries will lessen, and life will suddenly seem brighter. Be encouraged that in His presence there is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11), and that God works out all things for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). 

Amelia currently lives in Casar, NC.  This picture to the right is the only one I think we have together.. That will have to change!  Amelia is an agent for the Christian comedian, Kerri Pomarolli.  She has a giant love for football.. to which I try to avoid calling on Sunday nights, so she can enjoy! With our friendship.. I can truly say that there is never a dull moment!

1 comment:

  1. This brings tears to my eyes b/c our stories are SO similar!! can't wait to meet Amelia in person!