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Debi's Testimony


I was eleven years old when I received Christ as my Savior. Before that I was a 
typical child growing up and going to Sunday School and church with my parents 
and grandparents. The summer that I was eleven, I went to church camp where a 
caring counselor shared with me the good news about Jesus. She showed me in the
Bible where it says that we have all sinned and fall short of God's glory. She 
showed me other scriptures that explained how our sins had to be paid for and 
that if we die in our sin we are separated from God forever. But she also showed 
me where the Bible says that the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ
starting today and that God showed His great love for me by dying for me even 
though I was still a sinner. She said that if I received His free gift of 
salvation by putting my complete trust in Him and His death on the cross that I 
could live with Him forever as one of His children. I prayed a prayer that day
and received Christ as my Savior.

Since I trusted Christ as my Savior and Lord, He has put His hand on my life. 
Although I was far from being a perfect child, the Lord protected me through 
out my high school and college years and I was never approached or tempted with
sex, drugs or alcohol. I went to church and youth Bible studies and truly wanted 
to learn more about God through His Word.

I graduated from college with a teaching degree, went to seminary and received a 
Master's in Religious Education, did some church youth work for a short time, and
then returned to graduate school to become a certified early childhood teacher. I 
was teaching full time, and going to graduate school when I met and married my 
husband, Steve, when I was 31. We moved to our present location so that I could 
teach preschool in the County Schools. I began attending A Bible believing and 
teaching church shortly after we moved here seventeen years ago although I came 
alone. My husband did not share in my spiritual life or the life of the church 
but never kept me from church. I knew that he was an adult child of an alcoholic 
father who committed suicide when Steve was seventeen, but I did not realize during
the first year of marriage that Steve was also an alcoholic and had been deeply 
scared by his dysfunctional home life. I prayed for Steve and continued reading 
my Bible and growing as much as I could. 

Ten years ago we decided to start a family but I miscarried in my tenth week of 
the pregnancy. I had many professional responsibilities at the time and overloaded 
myself with teaching, grant writing, and taking graduate courses. I became pregnant
again a year later, but miscarried eight weeks later. I was devastated. When I 
knew that the baby was in trouble, I couldn't sleep at night, but I would read my 
Bible and was comforted by scriptures such as Psalm 18:2 - "The Lord is my rock 
and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock in whom I take refuge…my 
stronghold." I believed and trusted in God and His word even when it wasn't logical. 

I had severe bouts of depression after the loss and my husband also felt despair 
thinking that we weren't meant to have children or that maybe we were too old to 
have children. I continued to pray for a child and became pregnant again only a 
few months later. In order to assist this pregnancy, I had twice weekly injections 
and blood tests for the first trimester. At ten weeks we rejoiced and I cried when
the doctor found the baby's heartbeat for the first time. The rest of the pregnancy 
was normal and I delivered a beautiful strawberry blond baby girl. Steve took us 
home on Labor Day and we just enjoyed being together as a family and taking care 
of her those first few days. 

I thanked God for her daily. She was a fairly quiet baby, hardly cried and began 
sleeping for long periods of time and didn't nurse very well. When she was about a 
week old we realized that she was not wetting her diapers and almost lost her to a
condition known as hypernatremic dehydration. If we had not taken her to the doctor
when we did, she could have died or been brain damaged. She spent eight days in the 
Medical University of South Carolina and got well because of the prayers of family 
and friends from the church and the Christian community and we brought home 
a healthy baby.

When she was 20 months old, my mother died of cancer. She had been sick for nine 
months and I grieved for her that whole time. I managed to get through that year 
because of the faithfulness of God's people in this church who again prayed for 
me and for her. When she died, I asked God why we had to go through these difficult 
times and Romans 8:28 took on a whole new meaning - "that God causes all things to 
work together for the good to those who are called according to His purpose." I 
knew that I had been called and that His purpose was to make me more like Him 
through these hard life experiences. 

I prayed for Christ to continue working in my life and teaching me. I prayed for 
humility and to have a spirit that could truly be used by God, but I wasn't quite 
prepared for what lay ahead. As I came to know Christ more intimately, my husband 
and I became more estranged. It became more apparent that his drinking was a 
problem even though he tried to hide it from us. Professionally, I had a reputation
as a model early childhood teacher and an expert in my field. After teaching 
preschool for ten years I was transferred to a different school due to budget 
problems. I had four difficult classroom assignments in four years in areas that 
I did not have competency. Because of the stress of my marriage and the stress of
my job, my career came to a halt when I was completely humiliated by failing both 
my mid year and end of the year teacher evaluations, and I was not offered a 
contract for the 1999-2000 school year. 

I was so distressed over my career failure, the behavior of my class, the lack of 
administrative support, the stress of my marriage and trying to keep up with 
household responsibilities, besides trying to pack and move to a new house. I 
realized that I had barely been keeping my head above water and was severely 
depressed. I went to a doctor and after several weeks and several anxiety attacks 
was finally able to get the depression under control through the use of a combination 
of medication. I gave up teaching Sunday School after five years and joined a class
of prayer warriors; ladies who took me under their wings and are teaching me how 
to pray more effectively. I continued to pray for my marriage and my husband's 
salvation. I did not find a job that was suitable for the next school year, but 
even with a severe cut in our income I could see God's provision for all of our 
needs. I had been praying for the opportunity to be a stay at home mom ever since 
my daughter (who was then seven) was born because I had divided loyalties between 
my career and my family. God was good, my prayer had been answered. 

We had another setback when my husband's plant announced their closing and he was 
laid off on December 7 of 1999. We had to make some sacrifices, but God was still 
providing for our needs. We were both able to draw unemployment compensation benefits,
although mine ran out in February. We still had medical insurance until March 7th. We
had enough money to keep up with our expenses, but it was dwindling. During this 
time, I continued to pray for Steve that he would be able to see God's hand on our
lives in providing for our daily needs and for his salvation. 

Because of the circumstances of our marriage relationship I finally came to a point 
that I prayed that whatever it would take to bring Steve to salvation would happen 
in our lives. It was a scary prayer and I told God about my fear, but somehow I knew 
that God was in control of our lives and I continued to trust Him to provide for us.
But some times you never know what direction that prayer will take. On March 30th, 
2002, Steve was suddenly taken ill and diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm. He spent 
the next several days in ICU. He died on April 5th, seven days later, but not before 
my 16 year prayer for his salvation was answered. I know he was truly saved because 
I saw a complete change in his behavior the last 24 hours of his life. 

I am thankful that Steve finally became 100 percent sure of his salvation and I know 
that I have eternal life and will see him again someday. But what about you? If you 
were suddenly faced with the last 24 hours of your life would you be 100 percent sure 
that you would have eternal life with God or would you be facing eternal separation 
from Him? 

This story is far from being over. Since his death, I have been overwhelmed with the 
faithfulness of God's people in my home church. I can't thank God enough for all that 
has been done for my daughter and me. I am daily thankful to God that I am a member 
of a Bible -believing church who takes seriously the exhortations to provide for the
widows and orphans in the church body. The way we have been taken care of and provided
for has been such a witness to me and my family. 

For the last two years, I have been able to homeschool my daughter who is now 9, which 
is another answer to prayer. I found a part time job to help make ends meet which has 
been a blessing. My daughter can go to work with me and do her school work and I am 
able to work around our school and church activities schedule. I baby-sit, work at a 
friends shop on occasion, teach writing classes in my home to other homeschooled kids, 
and tutor. People come by to mow my grass, give me things that they don't even realize 
that I need and every day is a wonder what will God do next in my life. It is a testimony
and a wonderful learning experience for my daughter of God's faithfulness and His provision
in our life. Each day I still trust God to provide for us even when things are hard and 
difficult. I know that I am right where God wants me to be, and that is a place of 
dependency on Him and Him alone. Things are not always easy for us and we are praying
for a godly man to come into our lives who will be a husband to me and father to my 
daughter. Please remember us in your prayers.


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