Sat May 15, 2021
God has two dwellings: one in heaven, and the other in a meek and thankful heart. - Izaak Walton (1593 - 1683)
I was born and raised in the bible belt in the southern West Virginia coal fields. I was brought up in the church. Jesus, Sunday School, and going to church services was normal life to me. At the age of five, I pestered my Mom and Dad to death to be baptised. I don't know why except I had a strong urge even at that young age to want to know God and to belong to Him. Oh I was a character and just loved getting up in front of the church and singing solos. The earliest song I can remember was "What can I give Him as small as I am? If I was a shepherd I would bring a lamb. If I was a wise man, I would do my part. But what can I give Him? I'll give Him my heart." And at the early age of five that's what I did.
Mostly through grade school and the Jr. High years I was pretty faithful about attending church and belonging to the youth groups there. I enjoyed it and most of my friends did too. Because of my upbringing, it was the most natural thing for me to realize that there was a God, He watched over us, and that Jesus died for our sins. But in my early teens, my parents divorced. It was a hard time for my younger sister and me and life just didn't seem to be simple anymore. It was the late 60's, the Viet Nam war was raging, the newest thing was flower power, the Beatles, and Woodstock. I was really protected here in the mountains of West Virginia but when my parents divorced my life very quickly changed. But the world was changing too. Everything was. During this time I slowly started drifting away from church, from prayer, and from God. Don't get me wrong, I still loved God but He wasn't the first love of my live anymore. I wanted to be popular and to be accepted like most teens. God didn't leave me but I left Him.
My Mom died when I was 17 years old. My Dad and I had hardly spoken since I was 13 years old and so it was just my sister and me against the world it seemed. Life was hard. My sister was in the 10th grade and I had just graduated from High School and we both went to work. We lived on very little money back then. We struggled and did not have heat or water at times where we lived. Needless to say we had to grow up pretty quickly. I became very angry with God. I cried out to Him, "How could you take my Mom away from me?" "I need her more now than I've ever needed her!" "How could you let this happen." "You're Almighty God, you have control, why did You do this!" "Why is my life this way?"
Some people think we should not question God or get angry with Him. I've always wondered why. The Bible says we are His adopted children. Heirs with Christ Jesus. People get angry with their natural parents so doesn't it make sense that sometimes we might get angry with our adopted Father. Right or wrong, I did. Anyway my Mother's death DID get me to once again start talking to Him. And as the months and years passed by I started to hear His small still voice once again. He told me I was blessed to have had the Mom that I did. He told me that I had a wonderful mother for 17 years. Some children never know the love, the friendship, and support that my Mom gave to me. She taught me to be independent and to be a survivor. And He was right.
I sit back and think about those years my sister and I struggled, and I wonder how in the world did we make it. But I really know. Envelopes would sometimes come in the mail with a few dollars in them. I know that God laid it upon some sweet Christian's heart to give money to us. I don't think we would have become the women we are today if it wasn't for Him watching out for us. It's like the poem, The Footprints in the Sand. He carried us and we didn't even know it. Father God took care of my sister and me. I'm older now and can see that. I thank Him. He is so good to us.
My sister and I both married men who love us very much. We have been so blessed! We both will be married 30 years in 2007 and each of us have wonderful sons. We have the marriage my Mom always wanted. I wish she could have had someone like our husbands in her life. But Mom, I know, is with the Lord and is very happy. The Lord has been good to me. I praise and thank Him for that. He is so very faithful! Praise His Holy Name! I also want to thank my sister who was always there for me too. We live right across the street from each other and God couldn't have given anyone a better sister than my sister. I love you very much and I thank the Lord for you.
If you've gotten through this testimony and don't know the Lord, I want to tell you He is real. The best thing I have learned about God is that He truly loves us. He loves us so much that He gave us His only Son, Jesus.
He wants to be your Father and to have an intimate relationship with you. You can hear His small still voice too. Ask Jesus to come into your heart to take away the sin in your life. He will because He promised He would!
Love to all who have read this........Melissa
Thank you and God bless.