Joyce A

My first thoughts of God came from my mother. She had a church background, and everything that she said was kind and caring. She always brought out the best in me and everyone else. Mother taught us children to always respect others first, as that will make us better people. “When things come from the heart,” she would say, “you will have a better day.”

Mother taught us children to always respect others first, as that will make us better people.

When I was a young adult, I dated a boy whose mother disapproved of my belonging to another branch of the church so much that she called my mother and cursed at her. I couldn’t understand why Jesus would let that happen; so I got dressed up and walked to the church in Boothwyn, Pennsylvania. Every bench was full, but I finally found a seat in the middle of a row. In the middle of the church service, I got up and began walking down the aisle. I felt the Holy Spirit come over me like fire.

Soon after that I met John, and we were married. His family also disapproved of my being from a different branch of the church, but John stood up for me. His parents fought us in court for five years over custody of John’s son from a previous marriage. The lawyer fees cost so much that we sometimes did not have food in the house. I began to read my Bible, and the Holy Spirit comforted me. During this time I kept Jesus right next to me. John’s parents finally won the custody battle and had his name removed from his son’s birth certificate. They taught his son to hate me, and he would destroy things in the house when he came to visit. Without the Holy Spirit I would have gone to the “nuthouse.”

When John’s son became an adult, he had the court put his father’s name back onto his birth certificate, and he added my name as his mother. I began attending a small church in my hometown, and finally found the family I had always wanted. John and I stood strong together in a loving marriage for 48 years. Throughout my life the Holy Spirit has always let me know that Jesus is close to me.

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