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My Testimony of Faith Cyril 'C' Walrond

Updated: Jun 30, 2021

In times past, I walked according to the ways of this world and in rebellion with my heart hardened towards the things of God... BUT GOD, who is rich in mercy and great in love came through when no one else could. For when I was without strength and unable to save myself, right on time, Christ stepped in... When I was younger I was on an endless pursuit. Of what exactly, I hadn't the slightest clue. I just knew that there was something unexplainable that was missing from my life. A longing, an emptiness. My young life was falling apart more and more by the day. I was lost, hurting, living in a constant haze, and misguided. Wandering and wondering is this all there is to life. Trying to find that which was missing, I turned to everything I could to fill the void in my life for a deeper sense of meaning, purpose, identity, and acceptance. Despite the outside optics, the full ride scholarship, popularity, money, and women, I felt more alone, empty and broke than ever. These things could never give me what my soul was truly longing for. I grew up in a fractured family splitting time between two homes on two different sides of Tacoma. The community that most significantly influenced me and shaped the way I moved in the world was the most notorious of the two. The one more infamously known for gangs, drugs, violence, crime, and murder. I Grew up in a time that we celebrated the label of being the Murder Capital in the early 90's. I came to find my identity in this community and wore my section as a badge of honour

wherever I went. So I did what the hood did. I wore what the hood wore. I talked like the hood talked. I walked like the hood walked. I fought when they fought. I was off that! Even when going to school or functions on the other side, I never left any doubt about who my allegiance and loyalties were with. Over time my heart became callous and my moral conscious became seared. I was numb to the thought of God and used fake and phony Christians as my comic relief. How could God be the answer, when it was this God who deserved all of the blame for the problems in the world and in my life. God caused my baby cousin to die from AIDS. God snatched my grandfather from me. God allowed my dad to have his foot ran over by a forklift and then afflicted him with diabetes and cancer. Where was God when my older brother and I were kidnapped? Did He just watch while I was being physically abused as a child? Did this all-loving God even care when my friends died, were murdered, or committed suicide? What about when my homeboys moms o.d'd.? It was His house, the house of God, that we would frequently attend to bury friend after friend, family member after family member. I did not to need a crutch but answers. If sin was the reason, why did God allow me to live when so many others I know died because according to His own definition I was a sinner. But God had another plan. A plan to show me that He took my pain so serious that He would go to drastic measures to show me His love, even to suffer on the cross. A plan to show me that there is hope for a sinner and can be life after my worst moments. After being incarcerated I eventually found myself in a cold concrete cell in solitary confinement. Cut off from everything I thought was significant I was forced to face myself for the first time and did not recognize the person I had become. This is when I found myself on the floor praying to a God that I didn't believe in let alone believed cared. This is when I cried out to God that if He is real to make himself known to me. As I was crying out, the slot in the steel door at the front of my dark and dank cell opened up and a Bible was thrown in. For the next almost 24 hours I couldn't eat, sleep, shower or do anything but read the scriptures and experience the love of the Lord as the Words seemed to bring me to life. This encounter with the God of the Bible left me feeling a peace that I can't even explain, yet I felt convicted to face this holy and righteous God. For the first time I saw myself for what I really was a sinner in need of a saviour. Confronted with my own shame, guilt, and condemnation I soon came to learn that Jesus didn't come to condemn the world but the world was already condemned. He came to seek and to save sinners. He came to seek and to save me. In spite of myself the Lord still loved me a murderer, a brawler, a fornicator, an extortioner, a drunkard, a thief, an idolater... you get the put a real life sinner. When I was powerless and could not deliver myself Christ stepped in. He stepped in and my life has not been the same since. Through coming clean with the God who knew me more than I knew myself, repenting (turning away from my sin), and placing my faith and full reliance on Christ I found a freedom that goes beyond my circumstances. Or rather this freedom found me. And a great exchange took place. He exchanged my filthy rags for His righteousness. He took my past and my pain and gave me a divine purpose. He took my old identity and made me a new creation. He took my emptiness and brokenness and filled me up and made me whole. What nothing or no one else could do He did. I have experienced the depths of defeat, heartbreak of loss, and the regret of missed opportunities in my life but I have refused to be defined by them because greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world. Regardless of what I have experienced none of that compares to the joy I experience everyday. Undoing the wrongs of my youth may be impossible but through the grace of God I have been given everything I need to share the living hope I found when I was at the end of myself and powerless. Truly God's mercy triumphs over judgement. I am a living witness. Cyril "C" Walrond

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