I was brought up to believe in God and Jesus. When I was in high school, my parents decided it wasn't
necessary to go to church anymore, so I became a seasonal churchgoer.
Back in the early 70's, I realize now, I was beginning my young adult life on totally the wrong foot! I got
married (not necessarily the wrong thing) and my husband and I became members of the Unitarian Church.
I believed it was a nondenominational church, therefore, it was good for both of us who were different
denominations. I also was getting very involved in the Women's Movement.
In time my husband and I divorced. I guess we both became too self-centered and wanted to do our own
things. He went off and did what he had to do and I "proved" to him that I was capable of doing all the things
he didn't want me to do! I also did not go to church, but had somehow gotten into my head that "if I believe
in God, why do I need church? God knows what's in my heart."
But there was something missing. I was watching Shirley MacLaine's movie "Out on a Limb." There was one
line that said, "Is this all there is?" It hit me like a ton of bricks. I knew there was something in that question I
needed to find out. I began my "spiritual journey." Unfortunately, I began looking in all the wrong places. After
awhile, I gave up because I wasn't finding the answers.
After 17 years, I remarried and still felt there was something missing and picked up my journeying again...in the
wrong places. I was attending psychic fairs, aura readings, numerologists, volunteering at a New Age bookstore,
learning how to meditate, getting my spiritual "fix." But still nothing was working. I wasn't getting anything out
of it, so I gave up again! (Praise God!)
Then a couple years ago, still realizing there was something missing and still asking "is this all there is?" I began
to take notice of a woman at work who talked about Bible studies she was attending. (She has since become a
very good friend.) I thought, "Why would anyone want to spend a Wednesday night going to Bible studies?"
Then my new sister-in-law kept asking my husband and I to go to their new church. We kept turning the invitation
down. Why would we want to spend a Sunday morning in church when we could be doing our own thing?
God was preparing me.
I was very unhappy, angry, critical, complaining, and could use each and every name of God in vain, and, of
course, it wasn't my fault. I was under so much "stress". Unfortunately, my husband was getting the raw end of
this deal. But all I could see was that it was my parents' fault, my husband's fault, my work's fault.
One day my sister-in-law witnessed to me. It hit me hard in the heart. It brought tears to my eyes and I knew that
what she was saying was what I wanted. I asked her if she was what they called "saved." She invited me to church
and I said, reluctantly, I would meet them there the next morning. I asked fearfully, "Will anyone ask me if I want
to be saved?" I don't remember her answer!
I sat in the middle of the pew with all five of them. The service was unlike the services I had attended as a child. The
music was different. I don't believe I was uncomfortable. At the end of the service, something new for me occurred...
an altar call! Pastor asked us to bow our heads and asked if there was anyone who needed God's goodness to change
our lives? Did we know there was sin in our lives and we needed God's forgiveness? Did we know who would
deliver us? Then he invited us to come forward.
At that moment, a strange sensation came over me. I had an encounter with the power of the Holy Spirit. I felt this
surge throughout my body. I was being pushed, pulled, lifted to the altar. I HAD to go past the entire family to get
there! But nothing was stopping me. I felt no embarrassment. And I accepted the Lord that very morning.
I haven't stopped attending church since then. I am in love with God and His awesome goodness and power. He has
taken away the anger, the frustration, the swearing, He has healed my wounds. He has softened my heart and opened
my eyes. He has begun a work in me and I love Him for it! I even attend those once dreaded Wednesday night (and
Tuesday morning) Bible studies! I can't get enough.
And, no, that week Pastor did not ask if anyone wanted to be saved!