Claire N. Streb: My Testimony - "Is GOD real?"

I would like to share the most important experience of my life with you. I am not going to discuss or try to prove GOD's existence here; if you want to do that, please email me so we can take it off-line. I am sharing this with you because it will help you understand where I'm coming from. I testify that this is the truth; that's what testimony means. If you already believe in GOD, this will substantiate your faith. If you do not believe or aren't quite sure, this should at least cause you to consider your own beliefs, to question and seek the truth.
Until the age of ten, I attended a local church with my family. I loved the people there, and I loved Jesus with all my heart. But, one Sunday, out of rebelliousness and for the shock-value, I told my teacher I didn't pray. She was horrified! She didn't try to help me. Soon thereafter, we moved away and started visiting many churches, none of which I felt comfortable in. I was forced to go to church until the age of sixteen. I got into drugs and sex and dabbled in the occult. I did bad things and did not care much about anyone else except myself. I certainly did not believe in God or Jesus any longer.
When I had my first child, I was just awed by the miracle. I began to suspect that maybe God was real. I read a convincing book about George Anderson, who can communicate with people in the afterlife, and I started considering God's existence again. (I later learned that we are not supposed to associate with spiritists, so I am glad it drove me to God, and not some new age guru cult.) Anyway, I got to the point that I saw the theory of evolution being just plain silly, and when the big bang theory came out (that the universe DID have a beginning), I could no longer deny God. I still ignored him for the most part, though.
In 1992, my husband told me he wanted a divorce. I was devestated. I cried day and night, whenever I could hide from the children. I'd go down into the fruit cellar to hide and cry and pray. I cried so hard I could not see. My eyes swelled shut. I could not breathe. I had to say the Lord's prayer over a hundred times that weekend. With my eyes clenched tight, in the cold, dark room, a warmth came over me. I stopped crying. I wasn't sure what was happening. I heard a male voice talk softly in my ear, "Everything's going to be all right." I was too scared to open my eyes, but then I was filled with such peace that I had never known. I opened my eyes, but it was too late ... just in time to see a golden light leaving the window. Was it an angel? Was it Jesus Himself? (No, I wouldn't dream of being that important.) For a few moments, I just sat there dumbfounded. Then, for a split second, I thought I might be crazy. So, I peeked out of the door to make sure no one was there, and there wasn't. It really happened! I was so surprised and so thankful! I went upstairs and my husband noticed my serenity. He said, "What's going on? You seem different." I shrugged my shoulders and said, "Everything's going to be all right."
I wish I could say I changed completely overnight, but I can't. My fundamental belief system did change, however. I began to see God's hand in everything. I began to tap into His positive force. I stumbled many times and did some things I am not proud of.
I started attending a church, but I felt too stifled there. I stopped attending and started studying Revelation, in depth. For once it didn't scare me -- it liberated me! I was blessed and was going to heaven!
What improvements have been made in my life?
  • simplified my life: quitting a high-paying manager position to a job with less stress and spend a lot more time with my children. (I used to work no less than 60 hours a week. Now it's typically 40.)
  • curbed lying: to a bear minimum. (I used to lie a lot to impress people or to not hurt their feelings.)
  • curbed swearing: I used to swear a lot.
  • curbed listening to bad music
  • curbed anger
  • learned the true meaning of forgiveness
  • good relationship with my parents
  • read the Bible: over and over, learning something new every time, and it all makes sense now.
  • true friendships
  • attending a church: that is filled with loving, Bible-knowing people.
  • pray: throughout the day, with formal prayer before my feet touch the floor in the morning and after they leave the floor at night.
  • quit smoking
  • am chaste
  • started eating better and caring about my health
  • increased "intuition"
Did I do all this? No, God did. It is hard for me to get non-believers to grasp the reality of this and how it has changed me. It is hard for people who once knew me, even one short year ago, to see what I'm doing now. By God's grace, I am alive once again. I hope that my experience helps others to come to know the Lord.

(c) Copyright 1999 Claire N. Streb. All Rights Reserved.