GUEST POST FROM EMILY HOWELL OF PROVERBS GIRL PROJECT.
PGP'S ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY IS MAY 18TH! ♡
EMILY'S WEBSITE: proverbsgirlproject.weebly.com
EMILY'S INSTAGRAM: @proverbsgirlproject
Hello there! My name is Emily Howell and I want to share with you what God has done in my life and how He is still working. I came to know Jesus as my Lord and Savior at the young age of 5. I still remember sitting on the couch in my living room and having a conversation with my mom about Jesus. She had a big part in leading me to the Lord, but all the glory goes to Him. She prayed with me and I accepted Christ into my life that night.
A few years later, at the age of nine I decided I wanted to go forward and be baptized to make a public declaration that Christ raised me from death and into life and that I wanted to follow Jesus. So I was baptized!
A few years later, when I was 11 years old, they were having baptisms at a different church I had just started going to and people were giving their testimonies. There was one that really stuck out to me and prompted me. I don't remember the whole story, but in short this girl had accepted Christ at a young age like I did, and she just felt that she hadn't been following Him closely, so she rededicated her life to Christ. That really hit me for some reason.
I had come to Christ at such a young age that I felt like maybe I hadn't really understood everything. When I first accepted Christ at five years old, I remember being scared of nonbelievers going to hell. Like to the point of tears. That was one reason that I came to Christ at 5, but as I got older I learned that I should want to follow Jesus not just because I want to go to Heaven and not Hell, but because I love Him and want to have a personal relationship with Him. That night, before going to bed, I called my mom in the room and told her that I wanted to rededicate my life to Christ. And that's what I did. I had written down the prayer I prayed aloud on a piece of paper so I could always remember that night and I still have it to this day :)
The next year, a big trial hit; just a few months after my 12th birthday. Even through this, I was still holding onto God and reading His word even when I was upset and right in the middle of being faced with hard things. I was still feeling pretty good and I had faith that maybe this hard time would come to an end.
But the very next year, when I was 13, this trial was still going on and even escalated a little. I was old enough to realize what I was going through and how much it was affecting me. I started to become very upset, and wasn't clinging to God as tightly as I should have. So I began to slip a little... and a little more. God never let go of me (praise the Lord!), but I was drifting. It began with an unhealthy (spiritually and even physically) addiction to my phone. I was meeting people online and I would stay up ridiculously late being on my phone and communicating with them. I was no longer going to God when I was upset. I was no longer instantly going to His Word when I was faced with trials.
Not only that, but I was lying about my addiction, like a lot. Through this addiction to my phone (and more specifically, this thing called "Role Playing" on Instagram and Kik) I began to fall into some other forms of sin that were available to me right at my fingertips. This group of people I role played with would cuss and talk of things that should have turned me away from them right when I met them. But I tried to ignore the Holy Spirit's conviction. I started to go along with them to an extent, never to an "extreme." But no sin is big or small to God; it's all the same. I was very desensitized at the time and I had believed the lie that what I was doing wasn't bad compared to what others did. But what was happening was I was displeasing God. Didn't matter if others didn't think it was bad, it was bad to God and it was something I still regret to this day and I can't even tell you how thankful I am for God's grace and forgiveness because I could have kept going deeper and deeper but He didn't let me do that.
I struggled with this addiction on and off for about a year. Then one day, God just woke me up spiritually and I felt that conviction from the Holy Spirit that I had previously tried to ignore.
"Emily, what are you doing?"
"Why are you doing this?"
"Come back. I'm waiting with open arms."
That day, I broke down and asked for forgiveness. Most importantly, God's forgiveness, and secondly forgiveness from my mom because she had no clue what had been going on until I told her.
Since that day, with God's help, I have been free of that sin for a little over two and a half years now.
Now at the age of 16, there are still ongoing trials going on in my life and I am continually learning that there is no other way I should be handling them but God's way. It's an ongoing process for me learning to let go of baggage like bitterness, fear, and even guilt. I can't get rid of those things without God's help. But I am FREE in Christ and there is nothing that He can't help me through.
Here is another thing He has currently been doing in my life that I want to share with you! I have always been a very closed and shy person with other people. I used to hate being taken out of my comfort zone. I have always been very afraid of speaking publicly. But just within the last couple weeks, God has started working in that area. I went on a missions trip for a whole week and by the end of the week, I felt God had taken away a lot of my stress and fear. I made many friends, and started really opening up. I know it's going to be an ongoing thing getting even farther out of my comfort zone. But like I said, there is nothing He can't do. I am now excited to see how He uses me and how He stretches me even further!
I pray that God will speak to you through this testimony because these words were not from me, but Him. To God be the glory!
Hi, I'm Jenny! I'm just a 22-year-old girl who loves Disney, writing, creativity, coffee, kids' ministry, the color pink, and my best friend, Jesus Christ, above all. ♡
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