This is my testimony as I gave it at our women's retreat in April 2009.
I'm Josey Bozzo and I've been attending our church for just over 9 years. When I signed up to go on a missions trip, I was told I should put into writing how I came to know Christ as my Savior. I had never done that before and I found that it was difficult. The story of how I came to know Christ is long and sometimes painful to recall. But I wrote it out like I was told. Secretly I prayed I wouldn't have to read it. Not because of standing in front of people, I have no problem with that. It was because of what it contained that made me nervous. Most of you only know me since I've been attending Greentree Church. I don't talk about the person I was before Christ entered my life very often and you'll understand why as I continue. I have to assume that God wants me talking about it, because here I am.
When I was about 15 years old I had a boyfriend. We had dated for two years and he was everything to me, my whole world. I loved him so much that one night I gave myself to him completely. It was a decision I still regret today. It wasn't long after that he broke up with me. He claimed he “just didn't love me anymore”. I couldn't understand it. I was devastated and utterly heartbroken. I spent the next years of school depressed and miserable. These dark feelings gave way to some very destructive behavior. I began spending my time drinking at parties. I also looked for any boy who would give me attention. All I wanted was for the pain of feeling unloved to go away. Eventually nothing I was doing helped so I took drastic measures.
One night I stole a handful of pills from my parent's medicine cabinet and washed them down with whatever bottle I had gotten my hands on. I passed out on the floor later that night at my friend's house not knowing whether I would wake up. Honestly I didn't care. I know now, that someone did care. There was someone who loved me so much that this attempt to end my life didn't work, and neither did the other two attempts that followed. I just didn't know it yet.
When I was 21, my parents lifted my curfew and things just escalated. I could stay out all night if I wanted, and I did. I was living a truly sinful life by every definition and yet I didn't feel like I was doing anything wrong. It was a great time as far as I was concerned. Right about this same time, as crazy as it sounds, a relative of someone I had dated, suggested I see a counselor. She was a Christian and so was the counselor she sent me to. I wasn't sure about it, but I went anyway. The counselor wouldn't listen to my boohooing about how no one loved me. She told me I was a sinner and that I needed Jesus. That day I prayed and asked Jesus into my heart.
Now I wish I could tell you that at this point my life began to change. But I can't. I walked out of that office and went right back to doing what I had been. I disregarded everthing I had heard from her about Jesus and everything I had done that day. This is where, when I look back I realize just how amazing God is. (as if saving me from suicide before I knew him wasn't enough). Even though I turned my back on him, and ignored the tugging on my heart that told me what I was doing was wrong, he didn't let go of me. He held on to me, kept me close to him, alive and safe for the next few years. He brought truly wonderful man into my life who became my husband and father of our two children. And He brought us incredible friends who invited us to Greentree Church for the Christmas musical. It was only a few months after the musical that my husband accepted Christ and I finally gave Christ the control of my life He deserved.
I used to say that if I had the chance, I would change everything I did. What I've come to realize, is that if I hadn't gone through what I did, I wouldn't be in the place I am now with Christ. Sure I would much rather have happy memories of my younger years. But if having happy memories means I wouldn't be able to stand here today and tell you that I am now thankful for what happened, then I wouldn't change a thing.