My journey is one that spans 46 years.

I was born with many different birth defects. I had no soft spot and a deformed kidney. Thankfully, the doctors in the Air Force were able to take care of both issues for me.At the age of three I was shot in the right eye by a BB from a BB gun. I did lose my sight in that eye and am considered “legally blind” in that eye.

I look back over these early years and realize that the enemy was trying to take me out of this life at a VERY early age…but God…He is well able and certainly placed people in my life and my parents life during these early years.I remember when I first received Jesus Christ. I was in Garland, Texas and was approximately 7 years old. I knew then that I needed him in my life.You are looking at a very active young person in my church during my teenage years: choir, puppets, hand bell choir, a mission trip. I enjoyed all of it very much. Then things changed.I went to college.

PLEASE NOTE — FROM THIS POINT FORWARD IT IS GRAPHIC IN NATURE — PLEASE DO NOT READ IF YOU ARE EASILY OFFENDED YOU WILL READ ABOUT PROMISCUITY, ADULTERY, ABUSE, ALCOHOLISM and REDEMPTION

When I arrived at college I was 17 years old. I didn’t turn 18 until that November. I was lonely and a little apprehensive. Perhaps it was this loneliness and not finding a church home there that caused me to go away from the only LORD I had ever known.The path to destruction starts with little steps.

I started hanging out with older girls in the dormitory. They used to go out all the time so I went with them once. They dressed me so I looked older (in a skirt) and we went to the local pub. They checked my ID but we had doctored it..this was when licenses were easy to doctor with baby powder and black ink and then place it behind a plastic cover. Thank God they (the state issued license department) got smart and started to do hologram imaging on the licenses.

I started drinking. It was only red wine at first. It was only a glass or two. Then it became three…Then I graduated to harder stuff. I went from going to the local pub to the local hangout across the street from the dorm. I graduated to sloe gin fizz (sp) and started drinking those like you wouldn’t believe. 10 drinks in one night was not uncommon.Then this drinking led to promiscuity.

I am not proud of this part of my past. You see, I always believed that I was going to have only one man in my life — my husband, whoever it was going to be… But the drinking twisted all of that because it twisted my mind. It twisted what I wanted in life. It twisted relationships. It made me a person who was cunniving and manipulative. It created a distortion of myself.

Well, this went on for two and a half years. Then in the Spring of the third year of college, I thought I was pregnant because of my promiscuity. I went home and my mother took me to the doctor. I was ready to have an abortion because I thought that this was the only alternative for me. I had another surprise instead. The doctor told me I had a cyst on my right ovary. It was baseball size. At the same time they realized that my right tube was deformed so they had to take both out. Then to top it all off, the doctor told me that my left tube was blocked and that I would not be able to have children (the probability of having a child was about 1%). This didn’t bother me at the time too much as I did not like children too much. I know that seems strange to hear it from a woman, but it was not something that I was looking forward to.

About this time I met my first husband. We lived together — I know it is a sin — but you have to remember that I was already in the road of destruction and no one could tell me anything. We were together for two and half years before we got married. Then we were married for another two years. I lived with a man who was verbally abusive, but I stayed with him. I was working full-time and going to school part-time. .. Then I sinned the biggest sin you can against anyone — I was an adulterer. I only did this once, but it was enough that it hurt me to the point that I could not live with him and my adulterous way.

So I took the easy road out — I left my first husband one week after the adultery took place — and I asked for a divorce. And I got it.

Then, I started living on my own. I found an apartment and was able to take care of myself…but I was still drinking. It was to the point that I always had a box of WINE in the fridge and at least a six pack of beer always close at hand. I was still promiscuous.

I met my second husband. During the entire time I was with my second husband I never was unfaithful because I remember the guilty feelings that I had within myself. My second husband had a little boy who was only 20 months old when I met them. I instantly feel in love with this kid. I believe now that I feel in love with the little kid long before I feel in love with my second husband. For those of you who are trying to save the child first, please remember to look at the person you will be spending time with. They may become a person that you do not know. Someone who might try choking you. Remember that you are dating their representative. Check out who their friends are. Talk with their family. Know something about them other than they are cute or handsome…My second husband and I stayed together for six years. During this time, I can count on one finger how many times I was actually drunk — not many. In fact, my drinking almost completely stopped. After my divorce from my second husband, my ways of promiscuity and drinking started up again. This time in FULL force. I look back and am amazed at how I made it through this time. It seems to me that finally the ramifications that come with promiscuity caught up with me — STD.

During this time, the drinking and the lifestyle was RAMPED up! It is amazing that I was able to keep my job. I can’t tell you how many times I went into the office still drunk from the night before or with such a hang over that my head hurt. But, somehow, I made it…Then I met my third husband in February of 1998 (at a Country & Western Bar). We both were heavy drinkers. Somehow we ended up together and in a house less than 6 months after we started living together.

We finally married two years after we were together. Before everything changed in my life, I was married, living a life with only one man, but my drinking was out of control. I was drinking a LARGE bottle of wine EVERY DAY! Not just a small three glass wine…but the LARGE bottle. It was not unusual that I would finish a LARGE bottle and a smaller bottle.

One day, on June 22, 2001 I woke up and said, “LORD, you have to help me with this drinking problem that I have.” From that point on, I have not taken another drink (except for communion). It was a daily struggle full of temptations. I stopped drinking right before an annual company lake party. I can honestly tell you that this was my most difficult challenge I ever had besides the drinking that was still going on in my house. In fact, during this time, I always kept a small bottle of wine in the beer refrigerator to make sure that if I ever needed a drink it would be there. I also think that it was there to remind me that I didn’t need it. It was a PARADOX.

In September of 2001, my husband and I had a terrible argument. He told me that I needed to get myself together and that we needed counseling. Thank God for EAP (Employee Assistance Programs)! They connected me with a counselor for my husband and I. We went for three months and this helped us tremendously, especially me because I was an extreme manipulator and control freak.

Anyway, September 11, 2001 happened. I believe, looking back on it now, that that day was to get my attention. Well, it did! During this time, a good friend of mine was reading the Left Behind series. She told me to read this book, “Left Behind” and gave me her copy. I read it right before September 11th. Then September 11th.

I knew that there was something missing for me. All the teaching I had received in my youth started coming at me in streams. During this same time, my mother and I were driving by my church. My mother said, that’s Bishop T.D. Jakes’ church. I said — Who’s that? My mom said, “Oh he’s a really good black preacher. Your dad and I listen to him on TV a lot. One day I’d like to go to that church.”Well, here I am it is September of 2001, I am looking for answers and there is this church, on a hill that I know nothing about. I went online and found out that there was service at 8am and 11am and Sunday service at 7pm. Well, I went to Sunday evening service, but there was no service. Come to find out, Sunday evening service at that time was only on the first Sunday. So, I decided that I would come back again. I decided to come to the 8am service that way I could get church “out of the way”.

I went to church at the 8am service on Sunday, September 23, 2001. I have NEVER felt more love before ever in any church. I sat there and cried for the entire time during praise and worship. I heard the message FEAR and left knowing that I would come back again.

I returned several times and in October of 2001 I became a member. I started working as a volunteer within the church and am still serving there today.

The Holy Spirit came upon me in March of 2002 as I was reading Bishop T.D Jakes book, “Experiencing Jesus” which is a teaching series on the book of Ephesians. It was at that moment that I realized that I was loved. I cried as I realized that his presence was with me on the Trinity Railway Express. I treasure that moment and am so glad that I have been FILLED with His love, joy and peace.

Embarking on 2010, as I write this, a significant change has happened to me in 2009. The most important person in my life, my third husband, asked to be let out of the marriage. It happened on October 2, 2009 – When he had just returned home from a trip to Houston. He said to me in the garage, drunk, not even looking at me, “I want out”. This was the first time he didn’t preface it with “I think I want out.” So, I had to say, “OK”. This was not easy for me to say, “OK”. I think that he thought it was easy for me, but it wasn’t, for I truly believed that we had a covenant and that I was to be with him until either one of us would be taken from this earth. I’m sad that all the work that was placed into this marriage has suddenly been dried up. I pray that my husband will find peace for this is what is truly lacking for him in his life.

Looking forward to 2010, there is a strong desire in my heart to get myself right in many different areas…financially, personally and spiritually. But most importantly, I want to tell anyone who has lived a life that I have that it is possible to be SAVED, REDEEMED AND SET FREE. Nothing is too hard for God to overcome. He is there for you. Your job…to call on the name of Jesus. When you do…he is there.

Thank you for reading my testimony. I know that it is by the grace of God that I am still here. I still have a relationship with the son that I have known since he was 20 months old. Sadly, the other stepchildren have not communicated with me since their father left. I pray for my husband and all my children that they may know the King of Kings and LORD of Lords. Adonai. My Jesus.

Love,
A sinner saved by GRACE!

15 Responses to “Testimony”

  1. ashjoshua Says:

    looking 4ward 2 d rest of the story 🙂 and love the look of your blog…God Bless!!!

  2. Scotti Says:

    I, too, am looking forward to the rest of the story!
    May the peace of the Lord Jesus be with you always,
    Scotti


  3. I live the openess and “light” of your blog. Your header is unique… I like it!

  4. Maggie Says:

    Can’t wait.

    Maggie

  5. JOSEPH PETER Says:

    Well Looking forward to communicating to you the greater things of the Kingdom.

    Joseph
    Kenya

  6. Maggie Says:

    Thank you for sharing “the rest of the story”.

    May God bless you richly and turn all the dessert places into pools for his name’s sake, as he has already begun to do here!

  7. bryonm Says:

    thanks for linking to ali’s blog

  8. Julie Says:

    Johnnie – This is the first time I noticed your testimony page. What an awesome work God has done in your life! I had no idea! There are definately reasons that you have endured the struggles you mentioned. I’m sure that one of them was so you could encourage others in the same situations through the posting of your testimony on this blog.

    May God continue to lift you, lead you, and love you as you walk closer to Him each day! I am just blessed to know your story {{hugs}} 🙂

    Love ya,

    Julie


  9. Thanks for stopping by my blog about my Prodigal Son. I am so happy to read your testimony. What an awesome wonderful God of Grace we serve!!
    Susan

  10. Rachel Says:

    Hi there,
    Thanks for sharing your testimony. Mine is so similar to yours it was a little strange reading it! Isn’t it amazing the love the Father has for us? That He could take people like you and me and not only save us but redeem and restore us? If you want to read my testimony, it’s on my blog under labels, then my testimony.
    Blessings to you!
    Rachel

  11. Sidharth Says:

    Thats wonderful , Johnnie =)

    The deeper in the gutter, the greater He gets the glory!

    Hallelu YAH!

    Sidharth

  12. debbiewhitlock Says:

    I know the Johnnie now. You are a totally blessing from God to me.
    He knew what he was doing in your life.

  13. Aaron Says:

    I know what you mean – only Jesus has the grace to save us from our sins and evil nature- and He is certainly able!Yay!

  14. Anne Schrock Says:

    Randee asked the question what will I add in 2009, to which I responded that I’m adding girlfriend time. Johnnie, although I knew some part of your story, I hadn’t been here to read your testimony.

    I look forward to learning as God continues His works in and through you.

  15. mwendwa Says:

    amen. amazing testimony. God is faithful. he has great plans for you and is working out everything for your good. you have ben through alot, but he remains faithful glad you know him. you are not alone.He will neevr leave you nor forsake you. Blessings in this year as you move foward.


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