Friday, September 9, 2011

2 Years Ago Today...

2 years ago today, I found myself at a Fusion service that changed my life. For real changed my life. September 9, 2009...a day I won't forget.

Fusion had recently kicked off the Naked and Unashamed series and I had only been to maybe 2 services. But I was hooked. I loved it. Loved the worship, the people (even though I really didn't know anyone), the energy, and the fact that they were talking about relationships (one of my favorite topics). For some reason, I knew going into service that something was different. Earlier that day, I was at work listening to the God on Mute series. I got to the last message of the series and heard a woman named Angela give her testimony. She had an incredible story of sexual abuse, brokenness, despair and redemption. I was in tears by the time it was over because her story sounded like mine. I was thinking to myself how I wish I could meet Angela because her bravery in telling her story did something to me that made me want that type of freedom.

I get to service and Pastor Johnson and his wife Summer talk about healing from heartbreak. Healing from all the sins, scars and shame we carried around. I felt a tug in my heart.

Summer was transparent that night and revealed her own story of abuse and how it plagued her early on in her marriage. I was in awe. The pastor's wife had a story like mine? That's not supposed to happen! Pastors don't have issues like that. Us regular broken people do, not people called to preach the Good News. But I needed to hear her story that night. I needed to hear Angela's story that day.

I needed to know I was not alone and that being whole and healed was possible.

Pastor Johnson did an alter call. There was a cross on both sides of the stage and there were little blue slips of paper. He asked us to write down all of our sins, nail them to the cross, accept Jesus if we hadn't already and let Him set us free from bondage. I remember sitting in my seat with my blue slip of paper kind of embarrassed because I had a lot of sin in my life. Abuse, fornication, pornography, babies out of wedlock, lying, abortion, infidelity, insecurity, pride, brokenness, low self esteem, lack of faith, hopelessness, worthlessness, fear, abandonment issues, mommy and daddy issues, codependency.

Could Jesus really accept me with all my dirt and shameful ways? There is no way He could forgive me with ALL the stuff I had done. I was too scared to write everything down because it would fill up the whole paper! But then I remembered Summer and Angela. Both had shame in their past, both allowed God to heal them and now they are telling other people that He can do the same for them. Maybe He could save me from myself.

As the band played, I wrote out my sins, folded my piece of paper and stood in line to get to the cross. I was nervous and anxious but felt like I was making the right decision. The closer I got to the cross, the harder it was to hold back the tears. With every step closer, it felt like I was getting lighter and lighter. I had no clue what was happening to me. As I nailed that little blue piece of paper to that cross with tears pouring out of my eyes, I knew that this was the start of something new. I felt such a peace and a calm come over me as I stood before the cross. At some point, I stopped hearing the music play. I stopped hearing the people around me cry out to God. I stopped hearing Johnson shout for us to be set free.

In that moment, I met Jesus at the cross. I laid all my sins before Him to see. I could no longer keep going holding on them. And He took them all and gave me freedom. He released me from shame, guilt, hurt, and fear. I accepted salvation and He accepted the bruised and broken girl before Him. It was an amazing experience, one that I will never forget.

As soon as I got home, I emailed Summer and thanked her for sharing her story and explained all that had happened to me that night. To my surprise she emailed me back minutes later excited right along with me. Then to my absolute surprise, Johnson emailed me and asked if he could put my testimony on the Fusion Facebook page. I agreed because I learned the power of your testimony. Wonder if its still up there?

A couple of days later, I ran into my small group leader Lee. I told her about the amazing experience at the cross and Angela's testimony. I went on and on about how hearing her story just rocked my world and I wished I could meet her and thank her. With a smirk on her face, Lee told me that I was talking about Angela Kaupe, who just happened to be her friend and accountability. The following service, I got the chance to meet Angela and give her a big tear fulled hug. She was so nice and was absolutely glowing because her and her husband Mike were expecting a baby.

Here I am 2 years later and I couldn't be more happy about deciding to take Jesus up on His offer. Been a long yet AMAZING 2 year journey and He is still blowing my mind with His faithfulness. It's funny that one testimony started it all for me and now my heart has been burdened to create an outlet for others to share their testimonies and set more people free.'s all making sense now. To be continued...

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