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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Every Dark Cloud has a Silver Lining" (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (02/28/08)

TITLE: Doubt Turned to Belief
By Pamela Kliewer


I was beginning to wonder if my soul would ever recover from the cruel blows of life. As long as I could remember I had doubted the love of God. Sure, I read the Bible. I prayed. I heard the sermons. His love had never been tangible to me. It was as far away as the horizon. Unreachable.

I had never had joy dance across my days. I saw people I knew from church enjoying life, seemingly embraced by Godís love. Their faces radiated warmth and genuine knowing. So why was it elusive to me?

My childhood had been less than stellar. Drunken rages. Beatings. Yelling and screaming constantly. I often hid under my covers with as many pillows as I could get, over my ears. I remember cowering in the corner terrified, waiting for that next smack across my face. Sometimes it came, other times my daddy would fall down in a stupor. All during my childhood I thought this behavior was normal. When asked about my bruises I told the truth to my friends only to have them react with shock. I felt shamed. I started telling lies. Pretty soon the kids stopped asking and even my teachers turned the other way. No one wanted to face my humiliation. I became a loner. Dejected. Afraid.

I heard about Jesus when I was in high school and I did go forward at the youth meeting where I heard about Him, but still something seemed to be missing. His love had never became real to me. I went into adulthood wondering what was wrong with me; why I didnít know Godís love like other people seemed to know it?

One day a woman came to speak to our Womenís Bible study who was the most genuine person I had ever met. She shared her story of abuse and tragedy with us. I sat there, astounded. She was telling my story. The only difference was, she shared that in the midst of her pain-filled days God was there, loving her. No. That was not possible. He certainly didnít love me when I was in that same state.

While listening to her, I thought, Itís too late for God to love me. Iím too wounded, too much of a loner. Itís impossible for Him to love someone like me. I was one who did things by roteÖ with no real substance to my relationship with Jesus. I felt I was only on this path to keep me from hell and had never had any real growth in my life since accepting Christ. I wanted more, but didnít know how to go about having itÖ I jerked back to attention to hear the speaker saying, ďGod loves you. When He sent His Son, Jesus to earth to grow up and die for your sins, Jesus became New Covenant on that cross, meaning that you no longer have to live under the law, but you now live under grace. His love for you is unconditional. You donít have to do anything to earn His love. No performance is going to win you His love. He loves you because He made you. He has loved you from the moment you were conceived in your motherís womb. His love for you has never stopped, nor will it ever stop. He is faithful. Will you trust Him today?Ē

Tears streamed down my cheeks. He loved me? Me, who carried a weight of shame and guilt so heavy that my shoulders seemed constantly stooped, so much did it seem like a physical burden? For the first time in my life I felt a glimmer of hope. If He was really there during my childhood and saw all of that, yet still loved me, then He really did love me now and I could let go of all this anguish Iíd been carrying for so many years. A spark of joy ignited in my heart and made its way to my face, breaking forth in a true smile. The first one I ever remember adorning my face. I felt the weight roll off my heart and pictured it falling to the floor, breaking into a million pieces, never to be put back together again. I was loved. Despite my decrepit pastÖ I was lovedÖ completelyÖ and that made me a whole personÖ Finally, I was free. I was on my way to recovery.

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This article has been read 534 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 03/09/08
What a marvelous testimony! Thank you so much for sharing this with us!
Shirley McClay 03/11/08
Thanks for sharing this testimony! May God use this to help others see Hid love, too! Keep learning and keep writing!
Yvonne Blake 03/11/08
Beautiful! Thank you for sharing this. Sometimes the writing that comes from our deepest pain is the most powerful.
I could feel your loneliness and pain, and then I saw your smile and joy.
Shayne Catoe03/12/08
It sounded to me that this was a personal testimony. Thank you for your transparency and vulnerability. I believe these type of pieces touch hearts more than any others. It touched mine. God bless you as you continue in your journey with Christ.
Chely Roach03/12/08
The fact that this isn't from your personal experience is a testimony to your writing. Great job.
LauraLee Shaw03/12/08
Moving testimony from your MC. Hopeful for many who have been victimized by others' sins. Thank you for sharing this.
Seema Bagai 03/12/08
Beautiful story. I could sense the MC's strong emotions throughout this piece.
Joy Faire Stewart03/12/08
You have brought the MC to life with your writing. Great job of showing emotions.
Henry Clemmons03/12/08
Very encouraging. I enjoyed this.
Shelley Ledfors 03/13/08
What a beautiful testimony! Whether from personal experience, someone else's experience or God-given inspiration, it is beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing it, and keep writing! God Bless!
Pamela Kliewer03/15/08
I wanted to clarify that this is not my testimony. I have been learning about covenant in my Bible study (we're studying Hebrews - it's a Precepts study with Kay Arthur). I have been overwhelmed with joy in what I'm learning about covenant and that's what inspired this piece.