I came to know the LORD Jesus and was saved at an alter at the Country Assembly of God Church at the age of 7. I knew that I believed in and loved Jesus with all my heart, but, as time went on, and as my parents skipped around from church to church...in and out (mostly out), I became confused, had a few bad experiences, and, eventually, fell away from any kind of close relationship with the LORD. I always had my Bible near at hand...sometimes I read it...especially if I was in trouble and was looking for answers...and sometimes I even slept with it for fear of what would happen to me during the night if I didn't. I grew into a frightened, rebellious teen-ager, hooked up with the wrong crowd, and began partying heartily.
For several years I ran pretty wild....smoking, drinking, running from man to man. It wasn't until 1992 that I got serious about the things of the LORD and truly became "born-again." By then I was in my third marriage, had born four children (one of which had died), had taken on John's children as my own, and was settling into the most wonderful adventure of my life...even though I was still so rebellious against God and man that I couldn't see straight at the time!
It was in April of 1992...April 11, 1992 to be exact...and I was smoking four packs of cigarettes a day (I had been smoking since the age of 15 and I was 31 at the time)!!! I had tried to quit, but couldn't. Even though we weren't doing a very good job of it, John and I had committed our lives to the LORD, and were serious about getting our lives, and our household, in line with His Word. LOL! Needless to say, we're (and still are) working on it!!!
Anyway, it was on the evening of April 11, 1992, and I was sitting in a chair in the corner of our bedroom reading my Bible. I heard a voice just as clear as day say, "Throw away your cigarettes and lighters and wait 24 hours."
I immediately picked up all my cigarettes...I had an open pack, an open carton, and an unopened carton...and all my lighters and went carrying them through the house. John was in the livingroom and, when he saw me, he said, "What are you doing?"
Now, anyone who knows my husband knows that he HATES cigarettes (he always has), and he hated me smoking them, but he was very skeptical. He knew how many timed I had tried to quit smoking, and how often I had failed at it. He knew how awful my lungs were. Not only did I smoke like a chimney, but I had chemically burned the lining out of my lungs a few years before when I mixed sulfuric acid and Clorox in an attempt to unclog the toilet. I ended up in the hospital. After that I couldn't hardly breathe most of the time...I couldn't even blow a balloon up for my children to play with!
Anyway, I threw the cigarettes away, and I waited. That 24-hour period was on of the longest...most awful times of my life, and I never thought I'd make it through it...yet, somehow, I knew that, if I did, the LORD had something very special waiting for me on the other side. I knew that He was going to do something very special for me!
Well, sure enough, the next night...the evening of the 12th...I was sitting there reading my Bible again. All of a sudden I had the most horrendous pain in my stomach. I looked up at the clock, and it was 11:00 p.m. I jumped up and hit the bathroom. I was there until 4:00 a.m. My stomach hurt so bad! It wrenched in pain, and I kept passing this black, tarry-like substance. When it was over, I KNEW that the LORD had, literally, cleaned me out, and, to this day, I've not been able to stand the thought of smoking another cigarette. I can't even stand the smell of one! This year I celebrated 18 years of being smoke-free. Praise be to the LORD above!
During this same time, our oldest son was suffering from a rare blood disorder...one that only runs in people of Mediterranean decent...one that my mother-in-law's sister died from at the age of 16. The specialists at Children's Mercy in Kansas City had done everything they could for him, and the only way to control what he had was to keep him on 2000 mg. of antibiotic a day, and steroids for the rest of his life. We were told that the medication would shut his body down eventually. Without it he would bleed to death internally. Our child was given a death sentence.
It was around this time that we began to question some of the teaching at our old church, and, as a result, were, eventually, asked to leave...which we did. For several months we didn't know what to do or where to go. We were devastated! While we waited on the LORD, we studied. We studied the Bible for ourselves at home, and were amazed as the LORD began to reveal deeper and deeper truths to us. Soon after we found a new church. It was at that church that the LORD fully and completely healed my lungs, filled our family with His precious Holy Spirit, gave us a 5-month crash course preparing us for ministry, and, the greatest miracle of all...fully and completely healed our son of the blood disorder. It was amazing!
We were sitting there one evening, and the pastor of the church said, "There's someone here who has just been told that they will have to be on prescription drugs for the rest of their life. Would that person please come forward?" No one moved. Our son looked at me and I knew it was now or never. "Go!" I told him, and go he went! The men of the church laid hands on him and prayed over him.
Many a time during the months that preceded this time, our son had tried to go off the medication. If he'd miss one pill, he would begin bleeding under the skin again. After we got home that night, I found our son standing at the pantry door, looking at his medication. "What are you doing?" I asked him.
"I'm going to throw it all away," he said.
"Are you sure? I asked.
"Yes," he said...and he did. He went straight to the toilet and flushed it all away. To this day our son has never exhibited another symptom of that blood disorder. He was 14 at the time; he's 31 now. Praise the name of the LORD!
Since that time our family has experienced many miracles...about 13 years ago my husband was totally and miraculously healed of kidney stones, we've seen a busted milk jug that had spilled out half the milk fully fill an empty gallon jug when we so desperately needed it, and we've seen miraculous provision more times than we can count...almost continuously at times. Our God is definitely an awesome God!
Well, I could go on and on, but I'm going to have to stop there for now. I just felt really impressed to share this with you all this evening. I'll let you go for now, and I'll talk to you all later. God bless all here.