Today as we continue our series, we continue with a testimony from Julie from I Sing Because I’m Free. Julie is a wonderful song writer and often shares her beautiful words of God’s love in those songs, along with beautiful pictures of God’s marvelous creation.
I once was lost-
and now I’m found!
I have loved music all of my life. I remember the few times I went to church, I couldn’t wait to stand up and sing a hymn, or to listen to a choir sing! It gave me chills, and often made me cry. I began playing piano by ear when I was about 9 years old, and started taking lessons shortly after.
I prayed the sinner’s prayer and accepted Christ as my Savior when I was about 10 years old- in the kitchen of my step-grandmother’s home. I believed in God, but didn’t know what it meant to “follow” Him or to have a “relationship” with Him. I went to church less and less as I became a teen. My father left my mom, my sister, and I when I was 16. Church was the last thing I was concerned about at that time. I poured myself into music- I sang in school choir and continued to play piano and write music every free moment I found.
“I met my future husband at my first job”
I met my future husband at my first job after I turned 16. The manager told me (after she hired me) that there was a boy she wanted me to meet that worked there. I met him, and sure enough, a year later- we began dating. It was truly a God thing that He brought us together. At a time when I desperately needed a father-figure and direction in my life, He brought me into a wonderful Christian family. His parents took me in like one of their own and gave me lots of advice and guidance. They were one of the first people to love me the way Jesus loves others-unconditionally.
We got married when I was 19. We were both in college full time and working full time. It was getting harder and harder to see each other due to our busy schedules, and we got married on Spring Break. I graduated two years later with a degree in music education and began teaching in the public school system.
” We wanted our daughter to grow up in a church..”
We looked for churches to attend on and off for years, and never found one where we felt at home. It wasn’t until I had my first daughter that we began to search with more urgency. I wanted her to grow up in church and to have what I didn’t as a child- a church foundation. When our daughter was 18 months old, we moved away from our hometown. It was another God thing- my husband found a great job out of the area, we sold our home in 3 days, and we closed on a brand new home in a matter of weeks. It was so fast and everything fell into place.
We found our church within weeks of moving here. I met a friend who invited us to her church. The moment I went through the doors, it felt like home. I was greeted with the biggest hug, and I felt His presence like never before.
We became members of this church within months, and steadily attended. After a few years and having our second daughter, I felt the pull to move back to our hometown. I couldn’t shake it. I felt lonely and was really unhappy. I looked for houses online and jobs for my husband on the internet. I began to make everyone around me miserable, because I was miserable.
“One even I felt compelled to read my bible..”
One evening I felt compelled to take out my Bible. My husband worked long hours as an accountant, and it was in the middle of his busiest season. Instead of turning on the TV after getting my little ones in bed, I took out my Bible for the first time. I started reading it every night and I also began praying. In Philippians 4:11, Paul says that he has learned to be content, no matter the circumstances. That is what I prayed for- without ceasing. If we were meant to stay here- then I needed God to change my heart. I was tired of trying to change my circumstances. It was getting me no where.
Stay tuned next week for the rest of this testimony.