My name is Jenna Bonstein and this is my testimony about the miracles God has done in my life. My journey to Christ is nothing short of grace. He called me and pursued me for as long as I could remember, but it wasn’t until the winter of 2016 that I understood what it meant to be “saved” and set free.
I grew up in catholic household and church, where I knew Jesus died, but I didn’t know he died for me. It was bizarre to think that I could have a personal relationship with Him. Yeah, when I prayed I spoke to God, but I told him what I thought He wanted to hear. He died on a cross, but I had no idea of the severity of His death and resurrection. There was no way I was telling God I was a sinner. I had already had a bad reputation with the nuns and teachers. I remember just being a child looking for meaning in life.
Before I was 13 I felt this feeling of emptiness and failure. I always felt that I was not good enough, pretty enough, or smart enough. There was definitely a yearning in my spirit for something more or different than this world had to offer. I started drinking alcohol when I was 13, and it was a mixture of curiosity and rebellion against my parents. I felt pressure to fit in from my peers and being “cool” was the thing to be. This led me to drinking hard alcohol and experimenting with drugs throughout high school. By the time I was 15, I was drinking, smoking pot and experimenting with harder drugs more than just on the weekends.
This was when my life was spiraling out of control but as a young girl I felt that I had a sense of control over the drugs. This was a huge lie that I believed and pride blinded me from the truth. For years later, I battled with addiction and loss.
A childhood friend and I started dating when I was 15 and he is a big part of my drug use and life at this age. I had many painful experiences watching this person become a slave to opioids / heroin. This was a complete change of character for him. He was someone who had his whole life ahead of him. Someone who was very loved and had a way of making people feel loved. He was my “world” and when he died in 2011, my world came crashing down too fast for me to comprehend. When I was 20, he passed away from an overdose and I was facing charges for drinking while intoxicated. I had been arrested countless times, and felt the shame and torture of wanting to stop or change but no human power could break this cycle. I prayed fox-hole prayers and asked for direction however, if you are not filled with the Holy Spirit and following Christ then you are following your own understanding.
I needed an intervention from God himself, and He gave it to me. August 2013, I got my second and last DWI and asked God for help as I found myself in a desperate and broken place. God can finally use me for His Glory – I surrendered and cried out for help, knowing now that God loves when we are real with him in our brokenness. I was willing to do ANYTHING to get myself out of the mess of a life I had created. God is so amazing that He will not let us go, He loves us too much. When I got clean, I substituted drugs for everything else. There was no fullness in anything or faith that I had instilled to keep me off drugs. I was just using will-power alone and living a sinful worldly life. God wanted more for me. He led me to a church simply by opening a door and hearing a message. He drew me to Himself. There I found the love of Christ in the Church and gave my life to Him.
My clean date is 2/8/2015, because of many relapses but I truly believe they led me to where I am today. Ephesians 2:8 “By grace you have been saved, through faith, which is not of ourselves, but a gift from God.” This verse speaks to my heart because I was not worthy or deserving to this gift that God gives us, His son Jesus, but He found it fit for me to have this gift. I treasure this now; I am totally free from addiction and the bondage that I was once a victim too. And not to mention, I have the ultimate gift of all, eternity with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I have peace in my heart and love that I can pour out because experiencing God’s love has changed me. I am able to serve and be like Him for his glory and purpose, which is to glorify Him in everything. There are days when I still am in shock that I don’t drink or do drugs; but when the Son sets you free- you are free indeed. I know for myself that the enemy can try to make these certain things appealing to me, and that is why Gods word, fellowship, praising and worshiping and being about Gods business is so important in your walk with Christ.
Freedom only comes from Him - He is the way, the truth and the life.
I pray whoever reads this testimony, knows that YOU ARE LOVED BY A HOLY AND RIGHTEOUS FATHER, and there is nothing you can do to earn His love or separate you from His love. It’s everlasting. Understand that we are not going to be able to do anything to earn, or get God to love us more than He already does now, in this moment. Just thank Him you are alive and able accept this free gift – Thank you Jesus