The Lord saved my soul when I was in my mid-twenties – I was one of those few that had a ‘blow-your-socks-off’ experience and the memory is still very vivid.
I was 25 years old when the Lord started to draw me and it started with passing by a group of Christians on the street corner one summer – people I didn’t know & never met – talking amongst themselves – talking about being born again. I knew nothing of the Bible or why Yeshua (Jesus) died on a cross. I was walking with my sister, and as we got a few meters away from them I asked her, in a rhetorical kind of way, “How can someone be born again? What’s that even mean?” She shrugged. I continued, “You can’t go back into your mother’s womb, so it has to mean something else!” This is where the seed took root. Two weeks later, feeling wretched in my sin and scared to death of dying, I found myself alone one evening, on my knees in my bedroom, crying out to a God I wasn’t even sure existed. I confessed my every sin I could think of (because if there was a God and if He was going to accept me, He needed to know what He was getting – a wretched sinful person) and I told God that He had to prove He was real because I wasn’t sure if I was talking to open air – I told Him that if there is any way He could save me, I would serve Him forever and I meant it from the core of my being. I told Him He could punish me all the days of my life, if He would only save my soul at the end of it. (I knew in my heart I was destined for hell and I so wanted to know Him & heaven.) I did not grow up in a Christian home. I had heard of Yeshua/Jesus, but had no idea the reason for Him having to die on a cross. I recall asking God about that, saying, ‘What kind of Father puts His Son on a cross? And why?? Who does that?!’
Two weeks after that, I met a Christian man who witnessed to me and told me the truth of the gospel – why Yeshua had to die and what that meant and what I had to do to become a Christian. I got myself a Bible & started studying it every night, with Concordance in hand, as soon as I got home from work and I didn’t put that Book down until bedtime. I did this every night for several months because I had to know that the gospel was actually true as I was not going to surrender to Someone or something if it wasn’t true. This went on until Resurrection Sunday in 1992. I woke up that day and could feel God’s hand, like a father’s hand, on my back, and He said to me, “Today, I am going to introduce you to My Son.” Shivers went up my spine as this voice came out of nowhere, but the peace I also had that morning was beyond anything I ever experienced before in my life up until that point. I felt so safe. ‘He had me.’
It was after the message at church service when everyone was standing & singing – I looked up at the ceiling as if I were looking up at God, and I quietly said to Him in my heart & mind, “I believe that Yeshua is Who He claims to be – the risen Son of God – You can have me now …” And in an instant I was caught up into a vision …
It was like I was caught up into a whirlwind and then I was suddenly in a small, yet tall, dark, dank cell of stone & mortar with no windows and a solid locked door. I could sense it was filthy and it smelled musty. As I looked up, a tiny bit of light caught my attention – it was squeezing it’s way through. As that light came through, it started breaking the stone around it until there was nothing but rubble about my feet and I was surrounded by pure Light and pure Love and I knew this was God. His love was so intense that my body couldn’t handle it. It was the only true love I had ever known at that point in my life and I started sobbing body rocking sobs when He said to me, “He who the Son sets free is free indeed … You. Are. Mine. Nothing and no one can snatch you out of My hand. You. Are. Mine.” Then suddenly, the gift of tongues was imparted to me and it welled up inside me, edifying me and then His peace that came with it was beyond understanding and the joy was so indescribable. I took His hand that day and have never looked back. That was almost three decades ago now.
The man who shared the gospel with me all those years ago asked me to be his wife – were were married not long after my conversion. We have three amazing grown kids. I have known many joys in my life – getting married – having kids – but the joy that God gives far surpasses any earthly joy. I have also known loss in my life, like health when diagnosed with MS, and my Lord was with me in them. Due to abuse in my family of origin – long story short – they are no longer in my life, but during that time God gave me two more visions within the span of a few weeks where He told me, ‘Though your father and mother forsake you, I will not forsake you … You. Are Mine.’ God has held to that promise. In fact, so many things that I prayed for, He went over and above what I expected. He’s blown my socks off a lot in this life. He lifted me out of the miry pit and He has been the Rock under my feet and the strength I need in my life. I cannot imagine my life without Him. Choosing to take His outstretched hand was the best thing I could have ever done. He called me, He chose me and I acquiesced.
My message is this – you can trust Him not only with your soul but your circumstances as well – even when it seems hopeless and there is no light – He will be the Light in the wee top corner of that dark cell. To God be all the glory forever and forever.
He is the Light in dark places.
When I was first looking into Christianity, Chris Tomlin was the first Christian artist that really hit home for me. My roommate and good friend left a CD Hello Love out at our place and I played it bored one day. I then made a copy of it and played on loop for probably the next 2 months straight!
So here is the story of how I left The Mennonite Colony in Mexico
So I grew up in Chihuahua, Mexico. There’s so many Mennonite colonies in Mexico. and ours was called “Old Colony Mennonites” basically the oldest order since Menno Simons created the group back in the 1500’s. Anyways, growing up, we were always taught to read and write in high German in school (we speak low German) and the school was based off only reading the Bible. but we weren’t allowed to understand or know what was actually in the bible. At 15, embarrassing to say, but got pregnant. and Mennonite rules are, “cant have a baby out of wedlock” and this was with a guy I knew nothing about. so I was forced to get married at 16, and before you get married, you have to get “baptized into the colony” (again, in high German. so we had no clue what was being promised or said).
so I got baptized, married and life seemed whatever for awhile.
In 2011, when I was pregnant with my 3rd, my then husband went to work (up to a week at a time), and I went for a walk with my 2 kids. and we passed this Christian store, and I was able to read and understand some English. so I decided to see what was in it. my mind was blown, I didn’t know there were stories in there. I thought it was a rule book. and the owner sees me reading, and asks why I just don’t buy it. I had to explain I was a Mennonite wife, so no money, and wasn’t even supposed to know what was in there. So he bought it for me, sweet soul. I took it home and hid it in my mattress.
They did eventually find out I had the bible, but I had read enough to know what the Mennonites taught was wrong. Got in trouble and they took it away. That’s when I started planning my escape. took me till 2014 to actually escape. I had to convince my husband to go to Canada, because they have laws here, in Mexico they’d put me in “Mennonite rehab” for 3 months, it’s basically a torture place, I told him” were gonna have 4 kids, Canada is a better option”, it worked, we came here. Told him I wanna get a job to help support the kids, he said yes. but I told the owner at the time to keep half my paycheck so that when I leave, I had enough to help me at first. he did. then about 6 months after, I left. it was horrible, the colony men, the cops, my family, it was way too much. and me, I’m a quiet loving, forgiving person. it took so so much not to just go back. I lost everything. and was now living in an English world, barely speak English, kids didn’t speak English at all. wow. I still don’t know how I got through all that. God was there every step.
Now, 5 years later, I Got my GED, went to massage school, kids speak better English than me, doing great! And I just opened up my own little business in January. It was a tough 10 years, a long time to get where I am. But the journey, is amazing!
Hello to everyone out there going through hard times. I’m a thirty-one year old woman who would like to share some encouragement.
I do not have a fantastic story to share however. You know the kind of story I mean, the Job type of story where a person goes through a very difficult time and then God completely changes everything and then everything sounds great after that.
In a sense I’ve been waiting to have a story like that to share. Those stories are great of course and even the stories of God just brightening up a person’s day are also great.
But here I want to share something else. What I want to share is my experience of God’s never-failing help to persevere.
I’ve struggled a lot in life since I was a child, but of course who hasn’t. I gave my life to Christ when I was five and grew up in a Christian home, but still I’ve struggled. I don’t want to go into detail, but suffice to say the struggles I’ve had as a child have continued into adulthood. Over the years I’ve felt many many times that life is just too hard. Pain and suffering just never seem to end. Even today I’m still fighting those feelings. Everyone though probably struggles with them regularly to some degree.
However, no matter how many times I feel like that, and feel as if I don’t even have the strength to go on anymore, the Lord never ceases to pick me up again.
Never has He left me to survive on my own. I’ll be really upset one day, and then suddenly the next or a few days later I’m once again inexplicably full of peace and even hope for the future when I didn’t have any before.
Our Heavenly Father truly is “the God of all comfort” as Paul describes Him in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. I know this of course first of all because of His Word, but after a number of years of living I also know it from experience.
So if you yourself are struggling right now know that the Lord is not far from you and wants to help you through it. If you are a believer just reach out and let your Savior comfort you. Sometimes I think were not willing to let Him help us through.
If you however have not yet repented of your sins, of all the wrong you’ve ever done, and chosen to believe that Jesus Christ the God man died for you on the cross for your sins and came to life again, then do so now. Your eternal salvation depends on it.
When you do you will also receive the Holy Spirit (God Himself) who will also comfort you in your suffering in life as He has for me.
I hope all who read this are encouraged.
Be comforted today.