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Jesus, my Saviour – and my survival

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Monique shared this testimony at Gathering 2008 in Montreal, during the opening celebration service.

Good morning. I’ve come to talk to you about resurrection. Not Jesus’ resurrection, but my own.

I came to know the Lord at age 14. I can say that he’s my Saviour, but for more than 35 years, he was also my Survival.

Since childhood, I lived a life of suffering. I grew up with indifference, shame, verbal violence, rejection, and fear. My life was profoundly affected. I was, in many ways, dead.

Psalm 142 describes well the suffering I lived. Many times I cried out: “I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. I pour out before him my complaint; before him I tell my trouble.” Just like David, I expressed my distress. I was exhausted, disenchanted with life. I wanted to die.

At 20, my mother kicked me out of the house and I found myself on the street without money or work. I felt like David in verse 4: “Look and see, there is no one at my right hand; no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my life.” Later, the Lord consoled me with Psalm 27:10: “Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.”

With all that had happened in my life, I had a very poor self-image as a young adult. I saw myself as a good-for-nothing loser.

Then, one day, a church person crossed my path. For four years, she helped me sort myself out. Gradually, things began to change. This woman had a huge impact on my life – she saw potential in me that I couldn’t see.

During those years, the Lord worked in me and spoke to me through Psalm 139. It completely changed my self-concept.

Today, I can say with the psalmist: “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” And I truly believe it.

And something else changed – my idea of perfection. The Lord helped me understand that between perfectionism and mediocrity lies self-respect. Striving for perfection only depresses and belittles a person. Self-respect, on the other hand, makes a person feel proud and satisfied.

I made enormous progress, but there remained a pain that I couldn’t explain.

So, two years ago, I decided to look for professional assistance. Counselling helped me see myself more clearly, but it was God who healed me.

As Psalm 22:5 says, my cries were heard and the Lord liberated me. I no longer carry the pain that isolated me from the world almost all my life and rendered me incapable of moving toward people.

Now, I talk to everyone around me.

My actions and perspective have changed.

I was without life and the Lord revived me! At 14, he was my survival. Today, he is my life.

My goal for the future is that God would use my talents and passions for good and that I would make him known.

—Monique Foisy has been a member of Église Chrétienne de Saint-Jérôme for 38 years.

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