I feel led to share a bit of testimony about our Father's Love in my life with the brethren here: Bless the Lord with all that is within you.
I am beginning at the beginning. I was born into a household that was plagued with violence. But for God’s mercy and grace I would not have lived beyond my youth.
During my formative years there was much darkness and despair all around me, yet I clearly recall that God kept me and provided me with places of refuge.
At the age of four He brought me to a little glen filled with flowers (forget me nots) near our house. I would sit and bask in the warmth and the light that gathered all around me and peace flooded my tiny soul. I was filled with joy. I loved that little retreat, visited it as often as I could, and by the age of seven came to the knowledge that the peace and joy I knew was my good friend Jesus.
Despite the limited sound teaching and preparation I was given through the R.C. church at the time, I knew Jesus was an ever present help to me. By the age of eight He provided a special tree on the top of a hill where I went for quiet times of peace where I could talk to him and lay my burdens down.
There was one kindly priest in my life for a time whom I love and cherish to this day. Aside from him I had no other spiritual mothers or fathers but for my ‘godfather’ whom I’ve always known was a gift from God. I lost them both at the same time. The Lord took my godfather home, and the kindly priest we left behind in his parish when we moved and lost contact.
I knew Jesus did not live in a communion ‘host’. He was my friend and walked with me wherever I went. I loved going to church and eventually I was the only one of my family to board the church bus on Sundays. It was the one place where I could be with God in a very special way after we moved away from my precious glen and special tree.
At age twelve the priests could not answer my questions about some of their church doctrines, beliefs and practices. Aside from telling me to ‘have faith’ they offered me no truth nor answers to my questions. Subsequently I left that church because I did not believe what they were teaching, and because of the hypocrisy I saw manifest in the priests and many adults in that congregation. The majority looked down upon and some treated me cruelly. I was the poor ragged child who was not lovely to look at. Still It pained me deeply that I knew I had to leave that church behind because I knew then as I know now that God called me out of there.
By the time I was a teen my parents and elder siblings were severely oppressed by the enemy, the worst of it being a murderous spirit of rage that threatened our very lives. I sought solace with friends from equally oppressed families. They were going down a fast and furious road to destruction as a means of escape from their darkness, as was I.
Coupled with the daily onslaught of violence and abuse in my home, the need to feel accepted, belong and just escape, lured me deeper into sin. Again God intervened and in such a way that it truly astounds me how my merciful Father led me and covered me in the way He did.
By the age of fourteen I was in a dark pit of despair. I would go for long solitary walks and even though I yearned to let my heart cry out to God I could not find the words. On one of my walks I started to speak in what I thought was jibberish, but it just felt right. I felt that familiar peace I had in my little glen and felt a release in my spirit that I experienced in the sanctuary of my tree. For a couple of years I continued to speak in what I termed at the time, and only to my knowledge as ‘my very own language’ (particularly when things were darkest in my home).
Unbeknown to me, (for I did not have a bible, was not led by anyone to study God’s Word, nor even knew that I should), I was speaking in tongues. I did not know that God had given me this precious gift to help see me through those dark days, until years later when I experienced God’s mighty hand of intervention in my life again.
I left home at the age of fifteen as a matter of survival, and continued to seek solace in others and sinful behavour. Again God intervened. At the age of eighteen He brought two beautiful sisters in the Lord into my life. They ministered Christ to me, and it was then that I rededicated my life to God and prayed with them to receive the gift of tongues. I received, opened my mouth and spoke in a heavenly language. Immediately I knew I had spoken in tongues before. The Lord instantly brought to my mind that I used to speak in ‘my very own language’(which I had not for years). It was the same language I was speaking with my two precious sisters. I was in complete awe of God and received a foretaste of just how much He had not forsaken me in those early years.
I experienced anew God’s love and forgiveness and He began to minister to me in dreams that very night, though I had no idea that this was biblical until years later. My sisters gave me a bible that I treasured. I read it in bits and pieces with little understanding yet much hope for a better life. I will always thank God for bringing those two precious sisters to me at that critical crossroad in my life.
Within the next two years my life took on a new direction. I became healthy and found temporal happiness with a man whom I married, and with whom God brought five beautiful children into this world. Our marriage had no foundation in God, so it crumbled and sank into the things of this world and fell apart. However my strength lay only in knowing that my Father was ever present and had His arms firmly wrapped around myself and my children.
When I was pregnant with my fourth child I received a miraculous healing in my body. The circumstances around my healing included being invited to a house church service. I had just been to a house service shortly before this invitation that I didn’t get a witness on. So I thought forget that idea!! I had dug my heels in and was vehement about not going!!
The day of the service I received a phone call from the least likely person whom I would have taken any guidance or direction from at the time. He said the Lord had told him he should call me and tell me that God wanted me to go to that meeting. My first reaction was “are you kidding me?”. My back was in excruciating pain, and besides who was this person that anything they said carried any weight with me? However I felt a strong tug in my spirit and a powerful unction to GO. This tug and unction was the same tug and leading I had experienced in the past as the Lord led me in and through various situations and circumstances to safety. I really did not want to, yet I just knew I should GO.
I went, and God met me and a precious little company of His saints there in such a glorious way. He bathed us in His love, filled me with His Holy Spirit and healed my back in the process - Praise God! I am forever grateful for my Father’s faithfulness to keep me tucked safely beneath his wings.
Throughout my life the Lord in his mercy has and does graciously and faithfully bring me to deep places of repentance, forgiveness, deliverance, and healing in him. He keeps me standing against unbelief, fear, and this list goes on and on. God is good for His Word. I know, trust and believe that the good work He has begun in me He will finish until I come into the fullness and stature of Christ in me - my only hope of glory, Praise God!
There are two outstanding things that are ever present in my life.
Firstly, that God has and always will work every little jot and tittle together for our good as we walk with Him and He shows us the Way. Secondly, secure in His love I have a surety that I can thank and praise God for EVERYTHING knowing He will never leave me nor forsake me!
I wouldn’t trade one moment. God is Love and His Love is everlasting! Praise Him in all things!!