I want to share some of my story with y’all. It is not something I take pride in, but I hope it can be a blessing to you. It is a story of how God can change a young heart from being at enmity towards God to being adopted by Him and called a child of His.
I was born into a wonderful, godly family. My parents prayed earnestly that each of their children would come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. I always had a great love and respect for my parents and I never doubted their love for me!
From a very early age I felt the holds of satan on my life. I didn’t care what consequences came by my action as my parents disciplined us with the “rod of correction”. But even with the rod I remember many times my dad just choosing to not discipline me with it and instead, he, sitting in His chair, would just start praying for me or open up God’s word with me which often times was more painful for me. I know he knew there was more going on in my heart. I was a horrible, fit throwing, and rebellious child.
When I was about 5 yrs. old, it got to a climax point in my life. I’m not sure what brought it about, but I clearly remember going completely wild one evening during one of our family devotions that my father lead us in before heading off to bed. I know I was possessed by a demon, terrified at myself because I had no control over myself. My family gathered around me and just started crying out to God to rescue me. I was a mess, drooling uncontrollably and felt like a wild cat had climbed inside me. Mentally I was all there, but I knew it wasn’t me. The more they prayed the worse and more devilish I got until finally after a long spiritual battle, I was physically and spiritually exhausted and their prayers had won the victory! I remember laying on the floor kinda stunned at what had just happened, but even then I didn’t want Christ to rule my life. I enjoyed living in my fleshly desires and even as a child, I knew that if I gave my life to Christ I couldn’t live that way anymore. I really admired those that had a walk with Christ, but I didn’t see the need to give my life to Christ if it was just so I could escape hell and be in heaven forever. I had heard several sermons about hell, but none of that bothered me, I was so cold hearted!
I’ve always loved being around people and interacting with them, but when I was about 6-7 I became more controlled by my desires to please man. I wanted to look the part without actually having to be a Christian. One day I told my dad that I was saved and at our church when you had given your life to Christ you would stand at the front of the auditorium so people could come by and rejoice with you. Since I was still young my dad offered to stand by me… I cried that whole time. People thought I was crying because of joy, but I was crying because I knew I had just told the church a big huge lie! I hadn’t repented nor had I asked Christ to be my Lord and Savior.
My family is very close and my parents strove to connect with each of us kids which, when you have 15 other siblings can be a very big task, but they were and are committed to having that unique, personal relationship with each of us! So sometimes they would take us out for ice-cream or do something fun that was along our line of interests.
After my false profession of faith, I was so scared that my dad would take me on a date because I didn’t want him to bring up anything about salvation. And to my sinful relief, he never did during that period. His life spoke Christ and the topic of salvation haunted me — God was at work! I felt like I couldn’t get away from it even though nobody (that is, except the HolySpirit) was talking to me about it.
By now, several months had passed and I was realizing the emptiness of the path I was taking. I started considering what it would be like if I ended my life because I didn’t think I had purpose in life. Yes, I had grown up “knowing” that God created me for a purpose, but I sure didn’t believe it. I didn’t know how ending my life would help anybody anyways so I tried to put those thoughts aside. Looking for meaning and purpose for my life, I was now 7 years old. I never shared much of my thoughts with people as I tended to be a very private person with my thoughts and emotions. It was after a Wed. night service after my parents had already tucked us in bed that there was a knock on my bedroom door, it was my dad. He came in and just started telling me about this guy who was lost out at sea and all alone, then someone came along and saved him… (I can’t remember the whole illustration He gave), and then he went into what a savior was and the story of redemption. After he shared that with me, he got up and walked out without saying anything else or asking me if I wanted to be saved. I couldn’t sleep that night! It wasn’t the fear of hell that was bothering me, it was the fact that if I died not knowing Christ, I would be eternally separated from God my creator. I always envisioned God being like my dad and when I thought of the hope, freedom, and relationship He offered me, I knew that that’s what I was created for, I would have purpose and meaning! And I felt the yearning in my soul to make God smile. I didn’t care what anybody else thought of me (as in that being the driving force of my life), I wanted to know God! I don’t know why I still waited longer, guess I thought I needed time to grieve the dying of myself. It wasn’t until the following Sunday that I (along with my dad) went forward after the invitation was given and there, at the altar, I asked Christ to forgive me of my sins and cleanse me with his blood and I accepted Christ as my personal Lord and Saviour! I was able to be baptized a month later — the longest month of my life!
One of my very favorite sayings in the Bible is “But God”. Because my life would be a different story as I’m sure all can testify to if it weren’t for the “but God” intervention!
Since that day God has taught me so much! He has placed so many wonderful people in my life to learn from as well as many opportunities to invest in others. I have such a burden for people and want to spend my life sharing Christ with others and sharing the hope that they too can have. Currently the Lord has allowed me to teach children’s Sunday school which has been great! I don’t know what all the future holds, but I know who holds the future!
Thanks be to God!
1 Corinthians 15:57
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.