Monday, January 2, 2006

My testimony.....

Well, I've been talking about writing this forever and it just seems to get pushed to the back burner. I am grateful to have been raised in church. I love my small town roots, and have great memories of that small church. I am amazed by what God has done in my life. I've made a few mistakes in my life, but, I suppose it can be considered all part of growing up. I began drinking around my Sr. year in high school. My maternal grandmother had been diagnosed with lung cancer and I had no idea how to deal with it. Unfortunately, I'm one of these people who just hangs on to things instead of getting them out in to the open. Well, she eventually passed away the summer of 1988. I think the memory of that night is burned into my brain. It was a very bad time for me because she was my best friend and I loved her dearly. As I reflect back on that time now, it must have been the beginning of my questioning God. Time marched on and I went back to college, still drinking, more heavily. I engaged in a lot of self destructive behavior, I was pretty much a mess. I met hubby my second year of college. I remember thinking,he is such a dork, and why is he interested in me??? Well, we went out and things became more serious, and we got married. The first year of our marriage was a battle. OK, you get too very strong willed individuals who are also control freaks in the same apt..... can you say WWW III?? We muddled through the first couple of years, I graduated from dental hygiene school and we moved from Little Rock to Memphis. We started going back to church with his family. I had tried while we were in Little Rock, but between work and school and me making excuses in general, I didn't go very often. An event happened and the entire family started attending another church. I had pretty much stopped drinking by then. Keith was gone a lot working out of town with a lease driver from the moving company he had worked for during the summers while he was in high school and college. We began having a revival at church. Me not being Pentecostal, I was kind of leary, but I was in the choir and loved singing ... so... I went. Well, lo and behold, did God show up. He gently pulled at my heart to go forward for an alter call and give my heart back to him. That was such a beautiful experience, but that wasn't all he had for me. Later on that same week, I received the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Wow, how awesome was that??? God began renewing my mind and my spirit. It was awesome. At that same time God was using me to bring Keith into a closer walk with the Lord and he got saved during that same set of revival services. We were walking on air with the Lord from that moment on. I just remember so vividly having such a hunger and thirst for God. It was like I had been stranded in the desert of life and desperately needed a drink, of Gods holy water of course. Keith and I decided to finally start a family in 1998. That was a struggle. I wasn't sure I was even going to be able to conceive a child much less carry one. I had made countless visits to my OB/GYN at the time and felt I was just getting nowhere. We had an awesome women's conference that year. One of the speakers took the liberty of wanting to pray for us women who were trying to conceive and we either told we could never ot who were just having trouble. The Lord tugged very hard at my heart. I was almost reluctant to go down for prayer, probably just from being a newly born Pentecostal girl. During that same time I decided to change Dr.'s on the recommendation of a few of my girl friends which was fine with me. I really wanted to make the change from a male Dr to a female Dr. I had to wait three months before I could get an appointment with the new OB/GYN and in that amount of time, I realized I was pregnant two weeks or so before I was to see the new Doc. Almost immediately after I took the home pregnancy test I began to have some bleeding. I rushed right over to the new Dr's office and saw one of her colleagues. They ran several tests and sent me home to rest. The bleeding stopped but I still had some off and on during my entire first trimester, my Dr was just stumped, she could not come up with any reason at all that I should have been bleeding, yet it continued. She just told me to stay off of my feet and take it easy every time it started and to alert them to any changes. I gave birth to a 7lb 5oz healthy baby boy on October 15th 1999. Well another series of events happened and Keith and I had decided to change churches. During that time Jacob had been exposed to the flu at three months old while we were visiting my husbands oldest brother. It was quite scary but we made it through. The youth pastor of one of the churches that we wanted to visit came by to visit with us, so we decided as soon as we could we would go visit this church. From the very minute we stepped into this church I knew we were home!! I had never felt that at the previous church although through everything that happened we knew that we were there for a reason during that season of our life. We had awesome support from day one from the pastor as well as the staff who were willing to minister to a hurting young couple. We almost instantly became involved in the choir, began attending Sunday school and became members of the church. A few years went by and we were blessed with our second child. She was pretty much a surprise. I had talked with my OB/GYN and expressed my concerns over getting pregnant a second time, but I had also asked God for his guidance and hand in it. Well lo and behold I go to my Dr for a check up and I had been experiencing my usual erratic cycles etc. I discussed them with her and had expressed some concern over possibly having a miscarriage. She had a puzzled look on her face when I mentioned my symptoms and asked if I had taken a home pregnancy test. I said no and she promptly got up to go test my urine. She came back with an even more puzzled look and informed me that the test was positive and that we needed to run the appropriated test to determine whether or not I was or had been pregnant. It turned out that I had not miscarried her and I had my usual complications with her as well, but I knew what to expect this time and all was well. I gave birth to a healthy 8lb 2oz little girl, Christina.
Now this is where I get to the biggest mistake I've ever made in my entire life. While I was off on maternity leave with my daughter, I began to spend a little too much time on my computer. I got into some chat rooms and met a man who I started chatting and playing pool against. Well, as time went on we began to chat more often, talk more frequently and so on. Eventually it became an emotional affair on my end. You know what the bible says about the sins of the righteous being uncovered. Boy were they. Keith discovered what I had been doing, and confronted me with it. That was a horrible feeling. I had so many emotions going through my head at that point that I seriously considered just packing up and leaving. Luckily God brought me to my senses and I went to counseling to get a grip on myself. Amazing what you can find out about yourself from a trained professional. All I can say about that situation is that God is awesome. Keith and I have had some of the best times of our marriage recently. I still sit and reflect on what could have been and cry over God's great power and grace. This situation has burned a desire in my heart to minister to hurting women. I hope somehow reading this you are blessed.
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