I did not grow up in a Christian home. My family never even attended a church service all my years of growing up. I think I went to one wedding that was held in a church but I'm not even sure of that. When I was a little girl I was riding down the road with my dad and I remember looking out the window and asking my dad if there was a God. He told me he thought there was but that was all he told me. It wasn't till I moved to Georgia that I even heard the name of Jesus. I'm not sure if anyone of you have ever met or heard of anyone that had gone 24 years of their life without hearing the name of Jesus...but you have heard of someone now. I had given birth to my third child and a friend of mine's pastor made a visit to our apartment one day to talk to me. All he told me was that Jesus died for me and that He was how I would get to Heaven. After talking with me for a few minutes he asked me if I wanted to go to Heaven. Well....what person doesn't want to? So he told me to repeat a prayer after him (which I did) and after doing so he pronounced me as going to Heaven. I lived for four years thinking I was going to Heaven. We went to church SOMETIMES. But only when we felt like it. There was no desire to go nor was there any change that took place in my life.
In June of 1994 my world was falling apart. I took my son to one of his baseball games with my girls and had asked my husband if he wanted to go. He said he didn't because he was tired and needed some sleep. After getting to the baseball game I felt this prompting to go back home for something. I don't remember now what that "thing" was that I was to go home for but I knew once I got there why I needed to go. I walked into our bedroom to find my husband and his things gone and a note on our bed. He had left me and the kids and said he would contact me later. That was it!! No explanation or anything. I was devastated!!
I worked at a bowling center in the snack bar and there was a lady that worked in the office that was a Christian. She was always witnessing to the employees there about the Lord. She would take every opportunity to talk to me about the Lord. Now remember, I thought I was already saved. I didn't know anything else but that. So when she would tell me that I needed the Lord I would tell her that I "tried" Him and He didn't do anything to help me keep my husband. So she would continue to talk to me every chance she got...always telling me I needed the Lord in my life. She was very patient with me and very loving. To this day I call her my "persistent pest". I thank God for her to this day!!! Every week at least once a week she would invite me to come to church with her. Finally one day (about two weeks after my husband had left) I decided to go. My in-laws had neighbors that went to the same church that my "persistent pest" went to. So I asked my sister-in-law to go with me and she said she would. That next Sunday my kids, my sister-in-law and I went to church. From the moment I walked through those doors of that church I felt loved. I also felt God's presence (although at that time I didn't know that was what it was I was feeling). I sat through the service under conviction the entire service. At the altar call another lady that worked at the bowling center I worked at came and asked me to go to the altar with her. All she did was pray with me. While she was praying with and for me I was praying and asking God to forgive me for my sins!! Now...I didn't specifically ask God to come into my heart and save me. At that point in my life I still thought I had gotten saved four years prior. But what a blessing when even though our mouth doesn't know what to say and what to ask for that our heart knows what we need and what to cry out for.All I know is that when I got up from that altar that a peace came over me like I had never had before. I knew in my heart that no matter what happened from that point on (whether my husband came back home or not) that my kids and I were going to be okay.
From that day forward I was a changed individual. It wasn't long after that day (June 26, 1994...I only know that is the day from a daily journal I was keeping at the time) that I learned to begin claiming God's promises. I claimed Psalm 27:14 as God's promise to me. I would request prayer for my husband in church and in Sunday School. Approximately two weeks later I got a phone call. My husband told me that he was on his way to see a divorce lawyer...that he was filing for divorce. I was hurt and upset (as any woman would be) but I still had that peace that God would take care of me. Two hours later he showed up at the house and told me he was going to move back home and give our marriage three months and that if nothing changed the he was gone and gone for good. I told him that was fair. He told me he didn't love me like a husband should love his wife but that he was only home for the kids.
I continued to take the kids and go to church faithfully. I would ask him to go each time we'd go and he would say no. Finally one Saturday he was sitting in our garage having his personal moment like he would do to get away from me and the kids....and the Lord began to deal with his heart and on that day in our garage he gave his heart to the Lord Jesus Christ. He had gone to church as a bus kid when he was a teen and knew how to be saved. He made a profession of faith as a teen that wasn't real. This time in our garage it was real. He truly repented. That is the day our marriage and our home took a turn for the miraculous!!!
My husband pastored until recently when God changed the direction of his ministry. We are now missionaries with Highways & Hedges Christian Ministries and he preaches in the prisons where God is using him greatly. Ronnie and Kristina got saved not too long after my husband did and Michelle made a profession of faith that same week but realized in August of 2001 that she didn't have salvation and she gave her heart to Christ. Now we all serve the Lord in our church and on a daily basis as best we can with the Lord's help. I sit here before you today as a miracle and can speak of the miracle that God can repair a home and will as long as all involved let Him!!
TO GOD BE THE GLORY GREAT THINGS HE HATH DONE!!!!!