My Personal Testimony
Before the Lord Entered My Life
I was born the oldest daughter of 9 children and raised in the Midwest as a Roman Catholic. I attended parochial school for elementary and middle school. This included daily Mass and catechism class. I believe there was a special relationship between me and God during these years—probably due to the fact that I sang in the Children’s Choir and we sang in Latin. To me, there was nothing so heavenly than singing praises to Him in Latin. I remember the thrill of singing the May songs to Mary. I always got goosebumps. My high school years were spent at a boarding school in Massachusetts. I was pretty lonely. Even though I was an excellent student, I didn’t seem to quite fit in with the Eastern social set. I used to walk 2 ½ miles to church and back on Sundays even in the snow. Unfortunately, the ‘60s were turbulent times and the sermons always made me feel down. Tragically, during those years I was never introduced to the Bible.
I began to drift even further during my college and career years. I attended church when I had to, not because I wanted to. My husband-to-be was also Catholic, so we halfheartedly attended Engagement Encounter, mostly so we could be married by a priest. During the first five years of our marriage we were on again and off again about attending Mass on Sundays or evening the short Mass on Saturday nights.
Dabbling Where I Shouldn’t
We relocated to California in 1982. Again, we tried to connect with the local Catholic church. Oh, I said prayers with the boys at night when I put them to bed, but I don’t believe I ever prayed for myself. I don’t know how it happened, but one day I was reading the cartoons in the local paper and noted a card game that could tell your fortune. I tried the example and it was spot-on. This was quite a graduation from childhood’s horoscopes, Ouiji Board and 8-Ball. That simple game led to Tarot Cards, Rune Stones, Indian Medicine Cards, crystals and the like. I even went to psychics a couple of times. One I vividly remember because she had a picture of Jesus in her office. Someone I knew introduced me to a channeler. I went to see him once, but got the creeps. I began to lead my life and make decisions based on what the cards were saying.
Need Leads to Believe
We had a family crisis that led to a woman counselor who had helped another family member. She was a dear woman in a wheelchair with an angelic smile. She very easily led my husband and I to the Lord in 1990. All three sons followed the same week. We were forever changed – all before I was 40.
I Now Had a RELATIONSHIP Instead of a Religion
From that day on such a hunger to know Jesus and His Word exploded in me. I “cut my teeth” on the Thompson Chain Bible of the King James Version. I read it cover to cover. That’s right, Genesis to Revelation, as quickly as I could. To me it was the quintessential romance novel ever written. There were two experiences I will never forget the first time I read the Bible. #1 Jesus had brothers and sisters. We were never taught that in school or at church. #2 The story of Mary and Martha. Wow! I’d been Martha all my life—as the oldest girl and an administrator in my career. All of a sudden, I knew I wanted to be the “Mary” I was created to be.
I had to drive about 45 minutes both ways to work, so I used the time listening to preaching on the radio or to cassette taped sermons. I learned an awful lot over those early years in the Lord. My favorite experience was driving home one afternoon. I was on Camino Del Norte at the Carmel Mtn. Road intersection and the speaker said, “John 3:16 is for you. Jesus died for you. Now put your name in there. For God so loved _____ that Jesus died for _____.” I was so stunned that I pulled my car over and cried my heart out. Okay, I KNOW you think I was already saved back in 1990. Well, I was… in my head! But this day, in 1992, I was really and truly saved in my heart—for good!
What Knowing Him Has Done For Me
I don’t even know where to begin to express all that’s changed in me because of my Lord. Let me be specific in naming just a few “for sure” benefits: saved a lot of heartache in my marriage as we got into order, protected our sons when they were in the formative years, guided our whole family when we need to make decisions, changed how we operated our business, effected how we treated our employees, put the right perspective on money, finances and giving, and deepened relationships with family, friends and even strangers.
I begin each day with my coffee and Jesus. I call it “Breakfast with My King.” No matter what the weather, I can be found outside with my current bible (love ALL versions), my journal, my pen and highlighter, and my coffee. I have a little promise card by my coffee pot, so I begin with the verse of the day. Not a day goes by without something I glean from the Word to chew on throughout my day. I then move into my bathroom with my i-pod’s worship music. Believe it or not, there are some days when I just slip to the floor in my “birthday suit” and praise Him. I love to sing in the spirit in the shower. I usually have praise music on in my car, but sometimes I just make up songs for Him or pray in the spirit. I end my day with the Word as well. Sometimes it’s where I left off the night before, or it’s the Proverb for the day, or it’s something I heard during the day that I wanted to check out for myself.
Over the years, I have developed a keen hunger to know the real meaning of a word or scripture and love to do word studies in the Hebrew and Greek. Very often one thing leads to another and I’ve got a whole concept developed that just spurs me on. Many, many times I have found that these word excursions have been just what someone else needed for encouragement.
Conclusions and Key Verses
I’ve learned to forgive and not hold grudges.
I’ve become more patient, especially in stores and with people!
I cherish the times I pray with my husband and children and rejoice in the results.
I’ve learned to live out loud from the joy He’s placed inside of me.
I am confident that I was placed on this earth, at this time, and for His purpose.
There is no place more special to me than “my chair” or “my listening bench” at the park when HE shows up.
John 3:16 For God so loved Mary that He gave His only begotten Son, that Mary believes in Him [and she]should not perish but have everlasting life [I don’t have to earn His love. It’s mine to receive always.]
Acts 13:36 … for David served God’s purpose for his generation [Life Verse that guides me.]
Psalm 84:6 … passing through the Valley of Baca [weeping] they make it a place of springs [With His help, I will get through to the other side of any challenge.]
Ecc 3:11 … He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart. [Nothing and no one can rob me of eternity. This life is just a nanosecond compared to eternity.]
Jeremiah 1 and 20 [Sometimes I feel like He’s a fire in my bones and there are times when I just can’t hold it in. I gotta explode for Jesus!]
What Do I Hunger For? A GREAT AWAKENING!
I want to see the Glory of the Lord manifest in my home, in my church, in my city and in my nation.
I want ALL the Holy Spirit wants to deposit in me to be activated.
I want the generations that follow me to be on fire for God and serving Him with great power, signs and wonders.
I want to serve the Lord with my whole heart every day of my life until I see Him face to face and eye to eye.