|IN HIS HAND...painted by Gloria Phifer|
I was raised in a dysfunctional home. Alcohol, fights, moving almost every year.
I would tell myself how strong I was. That I could endure, laying in bed, waiting for the bar to close, so my mom would come home.
Taking care of my brother...though I was scared.
Being the new girl in a new school. Trying to fit it.
Nothing was in my control.
Migraine headaches. arms and legs feeling weak. But yet, I told myself how strong I was.
During this time, I almost drowned, and a friend that was with me did drown. The question kept coming to me, "Would you have gone to Heaven?" I couldn't answer yes.
A man, my mother had known, began stalking us. He sat in his car, on the corner, watching our house. I was afraid. I prayed and asked God for help.
As I was walking home from school, my feet dragging, the thought came into my mind..."Are you saved?" Saved? I began arguing with this thought. "I'm a good girl. I don't smoke, I don't drink...you should see my friends." Then, two verses of Scripture came in my mind. (Now you need to know we didn't go to church.) "IT is a straight and narrow way and you must be born again."
I'm not sure if I knew how to be "born again." But I knew I wasn't on a straight and narrow way. I also had the knowing, that this was a commitment. It meant giving up control to Someone else. And I didn't want to do that. I wanted to control my own life. I was 15 at the time.
I was watching Billy Graham. I was 18. When he gave the altar call, I knew I needed to accept Jesus. You would think by now, after one of the worse summers of my life, I would release my control. But I didn't. I didn't know what He would do with my life?(I didn't know The Lord. I didn't know His character) And through everything I had been through...trust was not easy for me. I thought I could not trust anyone.
I did begin to try and read the Bible, but I ended up seeing judgments and demons and it scared me. I went to the Methodist Church and was sprinkled, hoping that would take care of it all...but it didn't.
I married at 19. We found out I was expecting. Almost as soon as we had the good news...I miscarried that baby. I yelled at the doctor, "I don't want to lose this baby!"
I thought God was punishing me.
My husband, who was in the air force, received orders for Alaska; on a base in isolation. I could not go with him. Another thing I could not control.
I came to Iowa to live with his parents. After he left, I realized I was expecting another baby. This was what brought me out of a depression. Our daughter was born in January. We moved into an apartment where I looked out at a brick wall. Some times I felt like I was really losing it. My daughter was my one joy in my life.
I was not living in Iowa!!! (Did I say I thought I was in control?) When my husband returned from Alaska, and his time in the air force was over, moving west, where I had come from, did not work out.
We moved to a town in Iowa. One neighbor, by our house, was a Baptist girl who invited me to church. On the other side was an Open Bible gal who had been raised in church.
I began going to the Baptist church with my neighbor. They told me to read the Book of John in my Bible. Every afternoon, while our daughter napped, I read. It was like water for a thirsty soul.
By this time, I realized I needed God. I needed this "Born again."
I realized, that without God, nothing was really in my control. Everything had been spiraling down.
I had a husband and daughter I loved, and yet I fought fear and unhappiness.
When our daughter was a year and half old...I accepted Jesus Christ into my life and was filled with The Holy Spirit.
I let The One Who is in control...be in control. I thought to myself, "why didn't I do this earlier?" I found a Friend. A Savior. Someone Who knew me, loved me, cared about me. Someone I could trust.
I was 22 years old when I finally gave it all to Jesus and asked Him into my life. That was 51 years ago.
A lot of times we want to hang on. To control. Only to find out...we really are not in control. I recommend my Jesus to you. I never knew peace and safety until I knew Him. Put yourself in His Hands you will be safe there.
Let's pray "Lord Jesus, I believe You died on the cross for me. I accept You as my Savior. Come into My life and take control. I put my trust in You, In Jesus Name Amen.