TESTIMONY TIME // ALYSIA ANDERSON
My name is Alysia Anderson -- The writer behind "Alysia Paige" -- and I am a Christian!
G R O W I N G U P
I did not grow up in your stereotypical christian home. Faith was never something that was really talked about in my house. God was either vacant or he was a hand-me-down. I went to a parochial preschool for a few months, which were my earliest memories of "God". It was Christmas time when I can remember my first encounter of choosing my beliefs. The teacher was talking about the Christmas Story, and I just was not understanding it at all, granted I was a five year old, but it didn't click with me.
Flash forward a few more years and depression was kicking it. We moved a lot when I was growing up, and making friends was easy, but leaving was hard. I don't think my little emotions could keep up with the switching between schools and being the new kid over and over again. I even went back to the same school once and I felt super outcasted. Everyone moved on without me and the friends I knew had forgotten me and became close with other people. Tragic for an Elementary kid, I know.
Anyways, It was the years in second and third grade where I experienced the start of depression. I would lay in my bed a lot, and though I didn't talk to anyone about it, I was feeling a lot of real thoughts of what it meant to be alive or dead. These thoughts eventually got more and more entertaining to the point of suicide. The words of other students at school, and from family members at home became unbearable. I started cutting myself by the sixth grade, and it just progressed on until my sophomore year in High School.
Cutting for me was an outlet for frustration. Whenever someone would say something hurtful to me it was fuel for my desire to self harm. I needed to outwardly see the pain and agony I was feeling inwardly.
Fun Fact: For those that don't understand, I get it. It's hard to understand unless that is your struggle. There are actual endorphins that are released when there is a wound. These chemicals are similar to pain medication. So, in a way it felt good to cut. Not in the moment, but there was this, "high" effect, which is why it was addictive.
B R E A K I N G P O I N T
The cutting got worse, and the thoughts of killing myself was like a record on repeat in my mind. Everything was a reason to subtract myself from the world, and I truly thought that everyone would be better off without me.
That's when God had a different plan for me.
I had a friend named Macy that I went to school with. She was definitely different than any other friend I had at the time. She was this super happy bubbly wonderful human being and I am so thankful that God had sent her into my life. She had shown me forgiveness and love and friendship. She cared so much for me that she continually invited me to her church. Which I kindly -- DECLINED.
My concept of church was well... look at this GIF.
In my mind, church wasn't fun. Church was where fun went to die.
But, I finally decided to say yes to her invitation. I showed up to church in a bright lime green dress because one, I had no sense of style and two, I did not have church-like clothes. That was the best I could do. But this church was like dope. It was in a dark gym filled with crazy lights and loud music. This was the place that I was to call my church home for several years.
Why I said "Yes" to Jesus
Oh wait, I may have forgotten to say... I was an Atheist. As hardcore of an atheist as a little thirteen year old could be. God was always a sore spot for me. Why would such a "loving" God put me through all of this pain and suffering? Why was I rejected by everyone? Why was I bullied? etc.
But Love was what I found in the gym that day in 2009. There was a video that had words only and it scrolled down and talked about a life of destruction and agony. I was like, "amen! that's me!" When it got to the bottom, it reversed itself and with those same words in a different order, it told a very different story. I wanted that life. I wanted to be like my friend Macy. Happy and filled with joy. I wanted color to break through my life that was grey. So, I started attending church -- on my own. I got rides from Macy and her family, and they taught Sunday school so I'd help out with kids too. It was about a month of coming to church on Sundays and youth group on Wednesdays that I decided to give my life to Christ.
In that moment when I was praying the prayer I felt this overwhelming feeling that I just couldn't contain. I could not stop crying. I felt like I was loved for the first time. I felt like I was accepted for the first time. I felt like I was needed for the first time.
Meeting the Lord was the best ever.
Where am I now?
From 2009 until 2017, things didn't get better. Being a Christian does not automatically exempt you from a life of hardship. Look at Jesus, He was the perfect Son of God and he was ridiculed and beaten more than anyone. As life got tougher, my faith grew stronger. I knew that God was the only real solid foundation that I could depend on. A few heartbreaks, cutting relapse, depressed nights, friends and family dying, anxiety attacks later -- here I am.
I'm alive and this time I'm not just breathing and walking.
And let me tell you that a life with Christ is the best decision I have ever made. Since becoming a Christian I had brought several other friends to church where they met the Lord, and my mom started coming to Church and is a solid believer too! Praise God!
What's your story? How did God enter your life?