I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
I grew up in a loving home with my mother, stepfather, and two sisters. We were very close because my stepfather’s job moved us around the country. As a result, we didn’t have that sense of belonging and familiarity that might come with growing up in one place.
I didn’t grow up going to church on a regular basis. Sometimes we would go, and sometimes my parents would drop us off at Sunday school. Even so, I always believed in God! As a child I loved the simple song, “Jesus Loves Me,” because it was a reminder that He loved me, even me.
At the age of 17, I attended a revival service at my boyfriend, now my husband, Tom’s church. I responded to an altar call and experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life. I accepted Jesus as my Savior.
Tom and I started going to a Bible study to learn more about God. During that time, I also recognized God’s saving grace and mercy in my life.
I remember an incident when the Lord rescued me from a person who intended to do me harm. God’s protection was a miracle in my life! God has given me eyes to see different times when He has been at work in my life. My journey with the Lord has been a slow and steady series of experiences of growth in the knowledge of God.
The Lord has patiently led me with grace and mercy. He has met me where I was and shown me a better way to live and love. He has taught me how to be patient, understanding, and loving because He has been those things for me. He has allowed me to realize that even though I am imperfect, He still loves me. I fail but keep trying. I feel God’s love despite my failures. He is always with me, so that I don’t have to rely on my own ability. Instead, I can trust and rely on Him. Trusting God has meant everything to me. Jesus gives me peace, comfort, and an assurance that I am never alone. There is something GREAT to come!
I remember after the death of my mother, looking back at the circumstances leading up to her death. I was able to see how God was working through that entire time. It was very special!
At a time when I thought God had deserted me, He was closer than ever. He is never distant from me, even though I am sometimes distant from Him. Many times, that I can remember, God has given me eyes to see His hand at work in my life.
He gives me peace in times of trouble;
He gives me direction when I am lost;
He gives me reassurance in times of questioning;
He gives me a little push when I drag my feet!
I recall a time when our son was going through a very difficult time. My husband and I prayed and did everything we could. But it was not until we gave it to the Lord that change happened. God brought about better results that we could have ever hoped for. I wouldn’t give up the pain of that experience, because now my son has an awesome relationship with his Lord and Savior.
God is still working in me: growing me into the person He made me to be. I am a slow learner. Sometimes I go kicking and screaming, but I know God is truth and life. Lately, He has shown me a sense of humor by putting retirees, like Tom and me in a position to help lead our church’s Youth Group. I feel ill-equipped for this role, but the hired youth leaders keep leaving. I think that God is trying to tell us something. Until He provides a better alternative, we will do our best. I have found over the years that the Lord has provided the help I need to face many difficult experiences.
More Faith Stories
I remember being in church and going up to the altar and crying. I was so tired of the life I was living. I needed help. I felt a sense of peace at that time and knew that if this Jesus thing can work for some of these other guys, then it can definitely work for me.
I said to myself, “Why should anyone envy me and want to be in my shoes?”
God has led me to amazing places in my life, so let me explain how God led me from South Carolina to Kenya.
We built the first church with great difficulty. We went back to the States and the board asked us to become mission staff with the Outreach Foundation. That was 25 years ago, just about, and we’ve gotten more involved with Kenya as days and years went on.
I am a chef by profession. I’m happy because I do what I love. Now I work at Villadise Tours and Safaris, where I meet so many different people coming from far. Being helpful is just a blessing to other people.
Then God started tugging on my heart. There was a church sermon series that was about taking your God-given dream off the shelf. I was like, “I don’t know what my dream is. God, if you have a dream for me you’re going to have to tell me what it is.”