What a privilege to speak about God's mighty power. By His grace and the Holy Spirit, I came to live in His Kingdom.
Where to start? Maybe at the first. I was raised in a marginal Christian home where we never read the Bible or spoke about Christian beliefs. I can remember wondering about God. Was He real?
I didn't find the answer to that question until I was 32 years of age when my husband and I lived at Ft. Lewis, Washington. We had Christian neighbors who asked permission to take our two daughters to church. That was fine with me – to get them out of my hair on Sunday morning. I generally had to nurse a hangover anyway
Then one week, my two daughters came home from a home Bible camp with little Bibles in their hands. "Mommy, we asked Jesus into our hearts." Those words did something to me. After that I got up on Sunday morning and took them to church myself. If those two little girls could go to church, so could I. But I still wasn't sure if I believed in God.
The Lord is so creative and resourceful and knows exactly what will speak to our hearts. One New Year's Eve I stayed up late to watch an old movie And The Next Voice You Hear about a family who'd received a word that God was going to speak to them on the radio. The last scene showed everyone gathering in the church waiting for the broadcast. I remember going to bed and shedding tears. Somehow, I knew God was real then.
Many people talk about "the hour I first believed." I can't. My husband received orders to go to Germany. I attended the chapel on post and even became active in Sunday school. It was an extension of my day job to volunteer to teach Sunday school. The Holy Spirit continued to woo me. I remember getting a copy of The Way. For the first time, I could understand what the Bible said.
But then one day, a sweet Baptist friend and fellow teacher and I were in conversation on the phone. She asked me if I'd ever said the prayer of salvation. I couldn't remember a time when I had yet I felt like I was saved. My friend was so cute. "Well," she said. "There's no time like the present." I repeated the prayer with her on the phone.
After that, I joined a charismatic Bible Study and became filled with the Holy Spirit as so many were doing in the 70's. I can remember feeling so in love with the Lord. I was gloriously born again.
But the Lord had hurdles for me to jump. One was my husband who hadn't given his life to the Lord and couldn't understand what had happened to his old drinking buddy. I had everyone in my church praying for him. Patience paid off. After 12 years, he gave his life to God and is now a born-again believer. I always like to encourage people to never give up on your unbelieving loved ones.
Through the years, the Lord worked in my life perfecting me as gold. He had a lot of dross to burn away – alcohol, self-centeredness, distrust, and more. I'll never be finished until I see Him face to face, but hallelujah! That day is ahead, and I'll be with Him for all eternity.