Watson, Audra

I grew up in a Christian home and I knew “about” God, but I didn’t know God.

In 2007, my grandmother, my best friend, passed away as a result of breast cancer. I was heartbroken. During that time I had a dream: my grandmother was telling me that she was healed and happy, praising God in heaven.

This dream revealed to me that everything I knew in my mind, I did not know in my heart.

When I realized that my grandmother was no longer alive, I fell to the floor and poured my heart out to God. That is when I truly accepted Christ into my life.

It has taken years for me to actually grow in my understanding of who God is and what He has for my life. Following my grandmother’s death, I just thought that because I had accepted Him I was guaranteed to go to heaven and all I had to do was follow the rules and I would be okay.

Throughout high school I struggled to find my identity in Christ, which led to depression and suicidal thoughts. I realize now that because I had not grown in my walk with the Lord,  I could not grasp what “my identity in Christ” meant.

Finally in 2012, two of my friends died in a tragic car accident, and a few weeks later my other grandmother passed away unexpectedly. I cried for the first time in years.

God used these events to soften my heart in a way that I had never experienced before. And Ezekiel 36:26 became real to me:  “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”

When I started college, I was excited to start pursuing the plans that God had for my life.  I started doing ministry, but at the same time, I connected with some nonbelievers who quickly became friends. I slowly began drifting away from God and flirting with ungodly things.

During my junior year,  one of these “friends” raped me and took my virginity. I slipped into a dark depression. Rumors started to spread, but I chose to stay silent out of fear. I began drinking, smoking marijuana, and partying. I craved numbness. A few weeks later while at a party, I was sexually assaulted by another “friend,” and almost gang raped.

I fell further.  I was devastated, used, and abused. I hated myself. I hated my body, I hated God for allowing these things to happen to me. I started smoking more and fought to stay numb longer.

Meanwhile, my mother was praying for me and talking to me daily. Her prayers saved my life.

In August of 2015, I started going to a new church, and while I was there God began revealing Himself to me in new ways.  I joined a Bible study and that group of people showed me what church is supposed to look like.  I craved more of it.

At this time God gave me writing to allow me a way of talking to Him. It was beautiful.  During services at church, I would write.  God moved and changed me slowly.

Because I  was still hanging out with some of the same people who were negative influences on me, I was being pulled in two very different directions. One night in October 2015, I gave in to temptation and  peer pressure. I got drunk and . . . I got pregnant, although I didn’t know it yet.

In November 2015, I suspected that I was pregnant, and I asked a friend if she could drive me to the store to get a pregnancy test. She couldn’t take me until after Bible study that night. So I joined her at the Bible study.  The whole time I listened and wrote. I asked God that if I was pregnant to give me a peace about it. A few minutes later a friend at the Bible study read out loud,  Philippians 4:6-7.

 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

At that moment I was sure of my pregnancy, but the test the next morning confirmed it. A few days later, without knowing that I was pregnant,  my roommate shared a quote with me:  “Prayer is bridge between panic and peace.”

God continued to move throughout my pregnancy, drawing me closer to Himself and renewing my heart, mind and soul. I found a relationship with God that I had never expected to find.

He used my church family to help push me to Him.  When I told my Bible study group that I was pregnant, they said that they would walk beside me. My worship pastor then told me, that if I, in the situation that I was in, was willing and able to stand on the stage and worship the Lord, then that’s where I needed to be.

By the time I gave birth, relationships were mended, change was visible, depression was gone, confidence was restored, and my passion for ministry was renewed.

I moved back home to work alongside my parents in the first ever pro-life organization in the Bahamas. God allowed me to share my story and help change people’s lives.

I am now engaged to marry the most amazing man that I have ever met. God is moving me to Kansas City to broaden my reach and allow my testimony of His faithfulness to spread further.

I can see more clearly now what Jeremiah 29:11 means.

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.”

Everything in my life, even the bad things, have been used or allowed to give me a future and a hope, one that glorifies Him.

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