My Testimony Pt. 2

{You can catch up on Part 1 HERE}

So, real quick- a little recap of Part 1:

I was raised in the Catholic Church.

Baptized as a baby.

Received Jesus into my life at 15.

Had a few ups and downs as my passion kinda cooled in high school.

Got fired up again when I went to college.

And then I lost it...

That, my dear friends, is where this journey picks up again.

On The Way Down

During my freshman year at USD, I lost my best friend to drunk driving.

He was back home, I was at school.  He drove home drunk from a party, hit the guardrail about 2 minutes away from his house, and died at the scene.  

My heart was broken.

I felt so guilty.  

I'm usually the one driving him around.  I'm the designated driver. 

And I wasn't there.  I wasn't there for him and he died.

I was angry with God. I didn't understand how He could let something like this happen? Why didn't He just save my friend and give him a second chance?

Why him?

I distanced myself from God.

I started drinking again.  

I stopped attending worship services on campus.

I let my relationships with fellow believers die. 

I became selfish.  I fought with my mom all the time.  

Everything just kept spiraling down. 

I always say that college was one of the best times of my life.  And it was. I met a lot of great people and made some wonderful, happy memories.

But it was also the darkest.

One of my roommates asked me about my relationship with God.

I told her that God and I were like really good friends that lost the connection to one another.  I imagined Him as a friend that I just don't talk to anymore.

She asked if my life was really better without God in it.

And my honest response?

It's not any worse.

Can we just stop here for a minute?

I honestly felt that without God in my life, my life had not changed and it fact, it didn't get worse.

I had distanced myself so far from Him, that I had forgotten the warmth and comfort that I had felt when I first accepted His salvation and grace.

Picking Myself Up Again

For the rest of my college career I kept God at arms' length.

After graduation, I moved back to Hawaii. I spent a few months on Maui before starting my full time job on O'ahu.

For some reason, I felt that was a good time to start going back to church.  I would pick up my cousin and we'd drive 45 minutes to church.  I started worshiping again and began to create relationships with other members of the church.

It was awkward.

It was like meeting a friend whom you had a fight with but not even acknowledging the disagreement.  Just going on like nothing happened.

But it was just what I needed.  I knew that I needed to get right with God, no matter how awkward I felt.

After moving to O'ahu, my husband (boyfriend at the time) and I knew we had to get back into a relationship with God.  We eventually found a home church that we looked forward to attending every Sunday.

Very very slowly, our relationship started to rebuild.

And even in that rebuilding period, there were months that went by without us attending a church service or even reading the Bible.

My passion for a relationship with Jesus Christ began to falter again.

Noticing a pattern here?

Up and down, down and up I go in my walk with the Lord.

It was only recently (this year, in fact) that my husband and I decided it's time to focus on our faith.

We set goals: 1) to join a ministry and 2) join a small group.

As of today, my husband is part of a men's group and plays music (the ukulele) for their worship band.  He helps set up for Sunday services in the morning.

I'm completing an application to work in our children's ministry.

Unfortunately, our church is a newer (and thus smaller) organization and we don't have a women's ministry in place (yet).

But I'm growing in my faith and we've surrounded ourselves with other believers and mature Christians.

It took a long time. 

It took 5 years to get from that point in college to where I am today.

But God has been so patient with me.

I cannot even fathom how much He loves me.

In spite of my rebellion, my sinning, my willingness to push Him away and keep Him at a distance.

He still welcomes me back into His arms.

Redemption is Near

My dear friends- that is what it's all about.

Your past? He can redeem it.

Have you pushed Him away?  He'll draw near again, if you ask Him to. 

Acknowledging that we need Him, we can't do this on our own, and as hard as we try we will always fall short.

He's there.

He's waiting.

He is patient and faithful and wants a relationship with you.

All He wants from you is to receive it.

You don't need to "get right" before you welcome Jesus in your life.

He does not require us to be blameless.

All He requires is a heart open to His grace, love, and salvation.

{If you need someone to talk to about your faith, pray with, or have questions about accepting Jesus into your life, please email me at islestyleliving@gmail.com or comment below}


  1. I too have had struggles with my faith where I was angry at God for something terrible that happened to me. But then I quickly have to remind myself of what He has done done for me. We are so blessed and I am humbled at His love for me when so often I don't deserve it!

  2. oh vanessa your testimony was so neat to read! so excited for you guys as you dive deeper into experiencing Jesus. xo!

  3. This is a beautiful and meaningful post. Thank you for sharing it with me and all of us. I can't wait to hear more.


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