Latest Testimonies
Joydel
When your mother goes against the doctor’s advice to abort you because you could cost her her life, but she chooses to have you anyway, and you both survive, you can assume that you’re on this earth for a specific reason. I can’t say I’ve yet found that specific purpose, but I can definitely say that over the years, I’ve met the man behind the purpose. I grew up in an Adventist household and was surrounded by Biblical teachings during my childhood and teenage years. But, like most generational Adventists, there comes a time when one has to decide if he/she believes because they were taught to believe or through personal experience with Jesus.

Decision time came for me during college. I was living in an apartment with my two sisters at the time. We hadn’t been getting into anything unsavory, we attended church regularly, even continued weekly family devotions. But, why did we do all of that? Why did I do all of it?

One day I decided that church sermons and Sabbath lunch conversations could no longer be my main sources of Biblical knowledge. I needed to start studying for myself. I needed to have a better answer to my non-Adventist friends about certain topics besides, “for religious reasons.” So, I started off small — reading my Sabbath School quarterly every day. I felt good about myself.

I was studying to show myself approved. Heaven, here I come! Or, so I thought. I’d never had many notable struggles growing up. My grades were always good.

I had a scholarship for college. I was a lady. Life was normal. Then my senior year of college came and for the first time in my life I didn’t know what was going to happen next. Where was I going to live?

Where was I going to work? Graduation came and I still didn’t have any answers. Finally, I got a job at the eleventh hour. Not, the job, just a job. That job where you’re over-qualified, under-paid and over-worked.

My friends were living the dream and I was stuck, settling.  I was miserable. Why was this happening? I did most things right. Shouldn’t that count for something?

For blessings? Cue Jesus. It wasn’t warm and fuzzy with butterflies at first. I tried to force Him to give me what I wanted the way I used to go on hunger strikes when my mom didn’t cook my favorite meal and then she’d give in and allow me to have a favorable alternative because I was too skinny to skip a meal. Surely, if Jesus saw me suffering, He’d do the same thing.

I didn’t know who I was up against. I’d met Him, but I still didn’t know Him yet. When pity didn’t work, I tried bribery. If you…then I’ll…. That didn’t work.

On to guilt. Study + good works = blessings. That was in the QJV (Queen Joydel Version). “Look at me. I’m reading and quoting Auntie Ellen.

Look at me. I’m doing missionary work. Look at me. I pay tithe AND offering. Regularly. Even when I’m only making peanuts.”

Not only did that guilting not work, it back-fired on me. The more I began to study, the more I got to know Him and the more I got to know Him, the more I saw how all things were working together for my good. The more I saw that, the more I felt ashamed for the pitying, the bullying, and the guilting. We’re cool now. There are definitely still some, “Bruh”, “what are you even talking about?!” and “can you get your daddy, please” moments from me and some “...but did you die though” moments from Him.

I’m still a hot mess and there are some recurring themes from lessons He’s tried to teach me, but I’ve failed to learn. But, He’s my people because in my deepest, darkest moments He never lets me give up. He never takes away hope, even when I try to throw it away just to justify giving up. He tells me the truth. He doesn’t take excuses. And when I’m on my last, He gives me peace.

That’s the Holy Spirit. He’s pretty cool too. Oh, and I found Patmos when I was in college too. I really like it — like used to drive-an-hour-from Daytona Beach-in-a-packed-car-with-no-air-conditioning-with-my-sisters-and-friends like it.”

Eloise
There is something special about Patmos. I remember the strength I got within its walls after the death of my husband. The first person coming to my home after his death, was our Pastor. Those Wednesday night prayer meetings. I would travel 90 minutes after working 10 hrs for that fellowship.

That mid week blessing. If there were six members at prayer meeting, the singing sounded like a choir. The simple testimonies. Just thanking God for hearing the birds sing by our departed Dear Brother. The community outreach and involvement.

Just listening to the neighbors testimony of how they were helped by services from the church. How often I had to really acknowledge how Blessed I was, when I heard the testimonies. The high I felt just walking through the doors. The melodious singing. The words in the songs were sermons in their own rights.

The fellowship with my kind Brothers, Sisters, Nieces and Nephews. My Church Family checking on me during the week and my Pastor, the first person I would recognize after surgery in the recovery room. The Elders offering to help when needed. The intercessory prayers. How we gathered around each other, touching and praying for miracles.

How we gave thanks giving for answered prayers. This is the place I would rather be. I am looking forward to continued excellence and Spiritual Experiences. May God continue to BLESS THE MEMBERS OF PATMOS CHAPEL.

Erin
Often times we get so caught up in the hustle of life, that we don't realize we are slowly allowing life to guide us and not God.

I wanted to be the first in my family to graduate from college and begin a successful career. I've always felt God has shown me favor, simply because I was a 7 (SDA). I worked hard in school and at my job. I worked so hard that I quickly received promotion after promotion. This had always been commonplace for me. I was no stranger to favor. I knew I had it. I was attempting to reach new heights that no one else in my family had ever reached. I was clearly focused and on a path to make a change.

Only, I didn't realize that the changes I was making were not the changes God designed or desired for me. See, I was an arrogant 7. I mismanaged God's favor. I worked so hard at a job that was not enhancing my educational endeavors, and soon my job began to overshadow school. I worked so much overtime because it was easy money, and it showed my superiors that I was a team player and worthy of their praise. I was all about the hustle.

I began skipping classes to work overtime...seeking "their" praise. I worked so hard that I began to get so stressed out from all of the pressure and unrealistic deadlines that "I" had created for myself. I could not count on any of my superiors to understand. They would think I was weak. School was a distant relic. I no longer attended classes, and I did not care. I wasn't eating or sleeping, just working. I was living the good life. I was going to be successful! I was so confused.

In the midst of my pinnacle journey, I forgot the promise God gave to me in Jeremiah 29:11. He said "For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." I wasn't following God's plans; I had created my own stressful, unhealthy path.

I hit rock bottom faster than all of the years it had taken me to ascend step-by-step to the pinnacle of success. My body, literally, could not function properly. Work was a mess, school was a mess, and I was certainly not achieving my initial goal of changing my family's history. I had, pretty much, dropped out of school. This was not what God had promised me. I was prospering, but it was hurting me. My future looked dim.

One day, as I was sitting at my desk-now a supervisor, I began to pray and call on Jesus's name. I asked him for his plan-his will. Within a matter of seconds, I knew what I needed to do. I got up and walked out, never to return to that place that took so much out of me and derailed my true path to success. God had spoken, and I was finally listening.

Three degrees later, I look back on that time of confusion and shake my head. My current success could have come so much sooner. If only I had consulted God and not been arrogant in my receipt of favor. All of the time I lost was a result of my own will taking over God's will.

We lose so much time when we don't stay in communication with God, the Team Captain...the only one who needs to know that I'm a team player, and He alone is worthy of my praise—not the other way around "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

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