Sunday, November 20, 2011

Only the Beginning- {Guest POst by Mandy Snyder}

Mandy Snyder
writer of

He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. Psalm 40:2

He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Psalm 91:4

12 Stones. The visable, physical gifts God has given us to hold on to during tough times. Things we can look back to when life gets too hard. Events we can turn to when we just need to feel loved again.

I've been doing a lot of looking to the past latley. Turning my stones gently in my hands. Examining past events, looking at how far God has brought me. I don't have a very good relationship with my earthly dad, sometimes that baggage gets carried over to my relationship with my Heavenly Father... But I'm learning, and learning...and learning who I am in the eyes of God. The ONLY oppinion that matters to me anymore... He sees me as beautiful, a treasure, someone who needs love, a gentle touch from The Spirit. His Sweet Girl. Here's part of my story...

I did not grow up in a Christian home but I "found" God my freshman year of Highschool. I was 15 and my best friend at the time had been trying to "win" me to Christ for some time. What I thought of as The Holy Spirit got ahold of me and I was baptized shortly before I turned 16...but for some reason it didn't stick. Maybe because I wanted her friendship and acceptance and love so bad I would have done anything. So I started thinking well I don't feel God maybe this isn't real and thus started the downhill slide. To make an extremely long story short I was smack dab in the middle of an online affair (I say affair because I was married with 2 kids at the time) when God found me. I knew I was lost but I had no idea how to get out, I would cry myself to sleep every night begging for death to come. I felt alone, unloved and unwanted. I was addicted to this online thing. I was getting the attention I desperatley wanted but I was also getting pulled and tugged further and further down into the pit of hell to be quite honest. I couldn't escape and it wasn't like I was happy, I was thinking about death every day, thinking about running away every day. It litterally felt like my heart was getting ripped to shreds and I was pushing every one away that would even think of getting close.

One Sunday I visited my dad's Church, I wanted his love and acceptance so bad, I agreed to go. That's when it happened. I say it because "it" was the turning point of my life. To me it's like God reached down with His Holy Hand, plucked me from the pit I was in and lifted me up into His arms and He's been holding me ever since. A now very very good friend, who just so happens to be my Pastor now received a Word of Wisdom, he had no idea who it was for but God was speaking directly to me...He said "What are you doing here? Haven't I protected you, your entire life? It's time for you to remove everything that is keeping you from Me and follow Me" I sat down right then in my chair and sobbed the rest of the Worship Service into the Sermon. I sobbed a big ugly cry and then I got scared. I wondered was God mad at me, what would happen to me now. I had never had an experience like that, what was I supposed to do. You've heard hindsight is 20-20 and I can so clearly see how He was litterally chasing after me now. He put a woman in my path and we became really good friends, I worked with her and she explained what had happened and that I needed to repent and do exactly what the Word had instructed. So that very day in the front of my work place I repented. I could tell you that it was a huge flash of light with trumpets sounding and violins humming but that wouldn't be the truth. It was quiet and simple just a prayer "Lord I repent of what I've been doing, save me, help me now Father I don't know what to do" and from then on it has been one wild ride after another. It has not been perfect by any means, I sometimes still have nightmares about my past, at the beginning after I repented there was a few times my past tried to come back but God kept it away, I had nothing to do with it, I don't even know when it happened but suddenly I was free and I was protected, completley sheltered under the shadow of my Father's wings. I had such a hunger in me to learn about Him, to learn about the One who rescued me. I cried over everything, I went to a woman's conference where I received another word from God, He said "I'm so sorry for all the things that have happened to you, I'm so glad you're back in my arms, you are my sweet girl". That night He gave me acceptance, He gave me love, He gave me a reason to live and keep moving, He showed me that I was cherished and that I had a purpose. I forgave a lot of people that night and I received freedom from a lot of demons and from Hell's chains that night.

From the Word of Wisdom from my now Pastor, I also received a best friend and a Church Family. My Pastor's wife just so happened to need a friend during that time too and we've been close ever since. She's the one I contacted after I left church that day. I felt the strong sense of urgency that I needed to tell them the Word was for me and thus started a friendship unlike any I've ever had. We don't control each other like I've been so accustomed to in the past. It's a mutual true friendship and from that friendship grew another and another until I have a whole family now. A Church family. One who I can't imagine never knowing, I can't imagine ever being without them. When God says He is the Father to the Fatherless and He will provide a family to those without family He means it because that's exactly what He has done with me. I have a family, and oh yeah my husband and I have a wonderful relationship, now we still argue and we still disagree but we're both selfish sinners. I have a good relationship with my children now, they don't even remember what mommy was like before God. They are 2 and 3 years old.

I found God in June and in December my husband fell off a house roof at his job and broke his back. In between those months God had put such an urgent hunger in me to get close to Him and learn more about Him, looking back He was preparing me, He was drawing me closer and closer to Him so I wouldn't "lose it" so to speak, so I would know He was the one that saved my husband from death, so I would know I wasn't alone and so we would have someone to hold on to during that really really rough time in our lives. I can tell you that my husband is perfectly fine now(it's been a year now), God healed him completley, he is still sore if he does too much sometimes but that's what sin in this world does it distorts things but my husband is doing great and guess what, he even found God through his ordeal so we're now a family following hard after Jesus and striving to live for Him every day. I'm learning that change takes time and we just need to slow down and enjoy the journey. I'm so hard on myself but God is teaching me over and over that He is my Father, and He loves me no matter how many mistakes I make. He's holding us in His arms and we are safe, finally.

This is only the beginning of my story though, I honestly can't wait to see what God does in my life next. I'm clinging tightly to His robes and His love.

Do you feel stuck? Afraid of God because of past mistakes, earthly fathers that have made mistakes? God isn't like that, God wants to hold you in His arms and tell you all about His great great love for you...will you let Him hold you today?

 More about Mandy:

I'm 25 years old, I'm a wife of 6 years and a mother to two beautiful children, my daughter is 3 and my son is 2. I quit my job to follow hard after God and He's been providing for us every step of the way. I'm head of the Food Pantry at my Church and I'm on the Worship Team as well. I'm just a wife and mother that strives to say yes to God every day in every way. Sometimes I fail but I always get back up and keep moving. I used to suffer from anxiety attacks from going out in public but I'm learning every day I'm a child of God and He has given me a voice to be heard. I started my blog Growing with God as a way to document my prayers until one day God told me to share with others and from there He has grown my blog to something more than I ever expected. Thank you so much Melissa for letting me share my testimony with you and your readers today.  


  1. Beautiful testimony of God's amazing love, Mandy!

  2. I love hearing your testimony sweet sister. God has done so much in you since that first visit to our church (I still consider NH my church, smiles). But He still has so much in store for you and I am excited to see where He takes you. Love ya!