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.