I am so glad that Jesus pulled my heart to come to Him and that He’s teaching me to allow Him to work through me. I can look back over my life and see how He was there all the time, and now I see that I’m part of His plan. A better hope and deeper kind of love & joy has come to me through Him than I have ever found in this world before I came to know Him.
My family attended the neighborhood baptist church. My momma & daddy were saved, attended church regularly and taught me how to pray and live right. My daddy was a good example of a father to us – tender hearted enough to rock my twin and I to sleep as he sang or whistled a lullaby to us. He also knew how to discipline us though. I knew from experience : “your sin will find you out”. My momma gave the best hugs with a little “hum with a song” that meant she loved to hug me. Both of them had difficult family experiences growing up.
My momma’s parents died when their house caught fire when I was 5 years old. A few months later, my daddy built a house over the burnt foundation of their house for us to move into.
We didn’t attend church weekly anymore after that. It was a very trying time because the house reminded my momma of her grief. I prayed but I didn’t really know what to do to let Heavenly Father help me through this un-peaceful time. When I was 7, our preacher from our church came to our house to ask me if I wanted to be saved and baptized. (I think my parents had talked with him beforehand.) I agreed to pray the sinner’s prayer. I was told to go forward the next Sunday to share that I had made the decision to be saved. I did, mostly because i wanted to please them all. Not because the Lord had opened my spiritual eyes to see my sin. I did believe in God and really wanted to do the right thing.
The difficult trials I was facing with my family caused me to cry out to Heavenly Father.
My little brother passing after only living 1 day, my mother’s nervous breakdown after losing her parents, my parents marriage problems, and my back operation when I was 14, with months of bed rest after it. The Lord reached out to me through my best friend (a Christian) who wrote an encouraging/witnessing letter to me everyday of the 4 months I was recuperating in bed. I think I realized and I took to heart the points she shared about God’s love for me. I was seeking Him but it was a few years before I studied the bible myself to really come to know Heavenly Father through having a relationship with Him. My Daddy had taught me how to say the Lord’s prayer and what he knew about the bible. He made sure we knew how to see our sin, and to submit/repent and take our punishments. He wasn’t abusive – mostly he grounded us from things, but we did from time to time get a little swat or two. But I always knew he loved me and he would hug me and explain so I understood.
I remember he shared how he could see God’s awesome hand in His creation and how I could see it too. He was a good father who wanted to do his best at it. I think he tried hard to be that because he had grown up without a good father, so he wanted us to have a good one.
I know he knew Heavenly Father and not just about Him, and wanted his children to know Him that way too.
I attended my fiancé’s baptist church for a while, but after we were married we only attended a few times a year. I don’t think we really listened to the message, I guess I thought I was already saved and didn’t need to do anything.
My father passed away when I was 19. As I went through my grief-time, my mother in law encouraged me to seek to know more of God and wanting to help me, she tried to think of how to get me to church. She asked me to play a couple of songs on the piano for a SS class. After I played that first time, I attended a class and saw that the church people were different than I had remembered. It was like a “revival” going on with the young married’s class. I was amazed at their excitement in knowing and having this special love for God as they were learning together. It wasn’t like any group of Christians I had ever seen before.
We started attending church regular and I began reading the bible even late at night. It was an easy-to-understand version so I think it helped me to stay interested and understand what I read. I was hungry to know more and more. The first book out of the bible that I read was Revelation! Later, as I read more of the New Testament, I saw it was “letters” in the bible and not just stories. I read more and I attended church, i realized that I didn’t really “know” the Lord – I only knew about Him. I felt He wanted me to come to Him. So I made the decision to go forward and get saved – this time because of my own heart’s desire. After a few weeks, Heavenly Father worked in my hubby’s heart too and we both were baptized. The night of our baptism there were around 20 others that were baptized too. I know the Lord was working in all our hearts. It was an exciting thing to see so many lives changed.
There have been a few times through the years when I wasn’t studying or attending church regular, but I realized what a difference it makes in my life and inner joy of allowing Him to work in me. He still has to pull me back sometimes to His path for me, and I am so thankful for His faithful love when I mess up.
I am glad for how He cleans and washes me with His Word as I read it and pray. I want to share the good news of how he wants to have fellowship and how all a person needs to do is come to Him humbly – seeking Him – and He will pull us to turn around and receive salvation by accepting His forgiveness to have a relationship with Him. It’s been a blessing to be involved in women’s ministry and help the women to come into right relationship with Him too.
I see life now is totally different since He has opened my eyes to see His way more and more through these 40 years. Some of my days have been wasted, and many have been bittersweet as I look back to trials and how He was there with me. He has whispered to my heart when I would listen – even in the trials – and stayed “shoulder to shoulder” with me. I know that He is faithful and will finish the work He started in me.