Hi! I’m Sharmayne. Creator of DeersFeet.com
My journey through depression and to God.
In 2020, during the height of the pandemic when all the churches were closed, a friend of mine started a weekly, virtual, testimonial get together on Zoom. Each Sabbath, she would have a guest
who would share their testimony of how God brought them through a particular area of their life.
She called it, "This Is My Story: Testimonies That Move The Soul".
She would send out links inviting people to tune in for each testimony. Most of the people who spoke, I either knew or knew of, and their testimonies were riveting. I was often shocked because the ones I knew, I had no idea they had gone through certain things. The program was something I began looking forward to because the testimonies were so powerful, and I always had many take-aways for
my own life. But as I listened, I felt a burning in my heart to share my own testimony, because I had one
which no one knew about.
At the beginning of each session as people were signing on, the organizer would show a slide show of pictures with bible verses or quotes, sort of filler to keep us occupied and get us in the mood as we waited for the program to start. One of the quotes that flashed always stirred something inside me. It was...“But that which will be most effectual is the testimony of our own experience”.
(Ellen G. White, Ministry Of Healing pg. 32)
So, as I sat there listening to all the testimonies every week, I had this burning in my heart to share my own. I first decided, “OK. I’ll write a book”. So, I started researching "How to write a book", I went on different webinars, and I even took a class, but I just felt like that was going to take way too long. I do at one point want to write a book, but I wanted to get something out sooner, rather than later, because, according to the quote above, my story may help someone else.
But I hesitated, telling myself I don't want to talk about me. As if I’m trying to be seen, or something. But the more I listened to the other testimonies, what I realized was that the subject
is about me, about the work God has done in and through me. So, it's not that I was going to do a testimony and say, “Hey! Look what I've done!” It was to say, look what God has done and is
continuing to do through me AND what He can do for you.
So, I reached out to my friend, the organizer of the Zoom program. I was nervous because at
first I was thinking, well she's asking certain people, so I felt it was very presumptuous of me to say,
“Can I tell my testimony, too?” I don't know why I just felt weird like I was being pushy or something.
But I followed the urge, maybe it was the Holy Spirit. I asked her if I could tell my testimony,
and she said, "Of course"! She didn't even question it.
I immediately got nervous because I really don't like talking in front of people which a lot of people don't know about me because I'm a talker, but it makes me very nervous to talk in front of a lot of people. We set up a date for mid-December. I prayed about it. I said, “OK, Lord. I need you to show me what you want me to say. I didn't even know where to start because there were so many parts to
my story because it started when I was very young.
I mean the first time I remember feeling like I was unloved or unwanted was when I was six, but
I figured I had a little time to prepare because it was only September or October. So, I was thinking about it, but not stressing too much. Then one day in early November, and I know this was the Holy Spirit, I had the urge to sit down and write out what I was going to say from beginning to end.
I had decided I was going to speak unscripted, and just have short notes/prompt words here and there to glance at while speaking. But I had an urge to write out the whole thing, just in case I ended up having to read it. I didn’t really know what that meant at the time, but I did it anyway.
I went to the beach one day with my laptop and the words just started pouring out. By the end
of the day, I felt I had something that should get my point across where I was and how God brought
me from there to Him. I felt good about it. I closed my laptop and breathed a sigh of relief that I had four weeks before I had to present it.
Less than a week later, I got a text from my friend, “Hi. I need to change your testimony date. Is there any way you can do it in two weeks?” Well, had I not listened to the Holy Spirit and pounded out that testimony, I would've been freaking out but my answer to her was, “Sure!” I felt confident.
I had in my mind everything I was going to say and do and how everybody is going to be so impressed with what God has done for me and I was just going to give this great testimony speaking so eloquently and everything. I even thought people would say, “Wow you should be a preacher!” Yeah, Lord, You're going to use me to be this instrument for You. Well, I was His instrument all right. That typed out testimony was about to come in real handy.
The day of the program, I was nervous, but confident, but once it started and I spoke the first word, the tears started flowing. Not so much because I get nervous in front of people but because my testimony is hard for me to say aloud. The way I felt about God, believing He hated me, walking away from Him, just breaks my own heart and I can't imagine how it made him feel at the time. I couldn’t stop crying, and I immediately went from unscripted speaking (one word) to reading what was on my paper.
The tears continued and felt unstoppable, but I kept reading because I felt like the Holy Spirit was saying, don’t stop. I kept thinking nobody can understand a word I’m saying. I was waiting for my girlfriend to interrupt and ask me if I wanted to get myself together while she put in some filler stuff,
but everything was silent except my broken, sobbing voice. I couldn't even hear anybody breathe.
I mean most people are muted, but nobody got off mute and said anything.
So, I just kept going. I didn't look up. I couldn't look up because I was crying so much...I could barely see the words on my paper and if I looked away, I was afraid I would lose my place. So, the words kept coming out even though I believed no one could understand me. And finally, I got to the end and looked up. I felt exhausted.
The usual format is that after each testimony, there’s a question-and-answer/comment period.
I figured most people had probably left during me talking because they couldn’t hear my words, but there were still a lot of people on. Many were saying thank you for sharing and that they were proud
of me and that I was brave, things like that.
I was finally able to wipe my tears, blow my nose, and answer questions. That same night, and
into the following week, I received many texts and calls. I was able to ask some people if they could
really hear and understand me and everyone said yes, they heard every word. They also said they
were praying for me to have the strength to keep going. I told them that must've been what kept me going! Some also told me about their own struggles with depression and that my testimony helped them.
So, I started thinking, if this small group of people can benefit from my testimony, what about somebody else out there in the world? There may be others who have walked away from God or
who think God hates them or that He would never take them back because they walked away, like I did.
So, I decided instead of trying to write a book right now, I’ll start a blog, a place where I can share my story weekly or monthly and people from all over the world can read it and possibly receive some
hope and turn to God even if they don't even believe in Him.
So, I went online and picked a platform to use. I really had no idea what I was doing. I spoke to a friend who had a blog and I told her my testimony and my desire to start one and she jumped right
in to guide me. I sent her a draft of my first post, she made some edits like spelling and sentence structure, and sent it back to me. I put it in my blog platform and then froze.
Did I pick the right platform? Should I really be doing this? What if I did something wrong?
All these questions were racing through my head in that moment. Then a voice said,
“You can sit there for the next day / month / year trying to figure out if you're
doing the right thing, or you can hit PUBLISH and let God do the rest.
Well, as you know, I hit PUBLISH and I’m letting God do the rest as I obey Him.
I pray my testimony/my journey blesses you and someone you love.
Love & blessings,