Saturday, November 20, 2010

11/20/10 - My Testimony (Part 2)

For the few years after we left the church I grew up in, we jumped around trying to figure out and process the events that lead up to our ex-communication.

We home churched, we went to a very liberal church, we went to a bible church, we got to know other home school families, and we spent time digging deeper into God's Word.

Throughout this time, I do believe I was growing in my walk and relationship with God.

My first two years of college I went to a local community college and lived at home. I was involved in Student Senate, but wasn't involved in any sort of bible fellowship with other college students.

Because of my involvement in student government I met a guy, Tom (not his real name). Tom was from the town where I was moving and we became friends. Tom was good looking, nice, friendly, and a bit of a partier. When I finally moved to the University of Illinois I had become close to Tom and his family.

I in no way blame him for any of my poor choices those first 10 months of college, but I put full blame on myself and my silly need for peer approval. I wanted a relationship with him, so I went where he went and did what he did. (Oh ladies it's so not worth compromising anything to gain that peer approval.)

Those first 10 month of college I did party, drink and on two occasions tried recreational drugs...oh this is so embarrassing to write, how I want to delete this! But I can't delete my life...or this season of my life.

Throughout this time I continued to go to church, but I was not reading God's Word and had no growth in my spiritual life. I was living two different lives: party girl and church girl! Those two do not go hand in hand...but I tried!

God did spare me though. Oh I praise Him for His grace in my life. I remained physically pure even though I had placed myself in situations that could have been very dangerous. Actually although Tom and I had talked about having a relationship at some point in the far future, we never even kissed. We actually never became an official couple, but stayed in the stage of friends through out that year. (I am still friends with Tom and love him in a very deep brotherly love way!)

In the summer of 1995 God was about to ask me a very important question! His question radical altered my life!

To be continued on Monday....


MassielZ said...

Heather thank you for sharing this. As a young christian I used to struggle with that feeling, I didn't want people to know the bad things I had done. But then I understood that those things were only a GREAT testimony of God's amazing grace, it brings glory to His wonderful name, power and love!! Only the Lord is might to save!

abeautifulordinary said...

Dear Mrs. Patenaude,
I've read your book several times over, and it continues to be a blessing to me and a challenge to take the high road of emotional purity. Thank you so much for sharing these posts! Your blog is also an encouragement, especially as it reminds me that I'm not alone. I think one of the hardest things there is, for either singles, or for the married people I've talked to, is the feeling of discontent, that things are better on "the other side of the fence." I noticed this thinking creeping into my own life in different subtle ways and I decided to post this challenge. For the next week, I'm coming up with a list of ten things I'm thankful for that day. So far I've found that it's been so helpful to get my perspective back to where it should be... and I'm challenging you to do the same on your blog and spread the word to others! :)
Once again thank you so much for your book and for your testimony. It's such a blessing to me.
Under the Mercy,

Heather "Paulsen" Patenaude said...

Thank you both for your comments!

@ abeautifulordinary being thankful is such a key to contentment! What a neat thing you're doing on your blog! I will look for a time to post in the weeks to come!

Kainos said...

Thank you for sharing. Transperancy can be difficult I know, BUT I know that God can and WILL use it for His glory.

I believe someone whether they comment or not will be touched by your sharing of your testimony!

God bess you Heather!!!

Evelyn said...

Thank you dear sister!
I did something that is not fare to my brothers and sisters, Church, because we are all part of one body, so I decided to talk to head of our church.
Thank you for sharing this,
God bless