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Many years ago, my cry was "Where are you God? Don't you care? Are you real?" This cry came when our fourth child was, Steven, was born with congenital birth defects!
I was born and raised as a Catholic in a small city in Grand Haven, MI. believing with all my heart, that I received Jesus in the Eucharist and the Holy Spirit at Confirmation. I went to Catholic school and learned of my faith, the Holy Spirit, the Ten Commandments and church law. However, I looked upon God as a dictator and related my own father's rejection, abuse and meanness to God the Father. I never saw God as anyone else, but as someone who was out to get me, "if I did or didn't do..." So, when Steve was born, I really felt I was being punished for something. That may sound strange to some, but it was my concept of God.
Taking care of three other small children, and now a baby who needed constant care, really began to take a toll on me. Whenever we took Steve to the clinic, we returned without any encouragement. My husband and I came home holding Steve, crying. "Why did this happen to our innocent baby?" Steve was close to death at birth, 4 1/23 months, and again at 8 months. We were told that he needed 24 hour care, and that we couldn't take care of him any longer. His organs were failing, and his heart was very bad. "EMERGENCY" was the name put on our application form at the State Retardation Hospital Center. The months followed with feeling of helplessness, guilt and failure to be able to do anything. The guilt led me to a nervous breakdown, in which I very easily could have ended it all. I cried out to God from my heart, and the deepest part of my soul. "Help me God Oh dear God, help me!" Up until now, I could handle it alone. I didn't need anyone. I could do it alone.
I can't say how God answered my prayer, all I know is that He was hearing, and He was answering. Since Steve's birth, I had been under a doctor's care, and I learned more of myself, during that time. Some good, and some hard to face facts. I still had some difficulties with my relationship with God. When Steve was born, the doctor said we were not to have more children, however, God blessed us with twins, Janet and John.. Just before they were born, my dad died, and my mom came to live with us. My mom was my friend, encourager and helper, and she believed and lived her faith. She was raised as a Methodist and later converted to Catholic and was responsible for training us in our family. I loved my mom and never wanted to lose her. When she had surgery, I prayed, but really felt depressed when she was given just a few months to live. I was mad at God again! "My mom with cancer! Why?" So, I began to grab at everything for hope. Then I learned about a small prayer group. Prayer meetings? What's that? Healing? Maybe . . . just maybe.
When attended my first prayer meeting, I found a living Jesus, who loves me. I asked Him to come and take over my messed up life. He did! He filled me with His Holy Spirit, and His love began to explode! I had found a peace I couldn't understand; a joy which wouldn't stop; a desire to read God's word, which I devoured. I was so in love with "my Jesus", I wanted everyone to know Him. I couldn't get enough of Jesus my Lord! Of course, my excitement scared my husband. He couldn't understand what had happened to me, but he liked what he saw. Shortly afterwards, he also came to accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior! Two weeks later, our little girl, Theresa, drowned accidentally. A few months later, my mom passed away.
I praise my heavenly Father, who loves and cares for me for I have His Son Jesus to hold on to. To mention all the Lord has done for me would fill up a book. His words are true, every promise is ours. To say it is an easy walk, I answer, "Was Jesus' walk easy?" Reading the Gospels and Iqsaiah53 will describe His life. Jesus promised us life abundantly; it true! He said He will never leave us or forsake us; its true! He said He will give us peace; its true! He is the Word of God made flesh! He is alive and deserves our praises and worship! I thank God for His beloved Son, my Lord and Savior, and His Holy Spirit, which leads us all to truth!
PRAISE THE NAME OF JESUS!