Who I am is not the who I was before I fell in love with Christ. So many that meet me now just assume that I began like this. A finished product since birth. Full of love and laughter, hope, and a faith that may seem naive to a person unacquianted with the goodness of God. But the truth is I have always been a work in progress, I still am. This is a vulnerable place to begin, but in sharing my vulnerability, and opening myself up to you, I hope to connect and inspire. I want you to know me. I want to tell you my story to give glory to my beautiful Father for what He has done and continues to do in me. I want to reach you where you are right now, trusting that you may see yourself within these pages. So I’m pulling out my heart and sewing it onto my sleeve in the hopes that this personal testimony of how I came to know the Father may also give you hope to ask the scary, humble, broken question: God, who is your truth?
The story leading up to the question that changed my life was one of hardship, rejection, and darkness. On the outside I seemed like a happy outgoing person, always laughing and smiling. But my secret life was one that I worked very hard at keeping in the dark. Outwardly I was popular and liked; yet inwardly I was plagued with insecurities, anxiety, and fear. New social situations terrified me, but staying home was worse. My home life was full of bitterness, anger and resent. I loved hard, and hated harder. However, dealing with these things was not even close to what I was dealing with when the lights went out. The world went to sleep; I didn’t. From as early as I can remember I had been a haunted girl. I could see spirits, hear them in the night, and was plagued by horrible nightmares of murder, and death. I slept with my mom until I was thirteen years old because I couldn’t bear to be alone at night. The fear I lived with was paralyzing, and it was something I never shared with anyone. Who would believe that evil followed me wherever I went?
1 Peter 5:8 Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
It goes without saying that from a young age I was fascinated by the supernatural. It was a curiosity sparked by terror. I started out playing the Ouija board with friends. Despite who was present or where we were, a frightening pattern began to emerge. I came to the realization that no matter which questions we asked the focus always came back to me, and the message was always the same: “We want Lindsay.” In high school I became obsessed with ghost documentaries, and watched them religiously. This was all a desperate attempt to come to terms with what I believed might never go away, and if I had to live with it, I was determined to learn to cope with these spirits. Like the old adage, If you can’t beat em join em. I began learning about psychic abilities, tarot cards, crystals, sage purification, channeling and spirit communication. Nothing relieved the fear or stopped the haunting. I also began to explore different religions and saw God as the holistic god of everything, ambiguous, but fundamentally good. I knew that I loved Him but I didn’t exactly know why; after all, He never answered my desperate pleas for help. I felt utterly abandoned to my fate.
In my twenties I partied, drank, smoked, swore like the boys and was the last girl stumbling out of the clubs. I realized the power my looks gave me and I used them to manipulate men and take advantage of situations. I had a mouth like a whip and a tongue that could slice people down in their weakness. I found security in my quick wit and sharp intellect. This was a side of me that only a few saw. A side so afraid of being hurt, that I would ruin people to protect it.
Ecclesiastes 7:20 Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually
does good and who never sins.
At twenty six, in a purely spontaneous act, I moved to Kelowna. My fresh start wasn’t as easy as I had hoped. I had a run of bad luck with living situations, including my condo burning down and losing absolutely everything I owned. The inferno spared the only things that mattered: my good friend and my dog Tuli; who happened to escape the fire only minutes before the place exploded in flames (a miracle in itself). It would seem that evil had followed me to Kelowna. I finally settled into a place with one of my best girlfriends. Immediately after I moved in, Tuli started staring at the attic and I could feel a presence in the house. The nightmares began again, and my nightlight ran overtime. This was normal for me already, but I never got used to the fear. Despite my night time battles, our home was still a sanctuary and we shared so many heart to heart talks over bottles of wine and spa music. One particular night, the night that changed my life, my friend asked me, “What do you think about Jesus?” I was speechless. I had never been asked that before, never confronted with who I thought He was. After a shocked pause I responded, “I think He was a great teacher. He had an idea of the truth, just like Buddha, and Muhammad. But there is no way for me to ever know that He was who He said He was. I think that whatever religion you subscribe to that makes you a good person is right for you.” She said, “Oh”, and left it at that. The conversation quickly moved on and we never picked up the subject again. That night I laid down in bed to the same foreboding and fear. Laying in my bed I came to God with more honesty than I ever had before. “God,” I prayed “ I have always loved you, but I don’t feel like you’re there for me. I don’t know Jesus, and I don’t feel like I love Him, but I need to know who I need to pray to in order to not be afraid anymore.” Then I fell asleep.
Proverbs 8:17 I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.
I awoke in a dream. I say this because it was so real it could have been actuality. In it an old room mate came to me in a panic. “Lindsay, you have to come downstairs! There’s a demon in the closet!” Without thought, I followed her downstairs. I entered to see a creature with horns - the embodiment of pure darkness and evil - panting like an animal, rocking back and forth in the corner of the closet. He looked up at me and faster than I could think, he was off his haunches and lunging at me with his jaws outstretched. They were so distended that it looked as though in one bite he would consume me in darkness entirely.
Without fear and with a power I had never experienced before, I calmly and firmly said “In the name of Jesus you cannot touch me!” Immediately the demon was thrown back into the corner of the closet where he resumed his panicked panting and rocking. I turned around and advised my room mate that “The demon will always be there, but all you have to do is call on the name of Jesus and he cannot touch you.” Then I awoke, free of the fear that had been with me my whole life. It was like a huge weight had been lifted off of me. I decided in my mind that morning that this is true and Jesus is who He said He was. In that moment I welcomed Jesus into my heart and decided that I would follow Him. I have been free of fear ever since. Spirits run from the name of Jesus. It carries a power above anything else I had ever seen in my experiments with new age.
Philippians 2:9 Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow...
After this decision it was like flood gates had opened. I bought myself a bible and started learning who Jesus was, and in turn who God truly was. The bible was opened up to me in a brand new way and it was as if things I had never understood about Jesus before became so clear. I starting praying for things asking in Jesus’ name and was seeing them answered within minutes. In His excitement, God seemed to be making up for lost time. The external proof that God was giving me didn’t even compare to the work He was doing in my heart. Behavior that I had found so much pleasure in before, now offended me, and I had no idea why. I was convicted of things that I had previously not found any fault with, and decided to turn away from things I now knew were sins. I immediately had a sense of love for myself that I had never experienced, and I was falling in love with people instantly. I was seeing myself and others through God’s eyes, and now instead of pushing them away I just wanted to know them and show them some of the love I had found. I was doing things for others not out of obligation, but out of pure love. And the love I felt for Jesus was all encompassing, I still can’t explain How I woke up one morning, absolutely, and madly in love with Jesus.
Psalm 23:6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the LORD forever.
The decision to accept Christ came from a simple question to God posed by an honest heart. I realize now that a lot of us have our own ideas of who He is, our own faith built from a tapestry of secondhand sources and speculation. But have we ever taken the time to truly ask God who He is? Swallow our own pride and come to Him with an open heart, ready to accept His answer no matter where, or to whom, it leads us. Don’t get me wrong, my life since finding Christ has not been a cake walk. In fact it has been really messy as I deal with learning how to love myself and others better than before. The vulnerability of loving unconditionally opened me up to be truly wrecked. I have had many ugly cries with God, and as we went deeper he pulled me through the fire more pure than ever before. There are a lot of things that I don’t necessarily know for sure and there will always be new questions for God and tests of my faith, but the one constant in my life that I never had before is a love that I know never forsakes and never fails. I now know a grace that surpasses all understanding and a Savior who loved me so much that he hung on a cross to take all my blemish away and make me perfect in the eyes of my Father.
1 John 15:13 There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends.