I was born the 7th of eight children to a very Christian woman and her not-so-very Christian husband. We didn't go to church when I was a child, but my mother did her best to tell us about God and His Son Jesus every chance she had. She also taught us kids how to pray.
When I was 12 years old, my parents split up and my mother started taking us kids to church. The pastor there was Pastor Griffiths and offered me to attend the "Hope Bay Bible Camp" and that's where a bunch of us kids heard the Gospel and were saved around a campfire. I felt the Holy Spirit stirring in me back then, but I didn't know what was happening and being a teenager, I let spiritual things slip and fade into the distance. I eventually stopped attending church altogether.
My parents' divorce took its toll on me. I became a very nervous teenager, to the point of severe stomach aches whenever I was to leave my home and be with people who weren't family members. This greatly concerned my mother and the doctor put me on sedatives, which really interfered with my thinking. Attending school became a worthless activity. Because of the medication, I didn't know what was going on and the teachers and lessons just passed me by without notice. So I quit school when I was 16 years old (only to repent and finish school when I was 23!). Quitting school, of course, left me free and clear to keep taking the prescription drugs prescribed by my doctor as well as any street drugs I felt like doing.
I continued to believe in a half-hearted way throughout my life. I called out to God when things were going terribly wrong or when I desperately needed something in my life, even though I was sinning against Him whenever I wanted, with whatever I wanted. When I was 18 years old and feeling quite alone, I prayed for 6 months for God to send me someone that really loved me. At that time I didn't realize that GOD was Someone who really loved me and He was right there the whole time! But in 1977, God graciously sent me my husband anyway. He truly loves me as well. We were married in 1981.
God even graciously saved my life back in 1983. He yelled at me to "Turn around!" (I mean He literally yelled "turn around" in a loud deep and gruff voice, right behind my right ear! There was no one else in the car except my 3 month old baby (and no, she couldn't talk!) The Holy Spirit's instruction to turn around came just in time for me to see a dump truck signal light going blink-blink in my drivers'-side window. I turned the steering wheel to the right and saw a field with a large black hole or oil slick in it. I couldn't tell which, so I turned the steering hard to the left and landed on a median - safe and sound. Even with this miracle I didn't turn my life back to Him or change my life. (We humans can sure be stubborn!)
Looking back I can see that God has always stayed right by my side, waiting for me to turn back to Him. He sent my sisters Marlene and Darlene and my brothers, Clarence, Gus and Doug (who is quite likely dancing in heaven right now) to try to get me to turn my life over to Jesus. (Yes, I was listening to you guys; it just wasn't what I wanted to hear at the time.)
The last time I was in church was 1970. The next time was Home Church Langley in 2013, (with one visit to Len and Marlene's church in between). When I moved to Langley, I saw the Home Church website on the internet and couldn't resist going - just once. Then God used all the wonderful people here to make me feel right at home and the Holy Spirit softened my heart and opened my ears. I attended twice and then missed 4 Sundays, claiming to be visiting other churches. But the truth is that God wanted me right here.
One Sunday in 2013, Scott McGillivary gave an alter call and I jumped at the chance to come forward and publicly recommit myself to Jesus again. This time it's forever! Our God is the most gracious, most awesome and most wonderful God there could ever be, and I am proud to be considered one of His children.
My life has improved greatly since I have come back to GOD. I have a more positive attitude, more friends, more hope and more peace. I find it easier to get along with people and I am excited about my next reading in the Bible. I look forward to coming to church. I am awestruck by the Love of God, the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.
John the Baptist was born to point the way to Jesus. I would like to read a small part of the song written by his father, Zechariah:
Luke 1: 76-79
76 And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for Him, 77 to give His people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, 78 because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven 79 to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace."
That describes what has happened to me - knowledge of salvation, forgiveness of sins, tender mercies, a new light, divine guidance and a path of peace. Thank you for getting the ball rolling again Scott. I have never been happier in my entire life than I am right now. Amen!!