I’ve always believed in God. My mother and I said prayers together every night. When I was age nine, my mother remarried. Her new sister-in-law was a Sunday school teacher; so, I began going to church. My mom became pregnant when I was age 14, and we stopped going to church for a while. When I returned, the minister didn’t remember my name. I quit church, but listened to a church service radio broadcast. It seemed that minister was always cutting down one group of people or another. This type of preaching just didn’t feel right to me.
I got married at age 21 and joined my mother-in-law at her church. My fondest church memories was during a Christmas day service. The down-to-earth minister looked at the children and said he was keeping the service short because even Jesus received gifts, and he knew we wanted to get home to open our presents.
In 1997 I was in a car accident. The friend traveling with me was thrown from the car and later died. The guilt I felt was tremendous because I had been driving.
I divorced after three years of marriage and soon met Roy, who I married in 1981. We raised two boys together, but although we separated after 10 years of marriage, we remain friends today.
I’ve known Jesus my entire life, but it took a tragedy before I was able to have a relationship with him. In 1997 I was in a car accident. The friend traveling with me was thrown from the car and later died. The guilt I felt was tremendous because I had been driving. A friend brought me a book. I can’t remember the title, but I started to pray. As I was praying, and crying, and asking for forgiveness for things I had done throughout my entire life, I literally, physically felt a weight lift from my shoulders. I knew that God had forgiven me. I knew that I had been given a new start.
I was bathing a friend who was dying and in a coma. She sat bolt upright and said, “NO!” She looked right at me and said, “Bonnie, tell them I can’t go.”
This might seem strange, but God has audibly spoken to me twice in my life. The first time I had been worrying about my younger teenaged son. I was sure his reckless behavior would get him in trouble – or worse. One Sunday I was in church, when the praise band leader stopped in the middle of a song and gave a brief testimony about his life. The next thing I hear is, “If I can do that for him, imagine what I can do for your son.” I looked left; I looked right. Did I really hear that?
I kept pushing my younger son in an effort to help him, but he just had to do things his way. In frustration, I sent him to live with his dad. The second time God spoke to me, I heard, “Everything’s going to be okay.” My son went on to give me a grandchild, which really straightened him out. He’s a wonderful dad.
I’ve been a nurse for many, many years. From time to time God provides opportunities to share my faith story or to pray with patients. One day I had to see nine patients, but still found a two-hour window to hear a man’s miraculous story about surviving a car accident. I was able to share how God forgave me after my accident and other instances where I could see the hand of God at work in my life.
Another time, I was bathing a friend who was dying and in a coma. She sat bolt upright and said, “NO!” She looked right at me and said, “Bonnie, tell them I can’t go.” The next day the woman’s granddaughter came to see her, and she died peacefully an hour later. Another time I was giving CPR to a man, whom we revived. Later, in the Intensive Care Unit, he said, “You were the one pumping my chest.” I asked him how he knew that, and he replied that he could see me from above while he was talking with an angel.
I’ve had so many extraordinary life experiences that there is no way I could not believe in God, in Jesus, and in the Holy Spirit. God has always provided opportunities and time to share his message. I think what God wants me to do is to share my faith with others.
More Faith Stories
I’d been drinking all day long and pulled out into the path of an oncoming vehicle with a with a woman and all of her children packed into this car. They T-boned me and at that moment everything went blank.
One Sunday the music director said the handbell choir needed more members. I thought, “No, I wasn’t ready to get involved.” At the end of the service I found myself volunteering for bell choir!
One Sunday afternoon I was sitting drunk in a bar, and I’m looking around. The only ones in the bar were the bartender, some shady looking guy in the corner, my ex-boyfriend’s mom, and me. I heard this voice in my head say, “What am I doing here?”
This past year I found a black dot on my thumbnail that looked like a pencil point. Nothing much to it. Then it became an abrasion at the end of my nail. My doctor referred me to an orthopedic surgeon who found it to be malignant skin cancer.
At that point I said, “I can’t do this myself. It’s in your hands, God.” That part I remember clearly. It turns out that it was really, really was up to Him (and a good surgeon).
So when drugs and alcohol came around, it was easy for me to say “yes,” because I didn’t have anything in me saying “no” anymore. As I got more involved with drugs, I got into more crime. I started committing violent crimes, selling drugs, abusing drugs ended up back up in prison.