My last post was about how the Lord made me aware of His presence and my need of salvation. That's the most wonderful thing He will ever do, but it's just the beginning!
My childhood years were sweet. Because of the healthy home life I had I pretty much just believed what was preached and taught to us. When I was around 14 I began wondering how much I truly believed because it was true and how much I believed because I had been told it was true. I've heard many, many others say they went through this. I think it is a necessary part of growing up to adulthood if you're going to stand alone with the Lord. We tend to depend on others, but the Lord wants that dependence to be replaced by our trusting Him and His word alone--no one else holding us up.
A bunch of teen boys started coming to our church when I was 16 and among them was the one who was going to be the "love of my life". He was saved shortly after beginning to attend our church. He was my best friend first, then he became my sweetheart. I highly recommend that--that you like each other before you love each other!
We were married at a young age. The Lord was very real to me, but I was a shallow Christian, still riding on my parents coat tails. I knew the Lord was my Saviour, knew He would provide your needs, but I had never made a full surrender to His authority in my life. I had actually prayed a prayer at one point asking the Lord to give me a husband that was a strong authority that could handle me, because I knew I had a strong will. God heard and answered that prayer!
Even as a young girl I had some very strong convictions. My dad didn't know it but when he would counsel so many of the young Christians he had an extra listener in the other room. After listening to him counsel, I watched what happened to those people and their lives. My dad would take the word of God and give them the truth. When they walked out and obeyed it, things went the right direction with their life. When they ignored the truth, their lives continued to spiral downward and fall apart.
My dad had given me correspondence that had gone back and forth between one of the preachers on "Back to the Bible Broadcast" and a young woman who was dating a lost boy. Oh, the sorrow she brought into her own life with the philosophy that she could change this young man. She told how he loved her and was going to go to church with her after they married. Instead of her willful ways bringing joy, she lived a life with a drunken , lazy brute. After reading those letters I knew I would never date or marry a man who wasn't saved. I also determined he couldn't just say he was saved, he had to behave as if he were saved! Thank you, dear dad for giving me those letters!
I had read my Bible and come to the conclusion that dancing was not for saved people, that I needed to stand with the Lord when the Bible was being attacked, and that I couldn't/wouldn't listen to the world's music or read their books that mocked the Lord.
I attended a public school and I took a firm stand in some situations where it took God's grace to do it, yet, there were many, many unsurrendered areas. Some because of ignorance and some because of willfulness.
Shortly after our marriage God began dealing with me. I remember very clearly in our small apartment when He dealt with me about being all the way in or out with my Christian life. I knelt by my bed and told the Lord I was going to be all the way in--not a fence straddler.
He also began dealing with me about how much time I was spending with Him and how much time I spent reading books or other entertainment. That took a while, in the end I promised Him I wouldn't read books for entertainment before I had read my Bible.
When the Lord dealt with me it would be through my Bible reading, through preaching or through someone else's testimony. When I would surrender my will to His there would be such joy and peace within. I began to notice the pattern of how He worked with me to repent and what joy I had when I repented. I realize God in His goodness was preparing me for the life that was ahead of me. He is always so good.
I married with a heart's desire for a large family. I had read several books by a preacher that had really impressed upon me that children were a blessing and we should let God give us blessings-not try to prevent Him from blessing us. (today's mindset)
After marriage I went back to my gynecologist for problems I had had before marriage. He told me that I was young, but the problem I had made it to where there wasn't much chance for pregnancy. He told me the odds and I don't remember them, but it wasn't good.
This literally broke my heart. For the first time since salvation I had a problem that was really big. I did what I watched my parents do--go to the word of God. I studied the women who had lived with barrenness and Hannah especially gripped my heart.
In the end, I wrote a letter to the Lord. It's buried somewhere in the many, many boxes we have in storage and if I find it I'm going to take it out and put it in a special notebook. I told the Lord I believed and was asking him for a baby April of 1975.
Back to the doctor in September because I thought I was pregnant. My health problem was amenorrhea, or absence of menses. I would go up to 8 months, so the only way to know I was pregnant was see the doctor and have a pregnancy test.
He examined me and told me that by examination he could tell me that I wasn't pregnant. I told him that I knew I was--I had fasted and prayed over it! He said, "Well, we'll run a pregnancy test just to prove it to you, but you're not pregnant."
I remember going in a little bathroom next to the examination room, getting down by the toilet and saying, "I believe, help Thou mine unbelief!" over and over. I got dressed and got ready to go to his office and talk to him.
Before I got out the door, the doctor came walking back in with his wife right behind him. They were Christians who attended a church in a town near to us. He said, "You're not going to believe this!" (His wife's standing behind him smiling from ear to ear.) "It's positive, you're pregnant!"
I had prayed so many times about this, I had asked the Lord to take a baby from the womb of a woman who was going to abort it and give it to us to raise--but the news was almost overwhelming--with joy!! That baby is our Nicole Anthea. She was born April 30th, 1975! I've told her she might actually be someone else's and taken from another woman and given to us.
Now I had a truly mighty visible work in my life that only He could get the glory for. As young as we were the doctor had even suggested I take a medication that would help me ovulate, but we had decided to wait till we were in our mid-twenties to try that. I knew that God Himself had intervened and given us a baby.
I felt so responsible to bring this life up for him, and it motivated me to get even more serious about
my spiritual life. God's goodness truly leads us to repentance.
This was just the beginning of many might works in my life. And so, there will have to be more parts to this! Stay tuned for part 3....