Surrounded by the Love of Jesus
January 01, 2012
She found a new hunger for God while meeting with Christian friends around a pastor’s table
How grateful I am to God for what He has done in my life. I was not brought up in a Christian home, though it was a good home. My parents loved each other and their six daughters. They did not go to church themselves, but I am thankful they sent us to church and Sunday school. It was there I learned that I needed to have my sins forgiven if I wanted to go to Heaven. At the age of nine, I went to an altar of prayer and knelt and asked Jesus to come into my heart. He sweetly saved me, and gave me a peace and joy in my heart, even at that young age, that I cannot explain.
The Lord was good and faithful to me, and for a number of years His presence filled my life. However, I am sad to say that after I left my hometown and went away to college, I got careless and lost my way spiritually. I let go of something so very precious, and I felt undone. I tried the things of the world, searching for something that would satisfy, but I could never find the joy and peace I had when I was serving Jesus.
Thank God I did not go far into the world of sin, because I knew it was not the place for me. I was dating Chris—the young man who later became my husband—and on many weekends we would go to the town of South Brook because it was closer than my hometown. We spent a lot of time with Christian friends and church people, and they prayed for us. Along with other young people, Chris and I would visit the pastor’s home and sit around his table, just surrounded by the love of Jesus. A hunger for God came into my heart once again, and I could not get away from it. Wherever I went, the Lord dealt with me and troubled my heart. I was miserable because of the sins in my life.
One month after Chris and I were married, we went to church together. Conviction settled down on us that night. It was so strong that we just could not leave without giving our lives to the Lord. I remember going to the altar where I poured out my heart before God. Oh what a relief I felt as the Lord came into my heart! The peace that flooded my soul cannot be explained. Never once since that wonderful night have I wanted to let it go. I knew I was home where I belonged.
Later, God sanctified me and filled me with His precious Holy Spirit. I am so thankful for God’s blessings in the years since then. God gave us three beautiful daughters, and now we have four grandchildren. God has proven that He cares for us and for our family, and they are all in His hands. God has been so good to us—good all the time, even in hard places. In trials and temptations and troubles, He is always there with His sweet peace to flood our souls and make a way. He has opened doors that seemed to be shut and performed miracle after miracle in our lives. We serve an awesome God!
My mind goes back to the time when God started to call my husband to the ministry. I did not see how I could be a minister’s wife, so I was saying, “No, Lord, I cannot do it.” However, I knew my husband had a call and he knew it, too, though we did not talk about it. God continued to deal with me. One evening in a Watch Night service, He just cornered me up and said, “You have to make a decision about this.” That night I surrendered, and oh, the sweet peace that came into my heart! I’m so thankful that God has ways of dealing with our hearts. He did not compel me to say yes, but He just made me willing, and I thank Him for that.
I am so glad that I know Jesus is my personal Savior. He is King of kings and Lord of lords to me and there is no thrill in this old world that compares with serving Him. I love the people of the Lord and I love the Gospel work. It is my life, and I mean to be faithful, no matter what comes. I know God is going to be there for me and I love Him.
Today it is the desire of my heart to serve Him for the rest of my life.