He Kept Me - A Story of Faith.


He kept me.

In three simple words, that is my faith story. HE KEPT ME.

I was raised in a Christian home with Christian parents. I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit at five-years-old. I was baptized in water at eight-years-old and then again at sixteen. My father was called into the ministry when I was in my teenage years, and I became a Pastor's Kid. By nineteen I was leading worship and directing my own Dramatic Arts Teams. 

If you came here looking for the testimony of someone who was set free from drugs or alcohol or a promiscuous lifestyle, you wouldn't find it. That was not my journey. My testimony of God's saving grace was a little more subtle. Through the winds and the waves, He kept me.

 
1 Peter 1. The keeping power of God is strong than anything that would try to come against you. In this article, I am sharing my testimony of how God kept me through on the hills and through the valleys. I pray that this testimony encourages you to see the keeping power of God in your life.
 

In High School . . .

In eleventh grade, my parents took my siblings and me out of private schools and placed me in public school. Not only did they take me out of my comfortable and safe cocoon, but they also put us into one of the most dangerous High Schools on Long Island. Of course, they didn't know this at the time. 

I ended up loving my High School - gang fights and all. I excelled and became top of my class. However, I didn't do many of the "High School" things that most kids do. Once, my friends and I tried to skip class by going to the McDonald's around the block. We got as far as the football field and turned back too afraid to get caught. 

I wasn't invited to the parties. I didn't have a boyfriend. I didn't have many friends, and while during those days, it weighed on me that I wasn't a "normal high school kid," but now I realize that -

. . . HE was keeping me. 

1 Peter 1. The keeping power of God is strong than anything that would try to come against you. In this article, I am sharing my testimony of how God kept me through on the hills and through the valleys. I pray that this testimony encourages you to see the keeping power of God in your life.

Through College . . . 

I went to college for Music Education and experienced amazing opportunities. I made phenomenal friends who were all like-minded and striving for the same things I was. I sang in Carnegie Hall, conducted orchestra's, and learned how to teach. I became an excellent teacher in college, and continue to teach today . . . Although now it isn't a classroom of middle schoolers, but an online community of tens of thousands of eager "students" desiring to learn how to live their life as God's Symphony.

I had a boyfriend at the time — my first boyfriend. We started dating at the end of High School. In our sophomore year, he went away as a foreign exchange student. He cheated on me and slept around.  And that was the end of that.

I didn't do any of the college things: the parties, the sororities, the late-night study sessions. I wasn't invited. It worked out, though. I had my music and through my college years -

. . .  He Kept Me.

1 Peter 1. The keeping power of God is strong than anything that would try to come against you. In this article, I am sharing my testimony of how God kept me through on the hills and through the valleys. I pray that this testimony encourages you to see the keeping power of God in your life.

In My Twenties . . . 

  • I taught music in public schools for ten years before I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and just burnt out. Through the abuse of the public school system . . . He Kept Me.

  • I was held up at gunpoint while on my way to teach a piano lesson . . . And He Kept Me. 

  • I was in a massive car accident that put me in a hospital bed, unable to move, for three months. I was mad at God. But He kept me, and He kept my song.

My twenties were rough. A marriage that would eventually end in divorce, two miscarriages, moving from New York (my home and my heart) to North Carolina (a strange land) dealing with an autoimmune disease, and more stress than I'd wish on my worst enemy - this was my twenties, and even though I suffered greatly -  

HE CONTINUED TO KEEP ME. 


1 Peter 1. The keeping power of God is strong than anything that would try to come against you. In this article, I am sharing my testimony of how God kept me through on the hills and through the valleys. I pray that this testimony encourages you to see the keeping power of God in your life.

And Now . . .

The shining light of my thirties was raising my son - Asher. He is a miracle. After two miscarriages I never thought it would happen, but God had other plans.

My thirties were a blur. There were some good moments as I faithfully served in a local church (that eventually I would be kicked out of). I led worship, formed a growing Dramatic Arts team, and found my voice.

I started a non-profit community theater that gave an abundance of joy and laughter, song and dance to our community, and volunteers. But left me empty, sick, worn-out, and abused.

Through it all . . . He Kept Me.

He kept me through a divorce.
He kept me through re-marriage.
He kept me through closing my business.
He kept me when my brother-in-law died of cancer, and my young sister had to bury her husband.
He kept me when my father suddenly died of a catastrophic stroke.
He kept me when I needed to move back in with my mother as a forty-year-old newlywed to make sure she was okay after my father's death.
He kept me when my little brother died of an aortic aneurysm at just thirty-eight years old.
He kept me when I was diagnosed with cancer.

AND NOW . . . He is still keeping me.

In a very quick nutshell, this is my testimony; The keeping power of God. When the waves were high, He kept me. When the ship was rocking back and forth, He kept me. When the seas were calm, He still kept me and my friend . . .HE IS KEEPING YOU.

1 Peter 1. The keeping power of God is strong than anything that would try to come against you. In this article, I am sharing my testimony of how God kept me through on the hills and through the valleys. I pray that this testimony encourages you to see the keeping power of God in your life.

WHAT IS THE KEEPING POWER OF GOD?

1 Peter 1:3-5 says, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, [4] to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, [5] who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."

1 Peter 1 :5 tells us that through faith in Jesus for salvation, we are kept by the power of God. We look at the English Word for "kept" and it means "to retain and reserve for future use." Pretty dull and boring. When you read it that way, it isn't a big deal. God is "retaining me for future use." Our English words cannot capture the treasure of the Scripture, my Friend.

"Kept by the power of God" is the Greek word phroureō which has a much richer translation than our English attempt. It means, "to be a watcher in advance that is to mount guard as a sentinel (post spies at gates). To guard, protect by a military guard, either to prevent hostile invasion or to keep the inhabitants of a besieged city from flight."

This word KEPT is actually a military metaphor and refers to a garrison guarded by soldiers. My Friend, through our faith in Jesus Christ, we are protected from spies at the gate. We have a military guard surrounding as at all times preventing our hearts, minds, bodies, and spirits from being taken over. HE IS KEEPING US.

I look over my life, and it is crystal clear. The parties I wasn't invited to as a kid, the boyfriends I didn't have as a teenager, the sororities I missed out on in college, the miscarriages, the divorce, the pain, the suffering, the good times, the mountains, and the valleys . . . Through it all, HE KEPT ME. He was preventing "hostile invasion." He was surrounding me with the Angel Armies. He was keeping me for a purpose. He guarded me against anything that might come to destroy me. At times it was painful (those times were mostly from my own doing), but even in my mistakes and failures, HE KEPT ME.


WHERE ARE YOU?

I don't know where you are today. Maybe you feel as if God has forgotten you or that you don't matter. Perhaps you feel like you've lived a "boring" life, and that you are merely existing. Or maybe you are on the opposite end of the spectrum. You are regretting your life choices. You got into things you know where bad for you and took you far from God.

Wherever you are today, I invite you to take my testimony and weave it into your life's tapestry. The keeping power of God through our faith in Jesus Christ is why you are still here; why you are still breathing; and why you are still living to fight another day.

My Friend, after everything that I have been through, I should absolutely be dead. There is no earthly reason that I have been able to cheat death as many times as I have. But through the keeping power of God and through the imaginary military garrison that I have faith guards my life - I am here.


I tell you my Faith-Story because it is the foundation of my life. I hope that you write out your Faith-Story and read it often for encouragement.

My story is simple.

My testimony is uncomplicated.

He Kept Me.


With All My Heart,
Erika Michelle

When you look back on your life, where can you see He was keeping you? Let us know in the comments and let’s testify to the goodness of God!