I remember very clearly the time I experienced true freedom,It was in the year 1945,in Covington, Virginia. Joe,my husband brother,and his wife had been asking us for a long time to go to church with them. I did not appreciate it at the time but went just to please them. The first time, I cried through the entire service. I said it was because of the sad stories the preacher told,but later I realized it was because the Holy Spirit was speaking to my heart. I do not think I would have gone back to church,but while I was at work the following day,the Pastor and an evangelist visited my husband. He received Christ there in our home.
Well, I did return to the church,but I was determined that I would not become a Christian yet. I had a lot of excuses. First,when I did decide to be a Christian,I would be an all out one and not like a lot of hypocrites that I knew. And I just knew my husband would not hold out. How could I be a good Christian without his help. So I planned to wait and see how he made it. But now I went back in church and the Lord was speaking to my heart. I do not remember the message,but I do remember the invitation when the evangelist invited all sinners to come forward and receive Christ. Satan said to me ,You/re not a sinner. Why,you are just a good as all these hypocrites here. It had always made me angry when my sister-in-law had left gospel tracts with me that said something about my being a sinner. I thought,that self-righteous thing. I'm as good as she is any day. By now the invitation hymn was over and the evangelist said,Before we close lets sing Into my Heart ,Lord Jesus,I walked toward the front of the church ,Tears of joy flowed freely as I invited Christ into my life. My three children followed me up the aisle that night. I shudder to think where they might have followed me if I had not made my decision to follow Christ. I am grateful that they later received Christ as their Saviour established Christian homes and are serving Christ today.
After my salvation experience, I had some doubts. But one day I was reading 1 John 5;13, These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God;that ye might know that ye have eternal life,and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. Suddenly I realized that it was not anything I did that saved me .God had saved me and he would keep me. I was secure in him..
My only regret in life is all the time I wasted while running away from the Lord,years of trouble and heartache in my search for liberty and happiness. If I had only known that real freedom and joy cannot be found without Christ.
It took two great tragedies in my life to show me my need of Gods help. The first instance of tragedy was the death of my first born child,a darling little girl of four. I had gone to town to do some shopping. It was a warm but windy day in March. My daughter was playing outside. I wasn't finished my business in town when a terrible feeling came over me,and I knew I just had to get home. I started the six blocks home hurrying as fast as I could. I met my husband father on the way,and he said,Im going for the first aid ,your little girl has burned all her clothes off, I dropped my packages and ran the remaining four blocks. The ambulance arrived and I rode with her with her to the hospital. I will never forget how blue her eyes were when she looked at me and said, Mama, I'll not play with matches anymore.
The doctor said he would do all he could but did not have much hope for her recovery since she was burned over such a large part of her body. After being given something for pain and put to bed ,she said,I don't burn so bad now Mama, And those were the last words she spoke to me.
The Heartbreak of losing her was almost more than I could bare. The only thing that gave me any peace of mind was a letter I received from a Christian lady who had been my Sunday School teacher when I was a little girl. She told me that my baby had gone to be with Jesus who loved little children,that I must realize she was much better off in heaven than here in this world of pain and suffering,and that I could see her again someday. I read her letter over and over. And although I wasn't a Christian and did not know much about the Bible ,I believed that what she said was true.
We went to church a few times after she died but soon drifted back to the same life as before,trying to find happiness and peace of mind with old friends in parties and drinking.
Then tragedy struck again. We lost another child,a little boy just two weeks old. He had been born prematurely and his heart had not developed properly. He seemed to be normal until he was two weeks old. When he became ill,the doctor advised us to get him to the hospital as soon as possible. I put him in a blanket and placed hot water bottles around him to keep him warm. We rushed the fourteen miles to the hospital. As I slipped my hand under his blanket, he wrapped his little fingers around one of mine and held tightly all the way there. Just as we walked into the hospital,he gave a shrill cry,and I knew he had died. My heart was broken. I thought I would surely lose my mind. For months all I could feel were those little fingers clinging to mine.
My husband and I tried to change our lives after the baby's death. We tried so hard,not realizing that without God's help we would always fail. So instead of things getting better,they became worse. Our home life became unbearable and we were on the verge of separation. But that is when we experienced new life through God's love. 'For God so loved the world,that he gave his only Son,that whosoever believeth in him should not perish,but have everlasting life. John 3;16]
Though Christ, I was delivered from sin's bondage and the meaningless,miserable existence that accompanies it. At last I was free-free as God intended me to be and as I really wanted to me.
You can experience this liberation in your life also.
If the Son therefore shall make you free,ye shall be free indeed' [John 8;36]
Wherever you are this moment, invite Christ into your life.</p>
In Christian Love,