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Author: BrianSChilton One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 196946  
Subject: Testify Date: 10/20/1999 9:40 AM
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Our "Community" has been together for quite some time now. There are some wonderful personalities here, and the discussions have been great. I feel like I know many of you as friends, my brothers and sisters in Christ. I would greatly enjoy reading your stories on how you came to accept Christ as your personal savior. I will start the ball with my own, but only because I really would like to hear yours.

I was adopted as an infant born to unwed parents in 1965. The family that adopted me thought they could not have any children by natural birth, a proposition that my younger brother rejected two-years later. Somehow, from a very early age, I knew I was adopted, and that always made me unsteady about whether my parents loved me as much as my natural brother. My unsteadiness was increased around age 6, when my adopted father developed a mental illness compounded by alcohol and drug problems that caused him to be institutionalized several times, finally resulting in his death when I was 11. I will skip over the tormoil that the sins of the father visited on the son, but the short version is, it was no fun. By this point, I was an angry, out-of-control kid, even resulting in my own arrest for marijuana possession at the age of 13.

Fortunately for me, God was always watching out for me, even when I did not accept Him. My mother remarried to a wonderful man when I was 14, and during the next several years he made up for a lot of the loving discipline that I had lacked. Unfortunately, when I was 18, he developed colon/liver cancer that ultimately claimed him when I was 23. His death sent me into a self-indulgent, sinful tailspin where I clearly rejected any concept of a loving, caring God. I found it impossible to feel loved, and impossible to love. I have no idea how or why my wife stuck with me through this next period in my life, because I gave her many good excuses not to. Again, God was already protecting me from the worst consequences of my own sinful behavior, even when I was not following Him.

It was not until three years ago, when I was 31, that God broke through by giving me a wonderful daughter. For the first time in my life I understood that there is such a thing as unconditional love, and that if I could so purely and genuinely love my daughter, as imperfect as I was, then how much greater was God's perfect love for me. I accepted Christ as my personal savior, finally understanding His selfless, unconditional loving sacrifice by dying for me, a sinner, and from then on He has been the guiding force in my life.

Since becoming a Christian, I have a sense of completeness that I never felt before, and the change in my behavior and inner-heart can only be explained by the new creation that I have become in Christ. Because of God's love filling me, I am able to love my wife and daughter in a more pure and selfless way than I ever thought was possible. I certainly still fight against my sinful nature from time to time, but with Christ's love and power now fused inside of me by the Holy Spirit, we win far more than I used to lose when fighting on my own.

Please tell me your story. I am always amazed by how God cares enough to speak to us, and draw us to Him, in so many wonderful and individual ways.
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