February 7, 2017
My name is Carl Miller, and I was born and raised in an Old Order Amish community. When I think about my childhood and what I appreciated most about the culture, I automatically think of the closeness I got to experience with my family and the hearty Amish meals I got to enjoy on a daily basis.
I was fortunate to have a good relationship with my parents. My mom was strict when it came to Amish beliefs and religion, but my dad was much more lenient.
The problem that arose causing me to eventually want to leave the Amish was not family related but rather, culture related. Some of the things I was taught religiously just didn’t make sense. I didn’t know what at the time, but I just knew that things weren’t completely lining up. After attending a Christian church upon leaving the Amish, the false teachings of the Amish church became more apparent and clear to me.
I never felt a desire in my heart to be Amish, but I also wanted to marry the love of my life, who said the only way she would agree is if I joined the Amish church. I eventually joined because I figured that it was the right thing to do. However, after I joined the Amish church, my girlfriend decided that she didn’t want anything to do with me anymore and left; this hurt me very badly.
Eventually, I told my parents that I was going to move out West to Idaho; moving 1,700 miles away was my way of starting a new life and moving on from the past. Fortunately, I came from a less conservative community, so even though my parents disagreed with my choice, they let me go, and I made the move.
Leaving everyone and everything behind felt kind of like jumping off of a cliff into an unknown darkness. It was hard knowing that I was causing hurt to my parents, and it was also hard knowing that my parents could never accept me fully as I was simply because I was choosing not to be Amish. I was also always questioning myself and doubting whether I had made the right choice or not. At the time, though, I just knew that something had to change, so I jumped in hopes that God would catch me; He did catch me!
I will never regret my decision to leave the Amish. Looking back now, I can see that it wasn’t really ever my decision. I was in a place of darkness in my life, and God opened a door; I decided to take God’s path!
I gave my life to Christ when I was just fifteen years old; however, at the time, I thought that baptism was a part of my salvation, so I wasn’t fully saved. After many years of living life in the “pig pen,” Jesus pulled me out of my misery and showed me the truth. When I started to learn and realize that I am going to go to heaven because of what He did, and there’s nothing that I can do, it was like a ton of weights was lifted off my shoulders, and I could fly now. How simple it all is!
It was easy for me to adapt to my new life outside of the Amish because of my many years of rumspringa and experimenting with the outside world. I also had a friend who took me under his wing and was a big encouragement to me. I will probably never quite feel like I 100% fit in with the “English,” but of course now I no longer fit in the with Amish either; I seem to just be hanging out in the middle.
My family is starting to accept the fact that I will no longer be Amish. I am grateful to still be able to stay in regular contact with them.
Someday, I would love to be in the mission field and serve the Lord full time. It is my dream to minister to people coming from false religions like the Amish, some Mennonites, Mormons, Hutterites, etc. I am definitely excited and eager to see what the Lord may have in store for my future; I look forward to being used for His purpose!
This testimony has been published with permission from the owner.
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