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.
Growing up with an alcoholic, abusive father
I was a pretty happy artistic, energetic child who loved to play, read, write, sing and draw. Life for me as a child growing up was pretty normal, but by my early teen years, my dad's drinking had turned him into a full blown alcoholic. He physically and emotionally abused my mother for many years, hitting her on an almost daily basis and accusing her of all manner of things, and calling her all sorts of vulgar names. Our house was filled with shouting, hitting and quarrelling most of the time, and I did not know what it was like to live in peace. Because of the abuse she suffered from my father, my mother was mostly always crying, unhappy, and very strict with my sister and I.
Depression and suicide
When I was 16, my father tried to kill my mother one night, and the next day after intervention from my mother’s sisters and brother, they were separated. We moved to a smaller house which my mother could afford. I only saw my dad once more six months later in December, 1998 when he came to visit us, but I was filled with such anger and hatred for him that I showed him contempt and did not want to be in the house while he was there. I remember leaving and coming up late when I was sure he would be back, I met with him on the road when he was leaving and we said awkward goodbyes like strangers. Little did I know this would be my last time to see him alive. Six months later in May 1999 when I was 17, my father committed suicide. I was in my last year of high school, and my mind was in such torment that I’m surprised I managed to finish high school and pass my exams. My father’s suicide totally messed me up and made my already dark state of mine worse. I blamed myself and suffered guilt for the many times I was rude to my father and the hatred I had for him. I turned the grief inwards and grew even more hateful of myself and life in general.
My first three years of college went by in a blur. They were miserable years. I got involved in a relationship where I was introduced to alcohol and sex. Then I got pregnant at 20 and had an abortion. All these problems and sins were mixed up with my depression and my life was a living hell. All along I had wanted to be a good person but I found myself always self destructing and doing the very things I hated and it’s like I could not control myself and stop my sinful habits. I continued to struggle with more mental issues such as OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), bulimia (an eating disorder) and more anxiety. I visited many different places for counseling and therapy, but I never really got any help for my depression. I was constantly suicidal after the abortion and had a great fear of death and going to hell. Fear had so taken over my life that I was scared of leaving the house even to go to college. I would shut myself in the house for days with all the curtains drawn, filled with misery. I would drink secretly in my room to numb the pain, but it only made things worse. Once I drank so much alcohol that I collapsed and was rushed to a hospital where I was admitted for two days on alcoholic poisoning.
I had always wanted to live for God but it was always so hard for me to make the decision because I felt so unworthy. One day in January 2003, after months of wanting to get right with God, sitting at home alone, I switched the channel to Christian TV and after watching three shows. I repeated the prayer they said after the program and gave my life to Christ.
Falling back into darkness
In the year and a half to come I joined a church and focused on serving God and pleasing Him. I gave myself to fully serving God in various ministries in the church. My life finally had peace and true joy. Everybody noticed the change in me because I was no longer sad and withdrawn. My mum and sister started attending church once in a while because of me. However, the change was short-lived. I began again to struggle with depression and insecurity, and instead of staying close to God and looking to Him for comfort, I walked away from him and drowned myself in self pity and gave into the feelings I had of unworthiness, inadequacy, and low self esteem. Shutting myself away from God, church, all the church friends I had and isolating myself, opened the door for more depression. With time I found myself back to my old ways of thinking, and soon I met up with an old friend and ended up pregnant. I lost 25 pounds while pregnant because of depression and made two half-hearted suicide attempts. This was the worst period of my life. I went through worse misery than I ever had. I had disappointed myself, God, my family, and it was too much for me to handle. But I had made up my mind to keep my baby and suffer the consequences of my actions. I hardly ate the whole time I was pregnant. My body was weak; I became very thin and was filled with such severe hopelessness.
Being a new mom, with severe mental health issues, no confidence, depression and a lot of anger and bitterness at life and all my mistakes, despite having wanted always to be a good responsible girl, was not something easy for me. Being a mom did not come naturally because I had always secluded myself into this world where I was always alone, and it was difficult to now deal with having an innocent, helpless life be my responsibility. It took years for me to finally be at home and at ease with being a mom with God’s help. I had damaged emotions, trust issues, painful wounds, bitterness, anger and it made it difficult for me to easily transition to being a care taker of an innocent life but I loved my baby and the Lords grace was with me. My mother was also struggling with her own identity as a widow and alcohol seemed to be her only comfort. Added to it having to support me, jobless and with a child was not easy for her. It was very strenuous to our relationship since we both had bitterness and so much anger, and a feeling of receiving the short end of the stick in life.
I finally was referred to a psychiatrist by my aunt because she saw I needed the help. I couldn’t function. I was always tired and disoriented. Even after I got a job it was so tough for me to function because of the severe clinical depression I had. My mind was cloudy and dark; I was always sad, suicidal, and hopeless. The doctor prescribed anti-depressants for me, but I did not take them long because of the side effects. In the years to come, I would get into many wrong relationships, make friends with the wrong kind of people because I was lonely, go out to clubs with my new friends - something I had never done before - started drinking quite often, got addicted to wine, tried smoking weed, and tried getting into all manner of stuff to get peace. I even thought at some point that I may be a lesbian and sought this lifestyle out. I began to hang out with gay ladies, went to strip clubs and did all manner of things I had previously never considered; I was searching for identity everywhere and never found it. This lifestyle didn’t give me what I desired but left me even more troubled and guilt filled. I tried to find identity and purpose from horoscopes, personality profiles, through my writing gift etc., but even after trying all there was to try ... I still felt lonely and alone; I did not fit in anywhere.
My life was a big mess. I did my best to be a good mom to my daughter, because I did not want her to feel the same rejection I’d felt all my life. But being depressed and sad all the time, I could not really be a good mother to her. I knew only the Lord Jesus could help me, but I was so dejected and guilty at how far I had wandered from Him that I did not think He could take me back; I had written myself off but He never did. At the age of 27, I started to lose my mind completely. I was so tired, often sick, fatigued, hopeless and begging God daily to let me die. I knew if I didn’t make things right with God, I probably would end up dead for sure. I didn’t have much of life left. I was so frustrated with my life; I had no peace. I started seeing a psychiatrist again because I was at my wits end. He diagnosed me as severely clinically depressed and also having social anxiety, and put me on drugs. But I could feel God tell me it’s Him I needed, and I could keep medicating and drinking, but I would never have peace. By this time I was even drinking while at work during my lunch break in an effort to numb all the pain within.
After years of rejecting God and trying to fix my life on my own ... I couldn’t run any more. On July 7th, 2009, a normal day, I went home and put my daughter to sleep. I just felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit so strong that night, that I knew it was time to make things right. The Lord had been pursuing me so fervently. I would be in clubs and in sin, and I would hear the Holy Spirit of God speak to me to come back to God. The Lord's voice and conviction of my sinfulness and need for Him had become so strong that I couldn’t deny it anymore. Right there in my bedroom that night, crying like a baby, I confessed my sins, cried out to Him for His mercy, grace, and help; I rededicated my life back to Jesus. I knew right then my past was over and there would be no turning back.
The Bible says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9).
When I woke up the next morning, I was literally a new person, my mind was brand new; all my addictions, lusts and desires for sin and perversions were gone. The Lord delivered me instantly as He promises in his word. I never went back to doing the things I did before. It was His power not mines; Lord knows how many times I had desired and made promises to myself not to drink or commit sin before and how miserably I’d failed. I was a slave to sin and Satan, but that night when I called on the Lord from my heart, He delivered me from all that psychiatrists, counselors, my own efforts, and friends never could. He did it by His power and might! Nothing is too hard for God! Nobody is too hopeless and sinful for God. Jesus alone can set free; He is the WAY, TRUTH and LIFE; no one can come to God except through Him.
"He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and mire." (Psalms 40:2)
The Lord has called me as an Evangelist and I’m humbled at His love, mercies and call. I’m passionate about the gospel of Jesus Christ for it is the POWER of God unto salvation to all who believe. Jesus was manifested to destroy the works of the devil and there is nothing too great for Him once we surrender our lives to Him and give Him all that we are. God has made my mess my message.
I also now have a blog which I use to share Jesus, articles, and messages on various life and faith issues. My aim is to share Christ’s love, forgiveness, healing, and encouragement and hopefully express his Grace and Love in what I write. God made me a new creation and He will do the same for anyone who receives Him and His salvation. He is no respecter of persons. There is nothing too hard for God. Eternal life awaits those who believe in Him and are saved by His blood.
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new ..." (2 Corinthians 5:17).
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1)
Facebook: Hadassah Mwendwa
Story 1 Broken Hearts, so God can Heal
Like most women, I have been hurt by men throughout life. My high school boyfriend and I dated for almost 2 ½ years, staring from senior year of high school through the first half of undergrad. We were not living for Jesus, and definitely not glorifying the almighty with our relationship. We had both grown up going to church but had strayed away from it and God. Fall of my sophomore year I was going through a really bad room mate situation. My boyfriend and I had been fighting a lot more, and tension rose in the relationship. Funny enough- he had started going back to church, and started to walk. I wanted to go back, and knew in the depths of my heart God was calling me, but it felt like so much was in the way. I was so concentrated on my roommate drama, and trying to move out of my dorm.
When we finally did break up, I was so hurt. A young girl who thought she had found “the one” was scared and broken. I remember crying out that my world had fallen apart around me. I started going back to church regularly the following semester. Quite frankly, at first I was going back because I thought it would bring my then boyfriend back. I kept going; I truly believe that Jesus was fighting for my heart.
I remember the following year when I was driving back to school after summer break; I was talking to Jesus in the car. He told me my heart had to break. It was the only way to let him in. Then Jesus fixed my heart up. He put hope, love, promise and so many other things in there that revived and rejuvenated my spirit (all of these are much better than eating a tub of ice cream). I fall in love with God everyday, I love his surprises, his humor, providence, and most of all the unfailing love He has for me.
Story 2: Sisterhood is too Strong
I had many friends throughout college, and a lot of them were in very different groups. Some of my closest friends were ones from my sorority, church, and youth groups. I had a lot of issues with female friends. Many of them seemed to use me and lose me- be temporary friends because they wanted something. One of my closets friends was also my roommate. She basically picks a guy she met at a bar over our friendship. Situations like these were more rare, but I became so insecure over my worth as a friend.
Two girls who I was close to also became a test turned into testimony of friendship. The three of us became thick as thieves. I think I always felt a little like the black sheep and the odd man out, but it escaladed to where we weren’t really friends anymore. The other two had a lot more in common- they liked the same hobbies, and were very similar. As much as I loved them both as sisters, I felt left out most of the time.
The enemy played on that major. I withdrew, and thought that I wasn’t good enough anymore. That I would never actually be close to either of them like they were to each other. I let our friendships fail. I had dug a hole so deep I didn’t know what else to do to get back out. I felt isolated, and yet I didn’t think either of them knew or was interested in what was going on.
God showed me so much through this trial.
1. Lean on Him always, in all things. As much as we love our family and friends on earth, they will always disappoint us at some point. God will never disappoint us- though it may seem like He isn’t listening, He always have something abundantly better waiting for us on the other side.
2. Even God first friendships aren’t perfect.
3. My friendship with people are individually unique, I can’t compare my friendship between two friends.
The Testimony: Though the friendships are still rebuilding, the three of us have reunited. I feel connected again. When we visit each other, the past doesn’t matter. We just pick up right where we have left off. These women are courageous, loving, and beautiful and the first sisters I have.
FB: Gopi Pitcher
God Saved Me From Being Blind
I just passed my driving test at 17 years old. Few days after that, there was a prophetic conference on the other side of the island from where I lived. Excited to drive my friends, I picked them up one by one. They were staying even further from the conference place than I am. The fun began. Driving in my dad’s old little Honda Civic, everything was a breeze.
Enjoying my sweet ride with my two friends, we seemed to cover a lot of Penang Island (Malaysia) I felt.
The two elderly prophets that came that night shared an uplifting message and prophesied on almost everyone that attended. Everyone was lining up in long lines to receive from the Lord through them. Although I can't remember every detail of the prophesy spoken to me, I remembered the lady saying God had plans for me, plans for me to use my gifts for His purpose.
And right after the conference, we went to visit our youth pastor who lived not far from the church we went. So by the time I drove all the way to the other side of the Island to drop my friends and coming back down to my place, it was nearly midnight.
There were not a lot of cars, and along the road that leads to my house, I heard bikers riding fast past me. Then they stopped to talk and I passed them. But just as I was turning right to the road, one of bikers were riding so fast and he was trying overtake me as I turned, as a result he rammed into my side and they flew. The rider and the passenger flew into a car that was parked at the corner of the road and I believed that's what saved them.
Glass shattered into my car; I saw tiny pieces of glass flew right passed my eyes. My eyelashes fluttered as they passed. The guys were unconscious but they were not seriously injured. It was a big ordeal that night. People around who didn't witnessed what happened were only concerned for the injured and thought I'm to be blamed. I walked out with minimal scratches on my hands but my seat was full of cut glasses.
God saved me that night from getting blind.
First of all, He saved me from death, because if the bike were too rammed into me in a different angle, I probably could die of a head injury. The car windows that broke and were flying through my direction, it was like watching a movie in slow motion. My face could have been scarred or badly cut. Glass could have flown right through my eyeballs but it flew right passed my eyelashes. I could remember it like was yesterday.
God has a purpose for me not to be blind or dead, and there were other incidents that He saved me when I was younger. Had he not, I would have been disabled. Another story, another day. Life doesn't always unfold in the manner I had envisioned, and I do get lost in the pursuit of happiness.
Slowly and steadily in His own rhythm, God never walks away and He is always trying put me back on the road I should be whenever I waver. Sometimes it takes years.
However long, He will be there for us for all the ups and downs. Don't stop believing in God's plan and love.