God Brought Me Through!

May 17, 2021

Rosemarie found that difficult challenges are what reveal God’s power.

By Rosemarie Charles

M

y family was not Christian when I was a child, and I only knew a little about God from attending a Catholic school that required us to go to mass regularly. However, today I can say that although I was not thinking about God, He was thinking about me. My parents decided to relocate from Jamaica to the United States for work when I was about seventeen years of age, but my siblings and I were not able to go with them, so my three younger brothers went to live with our grandparents and I moved in with a family we had known for a long time. Since that family attended the Apostolic Faith Church in Kingston, while I lived with them I had to go also.

One week, the Kingston church held its annual convention of special services. I had no plans of giving my life to God at that time—during the services my friend and I just goofed around. We did not take it seriously at all. In fact, the meetings always ended with an invitation to come forward and pray, and we used to try to hide somewhere so we wouldn’t be called to the altar.

On a particular night, one of the brothers called us to the altar, and we tried to turn away from him but in doing so we ended up going straight to the altar instead! We didn’t know that God was working out a plan. I knelt down but was not really praying, and then I looked at my friend and saw that she was praising the Lord. The situation got serious for me after that because I knew that if she got saved, she would no longer do a lot of the things we used to do together, and I would be alone. At that moment, the Lord helped me to make the best decision of my life—to pray for salvation. As I prayed, God came into my heart and became my personal Lord and Savior, and soon I was praising Him too. When I opened my eyes, I knew I was different. I felt so clean and so new! The place was brighter and everyone looked different to me. And I thank God that He did not stop there with salvation, but He also sanctified me and took away my desire for sin. I am so glad for the change God made in me.

At the age of eighteen, my parents sent for me and my siblings to join them in the United States, and when I arrived I started attending the Apostolic Faith Church in Brooklyn, New York. One year, at our annual East Coast Youth Conference, I was just sitting in the pews when the power of God came over me and urged me to pray. I went to my knees right there, but then felt an urge to go to the altar. When I got there, the Lord did something powerful—He showed me wonderful things and showered me with the baptism of the Holy Ghost, with the evidence of speaking in tongues. It was so amazing.

My husband and I met at church and got to know each other better when we both traveled in a small group to camp meeting in Century, Florida. After that, we started spending more time together and felt God’s leading in the relationship, and a couple of years later we married. God blessed us with four wonderful children and we did our best to serve Him as a family.

Our youngest child had a severe case of eczema from the time he was born—his whole body was covered in a rash that made his skin dry and itchy, and he would scratch and scratch until he bled. Doctors were not able to help us; the ointments they prescribed never worked.

Our youngest child had a severe case of eczema from the time he was born—his whole body was covered in a rash that made his skin dry and itchy, and he would scratch and scratch until he bled. Doctors were not able to help us; the ointments they prescribed never worked. I tried researching his condition on my own and tracking his diet to see if the rash was some kind of food allergy, but I found no answers. He couldn’t sleep at night for more than a couple hours at time, so my husband and I would take turns staying up with him as he screamed and cried in pain. I was thankful to be a stay-at-home mom who could be there to care for him, but at the same time my heart ached to see him suffer. Our whole family was affected by what he was going through. Every night was agony, and in the morning we started the day by washing his wounds again. In prayer I would cry out to God, wondering how long this would go on.

When our son was about two years old, an old friend of mine visited Brooklyn and she was surprised to see his condition. She encouraged me to keep believing that God can heal, and she invited me to bring him to spend a few days with her. We agreed to go, and when we got there she had a special diet in mind for him. I didn’t think it would really make a difference, but the first night we stayed with her, our son slept through the night! I could not believe it—I forgot he was even in the room with me! We continued that careful diet and his condition improved dramatically. Shortly after that, the Lord brought to my mind a doctor who had once been recommended to me. I hadn’t pursued it because no doctor had been able to help us before, but when the Lord brought the name back to my mind, I decided to look into it. That doctor gave us a new ointment that finally made a difference; it was another huge improvement in our son’s condition. Today he is healthy, is no longer plagued by eczema, and does not have to eat such a restricted diet either. We give God all the praise!

In September of 2011, I was diagnosed with Stage 2 cancer. At that time, our youngest child was only about six, and I was homeschooling the youngest two. When the doctor first told me the news, it was very scary, but what came to mind was the account of Job and how he continued to worship God despite all he suffered. Even though the diagnosis was alarming, I knew God was able to bring me through.

Feeling low, I began to wonder where God was. In my head I knew that God is always with me, but I wanted to feel His presence and to hear from Him.

Being sick with cancer was difficult, and at times I felt like I was in a dark place. A couple months after my diagnosis I went in for surgery, and my stay in the hospital was particularly hard on me. I was supposed to be discharged after five days, but it was going on seven days and I still could not leave. I had our children on my mind and just wanted to be with my family. Feeling low, I began to wonder where God was. In my head I knew that God is always with me, but I wanted to feel His presence and to hear from Him. I tried to read my Bible but I could not make sense of what I was reading, so I decided to put on some Gospel music to encourage myself. Then a nurse came into my room that I had never seen before. She must have realized I was a Christian because of the music, and she let me know she was a Christian too. I told her about my feelings, and she encouraged me and reminded me to count my blessings. The nurses were usually busy and would just quickly check on me and then leave, but she stayed there a while longer talking with me, until someone else came and called for her. After she left, I didn’t see her again until the day I was discharged. I knew God had arranged for her to be in my room exactly when I needed encouragement.

Through everything I experienced with cancer, I can see that God’s hand was in it. It was not always easy, but God was with me during the bad times and He kept me. He brought so many people into my path, and used that trial to draw me closer to Him and to teach me to trust Him more. I am also grateful for my family and my church who supported and encouraged me. Praise God, I have been cancer free for almost ten years now. I don’t know what the future holds, but I choose to trust that God knows and He will help me through whatever lies ahead.

God has blessed my life so much that sometimes I almost forget about the trials He has brought me through. However, I do not take for granted anything He has done for me. I thank God for the difficult times, because through them we can look back and see what great things He has done.

About the author

Rosemarie Charles is a member of the Apostolic Faith Church on Lafayette Avenue in Brooklyn, New York, where her husband is a minister.