Nicole Linam's Testimony
There was a moment in time I didn't want to keep going… I didn't see a purpose anymore. It was the darkest moment of my life and I never would have imagined getting to that point. The bottle of pills beside my bed seemed the best and cleanest way to go through with ending my life. I sat down with overwhelming emotions, tears streaming down my face to write a suicide note… explaining how much I loved my family and that they were not at fault for the decision I was about to make.
Let us take a step back… to see how and what got me to this point.
I grew up with a wonderful family who loved me, cared for me and made sure I was attending church once if not two or three times a week. I knew all about Jesus, I truly believed that He died for me and I claimed the title of a Christian. It wasn't a perfect family, but what family is? My parents had a tight rein on me and everything needed passed through them before I was able to go anywhere even down to researching a movie for language/sexual scenes/etc. before I could go (now as I am older with a family of my own I see this as being something I am proud to see my parents did through their parenting in order to protect me).
As I got older and especially into those teen years the crowd around me tended to have more influence on me than I even realized. I had 'wanting a relationship' as an idol far above my relationship with God, this was my biggest sin desire and when looking for that relationship it was not focused on one who honored myself or God. Without getting too graphic, a bad first relationship with sexual sin turned into side 'relationships' of promiscuous photos being shared. Instead of pursuing my Creator, I pursued boys who were far from pursuing me intentionally and appropriately. I was so far from God without even knowing it, had a wonderful life but put so much before God (Hosea 2:8). Years down the road telling my testimony, I had a woman speak to me further saying "you could have easily been a trafficking victim with the way you were living" and she mentioned how much of a blessing my parents' strict rules actually helped that to not come true. She was so right, boundaries were often broken, I lived how I saw the world and those around me living… without any thought of consequence.
After graduation I enrolled in college and commuted from my parents’ house for one semester before moving out on my own. The relationship I had at the time turned unhealthy and I had distanced myself from my faith, my family and friends. I had made this idol so large in my life that nothing else mattered and when that relationship was having problems I felt I had nothing else left. I didn’t realize how much of an idol I had created, until it got to this point.
I know that God had an angel there that night, even though I didn't realize it at the time, I did not take it any further than I had in my intro paragraph. I went to work the next day and started making work number one. That slight transition away from my idol started to steer me in the right direction.
Later that year I was invited by my parents to Point Fest, a Christian music festival held at Cedar Point. The band For King and Country had a message for girls/women - which you are worth so much more than how others treat you, it was at the height of their priceless movement. It was this moment I saw my true worth in Christ, I was worth more than gaining a boys attention, worth more than being cheated on, worth more because I have a Creator who loves me. It hit me hard, knowing that I was worthy of being truly loved. Casting Crowns was the next band up and their song 'Just Be Held' was when I made the decision to not do life on my own anymore, my life was now in God’s hands. Having my brokenness shown, the realization of worth - what God saw, then I felt God’s comfort and warmth wrap around me during this song, truly the Holy Spirit working when my life transformed.
Hold it all together
Everybody needs you strong
But life hits you out of nowhere
And barely leaves you holding on
And when you're tired of fighting
Chained by your control
There's freedom in surrender
Lay it down and let it go
So when you're on your knees
and answers seem so far away
You're not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world's not falling apart, it's falling into place
I'm on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held - Casting Crowns
A couple months after this revelation I met my now husband (without looking or pursuing this time) we met at a young adult group and both had given our lives to Christ that previous summer. I remember being very up front with him about my past, not sure how he would react… but I wanted to be transparent, I knew this was different than any other relationship. He easily forgave what I had done in my past and this was a much healthier relationship - with keeping God at the center. God truly knows your heart's desire once you give Him your attention and your idol(s), GOD IS SO SO GOOD! I was reading recently in Hosea and recognized my previous life as that promiscuous young woman. I teared up with gratefulness that my husband was so ready to forgive, it lined up so similarly to Hosea and his wife. I was so unfaithful to God and to my future spouse, and so much of me realized how unworthy I was of that forgiveness. But there was/is good news from this - we are sinners offered overwhelming grace!
Lord I pray that as I continue on this journey of living under your guidance, that you help me to share and pass this down to the next generation (especially to my two wonderful daughters) of the love and lesson(s) that you have shown me (Joel 1:2-3). You are such a good good God, I thank you for all you are doing and continue to do in and through me. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
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