My Story, part #2

Okay, here we go with part two of My Story, but remember that there’s just no possible way that I can add every single detail nor include every person that’s impacted my life or been a part of it over the years, simply because of the time it would take to write it all down, so if you’ve been left out or not included for some reason, as I share my testimonies, please know that it’s only due to wanting to keep it short and readable. I love you all. ❤️ I’m just going to be highlighting certain parts of my calling and walk with God that I believe will have a positive impact on somebody else’s life. There may be a time when I go back and redo this and am able to include more details, but for now I’m going to try to keep it as simple as possible. God bless you as we move forward with my journey in Jesus.

I’ll begin this part of my story sharing with you how I actually came to know the Lord. As I said in my previous writing, my parents had a slightly religious and somewhat shallow concept of God, but nonetheless, even though I wasn’t really walking with the Lord, I had a very active conscience about what was right and wrong because of the word of God they had instilled in me. There was a point in my life as a young mother and wife, I was about 21 years old, that I suddenly began to have a very conscious awareness that my life was completely undone and I was not in a good place with the Lord. I had an incredible fear of God come over me and I knew that I was not going to make it to heaven. I would pray often and ask God for protection over my whole family, as I carried a heavy burden in my heart for their well being , as well as praying before bed to cover and protect my children and myself. All the while basing my faith strictly upon my knowledge that there was a God, but not upon any personal experience I had with Him. I prayed often, but never repented and gave Him my life. I would say what many would call the sinners prayer with a passing Baptist going door to door but there was never any sincerity in it, thus the reason why there was never any change within my heart. I didn’t ever say anything to anyone about the level of torment I was going through, I just did the best I could to ignore the knocking of the Holy Spirit that was going on within my soul and just tried to be the best mom that I could and a loving wife, but something strange was definitely happening to me.

During the time frame that this strange thing was happening to me, out of the blue, my husband began to go to church regularly, it seemed like he was there all of the time. He would go on Sunday morning and Sunday night and then again on Wednesday nights. This was such an unusual thing for him, although I knew that as a younger man (him being five years older than I) he had given his life to the Lord, but when we met, he was living the party life and that was okay with me at the time, because I was doing some of the same things. Because of my experience with going to church, I knew that there was no possible way that he was just going to church to be at church. There had to be another reason why he wanted to be there all the time. I didn’t know if there was another woman or if he simply had lost his mind. Why in the world would anyone want to spend so much time in such a boring building? I can’t really recollect the exact order of some of the events that have taken place, but I will do my best to be as honest as I can with what I know and remember. At this point in my life, I honestly only had a religious view of God. I had no life change, no change of desire, nor did I have any passion to know Jesus any deeper than what I knew him. You need the Holy Spirit for that kind of hunger. I prayed because I knew there was a God but I can’t say that I believed He’d ever answer me.

One day I was over at my Mom and Dad’s house, as we would frequently gather there and have a meal together and just hang out, watch movies or whatever. My parents were always very family oriented people, so I was also very family oriented. On this particular day my dad began to have some physical problems. I remember the day so clearly just like it was yesterday. He walked into the kitchen and said he needed to go lay down for a while but his face was gray and ashen and I knew something was horribly wrong. We begged him to go to the hospital and not go lay down; he reluctantly agreed and was driven to the hospital had he not, he would not have made it. That was the day that changed my life forever and in a good way. My dad was suffering a massive heart attack and was scheduled to have emergency open heart surgery as soon as possible. Wow, I just couldn’t believe what was happening, he was my rock and I loved him so much. He helped me see life through a different lens and was always there to lend a helping hand or a word of wisdom to me. The thought of losing him was more than what I could mentally comprehend at the time, but I was determined to be strong for him.

I can’t exactly remember if it was that day or the next when they scheduled him for surgery but he was in critical condition and waiting wasn’t an option. He was scheduled to have a triple bypass, but we were assured by the medical staff that it was a typical surgery, but as with any surgery, has a measure of risk involved. We all told my dad we loved him and sent him off into the operating room. My family and I were all gathered anxiously in the hospital waiting room for news concerning his well being, which seemed like the longest wait of my life. Finally some doctors came out to speak to the family and the news they brought to us was not good news. I was there trying to be strong for everyone, even though I felt incredibly weak inside and broken, but nothing could have prepared me to hear the words the doctors were going to tell us. They said that the operation went well but the problem they were having was that when they brought him off the heart/lung bypass machine, they couldn’t get my dad’s heart to beat on its own again, it just wouldn’t start, so they were there preparing us for the worse; we were more than likely going to lose him. At that moment I don’t know what came over me, all I knew was that I had to leave the hospital, not even thinking how that would look or appear to others but I didn’t care.

I drove home to my apartment by myself and walked up to the door, I don’t even remember how I got there to be honest, I was in shock. I remember the apartment was dark and cold inside and felt so lonely. Just as soon as I was on the inside of the door and closed it behind me, I dropped to my knees and cried out to God in a way that I’d never cried out to Him before and I said to Him “Lord, if you raise my dad up, I will serve you for the rest of my life”. At that moment, at that very moment, I was hit with nothing less than what seemed like a lightning bolt from heaven and I came off that floor a different person, my heart was changed and my God had heard the cry of my heart. I went back to the hospital and was told that my dad’s heart had just began to beat again all on its own and he was home where he should be, within just a couple of days. I knew what salvation was on that day that I cried out to God and I also knew that I had entered into a promise with my Heavenly Father that my life was now His and no longer my own, which didn’t seem at all like a negative thing, because now Jesus had His rightful place within my heart and He became the treasure and love of my life from that day on.

My dad began the process of his recovery from open heart surgery but he was doing well and I was so thankful to God for His mighty hand being revealed to me and giving me back my dad, raising him from the dead. I wasn’t ready to lose him and rather than losing him, I gained him in this life for many years more, as well as in the life to come. At the time this happened to my dad he was working full-time for a beer distributor as a warehouse manager. Prior to his employment with this company he was never a drinker but after being exposed to so much alcohol, as well as other people who were drinking alcohol, even on the job at times, my dad slowly had become a functioning alcoholic. As he was recovering from his surgery he was also going out into the garage and drinking warm beer, even though he knew he wasn’t supposed to be drinking it. I know he was ashamed of his problem, although he was very good at hiding it. He could drink a six pack of beer and you’d never know that he had anything to drink at all. But God was good to him in spite of himself. So, right at this time during his recovery, my dad also developed a problem in his shoulder out of the blue and was in excruciating pain, unbearable pain that can make you nutty. After having x-rays, the doctor told him that he needed to have another surgery to repair the shoulder, as he was bone on bone inside the cuff and the pain would not stop without surgical intervention. To be continued.

So after I had this experience I began attending church with my (now-ex) husband. I finally figured out why he was going to church so much, because that’s also what I wanted to do now that I had found this new life in Christ and seen the goodness of God work a miracle in our life. When I began attending this church, I also was plugged into a powerful women’s group of God chasers, taught by a very anointed woman of God, named Miss Betty Barker. That lady was such a powerful mentor in the Word of God, with a pastor’s heart and a gift for discipleship. She was a true woman of faith and I’m sure now, she is dancing on streets of Gold with the one that she loved. I miss her ability to teach and lay such a solid foundation into the hearts of those who she discipled. She blessed me so much and taught me more about Jesus than anyone else ever has. I know that I was set at her feet by the Lord Himself, to be taught and grounded in the foundational truths of His Word and for that I am and will always be, eternally grateful. During this time I was exposed to the Holy Spirit in tangible ways, that I could see with my eyes, as He worked and manifested Himself through the various gifts of the spirit that were working through others who were a part of this group. I was so hungry for that same experience in my life. I saw people speaking in tongues in worship, messages given in tongues, the interpretation of tongues, laying hands on the sick, casting out devils, giving words of knowledge, words of wisdom and prophetic words that came, not with just mere human words, but that came with the power of the Holy Spirit. I was so hungry for this baptism of the Holy Spirit that I was being taught about and seeing with my own eyes. I would ask the Lord over and over, to fill me with the Holy Spirit and release His gifts inside of me. I longed for the working of His power in my life like I had tasted the day my dad was raised from the dead.

I was asked to go to a meeting down in Yuba City, where an evangelist was going to be speaking at some special meetings being held in a little church. I whole heartedly agreed to go with them. I was a passenger in one of the many vehicles that were going to this meeting and I was so excited, I couldn’t wait to get there and see what God was going to do. I was mesmerized by Jesus and His Glory. I had a Holy anticipation going on in my young heart and I was sitting there in the car as we drove down the highway, I laid my head back on the headrest and all of a sudden, I began to hear a choir that was greater than anything I’d ever heard before. I heard voices by the multitudes and they sang a song that is now a familiar worship song but for me it was not familiar. I heard them singing ”Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true. With Thanksgiving, I’ll be a living sanctuary for you”. Little did I know that I was being prepared by the Lord to receive the most precious gift that anyone could ever ask for. I told the people I was riding with in the car what I had just experienced and the Presence of God filled the car and we were all filled with joy.

When we got to the meeting it came to the point in the service where this lady evangelist, who happens to be of color, was going to pray for people who wanted the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It didn’t take me long to get up and to move forward toward her. When she came over to me and it was my time for prayer, I told her that I wanted to be filled with the Holy Spirit. She began to pray for me and told me to lift my hands and begin to worship Jesus. I was super shy but I just began to open my mouth and give Him praise and tell Him how much I loved Him. She said “there it is honey, there it is”. I didn’t know what she was talking about but as I began to say “I can’t do it”, not understanding that it was Him that was going to do it through me, she held the microphone up to my mouth and I heard myself fluently speaking in the most beautiful heavenly language that I’d ever heard, all I could do was cry and remember the angels singing. This day was the start of the most incredible spiritual journey for me; I don’t even know if I’ll be able to put it all into words and do it justice, but I’m going to do my best to share my experiences with you. I pray you are blessed and looking forward to part #3.

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