Wednesday, August 5, 2009

February 29, 2008

The Life and Testimony of
Julia Doolin
I was born and raised in Lakeland Florida and was home-schooled most all of my life. I attended Calvary Baptist Church Academy through high school, and ran Track and cross-country with Kathleen High school. I received a scholarship in cross-country and ran for Webber International University (WIU) in Babson Park Florida for two years. I grew up in church but I always hated it and thought it was so boring, when I went into high school I vowed never to step foot in a another church again...because of some hurt that had been done in earlier years. My Sr. year was the hardest, I stayed with my grandfather while he was dieing and was trying to balance graduating as well as staying in shape for college…needless to say I don’t remember getting much sleep that year. Yet, the memories I made with my grandfather in his last days I will always cherish, although I don’t even know how I remember any of them, seeing how most were made some where between 2-4 O’clock in the morning ( :
The summer of my Sr. year my grandfather passed away and I was now starting a new chapter in my life. I was asked to go on a mission trip to Ghana West Africa that summer by my mother and a group called CWE. (Construction for world Evangelism) they take four trips a summer to build buildings in various parts of the world, our group went to help build a Christian college. I ended up going and had a great time, when I came back from that trip it could have been the turning point in my life. I felt so on fire for the Lord, so convicted to go into the ministry. However with me not being in the word of God or under any kind of authority I took a different route. I thought the best choice would be to go to college, it seemed like the right thing at the time, after all I had spent the last two years of my life killing myself running, so why wouldn't I go?
So I tried doing the typical thing the world expects of u...go to college, get the degree, a good job, and then spend the next however many years of your life paying off the loans! Right before college I went on a road trip with my cousin Savanna for a month, we had a blast! But along this time was when I really got involved with the hippie culture. I went to my first couple of drum circles that summer and thought I had found myself...felt god for the first time...”keep in mind this was not god I was feeling” I came back with a whole different outlook on life.
Little did I know that my merely dappling into things that I thought were so innocent would eventually lead to my destruction. My first year of college I met my best friend Lauren we clicked right away and have been close every since, I love her dearly there is on one in the world like her. We are still good friends, however I'm on a different mission now.
Running and school was hard of course but I always had Lauren. I started attending a little church no bigger than a Sunday school group of middle aged people that was within walking distance of school...I loved it! It was the first time in my life I really felt accepted in a church. However I only attended for about one semester. Why u ask, u just said it was the first time u ever felt accepted? I'll tell u why, because when you try living for God and living a worldly life at the same time, it doesn't work out. Matt. 5:26.
My conscience ate me up every time I'd try and sit through the service; all I could think of was how I was living. I had struggled with homo sexuality, but never came out with it until college, like a lot of young people. So I quit! And with God out of my life I could do whatever I wanted, I HAD FREEDOM... so I thought.
I began dabbling down this journey of drugs and drinking and drum circle, thinking that I was a good person, and that I could be doing other things that were worse. Little did I know that there is no such thing as a good person, we are all sinners in the Lords eyes. As time went on, summer rolled around and I found myself working two jobs to get an apt with my best friend Lauren. All summer long I would drive to St. Pete to a local drum circle off the beach to partake in what I would call "my Church" I went every chance I got, hardly ever did I miss!
I would sometimes arrive around 4 or 5 O’clock and dance the hot summer nights away until at least 10 that night, hardly ever leaving the middle of the circle, looking as if I were in a trance...I somewhat was! Often people that would watch me dance would ask questions like..." how do you dance so hard and for so long with out passing out?" or “wow, it looks like you leave this world when you’re dancing, as if you don't even know people are around a puppet on a string"
I do remember some of the first few weeks that I would go, I would almost black-out from dehydration and my friend would have to wean me back to health, and drive me all the way back home, which took two hours...Love ya Lauren, thanks
As time went on and the second semester came around, I got the apt with Lauren that I worked the two jobs for and hardly ever went home anymore. Usually the only day I had off was Sunday and that was a day reserved for drum circle and drum circle only, a day that used to be spent in either church or with friends and family.
Christmas break of my second year FINALLY arrived; I was still living with Lauren and working myself to death just to stay a float. Then the unthinkable happened...I lost my job, ME LOOSE MY JOB! I WAS ONE OF BEST WAITRESS IN THAT PLACE OTHER THAN LAUREN...I cleaned with toothpicks for heaven sake!
Little did I know it was all apart of Gods perfect plan . I finally found a job, and a vary humbling one I might add. I started working at a race trac gas station in the small town of Lake Wales Florida, the 10-7am I said vary humbling experience. I started out only working three days a week and driving from Lakeland to lake Wales to work my shift, I was on Christmas break when I got the position and I went ahead and started so I'd have a job lined up when school started back. The driving was costing me so much in gas that I decided to stay at my apt for the few days I was working. KEEP READING UR DOING GREAT I'M GETTING TO THE GOOD PART!
Then it happened, one night after I got off work I was painting on one of the walls in the apt when I heard a voice. The music was off, and I was not smoking or doing any kind of drugs (promise!) Lauren had gone home for Christmas break so she was not with me at the time.
I looked around the room for a minute and then went back to what I was doing. Then the Lord spoke to me, grabbed a hold of my heart and said to me “Julia, u are wrong" I looking around and said "ummm wrong about what?" ....mind you this was not a voice that someone else could have heard, the lord was speaking to me while he had me in a quite place. People often ask, how does God speak to a person? He speaks to our heart, speaks to us through our spirit.
He said " Julia you were wrong about everything...I AM PEACE, I AM LOVE AND THE ONLY HOPE TO THE WORLD!
Then I really started looking around and found myself arguing with God! Telling him how good of a person I was and what did he want with me anyways, there were far worse people in world to worry about than me. Eventually I stopped arguing and he opened my eyes to how much of a sinner I was and that I truly needed him. I found myself crying on the living room floor of that little apt. I began looking around the room for a strange is this, I didn't even own a bible and I found a small green one that looked like a little New Testament bible. I didn't know where to start reading, so I opened it up to the first page and began to read Genies. I couldn't even get through the first chapter, Because I was crying so hard, for the first time in my life I realized I was worshiping the creation rather than the creator.
I got down on my knees and told the lord I was going to get my life right, start living for him. However I had no idea that my life was going change so dramatically and quickly! The next day I went home to see my family, I keep it quite for a while because I wasn’t sure if I was going crazy or if it really happened ( to this day the devil still tells me I'm crazy). I told my aunts, mom, and grandmother but not really anyone else, they wanted to announce it to everyone but I didn't want anyone to know at the time, I still was not sure about the whole thing.
A few days went by and it was already time for me to head back to good ole Lake Wales for work. That night at work was different, hardly anyone came in on my shift and the manager I was working with had his head-phones on almost all night and never bothered me. I really felt the Lord working on my heart that night. I remember thinking of all the places he might send me and the people I’d meet along the way. I can remember cleaning the huge freezer out for the shipment we had just gotten in, it was extremely cold! I’d run out and put my hands in warm water to thaw them out. I’d say to the lord “I just know you’re preparing me for really cold weather, and I can’t handle it I’m a Florida girl, if your sending me to the artic you had better give me thicker blood”.
Then I’d thought of some other places that the Lord might send me, and caught myself saying “Oh, I couldn’t go there I have a nose ring” I realized it, and told the Lord no way! I know what your thinking and it’s not going to happen, I know many Christians with nose rings and this ones not coming out of mine! The Lord spoke to my heart through out the whole shift. Finally 7a.m. rolls around and I clocked out and was headed for bed.
When I got back to the apt I piddled around for a little bit and tried to take everything in, I didn’t usually go to bed right anyhow. As I was washing my face I looked up at the mirror in front of me and saw the nose ring, right away the lord said “take it out” I began to argue as always and I remember the Lord saying, “If you won’t give me something as simple as a nose ring, what do you expect of me in heaven?” So I began to take it out, it was not easy either it had been stuck in my nose for over three years and was not wanting to come out now. I finally ripped the thing out with the help of the Lord, but when I looked at the nose ring and at myself I felt like a part of me was gone. I fell to my knees on the bathroom floor and began to cry out loud, telling the Lord that I didn’t understand why I had to take it out, and that I was sorry for crying but that I felt a piece of me was gone. and that I was not sure if I was going crazy or if the Lord was really in all of this.
I curled up in the corner of the living room on a bean-bag beside the sliding glass doors, I had called at least five people and no one answered their phones, I believe the lord didn’t allow them to, so that he could deal with me Himself and get full credit for it. And not one of the people that I called has any record of it either! Anyways right before I cried myself to sleep I opened my eyes one last time, I saw the sun shining brightly through the living room glass doors and felt the Lord say to me, “Julia, as bright as the sun shining into this room, I want you to shine for me, I want to shine through you…but I can’t have you distracting people with the little thing on the end of your nose.” So I sniffled a little and replied with, “yes sir” still not fully understanding. What I later learned when searching the scriptures was first comes obedience and then understanding, this was what I was doing and didn’t even know it.
I had fallen asleep for no more than 30 minutes when I woke up form being cold. I went into the bed room and found myself in the door way of the closet looking for something warmer to put on, when the Lord spoke to me again! He said, “Clean it out” clean it out I thought, Lord I just gave you my nose ring, this is more than I can handle in one day (finding out now that the lord never gives us more than we can handle)
Well I knew right off that I should get rid of all the shirts with the worldly peace signs on them, so I started a pile in the middle of the floor and believe me it got bigger as the hour went by. I found myself standing in that closet for half an hour with several shirts in my hand not knowing why I had to get rid of them. One with mushrooms swirling down the front and the other looking like something a first grader had sewed together and called it a shirt…sad to say they were my favorites.
Before long that pile became a heap and I bagged it all up and put it at the front door to get rid of, still not knowing why, keep in mind that Christmas had just passed and I still had clothes with the tags on them. As time went on I didn’t care about the clothes any more, I just wanted to know what God wanted from me and what he was going to ask of me next. Little things like this went on through out the whole day, I found myself singing, dancing and praising the Lord for the first time in my life right there in my living room. I remember there being a song on the radio, talking about how the things of this world don’t matter because they won’t be here one day and It was the perfect song for what I was going through at the time. I spoke with my aunt on the phone around 3ish and informed her about what was happening to me. She was thrilled and told me to go journal everything down so I would not forget, because it was all happening so quickly.
Before I knew it half the day was gone, it was almost 4 in the evening and I still had not gone to bed, I also was to go into work that night. However there was too much going through my head to sleep. I found myself once again on the big green bean bag in the corner, looking around at the living room thinking of what I could get rid of next that was not pleasing to the Lord. Then it came to me, my bumper stickers on the car, they’ve got to go! If I’m a new Christian I can’t be driving around town displaying one thing and saying another… that would be a hypocrite. Right as I was about to go outside and take them off I felt this horrible evil presence come over me, almost as if the Lord left the room and something very wicked came in…that’s the only way I know how to describe it. I sat there with chills running up and down my spin, not sure of what to do. Should I move around and shake it off or if I should just sit still and pray it off. So I began to slowly get up and walk into the other room, thinking this is my house and nothing is going to scare me out of it.
As I walked into the other room I passed by our living room table…which is nothing more than an over sized mushroom and mushroom stools, I felt something say to me, “you are going to bare the seed of the anti Christ” I have never been so freaked out, I knew right away that I was dealing with something crazy, and I didn’t know if I was making up things in my head, or if I was talking with the Lord or with satan. I called my aunt Cathy right away; she was the only one that seemed to be answering her phone that day!
I began asking lots of questions to make sure I was not going crazy, and then wanted to know how I could get a hold of my Uncle David (a missionary in Nepal) He was the only one I could think of that would be able to answer my questions. However, the only way to get a hold of him would be through email and that would take too long. My aunt wanted to come and get me but at the time I didn’t feel that it was a good idea, I thought that the whole experience was something I had to go through one my own, to prepare me for something in the future. I was not prepared for what was to come though!
She prayed for me and said to call if I needed anything at all, so I got off the phone and began to pray out loud (cry out) to the Lord. I had planed on going to St. Pete for the weekend to see my friend Lauren and go to drum circle as always, however, the Lord had other plans. As I prayed I asked the Lord to show me what he wanted me to do that up coming weekend… go to drum circle and see Lauren or go to a church, and if so where?
He clearly showed me he wanted me to go to this home church called Berean Baptist and that he would show me where to go from there. Most of my family began attending this church quite some time ago, I always considered it to be cult! However, I agreed to go but I only thought I’d be attending one time.
After I finished praying I went into the kitchen to make something to eat. I figured if I ate, the bad feelings would go away. As I was putting on a pot of corn, the evil presence that was so intense got worse all at once, I was so scared I could not even turn away from the stove! It was as if satan was breathing down the back of my neck. The only thing I could think to do was sing and the only song that came to mind was Amazing Grace. I sang it in every different tune and even added words to it because I didn’t know the whole thing. As I carefully turned away from the stove I felt as if I was singing into the face of death. Me, not being a multi-tasker somehow managed to text my aunt Cathy and keep singing at the same time…I was afraid to stop singing because I really thought I was going to die.
This was the text “Call everyone you know and tell them to be praying for me, right now!”
As soon as I text her, she immediately called me and wanted to know what was going on. I told her that it was more that I could handle and that I was truly being attacked by an evil presence so strong that I thought I was going to die. She told me go outside but I felt too afraid to move…I know what your thinking you would have run out, well not if your back was to the door and you felt like satan was behind you!
My aunt said she would come get me, and for me to just sit tight. Before she got off the phone she prayed with me….this is where it gets rough! As she began to pray I walked into the kitchen, and from the kitchen you can look out into the living room and from there you can see outside through the sliding glass doors…are ya still with me?
As she started praying I began to realize how satan had gotten into my life with his sick lies. I took a really good look at my surroundings and at the little trippy world I had created with the help of satan, and how he used things that seem so innocent in order to get into my life and the lives of others. And as my eyes were opened to these things I began to write on the white board that was on the counter in front of me “coming down off of the world, is like coming down off of drugs” Right after I wrote that, I looked out through the living room at the sky outside and it became dark, the wind stopped blowing and it became as still as death. The lights in the apt went off and my phone that was fully charged made a loud breaking up noise that both I and my aunt Cathy could hear! I felt the evil presence over power me and I really thought I was going to die! I threw the phone into the living room and began to cry out to the Lord for help and started yelling at satan to get out of my house, my life and my things. All of the sudden my cell phone rang on the floor (told ya it was charged) it was Cathy yelling for me to run out of the house fast!
I was in the middle of the street in a panic on the phone when the neighbors from across the street had just pulled up and asked what was wrong? I shouted there are demons in my house! They threw there hands up and said something like “whooo u take care of that then”
About an hour or so later, my Aunt finally arrived with two of my other cousins, Ben and Tina Pollock. When they finally got there I was so happy to see them. Ben prayed over the apt before we went in to get some of my things. I was not sure if or when I would be coming back. I didn’t really get much, just a few blankets and some clothes. We stopped and ate at a local Bob evens restaurant on the way home, there my cousin Ben and his wife Tina shared there testimonies with me. It was vary special and opened my eyes as to how the Lord uses people and different situations to bring people to Salvation.
We stayed until the restaurant closed and then parted our ways; My Aunt and I went to her house and my cousins to theirs. When we got to her house the only thing I wanted to do was take a shower and go to bed, I was whipped! However, as I was taking a shower I felt that same evil presence come over me again, I was scared to death! I didn’t know why I was still being attacked. The only thing I could think of was that maybe I had brought evil into my Aunt’s house. I began yelling loudly for her! She ran to the door in a panic, “What’s going on?” I yelled for her to throw the blankets outside immediately.
I began looking at myself wondering what I had on that satan could be dwelling in or that may represent my past. I looked up and noticed my reflection; I had three necklaces on and several anklets that looked like rags because I had not taken them off in about three years. I ran out of the bathroom, throw all the stuff in a bag and tossed it out the front door.
I was never as tired as I was that night, yet I couldn’t sleep. My Aunt Cathy and Cousin Jordan prayed over me, so that I’d be able to sleep peacefully. When I finally fell asleep I slept like an angel, Cathy said I didn’t move an inch all night. At about 7 o’clock in the morning the Lord woke me up out of a dead sleep, I felt like he was telling me “get up I’m not done with you yet” So I dragged out myself out of bed and quietly went into the other room. I sat up at the bar in the kitchen and began to pray…I asked the Lord to show me what he wanted from me this early in the morning. As I was praying, it became very evident what He wanted me to do. He said,“Julia, I need you to take all of your things that you’ve brought into this house, the things of your past, take and burn them. But don’t worry, I will bring you new things, pure things” And believe me he has!
So I called my Cousin Ben Pollock (the cousin that I had thought was the leader of a church cult at one time) and asked him if he would come over and help me burn some things. He came over right away. As I began to go through my things; I would hold up something as simple as a skirt and ask him if I should burn or not? He’d say “It doesn’t look like anything to me but if the Lord is speaking to your heart about these things I’d go ahead and get rid of them, don’t take a chance on it!” As we stood there and watched the pile of my colorful things burn, he showed me some places in the bible that talk about the very thing that I was doing, Acts 19:18-19. I suggest reading it; it proves the Lord was speaking directly to my heart and that I was not going crazy as the devil would have had me believe. This entire story took place in no more than a few days; at the time I didn’t understand why the Lord was cleaning out my life so quickly, the Bible clearly teaches us that first is obedience and then understanding. If I had not obeyed right as the Lord was prompting my heart I would have missed out on so many opportunities or worse I could have died.
To this day the Lord has truly blessed me, I have been able to share my testimony with many others and see the impact it has had. Although some of the responses to my testimony have been negative, it does not stop me from sharing and praying daily for my friends and family. The Lord never says anywhere in his Word that it would be easy, in fact He expresses the exact opposite to that. We are called to be missionaries for go and teach all nations Matt. 28:19, 20
This is not saying everyone is to take off to another country and share the Word of God to others, although for those who do go out of their comfort zone in order to do so, I greatly admire you. But you may be called to teach right where you are, believe me there is a great need for missionaries’ right in your neighborhood, or in your home.
One of my favorite verses II Cor. 5:17 Therefore if any man is in Christ he is a new Creature; old things are passed away, behold all things are become new! Notice how the Lord says ALL THINGS are to become new. If He had put in his Word that a few things are to become new, or that some things are to be new, then the Lord would have lied, contradicted Himself. Because in Matt. 6:24 the Lord clearly tells us that we cannot serve two masters….because we will hold to one and despise the other. We cannot serve God and Mammon (mammon meaning money or things of this world)
So many times in a Christian’s life they will say they are saved and yet live how the rest of the world lives…God calls these people doubled minded, and unstable James 1:8 Beware of them, they will drag you down as they are consumed by the things and lies that false doctrines have to offer. My friends, it may be fun now, but where is it going to get you ten years from now? Will you be able to say that you fought a good fight, and lived a life pleasing in His sight? A wise man once said, “Sin will take you farther than you wanted to go, cost you more than you were willing to pay, and keep you longer than you were willing to stay.”
I’ am so glad that I know the truth about the lies satan filled me with not all that long ago. And that the Lord had mercy on my life and is now using me for His glory…He is my hero, He showed me TRUE love, TRUE PEACE, and TRUE hope. I’ am forever indebted to Him and will try my best to live a life pleasing in His sight.
Rom. 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, Holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service (the least we can do). And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable and perfect will of God.
The Lord has given me a love for holiness and a great respect for people that take the bible seriously. The church I once condemned for being over the top Christians that took the bible too seriously are now number one in my book for their boldness in Christ. Along with my Uncle David who is a missionary in Nepal with his wonderful family. He never seamed to stop praying for me, when in all truth the only thing he crossed my mind as was, just another one of those judgmental over the top Christians, trying to ram the Bible down your throat…I hope I grow up to be just the same ( :


The Miller Family said...

Hey Julia! I read your testimony a while back, but it sure was encouraging to re-read it!

I have watched how the Lord has truly used you,and have been delighted to see that you have not wavered even one bit in your walk with Him.

The Lord bless you,

His Space said...

Aww Thanks Mrs. Kati ( : I really wish I could say i havent wavered an inch but that's just not so.
At one point this last year i found that my walk with the Lord had become cold and i set out to pick up where i left off.
I started retracing my steps about 2 weeks before i went to nepal but it wasn't until I Got there that the Lord really started to work on my heart. I'm so thankful that the Lord has never given up on me ( :
I'm really looking forward to going to ambassador and getting some good bible time in ( :

Peace in Christ ~ ju