Who Was I?
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- Format: Folded Flyer Tract
- Size: 3.5 inches x 8.5 inches
- Pages: 8
- Version: ESV
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The full text of this flyer tract is shown below in the ESV version. (Do you want to print this tract in a different version than the one listed? Contact us and let us know what you're looking for—we may be able to create the alternate version for you at no charge.)
I was an orphan. I was rejected. I was adopted. I was abused. I was scared. I was living in fear. I was lied to. I was lonely. I was abandoned. I was ashamed. I was afraid of death.
But Jesus was calling
I came to the well to drink. He met me there. Jesus delivered me. (John 4:14)
“And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death” (Revelation 12:11).
September 2011—My testimony of where, when, and how He met me....
I was invited to a prayer meeting and an Evangelist prayed for me at this small gathering. While he was praying for me, my friend had her hand on my back praying. After he prayed for me, I felt a desire to live for Jesus. Jesus has always been on my heart and in my thoughts since that day, September 29, 2011.
At the meeting, there was a lady who looked familiar. When she invited me to her church, I realized who she was and that I had visited once before. She had given me her name, number and address and called me friend when I visited the church the first time. I hadn’t seen Marcia since I had visited the church, but she just so happened to be at this meeting! She became a spiritual mom to me. We keep in touch today, a decade later!
As I began to consistently attend church on Sundays and Wednesdays, the Lord began to deal with my heart. He began to peel me like an onion, layer by layer. I went through a season when I cried every service, as I was led to repent, be healed, and delivered from past sins and pain.
April of 2012—Forgiveness is a key
I felt an urgency to write a letter to my adoptive parents who I had been estranged from for years. My letter included asking for forgiveness for anything they were holding against me. The door was opened for a relationship. I believe this was the key to the working of miracles and deliverance in my life.
May 2012—My testimony after attending the Surfside Christian Retreat
There were 16 of us and everyone was a stranger to me except just a couple of ladies. We began an ice breaker. We had to tear the label on our water bottles and walk around the room while asking each person the question that was on the inside of the label. We had to trade our water bottle label each time. The questions were kind of silly, but it served the purpose of breaking the ice and getting conversations going! Once the game was over, we had to look at the color of our label that we ended up with and that was the group of ladies that we had to group up with, so we were with a new group! It was a little uncomfortable because I didn’t know the ladies that were in my group. Honestly, I didn’t think I would be able to relate to them because they were older, and I wasn’t sure how much we would reveal to each other. I learned that no matter the age of a person, one still faces painful experiences and difficult decisions in life.
After the first session, I walked towards the beach. There was a little gate that we had to walk through and there was sand on the boardwalk that sifted between my toes! The sound of the waves crashing on the shore was just heavenly! I got as close as I could to the water, letting the water crash against my ankles. Not knowing how close sharks got near the shore, I was not going any further! I enjoyed looking at the dark sky with the moonlight shining on the water! One of the girls from the retreat was out there standing near me as I enjoyed the scenery. I began a conversation to break the ice, saying, “You look familiar to me.” She told me that her name was Kandy, but it didn’t ring a bell. She looked to be close to my age. She came as a guest with her aunt. In conversation, we discovered that my daughter was in the same pageant as her niece, and we lived 3 miles from each other. As we continued talking, she saw someone fishing a few feet away, and she said, “I wish I had my fishing pole.” I replied, “I don’t even own a fishing pole.” She said, “You don’t come from South Louisiana and not own a fishing pole.” I asked, “South Louisiana? What part?” “Houma”, she answered. Stunned, I said, “That’s where I am from!” She asked what school I went to. I said, “Well, I went to too many to mention. What school did you go to?” She said, “South Terrebonne.” I said, “You might know some of my cousins.” Then, I named some of my cousins, but no names rang a bell! I asked her, “What elementary school did you go to?” She said, “Village East.” With surprise, I said, “I went to that school in the 3rd grade. Mrs. Bernard was my teacher.” She said, “I had Mrs. Bernard too!” “I remember you,” she exclaimed! She said, “You and I were best friends in the 3rd grade, and I remember the day that your name was changed! They called your name over the loudspeaker.” “Wasn’t your name Alana?” In disbelief, I started to have flashbacks and realized that I was going to have to explain some things! But stunned that this was happening, it was bringing back some memories that I didn’t want to remember from my childhood. Of all the experiences in my life, the 3rd grade year was not the one I wanted to recall!
Here I was on a women’s retreat, hoping for a new start for friendships with the new me and the past comes creeping up! However, I didn’t have a choice but to explain the name change because Kandy knew me as Priscilla, then Alana, and now my nickname is Lanie, legally, Alaine! Most people only have 1 name in their lifetime, so having 4 names can cause a big identity crisis. Kandy was curious to find out where I went after 3rd grade.
I began to explain that after my foster mother adopted me, she changed my name from Priscilla to Alana, and that she passed away shortly after. She was only 34 years old. She had pneumonia but I was told that she died of a brain aneurism. I don’t really know the facts. I remember like yesterday, watching her walk out to the car in the winter with a blanket wrapped around her. She had a high fever and needed to go to the emergency room. I remember her having a talk with me and my adoptive and foster sisters, saying “I was told by a doctor that if I ever got sick like this again, I could die.” I remember running to the bathroom and sitting alone and crying uncontrollably! I remember that she was in the hospital and children were not allowed to go on the hospital floor that she was on. I believe it was only days before she passed away. Shortly after her death, my adoptive father became abusive. I remember crying on Mother’s Day because I didn’t have a mom to make a Mother’s Day card in school like the other kids. My teacher helped me to make a memorial Mother’s Day card with my adoptive mother’s obituary. That summer, we moved to the other side of town. We had been living in a trailer in a trailer park and we moved the trailer to the other side of town on a small lot in a small neighborhood. So off to another new school for the 4th grade! I had already moved to a new home and school each year of my life since I was 4 years old.
Crossing paths with Kandy 25 years later brought back some memories that I didn’t expect. This was supposed to be a fun and a relaxing getaway, not an emotional roller coaster! I thought that it was a dream, until I woke up and heard people whispering. Ladies were fumbling through their belongings and getting dressed for the day! In our second session, we discovered our topic, it was another day of disbelief. Our topic was about Sarai and Abram and how God changed Sarai’s name to Sarah and Abram’s name to Abraham. We were given dictionaries to look up the meanings of our names. There were also questions like “Do you think your name and its meaning fit your personality? Why or why not? Would you ever consider changing your name? Tell why or why not! If you were going to pick a name that reflected who you are, what would be a possible new name?” As I read the questions, I thought, “How am I going to answer these questions?” I was given a biblical baby name book. As I looked up my name —Alaine—I didn’t find it in this book, then I decided to look up my other two names since it wasn’t a secret anymore that I had three names. I looked up the meaning of Alana and it meant “The Rock.” It was symbolic to me that this was my name through the most difficult time in my life. This had a deeply spiritual meaning to me. During such a difficult time, when I wasn’t being brought to church and I had been let down in so many ways and had no one to depend on, no one that I could trust, and no security in this life, somehow there was something keeping me strong. My new name was my new identity and it lived up to its meaning considering the adversity that I faced at the time. I looked up the meaning of Priscilla, my birth name, and discovered that it means “Ancient.” I remember thinking, “Ancient! What kind of meaning is that? Ancient means old!” I was not happy with that meaning. In my mind, the meaning signified the past, gone, history, dead. After this session, we began singing a song called “Ancient Words.” The words of the song go like this….
“Words of life, words of hope, give us strength, help us cope. In this world, where e’er we roam, ancient words will guide us home. (Repeat)
Ancient words, ever true, changing me and changing you. We have come with open hearts. O let the ancient words impart. (Repeat)”
I cried like a baby listening to this song! I just felt the presence of God and realized that the word “Ancient” isn’t so bad! It’s actually a very important word. God’s Living Word is Ancient. 2 Timothy 3:16 comes to mind: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (NIV).
God has been working on healing me of lifelong pain!
God continues to show his love with similar experiences. In August, I went to a Women’s Encounter in Lockport, Louisiana, where one of the ladies told me that she had a cousin, Randy, who lives in Hattiesburg, MS, who preaches part-time. She said she hadn’t talked to him in years and asked me if I knew him. I didn’t know him. Three weeks later, I met a lady at my bank who attends the church where Randy began preaching six months prior. I visited the church and testified how I met Randy’s cousin three weeks earlier. I believe that it was a divine appointment. I needed to hear what he had preached. What are the chances of meeting someone who attends a church of 13 people, whose preacher drives every Sunday over 33 miles to preach, who just so happens to be the first cousin of a lady that I met in Louisiana 3 weeks earlier?
In September, I met a couple at the YMCA who happened to have moved to Mississippi to minister to students at a local college. Felicity is from my hometown and her husband, Chris, was from New Orleans. We discovered that Chris had preached for Randy. I also learned that I went to college with the couple. The couple invited me to a small group prayer meeting in their home.
That night, there were only six people there. The first lady I was introduced to said, “Hi, I am Andrea and I am from Slidell.” I said, “when I go to visit family in Louisiana, I stop in Slidell to visit my foster mom from my childhood.” She said, “you didn’t have another name, did you?” I said, “yes, I did.” She asked, “Was it Priscilla?” I said, “yes!” She said, “I am Andrea, your foster mom, from when you were 8 years old in New Orleans!” I discovered that my foster parents and my foster sister and her family lived within 15 miles from us in a small Mississippi town!
Having experienced all this increased my faith to allow God to direct my path.
October of 2012, I received devastating news. My adoptive mom who I had just reconnected with in April of 2012 was diagnosed with cancer.
Once I quit my job to stay home and care for my 3 daughters, I continued to grow closer to the Lord. I spent time with Him in the morning for devotion. I watched sermons daily. I attended a couple Bible studies a week. In 2014, I was feeling a tug to move to Tennessee to be with my parents as my mom was battling cancer. I felt that they really needed support. I wanted my daughters to know their grandparents. Not knowing how much time she had, I wanted to spend that time with her. The Lord knew that we needed reconciliation and healing. So, February 1st of 2015, we made that huge leap! After 12 years of living in Mississippi, we up and moved our family to Tennessee.
Financial blessings from God!
September of 2013, after I had quit my job the previous December, I was on my knees in my bedroom praying. We needed a financial miracle because we were $800 a month short of what we needed. I prayed and asked God to provide the money monthly. I didn’t know how we were going to make it. Within the week, my husband came home from work and said that his company was giving him an extra run each week to Dallas, Texas that would pay him $800 more a month! Praise God. In 2015, after we made the decision that we were moving to Tennessee to be near my mom who had been battling cancer, God provided a place to rent and we sold our property for cash in Mississippi, a week later! Six months after living in Tennessee, we had $3000 debt. My husband put an old truck for sale that he traded his riding lawnmower for with his friend. He loved that truck, but he took a leap of faith and sacrificed for his family. Within 3 days of putting the truck for sale and before our bills due date, a preacher paid cash for it! These are just a few testimonies of God’s provision. These are the ones that have continually increased my faith.
“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
Who am I?
I AM who He says I am. I AM loved. I AM important. I AM accepted. I AM unafraid. I AM His daughter. I AM cleansed of all unrighteousness.. I AM set me free from lies, torment, deception, demonic strongholds, and every demonic entity in the Name of Jesus!
I AM called me with a purpose to intercede in prayer for others.
Come out from among them, says the Lord! Come and drink from the well of living water. Be purified with the fire of the Lord Jesus who will cleanse you of all unrighteousness and will make you white as snow for His glory and He will keep you from evil and preserve you for the coming day of the Lord (Psalm 121:7-8).
“The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives” (Psalm 37:23 NLT).
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished into all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV).
“Be alert and of sober minded. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8 NIV).
“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit” (Hebrews 4:12 NLT).
“The Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8 NLT).
“They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony” (Revelation 12:11 NIV).
“‘Yes, I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20 NIV).
Songs: These songs have impacted my life
Ancient Words—Michael W. Smith
One Thing Remains—Jesus Culture
Pray a prayer like this one. Speak honestly and humbly to God, who hears you:
Father God, set me free from all evil. I repent of any sin and believe in my heart that you have forgiven me of all my sins. Lord, I renounce my sins (say them out loud). Father God, come into my heart and fill me with your Holy Spirit. I confess that I believe that Jesus died on the cross for me and rose on the third day! Thank you, Jesus for creating a new life in me as I enter an eternal relationship with you. This I pray, in Jesus’ Name. Amen!