Hi, my name is Susan and I want to share my faith story with you. As a child I always knew that God existed. I went to church when I was very young, and I knew who God was. I knew all the Bible stories. I knew that Jesus was the Son of God. I knew that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, but I can’t say that I had a relationship with him.
My parents also knew God. We were not faithful Christians by any sense of the word. My mom and my dad both grew up pretty poor, and so I really didn’t have many things. I knew that I didn’t want to live like that, so I focused on acquiring money and success. I thought that would bring me happiness, but it never did because God put a void within me where I couldn’t be filled with those things: money, success, things, none of that.
I became very successful in the business world, and thought, “Hey, I’ve arrived!” Well, I really hadn’t arrived. What happened next was that the bottom just dropped out. This job that I had waited for a long time came to pass. I said, “WOW, I finally got my dream job.” Worked at it for about a year, and then management decided that they didn’t need my job anymore. All of a sudden I didn’t have the dream job, but they moved me to another area of the company. It was a demotion and was very hard to take.
In the meantime I had a friend who was a Christian. She said to me, “Do you know Jesus as your personal Savior?” I replied, “Yeah, I know I know who he is.” She prayed for me for a whole year. She kept saying, “Come to my church, come to my church.” I didn’t feel like I needed to do that. So she prayed and prayed for me some more.
All of a sudden I’m in the grocery store or Kmart, or wherever, and people are coming to me and they’re saying to me, “Have you accepted Jesus as your personal Savior?” I felt like all of these Christians were surrounding me. I thought, “What am I supposed to do with this?” So I decided I’m going to go to church, thinking she’ll leave me alone if I just go to church.
I went to her church and they were talking about salvation. I completely understood what that was. Jesus died for me, so I’m set right? When I die, I go to heaven. That’s how it works, right? Well, no, it doesn’t work that way.
They talked about Jesus’ death on the cross. They talked about free will. First time I ever heard of that. All of a sudden the Holy Spirit literally spoke in my ear and said, “You know what, it’s time. You need to walk down this aisle and you do accept me.”
And I’m like, OK, OK. So as I’m standing up another voice in my ear said, “Oh, you’re crazy. You’re like all those crazy Christians. You’re going to be a laughing stock. Your friends are going to think you’re crazy.” I said, “Get behind me, Satan, I am doing what I’m doing.” That was the beginning of a whole new life for me.
I remember an incident after I became saved, and my husband’s not saved, so he thought I was crazy. It really hurt our relationship, but I said that I’m not changing how I feel about Jesus. I kept praying and praying for him. I don’t know where he is with the Lord, but the Lord knows.
My husband was playing the betting pools at work and got into a gambling situation. He was thousands of dollars in debt. He didn’t tell me about it, but I knew something was wrong. So I asked him to tell me what was going on here, were you having an affair? Then he broke down and told me. I thought, oh my God, what are we going to do? The weird part was that I wasn’t upset.
So I brought it to the Lord and within four days my husband came home and said, “You’re not going to believe this. The guy I owed money to is dead.” We don’t know what happened, but he’s dead. The guy that was collecting the money then told me that my debt has been paid.
Another example of God working in my life happened when my daughter was born premature.I didn’t have children until I was older and I thought, “Oh God, what are you doing? I’m 40 and I’m having my first child.”
Another time I was driving a corporate car to northern New Jersey. I’m in the car with three other people. Two people that don’t know the Lord, me, and a gentleman who was a Baptist. I cannot explain to this day what happened next. Suddenly my car went out of control for no reason. I’m on the New Jersey turnpike and there’s a truck next to me, a truck behind me, a truck in front of me.
I said, “Oh my God, I’m going to die.” My prayer was, “Lord, I know where I’m going, but I don’t know where these folks are going. Please protect us.” A small, still voice in my ear said, “Susan, just relax, I have this. Let go with the wheel.”
I just let go of the wheel and all of a sudden there was this peace and all of the trucks that were around me were gone. I thought I was in a dream. Everybody was asking how I did that, that I had the best driving skills. I said, “No, I did not do that. The Lord did that.” And to this day they still talk about that event. The gentleman in the back of the car said that the Lord protected us. I replied that God heard my prayer because I didn’t want anyone to perish without knowing Jesus.
Another example of God working in my life happened when my daughter was born premature. I didn’t have children until I was older and I thought, “Oh God, what are you doing? I’m 40 and I’m having my first child.” But I truly believe I became a new creation in Christ and he wanted me to become that new creation, so that I could raise my children. Am I perfect? No, I’m not, but I know that God’s hand in it and nothing will turn to void.
When my daughter was born I thought, “How am I going to handle this? I have to go back to work.” She was very sick. The first time I saw her she was in a respirator. Throughout all that followed I wasn’t worried because I knew God would take care of it. Later I found out that if she hadn’t been born early, she would have bled to death. We have no control over that. We have to let God take control of the wheel.
Now I’m looking forward to the next chapter. The world today needs Jesus. It is nothing like I’ve ever seen, but I do believe that we have to meet people where they are. We can’t be judgmental. I think we have to show them what God has done in our lives.
More Faith Stories
I was so surprised because my young child taught me much about faith – my faith – so I had to be faithful with my God.
I remember her giving me a little booklet and there was a lot of singing. Then she gave me this picture of this beautiful man with a little glow behind him, and she says, “That’s Jesus.”
The people that were doing the auditions with the African Children’s Choir came to my church and they were looking for children that could sing. Because I was active in Sunday school, I was chosen to be in the very first African Children’s Choir in 1984.
I was 12 in a small Baptist church when the pastor made it very clear that a decision needed to be made to accept Jesus and to follow Him. It was a very sincere commitment to surrender my life to Jesus when I was 12.
I was 16 when my father died. He had just come back into my life and I was crushed. I started to question a lot of the things I thought I knew about God. I started to veer off course and make bad decisions.
I play baseball. I personally think that I am very talented at baseball and I have a gift. I appreciate this gift and use it a lot in my life.