Hello, there! I am excited to share a bit of my story or testimony as some may call it. I believe transparency is important in order to show people what God can do. He can turn your weakest moments into inspiring messages. Many times I refer back to this scripture: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28 NIV)." So no matter what you've done in the past, God can use that in order to gain more followers and believers in Christ - for His glory. You've just got to be willing to put yourself out there - after repentance, all shame and guilt must leave your heart in order to move forward. So with that said....hello, my name is Eboni Harris. There are some things about my past that did not line up with what God's Word says and for a long time I was ashamed and felt guilty. I felt hypocritical (as I was) and kept some things to myself. As you can see, I am past that now and I pray that you will be blessed by My Story.
Recently, I posted this picture on my Instagram with a short passage:
"May 2009-Senior year in High School. Let me tell you about this girl! This girl may be smiling, yet deep down she didn't know God. She went to church, led praise and worship and once Monday hit...forgot all about The Lord. Her heart was chasing after an ex-boyfriend...yes I said ex. Lol Fornication - was her way of feeling "loved". She knew about God. She knew God existed. But she didn't KNOW God. This girl had no idea how The Lord was about to change her life! Cause once she got to college (freshman year), God took away some things that were on the top of her priority list...even family. This girl went through a lonely season in life...which was the best season of her life. Because in that season, she came to know God. She surrendered. She purchased her first bible and actually read it! She prayed. She listened in church and her heart was beginning to look more like Christ. PRAISE GOD for His grace and mercy!! This girl is dead! She is born again!!"
I believe my lack of knowledge and ignorance of God's Word is what led to my sin. "My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge... (Hosea 4:6)". I know that we are all born sinners but when you don't even know who God really is, that sin is multiplied. There is no conviction. I had a lack of accountability and spiritual discipline. I watched how the people around me were living and I figured..."this must be okay because they say they are Christian". Ha, I eventually learned my lesson.
I grew up in a small, Baptist church in Redwood, MS. This church was surrounded by corn and cotton fields. Down the road you could even see the cows chewing on the grass. It was the church all of my relatives grew up in, including my grandmother. Think of this church as ANCIENT. haha
I remember as a young girl, laid out on the pew - wishing church would end soon. However, as soon as the choir got up to sing, my attention was suddenly captivated. I may not have known much about God's Word, but I knew most of the songs. As soon as the choir was done singing, and the pastor got up to preach, I would lay back down on the pew and fall asleep in momma's lap. This was the start of a bad habit. Because even at the age of 16 (as the church's pianist and lead vocalist), I'd sing my heart out. And right when the pastor began to preach, I'd rush down from the choir stand and sit in the fellowship hall - doing whatever.
This is a problem. So many of us attend church "just because". Just because momma wants me to. Just because it's the right thing to do. Just because I will get in trouble if I don't. My "just because" attitude encouraged my passiveness. There was no passion in my heart. All I wanted to do was sing, but only singing doesn't secure my salvation. A true relationship with the Lord does.
I would go to church, do all that was necessary, sing and lead songs, yet did not hear a word the pastor said. I was never actively pursuing God as the bible encourages us to do. I figured I could "get by" with minimal work. Being that I never read nor studied the bible and rarely listened to the sermon, I had no biblical principles to go by. It was easy for me to play the role on Sunday mornings, yet the next day at school, be a completely different person - throwing Christian morals out of the window.
I must say, I wasn't terribly bad. But I do recall the year I experienced my first REAL idol. You know that thing God hates - that person, place, thought, pursuit or thing you put before God and give all of your time and energy to? Yeah, an idol.
In 2006, I had my first boyfriend. I was 16. In the beginning I wasn't really sure how this relationship thing worked. All I knew is that I liked him, he liked me. Everyone else was getting together. Soooo...I guess I should try this thing out. In that year, I experienced my first kiss and I saw something that wasn't meant for me to see (use your imagination lol). Yep. Lust was already taking its place. But let's be quite honest. Lust was the reason why the relationship started. We liked the way each other looked. Don't get me wrong, he's an intelligent guy and comes from a good family but the eyes can be your greatest downfall because it can only see so far. Two lukewarm Christians getting into a relationship - yeah, not so great.
The relationship lasted for 2 years (on and off). Within those 2 years, I lost my virginity. As I think about it now, I understand my reasoning for having sex. I felt a bit pushed to have sex. And so I allowed it to happen, playing into it because obviously that was one of the best ways to get his attention. And I wanted to do it (1) to keep him (2) to feel more like ONE (3) To know that I was his first and he was mine.
Let's just say (1) I did not keep him (2) I did not feel more like ONE with him. Although, I felt as if I became more emotionally attached...which isn't always a good thing (3) This did come to past - however, regret came also. I had robbed that special moment from my future husband.
Even after the breakup, I would throw myself at him. I still made myself available. (smh)
The biggest turning point for me was when I finally left for college. I was in a new city. Very few friends - VERY FEW. I felt a sense of loneliness. And during this time, my extended family had a huge argument and we no longer conversed. This broke my heart - as I love my family and cherish our close relationship. So here I am - new city, no family, no boyfriend, only 1 true friend (who was my roommate). I was alone.
While sitting in my dorm room one day, I cried and cried. Finally, I felt conviction in my heart. I didn't even know who I was. And I finally prayed to God and asked Him to come into my heart. Finally. I asked for forgiveness for all of my sins. I asked God to help take away my desire for sex. I asked God to guide me and to restore me.
Even then, my steps were ordered.
God touched me when I had no one else. I didn't have friends. I didn't have that sex to fill that void anymore. I was in a room alone, and He touched me. And on that day, I vowed to pursue God.
Later in that year, I purchased my first bible. I went to church and LISTENED to the pastor. I applied The Word to my own life. Immediately, I saw results. My mind was being renewed. I no longer thought the same way. I felt a peace and love that I never felt before. It's even hard to describe. I surrendered all and allowed God to change my heart. I fell in love with Jesus. Praise God!
I became content with being single and having few friends. Many times when I was by myself, I'd open my bible and read it. During this time, Jerrell asked if I would join Radical Praiz. I agreed. This group alone has been a great help. Being around young people, who love God and LIVE IT was totally new for me. I needed that environment. We all pushed each other to be better children of God. Iron sharpening iron.
Now when I sing, it's a new feeling. I'm no longer singing because I have to or "just because". I'm singing because I know God! I know Christ lives and I know that He will change your life. I sing because I am thankful. I sing because without Christ, I know how lost I can be. I truly worship God. And I've grown to love pure worship. It is all that I want to do - for the rest of my life. To just sing to God and pour out my heart to Him.
While pursuing God, I met my now boyfriend. This guy is so focused on God it inspires me daily. Unlike before, I find myself dating with purpose. We have a courtship - meaning ultimately, we plan to get married. We uphold God's standards within our relationship and push each other in our walks with God. We flee temptation. No sex - no excuses. We pray together. It's a blessing. I am thankful God placed him in my life.
(Side note: Ladies, it is NOT impossible to find a man who is completely obsessed with God and who will respect you physically, mentally and emotionally. Good, obedient, Christian men are out there. Instead of focusing on finding a man, all you have to do is focus on Christ alone and he will give you the desires of your heart - as long as it lines up with His plan. Become content with being single and focused on Christ.)
To conclude, I just want to encourage you to pursue God wholeheartedly. Don't live according to the world's standards. This world will never satisfy you the way God does. I learned my lesson. Don't go by what you see but go by God's Word and faith alone. If you don't have a personal relationship with God, I encourage you to just stop and ask God to come into your heart. I encourage you to confess Jesus Christ as your Savior. I am free from my past sins only because Christ died on the cross! Salvation is FREE because of Christ. All you have to do is develop that personal, intimate relationship with God and accept Christ as your savior. And of course, live a pure and righteous life - fighting temptation daily.