30 Posts Challenge: #2 Me and God

Well hello, if you’re still with me on this new journey. I am so excited about this post because I will get to introduce you to the love of my life… Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Sadly, we weren’t always in love with each other. I didn’t even know he existed for a long time. I’m sure the neighborhood church that we visited at Vacation Bible School (VBS), and occasionally Sunday School (SS) taught us because a man named Mr. Farlow told me when I was 6 yrs old that if I memorized John 3:16 that he would give me a jump rope. I got the rope the next visit! For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.
I had no clue what I had learned. To me it was like a story of this person named God, who loved someone named the world, that he had a son, and that was basically it. I had no way of understanding a big word like begotten. And in case you have never noticed or thought about it, “Jesus” is not mentioned in that verse. Oh the concept of him, and pronouns of him, but the name Jesus is not there. God would still use this later when I came to know him… whenever I was scared, or confused, or just thought on it. I did not even realize that I had not understood that verse when I memorized it until I was 37 and helping out at a VBS where my son was attending school.
I met Jesus when he met me. I was 8 yrs old and my mom had watched the Walton’s episode where the Hindenburg blew up. It scared her thinking about the fires of hell. She went to a local church where people screamed and hollered, as they also jumped from their seats a lot, sometimes with someone running up and down the aisle. When she went forward to be saved, she left us in our seats. I followed down behind her because I was scared of the people. As I was knelt behind her while she prayed, a lady named Molly came and asked if I knew what I was doing. When I told her waiting on my mom. She asked if I knew what she was doing. When I told her no, she told me Mom was praying to Jesus. She asked me if I knew who he was. Again saying no, she began to tell me of this person who loved so much that he died for us.
As she told me about him, I remember the first thing I thought was, “You mean there is an adult that wouldn’t hit us? Even when we deserve it?” I was so shocked, and so touched. But when she told me that we caused him to die, that broke my heart. I asked how he died, and she explained the cross, and about sin. My mom never knew for years that this had happened until I was telling someone because my mom was determined to obey the Lord and make it to that altar, giving herself to God, it allowed me to be there when Molly was there.
I would like to tell you that’s where our love story began with me being just as in love with him, but while I was touched by his kindness, felt so guilty about his death, I simply did not know him and his Father the way I eventually would. I know that my salvation was genuine though because when I struggled with it years later God would remind me of my thoughts when Molly told me of him, and the words of Pastor Ralph Sexton, Sr. when he was baptizing me just weeks later. I was standing in the water on my tippy toes, water up to my neck, struggling to keep my neck that high, with my dress pinned together at the knees. He held one hand on my shoulder and the other one up, sometimes talking to the people, sometimes in praise to the Lord, and he said, “Oh, Folks, I have to tell you about this little girl. She comes to the altar every Sunday morning, every Sunday night, and every Wednesday night. She prays for herself, her momma, her daddy, her brothers, her sister, and everyone she can think of.” He said more that I cannot remember, but the Lord has assured me by my testimony, spoken of another, my pastor at that, a very on fire for the Lord day and night man, that I understood enough that the purpose of my salvation was absolutely rock solid…. all pun intended. I just had to learn more about him, and that journey was just beginning.
My grandfather died (who was my hero), my mom told us that me and my little brother really weren’t my dad’s kids, and my brothers and I were put into foster care. It was at least a Baptist Children’s Home, so we did still go to church. But the filth, violence, and death I had always known was still ever present… even in foster care. When we came home, my mom used to tell us God was going to come after us for what we did to her. I am so ashamed to say this, but in being honest in my testimony with you it means to admit that I told her that I hated God and wanted nothing to do with him.
When we went back we did go back to the church where I was saved for awhile, but eventually that stopped. My mom at least kept listening to her gospel albums, so I would listen to them and learned them. Somewhere along that path, I did develop a love and obedience for him. I just didn’t know it or understand, as the world made it like our salvation was all built on behavior. I was a very promiscuous teen. I had my son when I was 18. He was such a gift from the Lord.
It would be my son, and a desire to want to give him back to the Lord, teaching him to love God more than me, and that I love God more than him, knowing the world would tell him that was cruel, that God used to change me inside out, my life, and bring up this little man who had a constant determination to be a preacher when he grew up. I assure you that was not my influence. I did not have a good opinion of Christians or Christian schooling. I did not think I was one, no matter how hard I tried, and all the Christian kids I knew that had went to Christian Schools hated God. I was scared Anthoni would hate God too. My son coming up in a Christian Daycare led to getting back into church, and going to a Christian School led to everyone of my family members getting back in church, our best friends, and several friends along the way.
When it was time to switch to his new Christian School, it was while I was finishing Bible College. We met a completely different world of Christians. They were so faithful, obedient, self-sacrificing, teaching others to fervently study God’s word, and always reaching out to Anthoni and his family. Now I am not saying we did not have them at the other places, it’s just that while one church laid the foundation, the other help to built a rock solid wall, and started his training for preaching. The PIT Crew is what they called it… Preacher’s in training. By the grace of God, I was able to glean from that teaching, as well as from his Christian Schooling there, all at a time that I had just finished college.
There is so much more to my journey with him. It would take a very large novel to tell you just a few of the things he has done for me, in me, and through me. There could never be a book big enough to tell you of my love for him. But with his help, I will share with you in these posts what he will allow, as well as the poetry. The writing… THAT will be next because it is the spiritual gift he has given me. It is not mine. It is his. Thank you for allowing me to spend some of your quality time telling you about a quality man… a quality love.

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gaillovesgod

It's not about me. It's all about my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

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