MY PERSONAL TESTIMONY
My father never attended church and mom sent us every week, 2 services on Sunday and Prayer Meeting on Wednesday night plus youth before Sunday night service when we were old enough. Mom went occasionally. At the Wesley Methodist Church in Percy Illinois. I gained a tremendous amount of Biblical knowledge and learned many passages by memory. I was truly serious about church and the things I learned there. As a result, I worked very hard to live the way I thought God wanted me to do. I always failed, tho, not realizing that knowledge only puffs up.
After being sexually abused by my biological father from the age of 10 to 14, I had a “mental breakdown.” There were a lot of religious issues involved in this breakdown, so as a way to cope, I made the decision at age 15 to not adhere to any religious belief as it brought too much anxiety, guilt, and condemnation.
I lived a promiscuous life from that time until the age of 25. I was a typical “hippie” and did all the things associated with that culture. My “religion” was life philosophy, intellectualism, and doing things that made me feel good. I married at 19 because that’s what others my age were doing. The “hippie” lifestyle continued, I had my first child at age 21, and continued to live in rebellion against God. Throughout this whole time, I would have bouts of guilt, knowing I was not living right and that I needed to give my life to God.
In 1974, I had a dream that occurred on 3 different occasions. In this dream, I found myself in God’s judgment waiting room with many other people. Some were wailing and crying, some were just sitting, some were talking. I watched with a terrible sense of fear and doom. I knew that when it was my turn to go in, I would be rejected by God and sent to hell. Each time I had this dream, I awoke with great anxiety. I had been sending my 3 yr old son to a small AG church and went to see him in a Sunday School program. The CBC Choir from Spfld MO was there that morning. The Holy Spirit moved and I realized God was in that place. I experienced the actual power of God. I knew that was what I had missed all those years in my church upbringing.
Very shortly after that day, I was sitting in my living room. I took a Bible off my book shelf and opened it. A tract fell out that I knew my mother had put there. It was the simple Gospel message and the final words were, “Are you ready to accept Jesus as your personal Savior?” I jumped up out of the chair and spoke out loud, “Yes Lord.” My life was totally and radically changed and has never been the same since. I was instantly delivered from alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and promiscuity. My soul became a sponge for the things of God. Though my walk with the Lord has had its ups and downs, the Lord is still 1st in my life and I continue to seek more of Him.