All week long I couldn’t wait for Sunday. I just had to go back. I knew I had to go up at the altar call, and that nothing was going to stop me! Finally, Sunday came. You know, I wanted everything that God had to give me so badly that I hardly heard a word our Pastor said! I just wanted the end to come so I could raise my hand! When he did an altar call that day, Flag Day (June 14) 1987, I think I hurt myself putting my arm up so fast and high! I went up front and was escorted into a little room and a very nice older person in our congregation welcomed me to the Kingdom and asked me if I would like to be baptized in the Holy Spirit? I wasn’t sure what that was, but yes, yes, please, anything that had to do with God, I want it all!!! So I said another very easy prayer and began speaking in the Spirit. My life has never been the same. I cried and cried, the feeling in my depths of my very being was overwhelming. I was experiencing joy for the first time. There is a big difference between happiness and joy, let me tell you that!
Unfortunately we came and went to church, never attending another church, but we weren’t consistent in our walk. Our daughter went to day care there, and then 6-8th grades, and then was married there. We made sure we tithed every week, but we didn’t always attend. That is my misfortune.
About four years ago we went back after a long hiatus. There was a very strong need for me to do that. We hadn’t been there but a handful of times in about seven years. I needed to go. On September 11th, 2001, I wanted nothing more than to go to my church and feel God’s presence through the congregation, but I fell for a lie from Hell that I would be condemned for not being there all that time.
We were only back for a few weeks when they announced that they were having water baptisms in February. I guess it was the Holy Spirit rising up in me, and telling me to get baptized! So we signed up and did just that. My life started changing almost immediately. I never knew how important being baptized was, but it is. Matt 3:13-15 says, “Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?” But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.”
All of a sudden one day I noticed that I wasn’t cussing anymore. I had a heck of dirty mouth my whole life, and it just stopped, I guess. It took me a while to notice it, but it was definitely gone. I started to have a craving, an insatiable desire to know God and who He is. I started not just reading the Bible, but I bought the Bible in different versions, and have a Jack Hayford Spirit-Filled Study Bible (it’s actually my favorite). I gave up watching TV, and instead started listening to Joyce Meyer on CD.
Our church (thankfully) has many different classes and groups to offer. My husband and I have gone to several marriage classes and seminars. I devoured the learning. We enrolled in the International School of Ministry class, which was twice a week for about 16 months. Wow! What an amazing course! I learned so much, probably more than I ever could on my own. We then took the ‘advanced’ course, the Ministry Module.
I am still overwhelmed with a desire to please Jesus and our Father. I am trying to hear the Holy Spirit at all times (you know, that little voice that says, don’t get upset, it’ll be okay, just keep quiet). I am not always successful in ignoring my flesh but I try. Every day I try.
I know that my life is different now, in many ways. I know that I have changed, and I welcome the changes. I have a new feeling of hope in my life. I know I have a purpose now. I am no longer ‘lost.’ That is a great feeling! I now know the peace of God’s embrace. I know that I am not alone. The most important thing is that I am finally relinquishing my need to be in control of everything and everyone. It is a slow process, mainly because God is teaching me things that need to stay with me. As I make a mistake He doesn’t condemn me, instead He shows me a better way. He is constantly telling me, “Trust Me!” I am learning to do that. I will write something about trust soon. It is very important in our walk. In the meantime, have a blessed day and peaceful sleep. God bless you!