While my mother was in the tiny room being prepared for the procedure she began to feel uncomfortable. She had become a Christian as a little girl, but as many of us do, she got caught up into the things of life and strayed from what she knew to be right. Suddenly the Dr and his assistant had to leave the room and it was in the following short moments that my mom heard what she would later realize was the urgent prompting of the Holy Spirit. She said she heard a voice in her spirit remind her that she had always wanted a little girl and that because she had been given one, if she took my life she would be putting her own life in danger. She was told that I belonged to God and He had a plan for my life. That was all she needed, she got the message, but she didn't know how she would get out of this situation...so she decided to lie. She took her feet out of the stirrups of the abortion table, jumped down to the floor, threw on her clothes as quickly as she could and then ran out to the waiting room where her two escorts were waiting. She told them that the Doctor told her she was too far along to proceed. They believed her and left.
Of course, we know how things go. They were determined to get rid of this blight that was hounding them. They found an illegal late term abortion Dr in downtown Birmingham and took my mother to him. God managed to save me from that one too. If you wonder why I consider God my hero, wonder no more. He came to my rescue when I didn't have the voice or ability to speak for myself. For that reason alone I will go wherever He asks and do whatever He needs me to, He loved me when nobody else did.
In April of that year my parents got married and in late July I was born.
~*~Five years later, during the week of my birthday my parents took me to a local event that every year invited Christian celebrities to come and share their testimonies in a local football stadium. In 1980 that celebrity was Dale Evans. For those of you that don't know who she is/was, she was a huge part of culture when cowboys and westerns ruled cinema and radio.
She shared a very successful career with her husband Roy Rogers and she was known as The Queen of the West. Equal to their media success however was their personal success. They were well known for their bold Christian faith and philanthropy throughout Hollywood and the world. She was definitely a woman with a powerful testimony.
I don't remember what she said that night or what songs were sung. All I remember is sitting with my parents on hard metal bleachers, surrounded by what appeared to be thousands of people in the cool of the Summer evening and suddenly identifying with something. I remember recognizing that there was something this woman had that I wanted, even in my small five year old brain I knew there was something I craved inside. So when the alter call was given at the end I stood up and looked at my mother and told her I wanted to go.
In an effort to make sure I was serious and not just following the crowd, my mother asked me if I knew what it meant. Then she explained it to me and told me if I really wanted to make this commitment that she couldn't do it for me. I had to go down by myself. I remember turning around and saw people flooding out of their seats, so many in fact that I remember thinking I should be afraid of getting lost in that crowd...but I wasn't. Instead I just went.
For the next seventeen years I was raised in the church and got a great foundation of teaching from some spectacular men and women. However my faith was mostly background noise and I was a typical snotty smart mouthed 80's teenager. I had no real depth or intimacy with God and it showed in my lack of "fruit" as we Christians call it. I learned the Bible, I learned how to pray and study as well as how I SHOULD be living. However, severe issues with rejection, self hatred, fear of failure and a deep seeded desire to be loved led me straight into a strong addiction to pornography. Not a common problem for women, but it exists, TRUST ME. The irony was I was proud of the fact that I never struggled with alcohol (a big trophy for someone who came from a long line of alcoholics) smoking or drugs. However, I conveniently ignored my own problem. It wasn't until years later that I finally got my victory over that, and the key was when I took the skeleton out of the closet. I share this part of my life for those of you struggling with this or another addiction, please stop beating yourself up and hiding. Here are a few scriptures to help encourage you to find an accountability partner and get your breakthrough.
( All verses from the Amplified Bible )
- Psalm 90:8
Our iniquities, our secret heart and its sins [which we would so like to conceal even from ourselves], You have set in the [revealing] light of Your countenance.
I will bear the indignation of the Lord because I have sinned against Him, until He pleads my cause and executes judgment for me. He will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold His righteous deliverance.
To open their eyes that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may thus receive forgiveness and release from their sins and a place and portion among those who are consecrated and purified by faith in Me.
1 John 1:7
But if we [really] are living and walking in the Light, as He [Himself] is in the Light, we have [true, unbroken] fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses (removes) us from all sin and guilt [keeps us cleansed from sin in all its forms and manifestations].
I started praying for my husband when I was 11 years old. I may not have done a lot of things right in my younger life, but thank God I did THAT right! I made a list of what I wanted in a husband and carried it with me everywhere. I believed then and even more now, that singles can't identify who the "right one" is if they have no idea what they are looking for. Out of that belief God has blessed me with many opportunities to mentor young women and men to seek and find all that God wants to bless them with. I married my husband and best friend in the Summer of 2001 and every morning I still wake up smiling to see him beside me. To this day I can't help but sigh uncontrollably when he touches my hand. He's my Song of Solomon come alive. Together we also actively work with the homeless and low income to not just feed and clothe them, but to encourage them with the truth of Christ. Our long term goal is to start a shelter and philanthropic organization to perpetuate the goals and heart of Christ to all of the broken hearted and broken spirited people that God brings across our paths.
Until then, I look forward to sharing my transparent journey learning a "life of abiding" by choosing to find God's joy in all things and all ways.