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*Contributors of faith stories own the rights to their own stories. Introductions to contributors’ stories added by Light In a Dark World are copyrighted under this website.*

Faith Songs: Healing Mind, Body & Spirit

Due to copyright restrictions, Soundcloud plays only a short sampling of songs by GO+ artists for non-paid subscribers. Therefore, I have added cover versions of some original GO+ artists' songs here.  These can be listened to in their entirety from my playlist. Here is a list of some my favorite Contemporary Christian artists. 

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YOU ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD - MATTHEW 5:14

Your breakthrough will embolden another.

Your pain is someone’s purpose.

Your tragedy is someone’s teacher.

Your suffering is someone’s saving grace.

 

SHARE IT.

 

OUR MISSION:

Obedience to Jesus’ Great Commission has never been easier than today, thanks to our digital connectivity. 

 

[Read why speaking out about your faith is now more important than ever]

 

This blog is dedicated to sharing faith stories that comfort, uplift, and inspire others to place their faith in the Great Physician, Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace named Jesus Christ. His name is above all names! We can literally reach the ends of the earth with this good news from the comfort of our own living room.  We can start a blog, add our testimony to the signature line of our emails, or pin it to our social media accounts. We can share our faith without awkwardness or without even having to break the ice.

Right now, someone (perhaps you) is turning to the Internet, "Googling" a problem, hardship or circumstance...searching for advice or answers. I am honored to share these stories of coming to faith in Jesus Christ. My hope for Light in a Dark World is to recycle pain, tests, and trials into purpose and to transform the life of a reader with that same struggle. Our testimonies contain the saving power of God. It's amazing, praise God!

Someone who is going through the hardship you have come out of is searching online, right now, for the hope you have already received. 

Your faith story is unique to your personal faith journey.

 

No two stories are alike. We are called to be the light shining in stark contrast to this ever-darkening world. Revelation 12:11 says, we are saved by the blood of the Lamb (Jesus) and by the words of our testimony.

Did you hit bottom, lose all that you held dear, and in your humbled state turn to Jesus for help? Did the Lord intervene in your circumstance with a miracle? Perhaps your story doesn't have a happy ending by human standards, but do you have a new found peace and hope to tell of? Did you realize that the plans you had made for yourself pale in comparison to the one God had in store for you? 

 

If your test did not kill you and you have God’s hope and love to share, then acknowledge that God did not bring you to and THROUGH your trial or tragedy for nothing. Although your test may have been the catalyst that brought you to faith in Jesus, and your salvation is now eternally with Him, this is not the full reason you have undergone this trying experience. Your faith journey does not stop there and end with you. God wants you to share with the world how Jesus has changed your life.  We are not saved THROUGH our fruitful works, but we saved TO works that bear fruit.

You were given a gift to share with the world for the benefit of others,

to bring hope to the hopeless.

 

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 says we have been comforted and are to use this comfort to comfort others. Our stories are told in obedience to the Great Commission of Jesus by recounting our pain, adversity, or tragedy and sharing how the Lord has comforted us and transformed our minds, circumstances, or lives. While some stories demonstrate clear supernatural intervention from the Lord, and others speak of God's steadfast comfort and love, all are equally amazing faith testimonies of His presence and His purposeful plan for our lives. The common thread between our stories is that Jesus Christ is the intercessor between us and God (Hebrews 3:14-16) and we will never doubt God's presence in our lives again. Jesus has changed us and we are new creations in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17). Perhaps our starting points differed: we were athiests, agnostics, new age mysticals, or had dry, dead religion composed of rules and rituals, instead of a relationship with the creator of the universe. We were not converted...we were reborn (John 3:1-21) into an eternal promise and relationship that was bought for us some 2,000 years ago on a cross at Calvary (John 19).

 

Bloggers and contributors are welcome to share stories of a trial or test that God has made beautiful from the ashes of sorrow. Don’t waste your pain…someone who is going through a similar situation needs to hear from you and be introduced to Jesus! If you have received physical, emotional, or mental healing and deliverance, please consider publishing, republishing or linking your story here by contacting us. If the faith story the Lord has given you involves a breakthrough that can encourage others, we want to hear from you too!

 

Still feeling hesitant to share what you have gone through? Please know that there is no longer any condemnation for our past mistakes (Romans 8:1). You are a new creation in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Therefore, be bold and fearless (Hebrews 10:35-39) to share what Jesus has done in your life (2 Corinthians 3:2-5)! The great apostle Paul often wrote of this boldness in sharing the gospel (2 Corinthians 3:12, Ephesians 3:12, Ephesians 6:19and particularly, his own faith story of his conversion on the road to Damascus (Acts 9). 

It's been said that our lives as Christians are the only Bible some people will ever read. Let your let shine before them! However you decide to tell your story, tell it with confidence and without fear (Hebrews 10:35-39), and as our culture becomes increasingly hostile towards HIS name, remember Jesus said if we deny Him before men, He will deny us (Matthew 10:32-33) when we stand before the Father on that day. 

As you will read in my faith story below, I am a lifelong lover of music, and so felt led to include a healing music ministry section.

 

Music transcends language with raw emotion that can be understood on a soul level. This is why music is an important part of my life and my worship to God. The songs I have streaming here contain lyrics that lift downtrodden hearts and eyes up to the one who knows their sorrows, hurt and pain and can make a way out. They also serve as a reminder and reinforcement for believers that the Lord's love is never changing and His presence is constant (even when we can't feel Him). Scroll down to the footer to take a listen to some inspiring faith songs. 

My Faith Story

 

My name is Cindy and below is my faith story. It was told at my baptism in 2014 and originally published anonymously in 2016 on another website designed to lead people to Jesus through their testimonies.  I buried my experiences for a long time because as I returned to work, I was keenly aware of the stigma and discrimination that people with disabilities face in the workplace. I also did not want to look back on the pain I went through. But I knew that I could no longer keep my faith story to myself because I had not been physically healed for the sake of my own life becoming more pleasant or free of stress. My healing experiences are the spiritual breakthrough others will be inspired by to seek a real relationship with the Lord. 

 

Freely you have received, freely give (Matthew 10:7-8)

Today, by the grace of God, exceptional medical care, holistic nutrition, and complementary/alternative modalities, I am healthy and manage a Christian health and wellness blog and coaching practice. After taking a virtual tour of Liberty University online in August 2017, I was accepted into their Master's of Public Health degree program in September....I am excited to graduate in 2019! I solely manage Light in a Dark World

FAITH STORIES

 
  • Admin

From Agnostic to Believer: The Savior in Suffering. The Teacher in Tragedy.

Updated: Feb 17, 2019


Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13)…


I grew up Catholic and attended Catholic school from kindergarten through high school. I thought I knew all there was to know about God and Jesus because of my schooling, church attendance, and receiving of the sacraments of baptism, communion, and confirmation. I saw Christianity as a religion, not a way of life, and therefore, lived my life according to my own terms. God was reserved for an hour on Sunday, or worse yet, only for holy days of obligation (Catholic holidays required to attend church). Christianity was an outdated belief system with unreasonable rules and demands, so I focused my time, money, and energies on the pursuit of my own happiness and pleasure. If someone had asked me if I believe in God, I would say I was "agnostic" because I wasn't sure if I did believe in spite of what I was told I should believe my entire life. I simply thought believing in God was the right thing to do because my parents, church, and school told me that I should.


Throughout my teenage years and into my twenties, music was a huge part of my life. Although I did quite well in school, I experimented with the "usual" teenage temptations like alcohol and partying. My "religion" did not inform my choices at all and was conveniently compartmentalized apart from other aspects of my life. Instead, I generally idolized many of the anti-establishment musicians of my time which had a profound influence on my lifestyle choices. While God had protected me during these college years, in retrospect, I recognize that my life could have ended up a sad story based on some of my choices.


After college, I sought a higher power to direct my life, but did not think to look at the same spiritual power in the faith I was brought up. I thought I already knew all there was to know about Jesus from religion text books I had read. I only understood my faith in terms of repetitious chants and rituals of sitting, standing and kneeling to follow along with mass. I spoke words of worship with my mouth, but not from my heart. Therefore, I had never seen evidence in my life of the spiritual power of Jesus, although others I knew had. Instead, I tried astrology, palm readers, and tarot cards for this guidance. These readings were often misleading. In fact, I had a very dark and ugly spiritual experience at one of these readings which made me vow never to go back. I now know that these black magic sorcerers will never see heaven unless they turn away from this evil (Revelation 21:8, Revelation 22:15).


By my mid-twenties, I thought I had done pretty well for myself and I had a promising, lucrative career ahead of me. I had just married my beloved husband and we bought a house together. I was full of pride at my accomplishments and I believed I was invincible. Accidents or tragedies were something that happened to other people. I had only been married and settled into my new job and home for a little over a year when I suffered a severe back and neck injury that changed my life. The back injury (Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction) was rare. It could not be diagnosed by conventional radiology testing and evaded the diagnosis of dozens of doctors. My neck injury was also rare…a large herniated disc that went straight back into my spinal cord, threatening to paralyze me. In fact, by the time I had decided to undergo my second cervical spine surgery in 2009, my legs were so weak I needed the assistance of a cane, my right arm could hardly be raised and my left arm could only be raised halfway up my body.


I first came to know Jesus Christ in March 2007. I was in my kitchen, home alone, trying to prepare myself something to eat, but in too much pain to even stand. My mother, who is Catholic, had given me a nine day prayer called a Novena, to offer to Jude, the patron saint of hopeless causes. After the nine days of prayer, I felt no different, but in that moment of excruciating pain, I cried out to St. Jude for help…my pain did not subside at all.


Then, something stirred inside of me, urging me to cry out to Jesus for help. In desperation, I cried out to Jesus and in that very moment, my pain COMPLETELY subsided. I called on His name and He listened and answered me! I went up to bed and laid there pondering the very real yet very miraculous thing I had just experienced. For the first time in my life I knew that the same God who created the universe hears US and heard and answered ME! I was humbled and awed. Jeremiah 29:12-13 says, "Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.". This was the first time in my life, in my broken state of pain and fear, that I had sought God with my all heart.


Later, I would experience healing at the hands of Jesus on three more occasions. The other circumstances required a great deal of faith and prayerful persistence. But I did what Jesus instructed me to do: if I didn't get an answer, I just kept persistently knocking (Luke 11:9-13). Each experience reaffirmed and strengthened my faith. During my second to last experience I had a vision of Jesus and heard, "I know your suffering. I died for you. I am with you always.". Hebrews 13:8 says "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever". I had experienced this first-hand only because I believed with all of my heart in the the Word of God which says this and not because I am worthy in any way.


If you have this faith and believe with all your heart, mind and soul, that the same Jesus who healed 2,000 years ago in Bible accounts is the same Jesus who can heal today, He will be faithful. Even though He is not present with us in body on Earth, he is still with us 100% in spirit. James 1:6-8 says do not be double-minded when you ask for God's help. Read the Word of God, BELIEVE in Jesus' miracles and cast out all doubt that He can't do them today.


From 2008-2013, I have had 5 spine surgeries and had been mainly bed-ridden on and off during this time, the longest period being 1.5 years. All that time allowed for two things, introspection and reading. I read my Bible for the first time in my life, since I was never encouraged to do so by any priest, nun, or teacher I knew growing up. I began with the Gospels, then read it cover to cover and front to back. I had never found such wisdom and absolute truth as I did in the words of Jesus. I immersed myself in learning as much as I could about who God is and the fulfillment of God's divine plan for humanity through Jesus Christ. I understood that my rebelliousness as a teenager was a confused hatred for human hypocrisy that only Jesus can cure. Jesus was the ultimate rebel…he rebelled against the establishment of his time!


This experience led to developing an insatiable appetite for Bible reading, teachings, and sermons. I had been moonlighting as a Catholic and taking in false teachings on a part-time basis; teachings that go against the Bible’s accounts (i.e. - baby baptisms, mere men acting as an intercessor to God, and purgatory). It wasn't until I turned to my Bible as the ultimate authority on God's word and beliefs that I understood clearly. Baptism should happen as an adult when you are born-again and have a choice. I can confess sins and pray directly to God the Father because of the imputed righteousness of Jesus. I only have one shot at ensuring my eternal salvation...once I die, there are no other opportunities for this.


All the answers I had been looking for were sitting in the Bible that stood as a talisman collecting dust on my book shelf. You may have seen this acronym before, but to sum it up plainly, I understood: The B.I.B.L.E = Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. It wasn't until I turned to my Bible as the ultimate authority on God's Word that I understood clearly. Perhaps most importantly I realized I could have an unbreakable, daily and prayer-filled relationship with Jesus Christ. I knew that I needed to trade in the rules and religion I had been accustomed to, for a relationship with God Himself through Jesus.


The Holy Spirit also led me to share what I was learning with my husband. He heard the Holy Spirit's calling and gave his life to Christ too. Within a year, we made the decision to pursue a church that taught sound, Biblical truth. Our faith and knowledge grew very fast in a few short years. If you are to be used of God for a purpose, He will grow you up fast! God does not heal for the sake of healing your body, but to use you as an instrument for the purpose of growing his heavenly kingdom here on Earth.


I cannot take credit for my ability to understand so clearly what I read and heard…in Mathew 16:17, Jesus says that flesh and blood can't reveal the mystery of faith. Only God can do that. Ironically, I used to think that being "Born Again" was code for "fanatical Christian", until I learned that Jesus himself said we MUST become born again if we wish to see the kingdom of God (John 3:1-18)! What I had once thought Christianity was…merely dry, boring religion and a set of rules, became a relationship with the creator of the universe through the righteousness of His son, Jesus. I now know His commandments are for my protection and safety and they are written on my heart now, not just in my head as a conscience-driven set of rules. Just as Isaiah 51:7 says, "Listen to me, you who know right from wrong, you who cherish my law in your hearts" and Jeremiah 31:33 says " “I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people".


Today, God has realigned my priorities. My husband and I study and fill our minds with things that honor God. Our life is no longer shallow and superficial and we have found our true purpose. My eyes have been opened and I realize that I don't exist for my own pleasure. Rather, I exist for the pleasure of the God who created me. God has revealed these things to me and I am so thankful that he opened my eyes and my husband's eyes through the teaching of many great Bible instructors and pastors, and of course by Jesus Himself. I used to believe that I needed a priest…a man, to be the mediator between God and me. Then I learned that Jesus is our high priest, the highest intercessor between God and man (Hebrews 4:14-16).


I am pain free today and in the midst of my suffering and my surgeries, Jesus had proven Himself to be faithful time and time again, often in miraculous ways with healing, in spite of medical mistakes and malpractice. He has been an ever present help in my times of need. Each surgery has served to strengthen my faith. He was with me and gave me absolute peace during a scary revision surgery. I am 100% better than I was at my worst, and most importantly, after this fleeting life is over, I will be in the presence of our creator, God, and with Jesus. God had different plans for me than the path I had originally chosen for myself. He loved me enough to save me, even if it meant allowing something terrible and painful to enter my life to humble me so that my eyes could be opened to see Him.


Psalm 119:71-72 says, "It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold." I can truly say that although my injuries and surgeries have been the WORST things I have ever experienced, at the same time they are the GREATEST blessings of my life. Romans 5:8 says, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us". He disciplines who He loves (Proverbs 3:12). I never would have been saved in the knowledge of Jesus if I had not gone through my fiery trial.I was blind in my former life. Today, I am healed physically & spiritually!


No matter what circumstances, trials and tribulations come my way, I know God is always with me. John 16:33 says "These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage; I have overcome the world". – Jesus. Thank you Jesus. I have a new faith and purpose to see others come to the knowledge of the Lord, to live intentionally for their family, friends, and communities, and to live holistically healthy and whole lives.


Thank you for reading my story. If you are praying for healing, I highly recommend reading your Bible and scriptures that pertain to the topic of healing to strengthen your faith. The Gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are full of stories about how Jesus supernaturally healed the blind, sick and disabled. Do not lose faith, continue knocking. Although I know my circumstances are miraculous, I also know that there are times we must trust that when God does not provide a physical healing here on Earth, it's because he has that miraculous cure waiting for us in Heaven. This is not a cop out...healing is temporary. I am fully aware that I could suffer another debilitating spine injury tomorrow that would put me right back in bed. Heaven, the home of God, my eternal home, and where this is no more suffering or disease...is the permanent cure. No matter what your present circumstance is, please remember that suicide is not the answer and will NOT bring you to heaven. The Bible speaks of only God having the authority to take life.


**I also recommend two additional resources I used during the most difficult health crisis I faced: "From Death to Life" by Susan Wynn (her story of God's healing her MS) and listening to the healing ministry of Andrew Wommack. If you are a musical person like me, praise and worship in the form of song will also fuel your faith! Please check out the faith music for healing and comfort section of this site.


***Much of my spine and joint instability issues can be attributed to a hypermobility condition. There are many different class subtypes of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. I am including this information here for anyone who may be experiencing the same pain issues and may have tried various back pain / joint pain treatments without relief. What has worked for me has been platelet-rich plasma (PRP) joint injections and, to a lesser degree, prolotherapy, as well as fixation/fusion surgeries of certain spine joints.


Many people who suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, chronic pain, and fibromyalgia can benefit from non-narcotic, side-effect free, platelet-rich plasma injections and prolotherapy. Pain-killers and opioids were never an option for me (I wanted to steer clear of the slippery slope of addiction), so these minimally invasive, regenerative medicine treatments were a Godsend for me. Yoga and pilates have worked well for other chronic pain sufferers I know, once they became stable enough to do the stretches and poses. Yoga and pilates works well to strengthen and lengthen the core body muscles and other major muscle groups, which in turn, lessens the load on joints.


Health, Blessings, and Peace,

Cindy