ICYouth: A Declaration of Faith {Abbie’s Story}

Every Friday, we’re taking a peek at how God is working in the lives of our impact students. These servants of Jesus are walking daily by faith as they navigate the hallways and relationships inside their school walls and beyond. Our weekly series will highlight what God is up to in their lives in their voices. Leave them some encouragement by commenting?

Last Sunday night, Abbie Randle was among five other young women who shared their faith stories and were baptized! Here is here faith story.

by Abbie Randle

Hi my name is Abbie, and this is my rollercoaster of a salvation story!
I grew up in a very strong Christian home, and I have 2 amazing parents and 2 loving sisters. We attended church almost every Sunday, and I had a very strong love for God instilled in me from a young age. Having parents who wanted to raise their children in a strong Christian home, they tried to shield us from the ways of the world as much as possible. And with that being said I never really understood that some people didn’t believe in God, mind you I was only 7 years old, yet I thought everyone had a Christian faith and it never really occurred to me that not everyone I came into contact with would be along my side partying it up with Jesus in heaven. Once I really realized this fact. I was heartbroken……devastated…… being so young I also didn’t understand the process of asking Jesus to be my savior and also asking God to forgive my sins, even the worst of them, and basically giving up my life and my will to replace it with His will and plan for my life.

I also thought I was already a Christian because I went to church and loved God but that wasn’t quite true. The day I really realized this I was at my grand-parent’s house playing basketball, which I totally suck at , mind you, and being the bullheaded girl that I am, I started to have a friendly “debate”, or “discussion” with my older cousins, Zak and Kodie. Okay, let’s face it….it was a full-fledged, tear-filled argument, and I was NOT about to lose! My cousins explained that in order to go to heaven I needed to surrender my life to God and ask him into my heart and for him to be my savior. Now, as I mentioned earlier I was, and am, quite bull-headed and after hearing this I was extremely upset and confused so I ran inside to do what, at that time, I did best: be a tattle-tale. I told my mom the predicament and about how I didn’t believe them. Then, the worst words I could have possibly heard at that time came out of her mouth….THEY.ARE.RIGHT. Man, those words felt like sword to the heart. I lost? What?!?!?! But even more……I wasn’t really a Christian, and that is what I wanted to be more than ANYTHING! My mom then explained trusting Jesus, accepting His gift and asking Jesus into your heart. Teary eyed at age seven, I asked Jesus to be my savior; though I was young, the overwhelming feeling I received at the time was incredible! Now I got to go to heaven, I’d thought! But to be perfectly honest I’m not sure if that feeling was because of what had just taken place, or because we were soon headed to Chuck-e-Cheese!

Since that fateful day nine years ago, my life has been completely turned upside down and back again. There have been many great and wonderful experiences I have had the chance to be apart of . Being a nanny for many people and working at the church in childcare has opened my eyes for the love of kids! I also have done many service projects which has given me a heart for helping people. I am currently on my youth group’s worship band, and I have the incredible opportunity to worship God through songs of praise with the talents He has so graciously given me. I have also traveled to Mexico on twice for mission’s trips and realized on those trips that I want to be a pediatrician and travel across the world holding free medical clinics for the poor all in the great name of serving Jesus. Or like last summer when I spent three weeks in Europe, and got to share the love of Christ with six people, one of whom went back home and attended a church service! That was one of the most rewarding days of my life!
But there have also been some not-so glorious times. On the night before Easter of 2010, I woke up in the middle of the night with an extremely irregular heart beat and horrible chest pain….confused and crying I ran downstairs woke up my parents and explained the situation, not sure about what was happening I drank a ton of water, ate some food and took some medicine thinking it might have been a charlie horse; thankfully, it soon went away and I was able to go back to sleep.
I woke up the next morning with no symptoms of the scary ordeal I had experienced just hours before and we went to church just as we always did. But then, it returned even worse than the night before. In my mind I was trying to stay calm, but immediately I was thinking the worst. I was taken to a walk in clinic; the nurse  listened to my heart, became very alarmed and sent me to the E.R. immediately where they hooked me up to every machine imaginable. Heck, I had cords and wires stuck EVERYWHERE!

The doctor informed me that I had an irregular heart beat and sent me home with these encouraging words: you’re fine. Nothing is wrong, and this is completely normal! Whew!!! We were extremely relieved but just as we started to get back into the swing of things …. more symptoms. It started with the irregular heartbeat and quickly escaladed to seizure like activity; my body would shake involuntarily 20 hours out of the day and it would only stop when I feel into an extremely deep sleep. I also had immense pain everywhere, to the point where I would cry constantly because the pain was so intense. My headaches were so bad that I would scream in pain because I literally thought my brain was exploding. And this happened 20 hours a day, seven days a week for a span of three straight months. I was rushed to the emergency room, time and time again. I was given test after test after test and had needle after needle after needle poked into my arm all with the same results: no one could find anything wrong. Ninety percent of the doctors thought I was a whack job. They thought I made up the whole thing and tried sending me to a psychiatrist to fix my “problems.” All in all I had nine E.K.G’s, two E.E.G’s. I was hooked to a take-home heart monitor on two different occasions. I had roughly 25 blood tests done and nothing was getting better. Actually it only got worse. The shaking was so violent at one point I had a nurse pin me to a hospital bed trying to overcome the power of my muscles and it took her 45 minutes to get my muscles calm enough that she could actually hold onto my arms. I actually think I punched her in the chest on accident! I never stopped believing in God but I would say I definitely lost hope. Why me? I was a follower of Jesus and really tried to live a strong Christian life. So why was I the one? But my incredible mother always told me “honey, you have got to pray about it; you can’t fix the situation you can only pray to God to fix it.” And if it is HIS will, he will heal you.

I prayed but I was still extremely discouraged until one night at Children’s hospital in Milwaukee I met a man named Eddy. He saw the amount of pain I was in and how incredibly discouraged we all were. He walked across the room put his hand on my arm, looked at me with the most innocent and compassionate hazel eyes and told me five simple words that still give me chills when I think about them He said, “Can I pray for you”? I simply muttered “What?” He said, “I am a Christian and I strongly believe the power of prayer heals. So would you care if I laid my hands on you and prayed to God for healing?”

Then tears fell from my eyes as they never had before and in that moment I was calm for the first time in months. A man I had never even seen before wanted to pray for my healing. Me? A 13 year, old girl? And right there I gave up trying to fix everything, gave it to God and I felt God’s presence like I never had before. It was like he hugged me and said “You are My child, and I will never let you go.” Eddy prayed for me and my family and afterword he said, “ You are my favorite patient, and I will never forget you.” Right then and there, Eddy had a piece of my heart, and I had a piece of his.  I truly believe Eddy was an angel in disguise! I owe him so much because he had the courage to boldly display his faith all for the sake of a confused and terrified, blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl who had no hope left. God totally changed my life through a stranger… a man I had never met cared about me.

And wow that prayer sure did work! I had an appointment with a specialist the next day and on that day I was also given my diagnosis. I had Tetnay, calcium deficiency at the cellular level. I couldn’t break down calcium like the average human being and my bones and muscles were starving for calcium to the point that they would convulse violently. Although I was extremely relieved to know my diagnosis and even more that a doctor actually believed that I wasn’t crazy. I was also terrified. What did this mean? And then he told me the hardest words I’ve ever had to hear — even worse than hearing that I lost an argument with my cousins several years before.  He said, “Darling, I’m so thankful you came to see me today… because you were dying.” My heart nearly stopped.  My body went completely numb. It was like I was frozen in time. I mean, my mom and the doctor were talking but it was like I was stuck there unable to move or speak or hear … complete and total shock. Then he said this disease was killing me slowly. But now that we caught it and we can easily fix this and you will be totally fine and 100% normal. It was then, with trembling hands and a shaky worn out voice I was able to simply say thank you.

Well talk about an emotional roller-coaster! I was then told how to treat my disease and today I am proud to say that with God and God alone I am 100% Tetnay free!!!!!!

On the way home from the hospital, I heard my song, the song that kept me strong throughout this entire ordeal which is “Motions” by Matthew West and in the chorus it says, “I don’t wanna go through the motions, I don’t wanna go one more day without your awe-consuming passion inside of me. I don’t wanna spend my whole life asking ‘what if I had given everything’ instead of going through the motions.” Talk about perfect timing!

That was a very rough couple of months that I couldn’t have gotten through without my phenomenal parents Michael and Beverly, my absolutely incredible sisters, Mandi and Arrika, and my best friend,Gracie Adamek. The best advice Gracie has ever has given me, which I also use to this day, but it was most helpful while I was so sick and while I was grumbling and complaining about the doctors and all the tests I had to take is “Abbie, put your big girl pants on and just do it!”

Since that crazy ordeal my faith has been strengthened more than ever! I love my Lord and Savior and would not be here today if it weren’t for Him holding my hand and guiding me! I have an incredible support system from my parents, family, church family and a few close friends who prayed for me through this ordeal and I feel extremely blessed to have gone through everything I went through, even being so sick, because it made me who I am today and through that situation my family and I learned to trust God and not try and fix things on our own!

My life verse is Philippians 4:13 “For I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength,” and that’s what’s up! So, today, November 4th of 2012, with joy in my heart and my big girl pants on, showing who and what I stand for, I’m proclaiming Who I gave my life to nine years ago and stating who still continues to rock my world every day! I am showing you all that I live for the one and only true God, and my life belongs to him!

Abbie Randle is 16 years old; she is a junior in high school and is homeschooled . She enjoys cooking, baking, singing, attending bible study and youth group and hanging out with her friends.

ICYouth: A Word about Catching “The Gives”

Every Friday, we’re taking a peek at how God is working in the lives of our impact students. These servants of Jesus are walking daily by faith as they navigate the hallways and relationships inside their school walls and beyond. Our weekly series will highlight what God is up to in their lives in their voices. Leave them some encouragement by commenting?

by Gracie Adamek

So for the past few weeks at iMPACT, we’ve been talking about living a generous life.

I generally like to give to others but since starting this series, The Gives {about living a generous life}, I’ve realized that I’m not as generous as I would like to think I am.

I’m actually really selfish!

And I’ve always known that I’m selfish, but I think that I was judging myself more through the world’s eyes and not through God’s.

To this world, its easy to make myself look good by letting people borrow my things and lending people money sometimes.

But to God? I’m not at all as generous as I need to be. This world’s view of generosity and how “good” people are is strewn because people aren’t as concerned with God’s standards. When you give to others, you give to God, right?

Imagine Jesus was sitting right in front of you. Wouldn’t you want to give him everything without him even having to ask? But when we don’t give to others (that being money, time, food, clothes), we don’t give to Jesus.

There is a story, Matthew 19:6-22, about a guy who asks Jesus how to ensure he’ll go to heaven. Jesus says the man must keep the commandments; the man presses him, and Jesus tells him to sell all of his possessions.  This guy was rich and was really sad at hearing this because he had many possessions. I’ve been thinking about how God wants us to serve and give with a happy heart, not feeling like its a chore.

I don’t like doing things if I feel like I have to or I’m supposed to, so I think that God wants me to realize that giving and helping others shouldn’t feel like a chore!

If I’m really being Jesus to others, I should WANT to give everything I can.

Gracie Adamek is a junior at Lakes Community High School. She enjoys singing, acting and spending time with friends! Gracie is so grateful for this opportunity and hopes to glorify God one hundred percent through this!