I can never remember not hearing about Jesus. I was blessed to grow up in a Christian home, where both parents loved, honored, worshiped, and taught about Jesus Christ and His love for human beings. This is the love that brought him to the point of dying on a cross to take away sin, and rising from the dead to conquer death, hell, and the grave!
The church with our brothers and sisters there, was our social center. We loved each other and wanted others to know of the life available in Christ Jesus.
When I was 12 years old, in a youth meeting in our church on a Saturday night, I felt a definite call from the Holy Spirit to be a missionary nurse, and I never deviated from that course and call.
That call, eventually, after marrying a man committed to ministry, and having two children, led to our going to a South American country to serve the Lord. That was a lifetime ago with many varied and wonderful experiences of God’s love, care, discipline, and protection. God gave us two more biological children and an adopted one. We have believed that our greatest heritage is in the lives of these people entrusted to our care and teaching.
But my life was not always as it began. Just before coming to our new home, I entered an intense time of testing of my faith and discipline from the Father. It was a three-year long journey of deep depression, painful soul-searching, debilitating doubt, and a sense of overwhelming hopelessness. I could not understand why I would be experiencing such things when I had always and only wanted to love and serve the Lord. I questioned all the bases of my faith; I came to doubt that I really had ever known Jesus; I believed that maybe I was not one the Lord had called to be His own; I wondered if I was losing my mind; and I experienced dark attacks from the enemy of our souls. These attacks reached the point of specific suggestions in how to end my life, and I might have acted on those had it not been that I was afraid to meet God in that condition. Something deep in my heart told me that when I died, I would still have to stand before the God of the universe, and I knew I was not ready for that.
Days passed with me barely having the energy to do the most necessary things in caring for a family. I carried my Bible around with me and read when I could, but I felt condemned by everything I read. Life was a deep, dark pit, from where I could see no light. I cried to the Lord day and night, but had no assurance that He heard me. Hope died day by day.
Then one night, after the children had gone to bed, and my husband was out at a Bible study, I was sitting in the bed reading a book, which a friend had given me, called “We Would See Jesus,” by Roy Hession. All of a sudden I felt a wave of peace sweep over me, and I was startled. I remember thinking, “This is how I used to feel!” Then a blessed revelation from the Holy Spirit of God came to my heart. I realized that all of the time I had been in such soul distress, the grace of God had been with me. I “saw” my own sinfulness before the Lord, and that I had been filled with a self-righteousness, which blocked my embracing His marvelous grace in my life. I “saw” my rebellious heart from childhood on through adulthood, but at the same time, I was given spiritual eyes to see the mighty grace of God which had never left me, even when I was so full of self and rebellion I could not see it. And with these revelations to my soul, came an overflowing joy that the Father had loved me enough NOT to leave me where I had been, drowning in my sinful ways, but to show me the sin, so I could see His grace and glory. I immediately began praising Him like a broken record, “Thank You, Jesus, thank You, Jesus, thank You, Jesus, experiencing the bubbling up of the joy of the Lord in my heart and out through my mouth!
That very night, everything changed in my life... and I do mean everything! Where there had been despair, there was hope; where there had been chaos, there was peace; where there had been rebellion, there was sweet submission; where there had been distance from God, there was a new closeness which has never left me since; where there had been self-righteousness, there was a humility in knowing that without Him, I can literally do nothing of eternal value. But the most precious realization was that I am NEVER without Him. He is my everything, my all in all, my greatest treasure, and the Light and Love of my life. I love Him with all my heart, and I desire to help others know the love that passes understanding. You alone are worthy, O Lord, to receive honor, glory, power and blessing both now and forevermore! Amen.