February 5, 2016
I enjoyed growing up in an Old Order Amish home. I had a big family with lots of brothers and sisters, and I was also really close to many of my cousins. I am an outdoorsman, so I also really enjoyed all of the time spent working outside.
As a young child, I had a decent relationship with my parents, but when I reached my teenage years, things went downhill fast. Our relationship was very strained during this time in my life. Because of the tensions at home and because I genuinely felt that I was going to hell no matter what, I eventually made the decision to leave the Amish behind in order to pursue a life in the English culture. It happened one day when I got into a bad argument with my parents. I got so mad that I told them I didn't want be Amish anymore. I then walked across the field to the neighbor’s house and called someone to come pick me up.
Thankfully, I had a lot of friends to help me adjust to my new life. They really helped me to look outside the little black box I was in and get a new start in life. Even though I had a good support system to help me when I left, I still really struggled with some things. I had trouble with the idea of forgiveness and of thinking more of myself than I should have thought. I also struggled to root out old subconscious beliefs that came from what I was taught.
As time went on, I was in two rather serious situations where I should have been hurt, if not killed. One of those situations involved me trying to take my own life. Another time, after a tragic accident where I walked away with no injuries, I remember wondering why God spared me. If He had wanted to get even with me for all the things that I was doing wrong, He certainly could have done so then. Why would he spare me? I looked up to the sky and asked those questions, not expecting an answer. Instead, I was shocked. It was almost as if I heard a voice answering, “I am not who you have been told I am. I love you in spite of what you have done, and if you let Me, I will help you see that.”
I could never ever forget that moment. I immediately started searching and reading the Bible, and He put people in my path who eventually brought me to the day when I realized that there was no other satisfying life than a life of serving the almighty Savior, Jesus Christ. He took away my miserable life and gave me a new one.
Unfortunately, my Amish family still thinks that I am on the highway to hell, and they warn me about it all the time. My oldest brother, however, has started to call me, asking for advice and just to chat, which has been awesome.
Looking ahead, my future has never been so bright. One of my goals is to write a book telling my story, so that I can pass it on to other people as a testimony of what God has done in my life. I also love the business world; it has given me the opportunity to give financially to hungry children and poor people around the world. Probably one of my biggest goals in life is to eventually organize my income so I can live on 10% of what I make and give the rest away to those in need. I am very grateful for my two little sons. I also pray the Lord one day gives me a little daughter that looks like her beautiful mother—and I would love many more children after that, as well. I certainly look forward to what God has in store!
This testimony has been published with permission from the owner.
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