I was born in Maryland in 1968. I was asked to put my testimony down in writing, which hasn’t been such an easy task to undertake. It for me is much easier to share the testimony of how I accepted the Lord one on one as the Lord leads. So please bear with me while I endeavor to put this in writing. Like I said I was born in 1968. I was not born into a “church” going home. Although my mother thought there may be “A God” out there somewhere, and my father started searching for something tangible some years later.
I was sitting here thinking and pondering on how I came to meet the Lord Jesus. I realized when I started to look back and think, I don’t think there has ever been a time in my life when I didn’t know that Jesus was there. That’s an awesome realization! When I was 17 months old my great-grandfather, who I had a very special relationship with, was dying. I of course didn’t know, that my mother was sitting by the phone waiting to get the call that he had died. I don’t even think I knew what death was or that he was dying. Well, anyway, a little while later I came out of my room crying and crawled into my mother’s lap. I sat there sobbing and crying. Mom kept asking me what was wrong, with no answer in return. Finally, I got down out of her lap, stopped crying and turned to her and said “Pop-Pop gone Bye-Bye”. She didn’t even know yet. She got the call a little later saying that he had died. I never looked for him again. It’s things like that through out my life that witnessed to me that Jesus was there and is real.
I accepted Jesus as my Savior at the age of 7, and when I did it wasn’t some awesome realization. It was more an open commitment of what I already believed. I am very thankful for this, because things weren’t so easy for a while. I am glad Jesus was there.
I was 4 when my father was diagnosed with a terminal liver disease. He was in and out of the hospital, sometimes for a month at a time. I spent a lot of time with my grandmother during those days. I don’t think I minded too much, I liked her a lot! Anyway, this went on for quite a while.
Eventually my father and mother accepted Jesus as their Savior. Things seemed to go much better after that. My father became a minister and held Bible studies and prayer meetings at our house. I saw a lot of people come and go through the years. But one thing was sure, Jesus was always there.
When I was 12, my dad and I were working on building a deck. We did all kinds of things together. I guess you would say I was a daddy’s girl. Well, anyway, on this particular day, I wanted to go out and work on the deck some more and he wasn’t quite sure whether or not he really wanted to, but did anyway. I guess maybe we shouldn’t have because he fell with a 10 by 8 landing on his leg. I was pretty afraid and feeling pretty guilty at the same time, considering it was all my idea. I was able to pick the board up from the end and throw it off his leg. He was in a lot of pain and we had to have the ambulance come and get him. He had a spiral fracture in his thigh. He had to be in traction and have metal plates put in. He told me it wasn’t my fault, but I still really felt it was. He eventually came home from the hospital, but he was in a lot of pain and somewhat discouraged. This whole thing happened in April. He became weaker and weaker as the days went by. I am pretty sure he just gave up. It was not easy on my mother, who was doing the best she could trying to keep a job, so my sister and I could go to private school, and take care of him. It was starting to wear on her. She asked some of the people that went to the Bible studies if they could come and help her out. There were very few that did, and some that said yes, said they just couldn’t handle it and became unavailable. I think through the whole thing, and out of all the people that were supposed to be friends, there was only one person who was actually there, one who we could call friend. After 5 very hard months my father went home to be with his Lord. This was in September. I used to lay in bed and cry and cry. One night I went to sleep praying and the Lord gave me a dream. I saw my dad jumping up and down and dancing and just grinning from ear to ear saying “It doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t hurt anymore, my leg doesn’t hurt” He was in heaven and very happy. It was kind of sad but a happy thing, I thank the Lord for showing me this.
During the whole time that my dad was sick, my mother’s mother (the grandmother I spent so much time with) was diagnosed with cancer in April. We not only went through the thing with my dad, but my grandmother was sick also. She died in January and needless to say things were pretty hard. My mother and sister and I all fell apart, we just fell apart in different ways. I chose the rebellious road after a little while. I started running, I think mostly from myself, You see I still blamed myself for dad’s leg being broken and in turn if it hadn’t got broke he wouldn’t have given up and died. I was angry, hurt, sad and felt alone. The people who had told us if we needed anything to call, were not there.
I started running away, sneaking out, drinking, and doing drugs. And generally a real pain in the rear end to say the least. I was not only on an emotional roller coaster, but also the adolescent roller coaster. I put up a wall. I didn’t want to get close to anyone. To love and be loved only meant more pain when they went away.
About 2 years later my mother remarried. Believe me I wasn’t too happy about this one! And I think I probably got a little worse than I was before. Anyway, I spent the night over at this girl’s house (my best friend at the time) and we snuck out of the window to go to a party in the next community. We were walking in the woods to get home after the party and this guy came up, and jumped on my friend’s back and started to strangle her. Well, I turned and jumped on him and pulled him off of her. He turned and started to strangle me, and the other girl ran and left me there. I was alone in the woods with this guy who was trying to kill me. He hit me, kicked me, choked me and bit me. It was pretty scary. I tried to run, but couldn’t run fast enough. He’d always catch me and start beating me up again. Some pretty nasty things were coming out of his mouth. He would talk of the things he was going to do and so on. Then it turned to a different voice that said “This is Satan himself talking, Jesus Christ is dead” and some other things which I can’t think of now. I fought and fought and fought and didn’t seem to get anywhere. I then yelled “JESUS HELP ME!” and do you know something? He did! I have never felt that feeling before in my life, all of a sudden I felt as though I was in this amazing bubble of God’s peace. It just totally surrounded me. The guy calmed down immediately and started talking normal. He kept saying “I need a cigarette” “Do you have a cigarette?” I said I didn’t have any and that my friend had some, we’d have to go find her, she was waiting for me (the whole time I was saying this I had no idea where she was). We continued to walk out of the woods, with him holding my arms and me holding his, so he wouldn’t hit me anymore. When we got out the police were sitting at the end of the path waiting for the dogs to arrive because they were planning on looking for a dead body by this time. I had been in there to long to come out alive. Well, I was and with the help of Jesus I walked out. I was pretty beat up, but I walked! I found out later that the girl had run to the fire house and beat on the door, told them to call the police because there was a girl in the woods being attacked. She wouldn’t tell them who I was or where I was, because she was afraid of getting in trouble for sneaking out. It wasn’t until they did some reality talking to her, that she finally took them to where I was. I thank Jesus for answering my cry for help, even though I was being a total screw-up. Jesus was still there, I needed him and he was there. I realized that night that even though I had thought so before, I didn’t really want to die yet. It took an awful close call to realize that. My strings were pulled. And I learned a lot from that one night. I also learned the true definition of a friend, and realized I didn’t have many. But I can say, I’ve got the best one. Jesus himself. He even loved me when I was being bad, and was there to help. All I had to do was ask. I still say there is only one constant in life and that is Jesus Christ. People come and people go, but Jesus is always there, all we have to do is ask.
I finally came to terms with the fact that my father dying was not my fault. He was just as stubborn and hard headed as I and if he didn’t want to work on that deck, he wouldn’t have. I asked Jesus to forgive me for being stupid and he has. I could probably write a lot more pages, on the times I walked with Jesus and the times I didn’t, but it all comes down to Jesus my Lord, my Savior, my friend.
I have been blessed with a wonderful husband, one the Lord picked out for me (He had to have, because nobody else could have lived with me by choice for over 18 years). I have also been blessed with two wonderful children (which I didn’t think I’d ever have). And most of all a joy to be at home (remember I was a habitual run-away). I thank the Lord everyday for his love and grace. He is a true friend. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.