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Personal Testimony

I grew up in the typically modern dysfunctional family. The first 12 years were filled with the love of my grandparents, balanced by the fighting and arguing between my parents. I had tons of friends, did reasonably well at school and lived a very active outdoors life. I don't recall attending Sunday School but I had a guardian angel watching over my shoulder and this angel saved me on many occasions from myself. Just before my 13th birthday the first clouds appeared on the horizon with the death of my grandmother, followed 2 weeks later by the death of my grandfather. A year hadn't passed before my parents finally got divorced and I went to live with my father and younger brother forcing me to grow up very quickly and become not only a student but a surrogate mother and home keeper as well. Because of the distances involved I only saw my mother once a year and my father did an excellent job of brainwashing me against her. My father was very self involved and didn't have a clue on raising teenagers. By 16 I was sneaking out of the window at night to go to parties and experimenting with alcohol and mild drugs. God again intervened through a very close friend who forced me to stop taking drugs. A year later though I had my first sexual experience with the man who was to become my husband a few years later. The natural result of this experience was pregnancy, a scary occurrence for a 17 year old who couldn't turn to her mother for help. My father and his parents refused to allow us to marry and tried to force me into putting my child up for adoption. I was placed in a home for unmarried mothers and it was during this time that I started growing closer to my mother. She was the only one that offered me moral support and she understood my wish to keep my child. The father of the child was very young himself and had no clue of what I was going through. He was being manipulated by his parents just as my father was manipulating me. I went into labour in the early hours of April 16th and the matron of the home I was in rushed me into hospital. It was hours before I was ready to deliver and during that time my father popped his head in for 5 minutes at the most. I think he felt very awkward and lost. Because I was naive and hadn't known to insist on having a doctor present at the birth, there were only nurses around me and when the baby started having difficulties during the birth process, although they called for a doctor, by the time he got there it was already to late. The cord had been around the babies neck and my daughter had not stood a chance. I was devastated, totally destroyed and without support apart from a friend of my own age who my father called on to assist me. My mother and step father drove through the night and finally arrived the next day, just in time for me to go home. Even now when I discuss that period of time with my mother, tears come to her eyes at the way her daughter was then. I was dead. I had no interest in anything except crying and did not even bother to change my clothes or bathe. I had reverted to the helplessness of a small child at the loss of my own child. She persuaded my father to allow me to return home with them although to be honest I believe he was only too happy to be rid of the burden. Once they got me home they battled to stimulate me, to get me to take an interest in living again. Finally my stepfather went out and bought a set of tv games and challenged me every afternoon when he got back from work. Slowly I started taking an interest in something other than mourning. My mother borrowed a home gym from a friend and persuaded me to take an interest in my body again. Eventually I was ready to face the world again and they assisted me in finding my first job. Fortunately I had been able to finish school before the birth which proved to be a Godsend in later years. About 3 months passed and then someone at my work place suggested I meet with her minister. My mother was with me and a lot of tears were shed. He asked me to attend church that Sunday and we both went along. I forget the exact words of his sermon but those words were directed at me and guided by the Holy Spirit and they touched both myself and my mother very deeply. We were both in tears and the congregation around us was reaching out to us with a pat of the hand here, a tissue offered there and hands on us as the prayers were said. We then went up to take communion and I gave my life to Christ. It was a turning point in my life and one which I have never looked back on with regret. Though out my life God has always been close and when I feel lonely I have only to reach out and know He is there. In December 2000 I became very close to someone that had liver cancer. I doubt very much that at the time I really conceived the seriousness of the situation but in hindsight there was a reason for God bringing me into Wesley's life. We prayed for miracles and for strength and I was honored to be allowed to be the person he could lean on during those last few months of his life. Although I thought I was prepared, his death in May hit me very badly. Fortunately Wesley has foreseen this and had prepared for it through 2 friends. One friend in particular talked me through the first 48 hours after his death and was there whenever I was angry, upset or in need of a talk with someone that knew what I was going through. Her husband had assisted so much in doing research on cancer and treatment methods. When I got angry at God and lost the will to live, she was the one that helped me find my way back to God. Through her, God got me through one of the darkest periods of my life. She reminded my to look at my blessings and to embrace my children and pull them even closer. She taught me how to accept death and not fear it. I think we all fear death and we shouldn't. Death means we are going home to God. There can be no more joyous occasion. I am at peace with death now and when my time comes I will be ready to embrace it. I only pray that God helps me to prepare my loved ones for it. For although I am at peace, those around me are not and it is my duty to teach them that there is nothing to fear. God is a loving God and as Christ said when he left, "I go to prepare a place for you in my Fathers house." The pain and suffering we experience in life is not brought by God. He carries us through it but He has no hand in making us suffer.  Instead He gives us the strength to see it through and to be able to see the light at the end. The light of His eternal love.

 

Lord, may You bless each and everyone that reads this page and may Your Spirit touch them.

Amen



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