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My Testimony, My Salvation - Carmina Eddowes

Where do I begin?  Filled with emotion and excitement, I wonder why I haven’t done it before. It’s been 4 years and I am now challenged to put it in writing of how and when I came to meet my Creator.

 

As confusing as it might be, I have lost count how many times I have begun this piece of writing.  The story remains the same,but with more insight.  It is no simple task, though.  I don’t want to undermine its severity and at the same time my intention is not to sound like a victim. Which is it?   Several minutes have passed since I wrote. I remain without an answer. 

 

There were no victims, but certainly a lot of pain and innocent parties deeply hurt in the process.  No casualties but dreams destroyed.  No evidence of physical damage but a long trail of recovery and restoration.

 

It will be four years to the day on July 23 that my life took a sudden turn. It wasn’t just my life that took that agonizing turn. That would sound selfish. The lives of my then four year old twins were also sucked into that deadly and brutal tornado.  Flashbacks come to mind… I do remember. It was a horrible, dark and an asphyxiating time. A disaster hit us and no hope for life was left. I was lifeless with a pulse. I recall that breathing was an instinct yet I gasped for air.  I was to lead those two little ones into normalcy, I just did not know how.

 

By now I felt crippled. I did not know how to walk much less run, skip or jump. Deadly arrows were aimed at my heart and I did not have the skills or the swiftness to avoid them. I wasn’t equipped to do so. I was weakened to the core.

 

It all started when my marriage begun to face difficulties.  I, in my heart, knew that marriages did struggle from time to time. I did not fear when I faced those struggles.  I kept going. I loved being his wife. I loved being a mother. I loved being committed and loved being married. I did not think about getting married until I met my husband. He was very sweet, kind and determined and I loved those qualities about him. But things changed, as in so many marriages. Careers took off; motherhood became a new, scary but exciting identity for me. What followed after that was a mortgage payment, long, negotiating talks between college funds and a retirement plan all confounded and discussed over conversations at the dinner table. Everything, seemingly, was going as planned.  But temptation was lurking around the neighborhood.  It saw an open door and before I knew it, my husband took the evil bait and was swallowed up by a deep black hole. He left his home, his wife and his two beautiful kids. I stood naked, I felt. My entire identity was gone!  No where to turn. Or should I say that I turned and turned looking for a way out and I couldn’t find one. My surroundings were dark, frightening and empty. Not a sound was heard yet I was screaming for help. My heart kept saying, “No, not us. Not us. We can not be another statistic.” But he left. Not a word. Not a note. Just left.

 

One week went by. On the seventh day of my never ending, grueling and slow death, the phone rang.  It was a hot Saturday afternoon. Darkness filled my bedroom. I was faced down on my king size mattress. The drapes were drawn. I was trying to not hear my pain; I did not want to think. I wanted my brain to stop all that gibberish. I couldn’t make any sense of it. The unanswered questions were like daggers going through my chest.  I wanted to sleep so badly. I couldn’t. I wanted to disappear into the mattress and become lifeless. I did not know how to.  It rang once again.  I answered faintly. A friendly voice was on the other side. Good news she had.  When it came for me to answer the dreaded question: “So, how are you doing?” All I could say was, “He left.” Silence on the other end for a few uncomfortable seconds. God took over from there. I’m sure He had from earlier but this is when my oxygen tank began to release clean, hopeful air and I was willing to breath it in. “Do you want to go to church tomorrow?” My good friend asked. At this point, I would have taken anything to revive me. “Yes,” I answered.

 

I knew of God and I had been going to St. James Church in Redondo Beach for about seven years religiously on Sunday mornings. Seven years. Wow. I never met anyone there throughout that time. Well, I can’t get off the subject now. My friend had asked me to pick her up from her apartment in North Redondo that Sunday morning. I did. We started driving towards my church. She reassured me that we weren’t going to St. James. I did not believe her. We almost parked in the parking lot of St. James. But that was not the church she was talking about. The church she wanted me to go to was one tenth the size of my BIG Catholic church and it was immediately across the street from the parking lot of St. James!  It read on the sign: Kings Harbor Church.

 

If you ask me what that message was about that day, I have no idea. All I remember was that when the young assistant pastor finished speaking, he asked people to come up forward to I guess receive Christ, ask for help, or healing. I don’t remember. I also don’t remember getting off my seat, much less walking to the front of the room with a bunch of strangers. I do remember being on my knees sobbing like I had never sobbed before. Till this day I haven’t cried like that.  Hands of a stranger were on my shoulders as I wept.  Warm, caring, tender hands, I do remember vividly. Whose hands were they? My tears ran and ran down my face. My chest was heavy and yet breathing once again. Someone prayed over me as I sobbed. Later I understood that Jesus knew my pain. He was living the pain with me. He knew what I needed so I wouldn’t go mad. As I was on my knees, I clearly remember asking in my own description of a screaming silence; for peace and strength. Peace and strength, over and over again. I stood up. I smiled timidly and was approached by my good friend that took me to Kings Harbor. Immediately the family of God welcomed me in. I started falling in love once again, this time not with another man, but with my Savior.  He rescued me. I did not drown and I did not float in mid air wondering about something that I had no control over. I did continue to struggle but my every move was now orchestrated by The One who loves me and my kids. I was unaware that He could be so merciful, wonderful, beautiful, faithful, fulfilling, rewarding, truthful, and trusting at the beginning of this new relationship. As the years have passed, He has proven to be every woman’s desire. He is more than I could have ever imagined Him to be. He continues to bless us through His Word. Now when I get on my knees, I ask Him to use me for His purpose and not mine. I live for Him. I am His servant and I pray that His will continue to be done in my life.

 

I don’t think that the divorce was a blessing for me and my two kids; on the contrary, we carry the scars. They are noticeable. If I touch them the sensation is still there. I am not ashamed though and I am not longer crippled. I skip, run and sing praises to Him. Joy lives in me even under trials and tribulations. Things got worse but I began to live Life.

 

My heart continues to grieve over the loss of having an intact family but I am stronger and I stand on a Rock. What the devil meant for destruction, God used it for His purpose. I will forever be thanking my Lord and Savior for having mercy on me on that Sunday morning.

 

Seeds continue to be planted.  The Fruit of the Spirit is evident as submission and obedience take prevalence in my life which belongs to Him.

Other Links

Breakwater | Official Passion Site | Jean Keaton  Healing Force  | Great Site In Australia

 

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