I have a confession, I have never shared my testimony before. I know, and to be honest, it’s because I was ashamed of it. Compared to other testimonies I’ve heard, my life just seems so insignificant and boring. I was never addicted to drugs or lived a lavish lifestyle so I had convinced myself that my testimony wasn’t powerful because it wasn’t dramatic enough! But the devil truly is a liar. My changed life (and my changed mind!) is a witness to the power of God. So I want to share my story with you all. And I hope that it helps you get to know me a little better in order to receive the things I mention on the blog.
So I’ll just start by quickly running through my childhood. Now I wasn’t raised in church or anything like that. I would just visit churches whenever I would spend the weekend with my grandparents. Both sides of my family were (and are) professing Christians but their lives, and their hearts were (are still are) so far from God. So I had never heard the gospel, was taught the bible or was even encouraged to pray. My Mom’s side of the family was (and many still are) apart of the Eastern Orthodox church. So anything I might have learned was false doctrine anyway. My dad wasn’t apart of my life. I didn’t (and still don’t) have a relationship with him. And my mother’s grandmother helped her raise me and my younger brothers because she would work all day then kick it in the streets all night. So I had a love hate relationship with my mother when I was younger.
As a teenager, I was very promiscuous. And even though I was molested at twelve years old by my cousin’s father I don’t contribute that to that. If anything, being molested made me timid and insecure. But I had a spirit of lust since I was about 6 or 7 years old. I used to watch porn that came on tv. I didn’t really know what I was watching, I just knew that it made me want to masturbate. And that’s exactly what I would do. But like I said, I never connected being molested to my sexuality because masturbating was pleasurable and being molested wasn’t. I’m sure I got some demons from that perversion too but lust was already there laying dormant. But anyway, I lost my virginity when I was 15 to an older guy who was in his mid 20’s. From then on, I began to sleep around. In my life I’ve slept with about 20 men. I’ve had a few sexually transmitted diseases and eventually ended up in a very scary physically abusive relationship.
I was expelled from high school in the beginning of my sophomore year for beating up a girl (over a boy!) with a keychain full of pad locks. So I never even finished highschool (I got my GED later on in life when I was in my early 20’s). I spent all that extra time out of school smoking weed, drinking alcohol, sleeping around, stealing cars and partying with fake IDs.
I got pregnant for the first time when I was 19, and I didn’t even know who the father of my kids was (I had twins!). I had to get DNA tests done. And ended up in a toxic relationship with the father of my children. We went back and forth doing the babymama drama thing for YEARS until I began (what I thought was!) seeking the Lord. So i’ll just fast forward to that.
In 2011, after I had my daughter. me and my children’s father decided to move to Texas as if that would solve all of our problems. We thought that we just needed to uproot our little family from our hometown (I’m from the suburbs of Chicago) and move the suburbs of Houston, Texas. (Sighs) Let’s just say it didn’t work out. He had dreams of being a rapper and for the first time I was being exposed to southern religion.
I remember being invited to a bible study on Tuesday night and the pastor gave me a bible and that began to change my life. I started reading the old testament where I learned about God’s character and His standards. I was so excited to learn more so eventually I joined the church. But it wasn’t long before my zeal was quenched out. The particular church that I was attending was not preaching holiness or repentance. And when I would address what I was learning from reading the bible concerning sin (or things like how the praise team was taking up the whole service when we should be listening to the message or praying!) I was shut down and considered a novice (or a baby christian). When in reality, I wasn’t even a Christian at all. I never repented of my sins or believed the gospel. The gospel wasn’t even being preached at this church. This place was full of selfish ambition and the pride of life. And that’s what I became all about. I had deceived myself into thinking that I was a born again believer when I was no different then I had always been. Now I was just going to church. I had no works to follow my faith other than lip service. My faith was DEAD. I honestly believe that God allowed me to be apart of that church just so that I could experience the current state of the “church”. Because as I kept praying and reading my bible at home. I had no peace in the relationship with my children’s father or that church. So I cut them both off. And that allowed me to begin to wholeheartedly seek the truth.
Over the next year, I was still a wreck and of the world but I abstained from sexual relations while I was a single woman. Also, I spent all my time working (to provide for me and my children) and fasting (the best to my knowledge!). I would literally BEG God with all my heart to know Him (and for a husband!). Looking back, He responded quickly but in my despair it felt like I was waiting FOREVER!
In April of 2015 I started dating my now husband. He proposed in November of that year, and we got married the following January (2016). My husband was born and raised in Houston, Texas. He grew up in the church and was “preaching” at the church he attended. And I’m using air quotations because at that time, neither of us knew Jesus!
So anyway, after a couple months of searching for a place to worship together, we ended up just reading the bible and praying at home together. As a couple, we were wholeheartedly seeking the Lord together. As time went on, the Lord began to reveal himself (or I should say His ways) to us. We began to learn and to love (aka TO OBEY) His commandments. This is when the sanctification process began. We found ourselves coming to repentance and out from among our old friends and ungodly family members. I even left my job (right after a big promotion!) to stay home full time to care for my husband and children. Life was painfully changing drastically as we were dying to ourselves in order to be born again of the spirit. And since we still hadn’t found a place to fellowship, my husband just baptized me in the pool of our apartment complex.
Shortly after my water baptism, I began to experience a lot of demonic activity. I began having frequent dreams and visions. And I started involuntarily astral projecting. It got to the point where demons would literally manifest themselves to me in broad daylight. This hindered my walk for about a year because I was TERRIFIED. I slept (if I even slept at all) with the lights on EVERY single night. It was tormenting. I was oppressed by fear, depression and anxiety. My faith was completely shaken. I found myself questioning the bible (well the “trinity” and the once saved always saved doctrines— which AREN’T even in the bible!) as I began to fear these beings more than I feared God. At that time I also became mesmerized by the occult as I educated myself on satanism and witchcraft. At first I was feeling all enlightened and superior then the demonic attacks got even worst.
Thank God for my husband because I was on the verge of insanity. And all along, deep down inside I just truly wanted to know and to worship God. That was the darkest point of my life. I remember calling (well yelling) out to God in desperation asking Him to just tell me the truth and who He was. I told Him that if He didn’t manifest himself to me than I was going to give up on this whole Christian thing.. And I’ll never forget. Jesus himself responded to me. He said (very calmly, which was embarrassing in the midst of my disrespectful and dramatic outburst.), “All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.” (Matthew 11:27)
Jesus told me that he was the way to the Father. Which was so profound because all this time I had thought that he was God! Jesus is the son of God just like he, the bible and God Himself says is. Finally, the truth began to set me free. I realized that mainstream Christianity was full of false doctrines and that the bible didn’t contradict itself! Instantly I was delivered from some (not all but some) demons that were hindering me. I couldn’t believe (well obviously I did believe!) that I had just had an encounter with (and revelation of) the living Christ! And from that moment on I began to have a REAL relationship with him.
About a year later, I was sitting in my car with the windows down reading Hebrews and praying to the Father when suddenly something like the breeze (and maybe it was the breeze) compelled me to start praying in what sounded like Spanish. So I jumped out of the car (praising God in another language) and ran into the house because I didn’t know what was going to happen. Now I know that I was being filled with the holy ghost. I was instantly delivered that day from more demons and received power to overcome sin and worldliness. Today, I am still working out my salvation with fear and trembling, and I am compelled to preach the true gospel of Jesus Christ (which is to repent of your sins because the kingdom of God is at hand!). God is so faithful to save, and to reveal himself to those who seek Him with all their heart. And Jesus is everything♥ He loves us SO much. He is truly all that he says he is. With my life, I can testify. So if you have any questions or need prayer please let me know because time is running out. The end of time is here! If you’ve read any of my blogs, I understand that you may have taken my tough love (and hard truths!) to be self righteous or arrogance. But I created this blog out of love for women who are also truly seeking the Lord. You just read my story. I am nothing but a witness to the truth and to the power of God. So please, consider the things you read here on this blog. And more importantly, read your bible and follow the commandments of Jesus Christ. God bless you for your time.
Your sister, Brandi Collins
♥♥ By the way, I’m 30 years old if anyone is wondering 🙂 Also, please feel free to share your own testimony with us in the comments!