I would love to be one of those people that can say that they have had that moment in time where they just knew that God Himself had stepped right down out of Heaven and personally rescued them. I would love to be able to say that I had one of those moments where it seemed as though Heaven opened up and the angels sang at the declaration of my repentance. I wish that I could tell you that. But the truth is, not all of us have a profound encounter with God. Some of us have a quiet personal encounter with Him. And even in that quiet moment where I met Him… God Almighty… my life changed forever. I had that kind of moment.
I have a friend that can tell you the exact date and time that they were rescued… the exact date they received Jesus into their lives. I can’t. I know that it was sometime in the mid 1970’s. I can’t say that the reason I didn’t have a profound encounter is because I “wasn’t that bad”. I was bad enough for a teenager in the 70’s.
It really is with thanks and gratitude to my parents that I had a solid strong faith foundation in my early years. My mom and dad were, and are, amazing people. They carried their strong faith background into our home. The imparted their faith to us. We learned from an early age. We were raised to not be ashamed of our love of God and His Kingdom.
But like most teenagers, I spent a few – okay more than a few – years off on my own. I did the typical party-girl antics. Things I should never have done, and truly do wish I had never done them. But, perhaps it’s those antics that have made me who I am today.
I found my faith again in the early 80’s when a not so good medical diagnosis came my way. Call it fear of dying and going to hell…. But I ran at breakneck speed back to Church where I became immersed and saturated in the love and forgiveness I received from my Savior. He didn’t chastise me for being gone for so long. He just opened His arms and welcomed me home.
Sadly over the years, I’ve experienced the end of a 20 year marriage, then widowhood from my second 3-year marriage. In addition, I’ve walked through near bankruptcy and the pain of loosing a young niece to brutal murder – at the hands of her sister. At present, I’m 7 years out from a cancer diagnosis. What I’ve found is that with each passing year, with each passing trial… my faith has grown deeper and more intense. I am hungry for the “things” of the Kingdom. I have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge of Him.
Some might say, how can you love God if He allowed all that to happen in your life? To that I say… How can I NOT love Him for allowing all that to happen in my life? Just because I received His forgiveness doesn’t mean that life is going to all of a sudden become all sunshine and unicorns. Life still happens. Bad things still happen. Sickness, death, pain, grief, laughter, joy, sadness, and tears… they all still happen. The difference is… He is always there. He provides wisdom for the crazy. He provides solace for my bruised heart. He gives me a place where I can hide from it all for just a little while. He gives me courage to get up again tomorrow and face it all again.
So, this is my testimony. I’m sorry that it’s not filled with fireworks and a brass band. All I can offer you is His Peace. I invite you to check it out for yourself.
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