I Received Jesus As My Savior in August of 2002. I didn't get saved in church and wasn't brought up in a church. I grew up with a family that believed in God but "don't believe in church". My family also believed happiness in life was a result of how hard you worked and how much stuff you obtained from that hard work. Well, I didn't quite get that... I knew from an early age "there has to be more to life". I excelled at sports with much scholarship potential. This made my family proud. But by the age of 12 I was drinking and smoking cigarettes, by the age of 14 I was smoking pot, by 16 I was into sex and cocaine, by 18 all the above with hallucinogenic drugs added to it.
I went to college on a scholarship. (I chose a school that I visited and the other players said "we suck, but the coaches don't care if we get drunk all the time". Still my proud family had no Idea the lifestyle I was living. I was extremely sexually active and on some type of drug every day.
I finished the first year and went home for the summer. About two weeks after coming home I was with a drug dealer that I knew previously and he was trying to pressure me into going out to a club together. I didn't want to and had turned him down numerous times before but for some stupid reason agreed to hang out for a couple hours.
I woke the next morning and had been drugged and raped. I'll spare you the details as I really don't care to get too depressing with this story since this is the breaking point in my life that ultimately made me realize my need for my Savior.
After this I was emotionally lost. My family wanted little to do with me because now they couldn't be so proud and it was a black man who "I shouldn't be around anyway". So I became extremely detached from myself, friends, and family. I began to be disgusted with people and myself. I still did drugs but received no satisfaction. I started to see someone that I used to be friends with and that turned out to push me further over the edge because when I tried to end the relationship he tried to choke me.
Well about a year after I had come back from college that summer I was at my end. I wanted nothing to do with life. So I figured I would leave my life behind. I left. (Michigan) I ended up in Arizona at a marina/resort in the middle of no-where. There I met my now hubby. (we both worked there) After 3 months together we decided to travel. So our Journey began.
First we traveled in an RV. This was great. Although it was expensive on gas so we then downgraded to an econoline van. We traveled through Canada, from Detroit, then down the West Coast to Ocean Beach (near San Diego). Here we had some sandwiches handed to us and a bible one day. I believed in the bible but wanted nothing to do with it. My husband accepted it and began to try to discredit it.
Then we traveled to New Mexico where I had an emergency surgery on an ovarian cyst. This caused us to down grade even further and we started to hitchhike. This was it for me... I wanted nothing to do with people at this point but was starting to be able to deal with the situation emotionally and mentally. Well we traveled from New Mexico to New Orleans to Martha’s Vineyard and then headed west again to see my family.
Now the Good stuff begins: Outside of Michigan one ride that we received dropped us off at a Gas station. Unlike myself I turned to the first person I saw and asked hey are you going into Michigan? The gentlemen, Jeremy, was sitting in his truck reading. He looked up very odd and said he was. We jumped in and he then began to tell us how he stopped there to rest and he went to leave about an hour ago and he felt God telling him to wait. So he started to read his Bible. Jeremy was preparing to be a missionary. He took us right to my parents home and prayed with us before we parted.
After visiting my family we left again. Adam and I were standing next to a highway entrance right before highway 80 that headed west... we held out a sign saying west 80. Well not more than 2 minutes after getting there a beautiful semi rig pulls up with a picture of a race car on it and a rainbow. We hopped in and down the road we went. This gentlemen, ET Sharp, began to tell us his life story and how he became to know Christ as his personal Savior. (we later contacted ET from a card he had given us... he lived on Shepherd Way. )
We soon realized he never turned on 80 but was going to Kentucky. So we went along with the ride...( by this time we knew something was going on... there are more little stories that would make this even longer.) This gentleman dropped us off at a Truck Stop and I went in to use the bathroom and on the back of the toilet was a funny looking booklet with a cartoon figure on it. I opened it and read how this little kid grew up hooked to drugs and that it wasn't too late to give His life to Christ. yeah this was what I now call a tract. It did convict me too.
Next in Arkansas we stood for two days without a ride and IT WAS HOT!!! Adam and I were standing by a road hacky-sacking when a van pulled up. We jumped in and were greeted by some unusual looking people. There were two older men up front and three boys in back and two young girls in the middle. They were all dressed in black pants and white shirts and the little girls were wearing white things on their heads. (They were Mennonite) Well Adam started hammering them with questions about the bible and they took it so wonderfully. They answered every question without hesitation and spoke Gods word boldly. (Why should they waiver, we were in Their Car!)
They offered to let us have dinner with them and then stay the night on their property. We did and I was so blessed I get tears every time I think of them (Coblentz Family). I for the first time in my life saw a humble family that had a relationship with God. Not a religious fanatic that said one thing but showed no evidence themselves but a Loving sincere peace. They invited us to stay a couple days and see their church and experience more of their lifestyle. Oh how lovely. I saw a beautiful peace between the children and the parents and the children between each other. The little girls were showing me around and holding my hand... never judging or condemning. I felt for the first time what my soul was longing for. I felt the presence of God.
We departed from them and headed west. Well next we landed in Las Vegas... Sin City. I hate gambling, so I was in a bit of a hurry and in a bad mood. Adam and I were walking down a road not even putting our thumbs out when a car started to back up down a 4 lane road. The car stopped by us and there were these two guys( Benny and Richard) The one closest to me had tattoos on the right side of his face and the other looked a bit ruff too... we hesitated but decided to take the ride. The driver immediately says... "God must be looking out for you because I don't pick up Hitchhikers, but all of a sudden I found myself slamming on the breaks and God saying to pick you up." They insisted we eat dinner with them so we went to a casino restaurant outside of Las Vegas. In the restaurant they began to tell us the GOOD NEWS and why we needed it. After many questions thrown at them by Adam we were led in the Sinners Prayer right there in the restaurant.
Praise God They did slam on their breaks and were obedient to God and able to hear his still small voice.
They took us with them to their church. A Calvary- non-denominational and bible based. I was so overwhelmed that not all the people were dressed up as we were in our traveling attire... flip flops, shorts, and Hawaiian shirts. The music was fantastic. People really seemed like they were singing to God. (I had few memories of church with my aunt and the people seemed to just be reading the songs and quite bored with the whole thing) These people were closing their eyes, smiling, crying. And me, who disliked people, found myself being hugged by strangers and feeling welcomed.
We continued on the Road to Lake Tahoe. Where we are still today. God has grown me so much!!! We were first convicted of the drugs and quite right away, gave back in for 3 months but then finally, by God's power, were delivered. We were very quickly convicted of our sleeping together. So we got married. Then we prayed about baptism and sure enough we had a message the next service. A week later Praise God we were baptized then the next week married.
Since then I have led my niece to the Lord, Kimmie 10. And a little girl I was a Nanny for, Stephanie 6. I am praying constantly for the Salvation of my parents, Rick and Rusty. My mom is openly saying she is praying for me... which is a big step.
I now go into our local Juvenile Hall and help with a weekly bible service in there. God is healing me emotionally and helping me to speak more to people.
I grew up in church. I was taught about ‘religion’. I had good morals and was considered to be a ‘very good person’. I followed my church because I did not want to go to hell! I was a confused, shy child. Things did not make sense to me. Church and life seemed robotic; meaningless and without joy. I knew many things about God factually, but did not know Jesus personally.
One thing that stands out to me was my friend's church that I attended. I loved it. I remember coming home and writing down all the red letter scriptures from the Bible in a notepad. These were the words of Jesus!
At 18 years old, I was very troubled as I thought of suicide. I cried out to God and He rescued me. After that, I remembered what He did for me, but really had no interest anymore in Him. Inside I was so very sad and I believe my mind became sicker and sicker. I know sadly there are many stories like this; stories about being consumed with drugs and alcohol to mask the pain. I felt the presence of Satan!!! I will not go into detail!!
I married in 1984. I remember buying many self help books. I loved my husband and we were happy together, but we were both lost.
Fast forward to approximately 1993. I was in a nightclub for my friend’s bachelorette party. My husband and I had just been through almost 10 years of infertility and were waiting to be able to adopt someday. I remember being so upset that night and we went out and I drank heavily and more. This handsome guy came up to me and I told him that I was happily married. He told me that he had no interest in me, as he was also married, then asked if I had children. Well, he must have noticed the sadness about infertility as it consumed my mind. I remarked that I had no children. He then said, "You cannot have kids? " Then he asked me, "Do you have Jesus in your heart?" I was startled, but answered Him "I am (my denomination)." I do not remember the rest of the conversation, but the next morning I woke up shocked to what He had said. I then thought, “Jesus?” for many years.
We finally adopted a little boy, Tommy!! (See the infertility page). I prayed that somehow we would start going to church, as I wanted my children to grow up with good morals. Oh my, this is what I was truly thinking and I hear others say this as well: “For the children.” My husband had no interest in church, but I still prayed to God for us to attend.
My neighbor invited me to a Christian women's breakfast. They gave an opportunity for the women there to commit their lives to Christ. I do not remember what I thought, but filled out the card that ‘I committed my life to Christ today’. My neighbor was thrilled and they handed me a book. I remember thinking, "Gee, what is the big deal, I was already fine. I mean I was brought up in church." Many times this was always my reply as I look back on my younger years. When I was asked about being a Christian or something having to do with being ‘saved’, I would just respond by telling them what kind of church I went to. I really was convinced that I was right with God.
My husband came home one day and said that he was going to a Christian men's breakfast and wanted us to go to this particular church that his customer invited him to. What?!! Later he told me that He was going to try to quit smoking also. Then my sister called and said, “Guess what?” I said, "Dennis got a job!" Dennis is my brother and had not a job for 10 years. No one knew that I had prayed for 3 things: 1.To go to church. 2.That my husband would quit smoking. 3.For Dennis to get a job!! I think the Lord was trying to get my attention.
My husband and I both started attending this Christian church. I was at the time consumed with panic attacks, as these attacks had been going on for years! We attended this church, but no one knew what was in my mind: "Hypocrites!" I also had consuming thoughts of evil when I was in church. Satan did not want me to know Jesus! My husband pushed me to church and then later I started pushing Him.
One night I read the book of John, which is the fourth book of the New Testament. I was so very shocked at what it said. It is all about Jesus!!!! What is this?! I do not need my religious leader to go between me and God!! I can go directly to Him through Jesus!! Jesus and I then had many conversations as I was in emotional and physical pain in the bathtub. I do not remember the exact words I said, but I do remember saying I would do anything for Him and asking Him what He wanted from me! One day I started to have a panic attack. I got down on my knees and said, "You promised me it would never happen again." It stopped immediately. I was amazed. It has not happened since.
Sometime later, I went to an annual convention in Las Vegas. I had gone many, many times but this time was so different. I was listening to a praise CD the entire 4 hour trip. I wanted Jesus to watch over my health while I was there.
When we got to Vegas, I remember feeling like I was in the "Twilight Zone". Las Vegas was not the same!!! It was no longer fun and exciting! Suddenly there was "SIN" all around me that I had not noticed so much before....I had no desire to drink or gamble. SAD FACES were popping out at me everywhere. There was this man outside of a liquor store in a wheelchair with no arms and no legs. His eyes were so very red and I wanted to do something for him or speak to him, but the people I were with thought I was crazy... I will never forget his sad eyes. I stood off by myself looking at him and prayed. There was this little girl with her mother in the bathroom. The girl was throwing up. Oh yuk, I left and suddenly had the desire to go back and help her. She was gone when I got back and I felt horrible as I wanted to help them. We wanted to ride the Mardi Gras rides at the Rio Casino. These were floats hanging from the ceiling. It was something we had wanted to do for years but now I was apprehensive. We were the next in line to get on the float. I was thinking "Lord what am I doing here!!" I wanted to leave. This was no longer fun as I saw a dancing show next to us-a bit racey and children watching it with their parents! "Lord what can I do for you here? Get me out of here!" I thought. Suddenly there was this screaching metal noise as the last float went in the dock for us to get on. A transformer? fell from the ceiling-it was a large heavy metal box filled with the controls or something like that because immediatly the floats stopped. Thankfully the box hit a slot machine before it landed on this man's head or he would have been dead! He was bleeding as I ran to get him some napkins for his head. He seemed in shock as the paramedics were called. I was compelled to pray for Him as the paramedics and staff all bowed their heads waiting for me to speak! Oh my this was not like me as never in my life had I prayed out loud!! He was taken to the hospital. We left this casino rapidly.. I tell you this story because this is the 1st time that I was aware of the Holy Spirit's presence so very strongly. It was incredible. Things were very different now.
Sometime later, thoughts of wanting to be baptized came into my mind, but I did not tell anyone. I had been baptized as a baby! Well a few days later, shockingly, my husband said that they were having a church picnic at this first church we had attended and they were doing baptisms! "Ok let’s go," I said. We were baptized along with my son.
I do not know that person that I used to be. My husband is not the same. Thank You Jesus for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank you for eternal life. Thank you for direction. Thank you for the peace and joy that we have in you.
...Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:32 & 36.
Lord Jesus, I believe that You are God's only Son, that You died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins and rose again on the third day. Having trusted You as my Lord and Savior, I know that when I die, I will spend eternity with You in Heaven.
Thank You for dying on the cross to pay for my sins. Thank You for Your forgiveness and for the gift of eternal life. I humbly submit myself to Your will in every area of my life, and I ask You to make me into the person You want me to be. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and guide me through Your Word. Help me to trust You daily for all my needs and to rely on Your Holy Spirit to lead me as I seek to live in obedience to You.
I ask you to convict me of whatever sin is in my life, that I might confess it to You as it comes to mind each day, knowing that You have already forgiven me, and that You will never leave me or forsake me. From this day forward, I will live with the peace and assurance that I am Your child. Give me wisdom and discernment that I may know good from evil, and help me to follow after You with all my heart all the days of my life. I am Your servant, and I accept You are my Master. Make my life a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto You.
Right now, Lord, I pray that You will show me Your will. Help me to grow in my faith. Lead me to others who can help me to grow, and lead me to a church where I can be taught in Your Word. Show me how my life can be a blessing to others, and give me the courage to tell others about Your saving grace. I ask You Lord that my entire family will come to know You as Lord and Savior. I pray that Your Holy Spirit will convict their hearts and draw them unto You, and that You will remove the blinders of Satan from their eyes. Give me the words to speak as I share with them how I came to know You and how they too can begin a personal relationship with You and spend forever in Your presence. Help me to live the life You have called me to, and to be a holy example for all the world to see, that they too may believe.
Heavenly Father, I love You! Thank You for saving me and receiving me as Your child. Lord Jesus, I love you! Thank You for dying on the cross to pay for my sins and for giving me eternal life. Holy Spirit, I love You! Thank You for showing me my need for a Savior and for Your indwelling presence in my life. Amen."
Please also read the book of John in the Bible. It is the 4th book of the New Testament to confirm all that is written here.
There are many good churches around but I do suggest the teaching of one I attend that is all over the world! Go to the page that says "church locator" www.calvarychapel.org
God Bless You! and please share you decision today with us!
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. - Romans 10:9