|Julie Kelly ~ Lakeshore, Ontario|
What is Salvation? The dictionary gives a very clear definition: "The act of saving from destruction or catastrophe, the saving of the soul from sin or its consequences."
On Sunday April 16, 2000 at approximately 8:45pm between the Lakeshore Gospel Hall and my driveway I experienced the most precious gift of my life, MY SALVATION. I was just short of my 38th birthday when Salvation's Day came.
In the village of Wyoming is where I was raised, the youngest of three children. As a child, I was very active in all sports particularly curling, golfing and running, being gifted with ability. I was a quiet girl but I had much determination when it came to competing. I guess you could say that I was the silent independent type.
As a child I attended the Wyoming United Church along with my mother, brother and sister. My father was very seldom seen in the pews of any church. My mother did instill the presence of God upon us and I always understood the role that Jesus Christ played in a biblical sense but not in a spiritual sense.
In August of 1980 I was engaged to Dale Kelly, and we were very happy. Our lives were just beginning. We were married on August 21, 1981 and we resided in Forest where we attended the Forest United Church. Our lives were settling in and much of our married life was consumed with golfing, and curling. As with many sports, social partying always followed. For me, being someone who was relatively quiet, my social acceptance was because of my ability in sport and my relaxed personality through social drinking. A couple of drinks for me always made it easier to communicate with people and take the edge off.
In March of 1988, God blessed us with our first born, Lindsay Marie. Shortly after in 1989, God's blessings continued with the arrival of Kaitlyn Valerie and Shannon Mary in 1993.
As the months past and our lives settled into a routine, our competitive drive in curling returned. Finding babysitters was always a constant chore and particularly finding someone capable of handling three small children. One evening Dale and I were stranded for a babysitter, and we spoke to Dales' mother who was a teacher to see if she knew of any girls that were capable of handling the task. Mary spoke to Ruth Dyck, who she worked with at Forest Central, and Ruth felt her daughter Katherine could handle the chore. From this day forward, God's hand was already working and little did I know it.
Katherine was wonderful with the girls and we called on her for all of our weekends away curling and nights during the week. In May of 1993, our nest was complete with God's blessing of our fourth child, Meghan Dale. As time went on, Katherine spent much time with the girls as our competitive curling success took us away from home a great deal. Katherine was like a second mother to our girls and that was how the girls saw her. They always were so happy when she came to stay. They loved her very much.
We were always respective and understanding of Katherine's commitment to God and her spiritual position, as was Katherine respective or ours. We never asked Katherine to babysit on Sundays and we always managed to work around her Sunday schedule. It was a Sunday in 1998 when we were stranded for a babysitter. We had no choice but to ask Katherine. Little to our knowledge, did we know that Katherine dearly wanted to bring the girls to Sunday school. We were quite happy with this arrangement and as time went on, Sundays were no longer a problem for any of us. Katherine could attend church, the girls loved to go with her, and we were able to concentrate on our competitive tasks at hand. We didn't worry about the girls, we knew that they were being well cared for.
In April of 1999 Dale and I won the Ontario Mixed Curling Championships and we were off to Lethbridge Alberta to compete in the Canadian Championships in January of 2000. This goal was one that I had dreamed of for years and now it was reality. The feeling after we won was like nothing I had ever felt before. It was the ultimate! It was the greatest reason of all to celebrate. Throughout the year leading up to the trip out west, there were functions and preparations that we attended and of course always socializing. I became more dependent on alcohol to take the edge off. I have always been able to handle the pressure but it was always easier if I had a couple of drinks. This pattern was becoming more prevalent, especially in day to day living, and the amount I was drinking was increasing. My mother had gently tried to tell me that I needed to slow down. It is hard to tell someone you love that they might have a problem. I was going to a Canadian Championship, something I had worked hard for, and I felt that this was just part of the ride and when it was over I would be back to normal. At this point, you could say I was lost, and I was but I didn't know it. To me, I was the most fortunate person in the world. I had a husband who loved me, four beautiful girls who I adored, I had a home with all the modern amenities and my achievements in the curling world outweighed many of my curling peers. My mother would tell you that I was the strongest person she knew, and that I could handle anything. She was very proud of me.
In January of 2000, God's work was becoming stronger. Dale and I were at the Canadian Championships, and Katherine had moved in for the 10 days. The girls attended the morning services at the Gospel Hall with Katherine as well as Sunday school, and the Gospel meeting in the evening. Stephan Vance was the speaker that night and the message that he conveyed had stirred Lindsay so and she was emotionally in tears. Katherine comforted Lindsay and I was not made aware of this until sometime later.
After our return from the Canadian Championships, my highs were mostly lows. Drinking was always a way to make things better, if only for a short while. In my heart I knew that what I was doing was wrong, but it was easier to slip back than to move forward. I vowed on those mornings after, feeling rough and unable to function properly as a mother and wife, that this was the last time and I was going to change my way of living because I knew that it wasn't good for my family or myself. The pattern continued and I was becoming miserable with everyone I came in contact with, my fellow curlers, my clients where I worked, my mother who I work with and of course my children. I had previously thought about going with the girls to the Gospel Hall, but those thoughts quickly diminished because I felt I couldn't make a commitment with my schedule. The girls had always wanted me to come out to the Gospel Hall. Lindsay had mentioned that Ruth and Katherine had always asked her about her parents coming out. I would always put the girls off or make an excuse.
One night in late February, I came into Lindsay's room to say goodnight. Lindsay spoke to me of Salvation. I really didn't know what she was talking about. She explained "that unless you are saved, you will not go to heaven." I looked at her seriously and I told her that in God's house there were many rooms and that one would be prepared for her when her time came to leave this world. She continued to tell me that she would have to be saved first. She opened her bible and showed me a verse that I had never seen or heard before. John 3:3 " Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." I asked Lindsay how a person would know that they were saved. She said Katherine had explained it to her as a realization of the Lord Jesus Christ and that she would know when it happened. Our conversation ended and as I left Lindsay's room, I realized how much God was already in her life through the Gospel Hall and her bible. That night, I went to the bookshelf and took out a bible which was given to me in my Sunday school days as a young teen. It was the Good News Version and needless to say it looked brand new. I began reading that night, starting in the New Testament and I read a little each night before going to sleep.
In the early part of March a famous curler to Canada and the world, Sandra Schmirler, was stricken with cancer and was in the battle of her life. Sandra was my idol, a woman who had achieved every curling goal, who was a mother, and someone that I identified myself with because she persevered and was diligent in her goals. Sandra lost her battle with cancer and this was very hard for me. A video tape of her memorial service and a tribute to her life, I kept on my shelf. The week following her passing, I noticed Lindsay watching the video. I sat down with her and we watched together as tears filled our eyes. Once again the topic of salvation came up. Lindsay began to reveal to me her experience that night in January at the Gospel Hall when she was emotionally moved. I sat in a daze as Lindsay explained what happened. I wondered what one could say about God that would upset her so. I asked Lindsay why she waited so long to tell me of her experience, and she said she was afraid of my reaction. In the days to come, I spent a great deal of time trying to sort out my feelings. Should I be disappointed with Katherine? Had she overstepped her boundary as a caregiver? To me Katherine was always someone I could trust, a person who I looked upon as our "Angel from Heaven." This had happened for a reason, and I decided that I should do nothing but continue to read my bible for answers. My nightly readings of the bible became longer and as I read, what I was reading was revealing and disconcerting. I realized that some of what Lindsay, had already learned was now being revealed to me. As I became consumed in the bible, my world around me was becoming darker and darker. My drinking at this point was still presently part of my life but my realization that this would be my first step towards a new life had to become reality. On Sunday March 26th, 2000 after curling, winning, and partying, I had my last drink. I woke up Monday morning feeling depressed and somewhat "Lost". It was this day that I knew I was truly lost, and it was this day that I vowed I would never take another drink. Little did I know, that this was my first step towards Salvation. That evening in my quiet place, I began to pray and I asked God to help me. As the days went by, my running kept me occupied and it was a way of clearing my head and talking with God.
The children's gospel meetings were starting that Monday evening for a week at the Gospel Hall. Kaitlyn was already committed to a school spelling bee and I was taking her as Dale was curling. Ruth had offered to take the other three girls out for the meeting. Ruth stopped by to pick up the girls and the look on her face gave me the feeling that she knew I was unhappy and in need of guidance. The following evening, I had to curl and I dropped the girls off at the hall. I spoke to Ruth and she asked if I would try to come out this week. I knew then that I wanted to come out and at that moment, I wanted to stay but I was already committed to curl. Again I rejected God's calling.
The following night Dale and I both attended at the Gospel Hall. The girls were so happy that we were coming. Ruth met us at the door and made us feel welcome. As I listened to Dave Kember tell the story of Adam and Eve, I had a feeling of peace and contentment that I had never felt before and I knew that this was a place where I wanted to be. I noticed that everyone carried their bible and that the ladies wore hats. I questioned Ruth and she instructed me where to find answers to my questions in the bible. I attended the children's meetings without hesitation the remainder of the week, with my bible by my side.
On Sunday, April 2nd we attended the children's finale at the Gospel Hall. The message of how salvation came to a woman after hearing the gospel for the first time was mentioned. I spoke to Ruth after and I expressed my feelings that I would not be as fortunate as that person, that I had made many mistakes, and I felt that God was really going to test me. He already had. I explained that I had quit drinking and was tested the previous night at a banquet. At that point I inquired to Ruth about the times of the worship services on Sundays.
I continued to read my bible into the wee hours of the morning. There were many thoughts that were concerning me. What people would think of my place of worship? What terrible incident would they think happened to me that would turn me to God? I had imagined everything possible. Would I be able to handle the peer pressure? It is very obvious to your friends around you when you no longer share with them as I did the "evils of this world." But I had come to the conclusion that I was in a most serious situation that needed attention, and their thoughts were the last thing on my mind at this point. I realized that the feelings I was experiencing were not totally a result of drinking, but that drinking had suppressed them to help me cope with life. Where I was now headed and where I would end up was a huge mystery and one that I was becoming afraid of.
The following Sunday I was up early. It was going to be my first worship service at the Gospel Hall. I was very nervous and I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Lindsay, Kaitlyn and Meghan all attended with me and that helped to take the edge off. It was the first time in awhile that I had taken upon myself a task without the help of a drink. The fact that I quit drinking was my first step, and this acknowledgement that I needed God and the Lord Jesus Christ was my second step towards Salvation. Following the service, I was approached by Robert Fuller, a man who I could tell had deep concern for me, even though he didn't know me. He informed me with affirmation, as he placed his hand upon his bible, that this was the word of God and not man. I graciously thanked him. As uncomfortable as that had made me feel, I new I was in the right place. Ruth introduced me to different people and they were all very warm and friendly. Ruth was comforting to talk to and she understood my feelings. At this point there was no one else I could reach out to who I felt close to and who would understand what I was entangled in. Ruth mentioned to me about the Gospel meeting that night and she asked if I would be interested in coming out. It would be another step towards my Salvation. Dale brought Shannon out for Sunday school and we both attended the bible study. When I left that day, I knew that I had never felt such a peace and a sense of security as I did that day in the Gospel Hall.
That evening, Lindsay and I attended the Gospel meeting with Ruth and Bob. This again was something new but I knew it was what I wanted to do. It seemed like everything around me was happening so fast. My feelings were constantly changing and there seem to be much uncertainty within me, but I was certain that I had to follow this to the end. There were two speakers that night, but a man by the name of Ben Prins made a huge impact on me. I remember the first words that he said, " We're going to talk about Calvary tonight." In my mind, "what was Calvary? It was a most gripping and compelling story of the Lord Jesus Christ. I hung on every word he said. At times I was saddened, and at other times I was shocked. I left there that night feeling very somber, but I also left that night knowing about Calvary.
Throughout the following week, I was reading my bible for hours on end. I would curl up in my bed and read. This was where I felt safe, in my bed with my bible. My bible had become my closest friend. On Thursday morning April 13th, I received some tragic news from my mother. David, my half brother and his wife Sara's baby was stillborn. I was in shock as I managed to explain to Lindsay and Kaitlyn this tragic news. I took my mother and my stepfather into the hospital that day to see their granddaughter, Lauren. I held Lauren and I realized that she was perfect, she was beautiful, and unblemished, but she was not there. After returning home, I was distraught. My feelings were really in disarray. I went by Ruth's house and Katherine was home so I thought I would just go home and think things out. I began to vacuum the floor, and a feeling came over me that I had to go back. I immediately left and went back to Ruth's. By this time Katherine had left and Ruth was surprised to see me at the door. I told her what had happened and she knew I was upset. We sat down and together we prayed, and it was a time I will never forget. Ruth was easy to talk to and I felt a closeness that reassured me and gave me strength. We talked about salvation. I explained to Ruth that my feelings sometimes were as though someone was behind me gently pulling me back. I remember looking up, and on the ledge was a train with a Proverb on it (Prov 22:6) " Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." It was then that my quest for Salvation was not just for myself but for my children.
The weekend was upon me and I had yet another hurdle. It was our curling banquet. In previous years I attended this function, looking forward to going. Tonight was the complete opposite. Katherine came to stay with the girls. I said very little and I was almost scared to leave home. The temptation to have a drink was there, but it was the last thing on my mind. I had something else inside of me that was much bigger and was wearing me down. I returned home that evening and began to read in my bible. I was in the Book of Romans and as I read Rom 7:15-25, I realized that I was the person in those verses. I read it a couple of times over and I was shaken. (GNB) " I do not understand what I do; for I don't do what I would like to do, but instead I do what I hate. Since what I do is what I don't want to do, this shows that I agree that the Law is right. So I am not really the one who does this thing; rather it is the sin that lives in me. I know that good does not live in me-that is, in my human nature. For even though the desire to do good is in me, I am not able to do it. I don't do the good I want to do; instead, I do the evil that I do not want to do. If I do what I don't want to do, this means that I am no longer the one who does it; instead, it is the sin that lives in me. But I see a different law at work in my body, a law which my mind approves of. It makes me a prisoner to the law of sin which is at work in my body. What an unhappy man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is taking me to death? Thanks be to God who does this through our Lord Jesus Christ!"
It was Sunday April 16, 2000 and Lindsay and I were up and gone to the Breaking of Bread at 10:00. I was feeling depressed and very agitated that morning. It was a most uncomfortable feeling and one that was with me on the way there but somehow diminished as we sat down. I bowed my head and prayed for the Lord's strength and guidance and thanked him for bringing me here. The first hymn was #356 and as I sat there looking at the words, I noticed a small word at the top of the hymn that read "wells". I stared at that word and it suddenly came to me that a well was what I was in. For the past 2 weeks, I was slowly slipping deeper and deeper. Following the hymn, Russell gave a most moving prayer of the sacrifice that Jesus Christ had made and the pain and suffering he endured. I was very much moved and tears ran down my face. I realized that my tears were for the sacrifice he made for me and that I had abused that sacrifice. This was the first time in my life that I had cried for what the Lord Jesus Christ had done for me. At the end of the worship meeting, I felt drained but that feeling of peace was still there amongst all my other feelings. In my mind and in my heart I had realized the most wonderful event. The Lord Jesus Christ died for me, endured the humiliation for me, endured the pain and suffering for me. He sacrificed himself for me. He went to the cross for all of my sins. The sound of the singing that morning was like nothing I had ever heard before and, as I went downstairs a feeling of contentment was with me. I proceeded to get some tea and as I walked to the other side of the room, this terrible feeling was once again there. It was like a dark cloud following me everywhere as though I was separated from everyone in the room and I was slowly slipping away. This feeling was now coming to me in a place where I had felt safe, and I was unsettled. Why was this happening, if I knew I had accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour? Ruth came over and she could sense my uneasiness. I knew I had to tell her what I was feeling, and I told Ruth about what I had read in Romans 7 and that it was me that was all over that page. I said " I didn't like what I read and I am scared. No matter what happens I will persevere, and I can't turn back now."
We quickly left the Gospel Hall that morning. I really didn't want to talk to anyone. Dale left for London to watch curling and the girls were outside. I was in distress and I didn't know which way to turn. No one could help me. I had to climb out of this well myself. I had to get away so I went running. I told Lindsay where I was going and I took off down the street on my usual route. It was a cold, overcast and windy day. The sky was filled with gray rolling clouds. I pulled my hat down and as I ran, all I could think of was the darkness within me. I didn't know how much longer I could handle the depression and the terrible feeling I had been experiencing the past few weeks and especially the past few days. Where is my life going, where will I end up and what will become of me? I began to run faster and it was as though I thought I could run away from all of this. As I proceed on the last half of my route, I became distraught and I realized that this pain was never going to go. I then knew that I desperately needed help! I was running faster than I had ever ran and as tears rolled down my face, I could no longer breath but I could not stop. I turned down a street called Prince Street. This was a street that I never ran down before and one that was not apart of my normal route. I looked up to the sky and the tree tops as the clouds rolled past, and I begged to God for his help.
I cried out "Lord, here I am. I am broken in to pieces and I can't put myself back together." As tears poured from my eyes, I continued to beg to God. "What is it you want from me? What can I say? I know I have sinned. I know I am a sinner. You want me to confess my sins, tell you my mistakes? O.K. here they are." I ran with fear in my heart and a cry in my voice telling God and anyone else who might have been on Prince street that day, every sin that I could think of that I was responsible for, and many of which were caused by another sin, alcohol. I gave God everything, there was nothing left inside me. "Lord, I'm at the end, I'm at the bottom, I don't know what else to do. If you want me God, you'll have to come and get me because I can't save myself."
I continued on my route and when I reached home, I sat on my front steps. I bowed my head in my hands and tried to pray. My mind went blank and I couldn't say anything. I sat there for along time unable to pray, unable to speak, and unable to think. I had nothing to say, I had said it all. I felt weak and totally drained. As I sat there sifting through what had just happened, I realized that I didn't care what happened to me from this point on. I was emotionally and physically spent. I had nothing left to give. My life was in God's hands now.
Later that afternoon, I returned to my usual place where I felt safe doing what had been comforting to me the past few weeks, and that was in my bedroom reading my bible. As I spoke to God in prayer later that afternoon, I told him that I trusted in his word and asked if He would give me guidance. That evening I drove Lindsay, Ruth and myself out to the gospel meeting. I was very quiet and I felt weak as we drove out to the hall. Lindsay and Ruth did most of the talking. On the way out, Ruth had mentioned that Katherine had seen me run down Prince Street that afternoon. She asked me if I wore an orange hat and I said I did. I was not about to reveal what had happened that afternoon. I was shocked when Ruth mentioned that Katherine saw me from the kitchen window. I was not going to reveal anything.
We sat down at the hall and I was feeling very uncomfortable. Robert Fuller and Lanny Brown were the speakers. Robert was the first to speak and he was very strong and indignant. His message of repenting your sins and that the time was now, made me very uncomfortable. As he came to the close of his message his last statement was that God is willing to save you tonight, but if you put it off until tomorrow and then decide to climb the ladder of repentance, you may find that the door might not open. I became terribly uncomfortable inside. Had I waited too long? Was I one of those who had climbed that latter of repentance only to find the door still locked? I was ready to breakdown and cry and I just wanted to get out of there. With Ruth and Bob on one side of me and Lindsay and Mina on the other I was trapped with comfort all around me. I could feel the strength of their presence as I put my head down for a second and took some deep breaths, as Robert finished.
Lanny Brown was the next speaker and he spoke with a manner that was calm and soothing. His hardships were many but he was not bitter, his faith had sustained him. This was encouraging to me. He spoke of three different gospels. "The Hidden Gospel, the Rejected Gospel, and the Gospel Received." The Hidden Gospel, (2Cor 4:3-4) "But if your gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." The gods of this world had blinded me from the gospel of Christ and I knew it. My life was totally consumed with striving after my ultimate goals in sports that once achieved, were not satisfying to me. The drinking was a way to temporarily fill that emptiness and relieve any disappointment and despair while helping me enjoy life, so I thought. It was a vicious circle that was controlling me. The Rejected Gospel (Acts 24:24-25) "And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee." I thought of the many times that I had made excuses to my girls about going out to the Gospel Hall. My greatest rejection was when I rejected Ruth's calling to seek the Lord. I knew in my heart that first and second night of the children's meetings that I needed guidance and help and Ruth could see it in my expression. In my heart I knew that the Gospel Hall was where I wanted to be those evenings, but I allowed the evils of this world to continue to control me. The Received Gospel (Luke 19:9-10) "And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." I had accepted the fact that I was lost. I knew I was unworthy in the sight of God as I had repented all of my sins to him previously that day. I had openly wept that morning for the first time in my life, for my Saviour , The Lord Jesus Christ and the sacrifice he made for me. The gospel was very clear to me now. I was feeling very warm and a bit nauseous. I just wanted to get outside and as I left, Robert was at the door with a booklet for me. He handed me the booklet and spoke, I shook his hand and kept going I couldn't talk.
We were the first ones to leave that night, Lindsay, Ruth and I. My whole body went numb and my arms and legs felt weak. I don't remember any of the drive from the Gospel Hall to Townsend Line which was the road after our usual turn. I asked Ruth how I missed the turn and she made some excuse. I remember Lindsay and Ruth talking about a story of how someone was saved. As I pulled into Ruth's driveway I knew that something had happened to me, and this feeling was something that I had never experienced before. Ruth got out of the van and she looked at me and said she would pray for me and I thanked her. As we waited for her to go into her house, I said to Lindsay that something has happened. She said "do you think you are saved? I said "I don't know". Lindsay thought we should go in and speak to Ruth and I said "No, lets just go home." By this time Ruth was already looking out her front window wondering why we hadn't left. As I began to back out of the driveway, my body was as light as a feather and I felt a tingling sensation as I smiled. I had never felt such peace and contentment as I did that moment. Lindsay knew as she looked at me that I was different, and as we pulled into our driveway, I knew then that I truly was saved. I got out of the van and I smiled at Lindsay to the point that I was laughing. I told Lindsay to go in and say nothing and I would be in shortly. As I stood in my garage laughing and realizing what had happened throughout the day, it all made sense to me. I had never felt so happy as I did that very moment, this was the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ within me and I was truly saved by his grace. I went into the house trying not to divulge my wonderful experience. I wanted to wait until the morning to be sure that this was real and not a dream. After a few minutes and when everyone was in bed, I went out on the deck and I looked up to the stars as I prayed to God and I thanked him for this most precious gift that I had just received. It was a clear and quiet night and as I finished and wiped the tears of joy from my eyes, there was a gentle gust of wind like an acknowledgement from God. As I said goodnight to Lindsay and Kaitlyn, Lindsay kept looking at me and Kaitlyn knew I was different. Kaitlyn asked what was going on and I said with a smile "if only I could speak". In my quiet place that night, I prayed to God and I thanked him for my salvation and the experiences along the way. I prayed that this feeling would never end and that I wanted my family to experience their own salvation someday. I read the scriptures that Lanny Brown had read that evening, over and over as I lay in my bed. I realized how much I enjoy laying there reading my bible and what a comfort this had been to me the past few weeks and now it was a tremendous enjoyment. Salvation had brought more joy to me than any curling championship I had ever won and it was as real as any curling shot that I had ever made. The experience of Salvation had filled every emptiness within me that drinking never could. For the first time in my life, I was satisfied, I had peace and contentment, I was saved.
The next morning as I woke, my feelings were the same and I knew I was saved. I quickly woke up the girls and told them my wonderful news. They were very happy and kept asking me questions. We prayed together that morning and I asked God's blessing for our food and I thanked him for allowing Salvation to come to our home. As the girls were ready to leave for school I decided that each morning before we left to start our day that we would ask the Lord to go with us and guide us. This was going to be the first day of many that our home would be a Christian Home. I sent the girls off to school and I waited in anticipation for Ruth to arrive home after lunch. I wrapped up an African violet that was blooming and I took it over. She welcomed me in and I gave her the plant. Ruth seemed to be in a dither, as she scurried around the kitchen to make us some tea. I stood there looking at her waiting for her to look at me. The anticipation was overwhelming. Finally she looked at me and I had a smile on my face that made my cheeks hurt. She stopped and stared for a few seconds., and then she said "yes?" and I said with affirmation "YES". We embraced each other for the longest time with many tears of joy. I said "I am Saved". Ruth had been on this roller coaster with me during the past few weeks and she knew what I was experiencing. She had watched God's hand at work as a woman who she saw as desperately needing help progressed up the road to Salvation.
What is Salvation? My Salvation was like a puzzle that was not complete until all the pieces were in place. My repentance to God that Sunday afternoon on Prince Street when I bare my sins to God and acknowledged that I am a sinner. My acceptance and understanding of the sacrifice the Lord Jesus Christ made for me, cleansing my sins from my soul with his precious blood. The gospel being hidden from me due to my ignorance of what Salvation was and consumed by my own ambitions and the lusts of this world. The rejection of the gospel by me when I knew I needed guidance from the Lord. The gospel received was that Sunday evening as Lindsay and I drove into our driveway. It seems ironic that Lindsay was with me when I realized my Salvation, for it was Lindsay who revealed to me that wonderful verse in John 3:3. The road to Salvation was a painful experience which contained much turmoil and despair, but I wouldn't change any of it. For the first time in my life, I have peace and contentment within myself and a happiness that I have never had before. I walk in God's light through my Saviour, The Lord Jesus Christ and there is no darkness. Our home is one that is now filled with the love of God through the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a home where God is welcome. Our home is a place where God's word is shared each night as my daughters and I read the bible together. Our home is now a Christian Home.
One evening as I was preparing to write my testimony, I was listening to John Procopio whose messages I enjoy very much. John put Salvation into perspective for me. He said "God didn't save you for this world, he saved you for the next world. The real world, but first he had to save you from the evils of this world." God did that for me. There is a saying which I came across throughout this experience; "Life Is full of miracles, they happen everyday if you just believe". Katherine who came into our lives 9 years ago as God began to work with our family, and Ruth who saw me as a lost soul and never left my side. I thank the Lord each day for Katherine and Ruth. My most precious gift along the way, was my bible which comforted me, brought me to the light even when it was painful but yet sustained me. My bible was my closest friend. Rom 10:17 "so then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." I now have a new running route which includes Prince Street. Needless to say, God is a great runner who never tires and he always meets me on Prince Street.
I have come to the closing of my testimony but it is the beginning of my life as a Born Again Christian. I commend my soul to God and I walk in the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am now prepared to witness my obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ and to grow as a Christian. It is my wish to be identified with the Lord Jesus Christ and fellow believers who believe in the word of God, through the receiving of baptism.
When this Passing World is Done;
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