Monday, February 21, 2011
My Testimony Part III
Back in August of 2009 I started writing my salvation story. Some readers were asking about the rest of my story. The things that have happened since my salvation. This morning I finally remembered that I haven't posted that yet and it's been a long time.
In short review I was in the Navy & married when I became a Christian in September of 1988. My Husband left me in the Philippines and I had several months without my husband or my navy buddies I had made there before I left for the USA. I made it home to Washington for Christmas of 1989. I had a couple more weeks to finish with the Navy and then I was a civilian again.
I lived with my parents and my sister. Yes, the two of us now in our 30's were living with mom & pop again. It took me a while to find a permanent job and I had a few before I found the one I loved. I dove into helping lead the middle school youth group at the church I grew up in, I went to church and Sunday School and Bible studies. I took a two year course called the Bethel Bible Series.
My sister got married and her husband & her started a church. I started going to their Bible Study and church too. My job as an Activity Assistant at a local care facility for the elderly was going well. I finally moved into my own apartment.
I met a guy named Gary at the Bible Study. He was a long time friend of my BIL. I wasn't interested in him or his brother. He thought I had kids from a previous marriage because my sister and I talked about our nephews alot so he wasn't interested in me.
To shorten the story we started dating in March of 1993 and were married exactly a year later. I moved to the house he had lived in (30 miles from me) and we began going to a church right by our house. We were loved and cared for by this small congregation for 9 years.
We attended Bible Studies together and Gary ran the sound system for the church. We got pregnant right away because I was already 36 by this time. We had a bouncing baby boy on July 1, 1995. I quite my job and stayed home with baby. Twenty months later we had a bouncing baby girl.
The nest was complete. This was our dream. Two kids, first a boy then a girl. I began teaching toddler Sunday School. Gary worked a lot of overtime and changed jobs because he just wasn't getting much time with his family.
I still tried to get to Bible Studies as often as possible, but it was difficult to go out at night with two little ones (my husband worked swing shift). Having to go get the babysitter, pay the babysitter, take the babysitter home again was wearing me out.
We began homeschooling our son after one year of pre-school. We homeschooled for nine years. During those years I wanted a Bible Study to go to so bad. We were attending a Homeschool co-op at a church across town. I was looking at a bulletin board there and saw that they had a Thursday morning women's Bible Study with child care. I attended this Bible Study for 2 or 3 years and the homeschool co-op as well.
I believe the years spent in Bible Study kept me going with the family and homeschooling. I was somewhat stressed out and turning to God and studying His Word has kept me focused and able to help raise our kids to know Him.
One morning I was up early to pray and read the Bible. I felt strongly that I needed to lay prostrate before the Lord. This wasn't something I did. I usually would kneel and lean on a chair, but this day I layed down on my stomach and stretched my arms out to the sides and said, "What is it, Lord?" I waited and the only thing that entered my mind was, "Feed my sheep." I said, "Feed my sheep?"
I thought and prayed about it for a bit and realized it was a confirmation for me to continue Homeschooling and teaching Sunday School. I have been doing so ever since. We have also been a part of Awana for about 11 years now.
During the summer when my Bible Study group didn't meet I attended a Bible Study at the church where we attended Awana. I realized I needed to spend more time with the Lord and began getting up at 5:30am every day. I joined a prayer group on Sunday evenings and my prayer life took off from there. I began to really hear God giving me clear direction on things and made some difficult decisions about how I spent my spare time. I gave up something that took a lot of my time. It was hard to let God have control of all things in my life. It still is.
Our family realized that our sweet little church was getting smaller & smaller & there wasn't much future for our kids in the children's program there. We began attending the church where we attended Awana and transferred over in 2004. Gary joined the sound team there & I began helping in Children's Sunday School and we attended Adult Sunday School classes and Bible Studies.
The thread that weaves throughout my time as a Christian is staying accountable to others in Bible Study groups and Sunday School classes. This has encouraged me to stay in God's Word and be in prayer every day.
To be honest I have been struggling the past couple years. I've been finding it difficult to get up early and read the Bible & pray. I have been teaching Sunday School and leading an Awana group and not attending any Bible Study group or Sunday School. It is obvious that I am a sponge that is running dry and I need a good soaking in God's Word daily to get me back on track.
It is not right to be teaching and not filling myself. I know that my walk is going off the path and I need to find that time with God and get back on the path. I can't even believe I've gone so long without a serious daily quiet time with God. God hasn't moved, but I have and it's time for me to get movin' back to Him.
What's next? you might be asking. It has to be my move toward God. Could you pray for me to set aside the time for God. I know there's no excuse, I just have to step in the right direction.
My Testimony sounds like it ended in sudden death or something, but it hasn't ended. I am on a journey with God and sometimes we make wrong choices when we don't consult God and do what He has clearly told us to do.
I am not going to lose my salvation or faith. God isn't finished with me yet. I will pray and ask God for forgiveness and keep moving forward. God says in Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." I still have hope and faith and God's plan for my life. OH HAPPY DAY!!