The most important thing I can share about myself is the testimony of what He has done in my life. This blog is all about pointing to Him – His goodness, His faithfulness, His love, His provision, etc. My aim is to lift Him up and not myself, as my identity is rooted 100% in Him. My name (Angela Dawn) in the Hebrew is Malak Shachar and the meaning is an angel, messenger, ambassador of the dawn or dayspring. Considering Luke 1:78 I consider it my life calling and purpose to be an ambassador of Christ.
Before I share my testimony, I’d like to be clear on one thing. I do not mean to dishonor anyone in my family by sharing some parts of my testimony that lend to the understanding of who I have become in Him, through all that He has brought us through.
I was raised in a dysfunctional, broken family. My parents got divorced when I was very young. I moved back and forth between them until I became an adult. We went to church rarely during my childhood. Sometimes we only went on Christmas and Easter, and sometimes we went off-and-on in spurts, depending on what was going on in our family’s life.
I received my first Bible around 8-9 yrs of age as a Christmas present from my dad. He told me that it would be the most important book I would ever read. Although, I honestly can’t remember anyone in my nuclear family ever reading it to me, except on a few occasions. I do remember my grandpa loved his bible, which my grandma gave me in 2000 when he died. I know my grandparent’s prayers are very much part of where I am today, along with the prayers of my parents, who did the best they could through all of their own hurt from their childhood traumas.
During one of those good spurts of going to church, I started attending youth group at our local Foursquare church. I made a public confession of faith in Jesus Christ and got baptized. I was about 12 years old at the time and I do not really remember fully understanding the commitment I was making. I had several Christian friends at school and was quite popular.
Circumstances soon after that changed for our family and we stopped going to church. Things got pretty emotionally crazy with divorce and remarriage and more divorce on both sides of my family. It seemed like none of my popular friends or Christian friends really understood all the pain and turmoil I was going through. But, there was a group of kids at school that did. They were from highly dysfunctional families also.
As I started to connect emotionally with these “friends”, I started assimilating their modes of escaping the pain. I had not been given any kind of solid foundation to understand that the only real cure for pain is found in the arms of a loving Heavenly Father, so I quickly departed into prodigal child status. I walked in prodigal child rebellion, drugs/alcohol, immorality, dabbled with witchcraft, etc. for a few of my teen years.
I just did not care any more. I was getting lost in all the turmoil of my parent’s broken marriages, my mom’s failed suicide attempts, and just did not feel like anyone cared (a lie from the enemy). So, I stopped caring whether I lived or died. I became reckless and self-destructive and did a lot of stupid things. However, because of my Heavenly Father’s divine intervention, I am blessed to be alive to this day!
One night, when I was 15 years old, I had what I call my “road to Damascus” experience. I was visited by Yeshua (Jesus) through a very prophetic recycling dream, warning me sternly that I was on a path to certain destruction and needed to make a choice, NOW! He was definitely trying to get my attention, as this dream recycled seven times in one night. It was the biggest wake up call He could have sent me and it worked! All the desire for all those things I had been finding pleasure in were burned right out of me and replaced with a desire to get right with God, right away!
From that day on, my life started to radically change. “Friends” who were bad influences and had no desire to change or respect my new boundaries were seriously distanced, addictions were left behind cold-turkey, music and images were trashed, etc. I made a B-line back to the Father and away from anything pertaining to darkness. Paul’s words in Philippians 2:12, “work out your salvation with fear and trembling” came alive for me.
I did have a few straggler sins and unhealthy comfort sources that took me a few years to overcome. But, with His help, I overcame them all! One of those sins had led me into a life of single parenthood, with a failed marriage and no financial support of any kind. The Heavenly Father took care of my daughter and I though. He blessed us and increased our borders. We started going to church regularly and I started reading my Bible more. My daughter and I got baptized together as she gave her life to Christ at a young age and is still walking with him two decades later. Praise Yah!
As I committed my ways to Him, including the first fruits of my single-parent income, He was ever faithful to me, advancing me in my career beyond my education. He blessed us by advancing my pay to make up for having to raise a child alone. At one point, it became apparent that I was receiving prophetic dreams and rhema (audible) words of knowledge or instructions from the Holy Spirit. One day, He called me to start reading through the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation.
Often, I would clearly be awakened very early in the morning, several hours before I really needed to be up to get ready for work and getting my daughter off to school. It became clear that He wanted me to spend this time with Him in prayer and reading His Word. 4am became our meeting time, where I would grab my Bible and invite His Holy Spirit to teach me all things. I knew that Yeshua said that was what the Holy Spirit’s job was, so I was ready for Him to do His job with me. I knew I could not understand His Word without His help.
I still have that first bible…well, what’s left of it in pieces after the binding finally fell apart completely from overuse (can you “overuse” a bible?). You ever have one of those bibles that has so many notes scribbled around the edges, highlights and underlines, that you almost can’t read it anymore? That was this first bible of mine I had gotten the day I had set foot back in church. Almost every bible of mine (except my bible app) has duct tape holding the binding together!
I learned so much during these special appointments. The Scriptures truly came alive for me! He was giving me answers for how to handle every situation going on in my life, straight out of His Word. Sometimes, I felt so connected to the Bible characters, because I was going through parallel tests and circumstances. He would use their stories to help me navigate mine. I saw miracles, started writing poems, and was truly enjoying the abundant life He was giving me. I truly felt as though I was living, moving, and having my being in Him and His Word.
Over the years, my Heavenly Father has been so incredibly faithful! He provided for me to buy a home, brought me a spouse, and four more beautiful children. Now, we both share those wee morning hours in His Word and prayer together. Our four children (ages 7-13) all get up early to have their special morning time in prayer and Bible study before we start school. My oldest child has now grown into a successful godly young woman, wife, and mom to our beautiful granddaughters. Thanks be to the Heavenly Father! I never could have done it without Him!
We are celebrating our fifteenth anniversary of marriage and are getting stronger and better each year. It has not been a cake walk by any means. My spouse had to overcome some well hidden sins along the way and it has been hard to endure at times. However, because of the preparation time I had with the Father before our marriage, I believe He built up my faith muscles to endure the test, overcome the hurdles, and get through to the finish line.
Through all the hurt and offenses, He just kept calling on me to lay down my life, pick up my cross, and follow His example of love and forgiveness. I will not lie and say that it was not a huge battle between my flesh and spirit. It was, and there were times it seemed my flesh prevailed and the battle for my marriage and family was being lost. I heard a wise saying once, “You never know just how much you’re not dead in Christ, until someone offends you.” How true! He just kept infusing me with His Spirit of, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” and that is our Lord’s strategy for all battles over the flesh and the enemy. If you submit to this strategy, you will win the war!
So, here I am today, three decades after my Damascus Road encounter, still running the race to win the prize, with so much to be thankful and praise Him for! And now I am finally taking up this call, by my pastor’s wife (and confirmed by the Holy Spirit of course), to create a blog to share the Bible insights He has given me (she says always minister to her greatly) with a broader audience. In 2017, He also called me to author my very first book: a two volume life application study on the life and times of King David, publishing in 2019 and 2020 (see the link on my blog to learn more about my books).
It just never would have seemed possible all those years ago, but thankfully, He saw something worth redeeming for His Kingdom in me and I am so glad He did…and that I repented and started the best life I could ask for. I truly hope my testimony has ministered to you and that this blog will minister to you for many days to come.
If you are looking for someone with a Masters or Doctorate in Theology, I can’t provide that for you. I have simply learned what I have learned over the last few decades by sitting under the greatest Teacher in the Universe as I have read his Word cover to cover more than a handful of times and followed His leading to research, peer into the Hebrew language, etc. As He lights up the path, I follow. If that sounds interesting to you, you have come to the right place! I will enjoy having you as my company to walk down this spiritual road to Emmaus and learn from the Master all about Him in the volume of His book.
Before I close my testimony, I want to give credit where credit is due. There have been a lot of people in my life that have been influential in helping me along my journey. Everyone at every congregation I have ever been to and all of my family have been a blessing to my life. We have all grown together to some degree through the good and the bad. So thank you mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, sis, bro, all my children, cousins, etc., and thank you everyone at the various non-denominational, denominational, and Messianic congregations that have been part of my journey. You have all been a special part of my life and taught me so much! I would not be here without you all too.
Blessings and Shalom (Peace)!
2 Corinthians 5:17 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
17 Therefore if anyone is in Messiah, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.