Having lived a long and varied life, with a cloud of witness in my own life, it's a bit difficult to pick a place to begin, and to choose what is most important to reveal. What will show the Lord working most vibrantly in my life? How can my witness of Jesus in my life be described in a way that will show Him at His best?
To lay out the pattern of my life would take a book to describe, and frankly, that would be boring even to me. Suffice it to say that I have been born three times. Once by birth in the flesh, once by baptism at 15, and once by auto accident at 39. What happened in between each birth is a history of pain, rejection, and a lot of stupid choices made from lack of knowledge, poor training, and abuse. There is too much to write about, yet it is all important in how God formed me to be used for His work, and I pray, one day, to His glory. So, I will begin with a list of events, because, frankly, each led to the next, or affected the way I dealt with the choices I made in my life.
I was born unwanted with a near genius mentality, and a fragile psyche, to moral, but unspiritual middle-class parents who had children because they thought they were supposed to. My mother was a non-practicing Catholic from a lower class family, at a time when class mattered greatly. She had an over sensitive narcissistic personality full of guilt and fear, abused by a psychotic mother, and who, not unnaturally, in self defense focused on surviving, and climbing out of poverty by putting herself through college, making a good marriage, and becoming an English Teacher.
My father, a non-practicing Presbyterian who hated church for it's hypocrisy, was the son of an upper class family. He became a product of divorce in a time when divorce was unheard of in his social circle. As best I can tell from what he will speak of, he received rejection and constant emotional abuse all his life from his father, and was trained to not experience or show emotion. After W.W.II, he became trapped in a marriage he didn't want, was saddled with children he didn't really want or like, and buried himself in his career as an Engineer involved directly with NASA in the space industry.
At about 15 months old, I was rejected by my mother for embarrassing her in public. She could not forgive me for her perception of the abuse of appropriate manners, and set me permanently at a distance. Being unable to love me, she chose to use me instead as a social tool.
I made the innocent mistake of outdoing my elder brother at 3 years of age, permanently alienating him for out doing him in all endeavors. I became the star in a family that wanted only to be seen as successful.
My only approval from my family came from scholastic and social success, so I became superb at it. But the strain on that fragile psyche began to tell very early on. By default, I was emotionally dumped on my father, who disappointed by my elder brother, instead of treating me as his little princess, trained me to be a replacement for my brother. That remains a complicated relationship although we have much in common between us, but unfortunately my father could give me no training in love, having experienced none himself. But then, neither had my Mother. Not their faults, just history.
I was molested at 7 years of age by the 13 year old son of family friends. A one time attack, but it left me permanently wounded, and forced me into adulthood at an unseemly age. But that same summer, I was blessed by a neighbor's child the same summer to go to their church, Calvary Chapel. Alas, it turned out to be a mixed blessing, as I unfortunately was taught by a Sunday School teacher who had color drawings of Hell on the blackboard, who told us youngsters we needed to be perfect to go to heaven. But it was a short Church experience that ended when the family moved away a few months later, but along with the seed of perfectionism planted in me was the idea of God.
Books saved my sanity, and studying the concept of God, the history of Roman Catholicism, and Protestant reformation became my fascination. God was working already in me.
I eventually explored a church in my early teens, possibly Foursquare Gospel Church. I learned enough to want Baptism. Unfortunately, the church was one that favored the used of tongues, and expected me to come out of baptism with tongues on my lips. Regrettably, they forgot to tell me about this phenomena, and when I came out of the water, and they pressed me, I babbled some nonsense syllables, but saw the entire church surrounding the pool as evil in the evening light. Lucifer had played his first trick on me. I never went back to any church for long.
Yet in that baptism was a reality and truth that kept Jesus at my side, though I paid Him only minimal attention. As the devil led me into the occult, reading palms, and Tarot Cards, I became an expert at divination. My early introduction to sexuality led to promiscuity at 16, which lasted into my early twenties at an ever decreasing rate as I suffered rejection after rejection from the men I gave myself so freely to. Oddly, the good men I met that wanted to marry me, I would not accept. I was in the playground of the sexual revolution, and the devil encouraged me. Jesus waited in the wings of the theater of my life for every opportunity He could get.
The next shattering event was the murder of my paternal grandmother. That feisty old woman of 77 was beaten to death in the massive apartment building she owned and lived in. No one was caught. And since she was the one who had paid for my training in gymnastics and ballet, encouraging me for 10 years to a profession she wanted for me, and I adored her, this was beyond my comprehension. I was only 17, already studying Classics in college, and without warning a vicious death had already marked my family. I began seeing Psychiatrists as my mind strained to understand what was happening to me.
At 19, while in college, I was over persuaded into marriage with a man I didn't love, but was fascinated with. A certified genius, and a certifiable psychopath, he was the first man I had met who was smarter than I was by an appreciable degree. Unknown to me at the time was the fact that I was the third of his wives in 5 years. The first killed herself, the second was in an asylum with a shattered mind. I lasted six weeks, but my body gave out before my mind did. I ended up in a hospital, and only twice saw my husband again before he died of a heart attack at 27, during our divorce proceedings. Strangely, I became legally a widow in July of 1975 and divorced from him two months later. To me, that somehow seemed suitable. It fit in my fantastic life.
I entered a deep depression, and there were no anti-depressants yet. I also suffered from an overactive adrenaline gland, and still do. Somehow, the events of my life put me permanently into 'fight or flight mode'. I used the adrenaline to become successful in Real Estate and Mortgage lending, endured the depression that changed how my glands operated permanently. I enjoyed my success.
I wrote, and I read and studied. I continued with college, studying all that was my delight, and after five years of an excellent education, I ended college. I got over my first marriage.
I grew less and less interested in divination, and more and more interest in understanding the Bible. Jesus was now in the lead, and the devil was trailing miserably. But the only thing I knew to do was to work hard, succeed, then go home to an empty apartment, and read throughout the night. Sleep was always something I could do without, and I was still young enough to get away with it.
11 years later, I met, lived with, then finally married again, most unfortunately to a non-Christian man that adored me. Not that I wanted a serious Christian around, nor did I consider myself a serious Christian exactly, but I wanted to talk about the possibilities of God, for Jesus was beginning to take ground here and there in my life. In spite of our difficulties, we actually had what we thought was an unusually happy marriage.
He taught me to play, to be silly, to enjoy simple things like gardening. I taught him to enjoy culture. We learned to like each other's movies. He learned to like Gilbert and Sullivan, and other musicals. I learned to enjoy Star Trek, and Aliens 2, 3 & 4.
And he loved me. Oh, how that man adored me. And how I needed adoring! To him, I was a trophy wife, smart, sophisticated, well educated, good looking, all that nonsense.
But as the years passed, I was running out of steam. I worked 7 days a week, spent time with my husband, then spent time studying. Sleep was something I did in between other more important things.
When I was 38, almost 39, I began to pray for peace of mind and comfort of spirit, but I thought of it within the confines of my current life. God knew what He wanted me to do, and knew that I couldn't do it the way I was living.
A month after my 40th birthday, as my husband and I were building the small house I live in, between my rushing and inattention, and a good jolt from the devil, I drove headlong into a deep drainage ditch at 45 miles an hour. No, there was no airbag. My car was one year too old. But I wore my seatbelt, and it saved my life, along with a few flutters of angel wings.
I broke my neck in a hangman's fracture, which means it's above the point where you can breathe on your own if your spinal cord is severed. Mine wasn't. I also hit the steering wheel with my upper right canine tooth, breaking it at the root.
Overall, God moderated the damage, and left me with workable neurological difficulties, technically minor, but life altering brain damage, and yes, that broken neck, and a damaged spinal cord and brain stem.
My memory began to die as cells died off in my brain. Time began to make no sense to me, and still doesn't. I couldn't concentrate. I couldn't remember what I had just done, much less what I was supposed to do. Mind you, this was two weeks after Christopher Reeves broke his neck, so at least people understood, and were glad I could still walk.
My husband couldn't cope. He had no God but me to lean on, and I now had feet of clay.
Tragically, my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer 4 days after I broke my neck. Compared to that, in her estimation, a broken neck was nothing much to worry over. It wasn't long before I was alone, but for my two Doberman's and my Coyote Mutt, broke, broken, and unable to see my way out of the mess I was in. I had insurance of every kind. The lawyers missed the filing date.
And that was what Jesus was waiting for. He had heard my prayers for peace of mind and comfort of spirit. He knew I couldn't change my life by myself. I was caught up in the lives of others, and could see no way except to get out until I collapsed. And Jesus just let my life collapse, not from mental anguish, or spiritual strain, but by a physical breaking away of all that was in my way.
Slowly, Jesus broke off my parents grip on me. He chased my un-Christian husband away. He tested me through near poverty, then blessed me with more than enough. And He is still here with me, His presence inside me, His word in my ears.
I've had three miracles in regards to the use of my brain and body. I have near full use of my brain at pre-injury levels for at least three to four hours a day, if I remain alone, and see no one. I can operate for longer times if I accept a lower standard of excellence. My brain doesn't yet accept all the data the world throws at me when I go to the Doctor, or to shop for food, nor
have I gotten over my fear of driving, which in California is a definite hindrance, though after 8 years of being housebound, I can drive again. I just hate it, and it exhausts me, to fight my fear, and takes me days to recover from the trips into town.
Yet, despite this all, God set me to studying seriously everything I could get my hands on for the last eight years. He sent me new Christian friends that I could help, to be a new family for me. My mother died in 2000, but my dad survived, to become a babe in Christ last year, and to a degree, my friend as well as my father. And through my prayers, I was granted the witness of his testimony, so I would know he was safe.
Last year, I was pulled physically out of bed by Jesus, and told to 'Write'. I started a website for those that won't go near a church, and evangelize whenever I go somewhere, to whomever I speak with, even on the phone. And, somewhat to my surprise, I was ordained by Dr. Ford at St. Luke Evangelist to be an evangelist and teacher November 6, 2006.
And now, there is SermonIndex, where I can learn, and make friends, even though we may never meet until we are with Jesus. Yet within the few months I have been visiting, I have grown to have deep affection for many I have 'conversed with'.
And I have an immense personal well of experience that I can draw from to help others. Was this God's plan? I doubt it. He knew I wanted to write when I was twelve, with a second career in songwriting. Life got in the way of that, and my relationship with Jesus. But Jesus waited until He could make a difference, and in the end, I turned to Him.
Am I not blessed? Oh, my brothers and sisters, am I not blessed?
Oh, I am indeed!
Blessings to you all,