FORGOTTEN BUT NOT BY GOD
Around the age of 14 I had two remarkable experiences. The first was a dream. I know
now that it was of the Rapture. (The catching away of the Saints of God into the air, to live forever with Jesus in Heaven) I could see people shooting heavenward into the sky, but I was not one of them. I tried as I might but could not get airborne. I woke up in a panic, ran to the kitchen to find my father sitting there drinking a cup of coffee. When I
told him of my dream he said, “someone up there is trying to tell you something.” I didn’t need anyone to tell me who that someone was.
I knew I wasn’t good enough for Heaven and even contemplated a life in hell because of it. I tried each day but could not find a way to be good. One night after committing a sin I KNEW was hell worthy, I laid sweating under all the covers on my bed. I called out
to my father and told him that I was going to hell. He reached in his pocket and pulled out a large ring of keys. “You see these keys? If you get locked into hell, I will get you out.”
Somehow, I knew he couldn’t, but his saying so helped!
One evening a Billy Graham crusade was televised. It was a rarity that we would all sit down together in the same room to watch a show, let alone, a religious one. I
remember everything that Billy Graham said. Everyone was a sinner, everyone deserved hell. But GOD sent His Son Jesus to earth, to die on a cross for our sins; He rose from the grave and lives forever more! And now we can be forgiven! I was so convicted. I knew that if Jesus were to return to the earth that night, I would not be going with Him.
I looked around the room but didn’t have the courage to walk up to the television when the invitation was given to do so. That night, I waited until the house was dark and I thought everyone was asleep. I knelt at my bedside and prayed. “Jesus if you are real,
please forgive me of my sins and come into my heart. I am sorry for my sins.” The
Lord answered me and said, “Will you stay single for me?” I said “NO!” But he saved me anyway.
YES! I’M A CHILD OF THE KING
My life at this point totally changed. I was no longer alone. I no longer wanted to disappear. Now that I knew Jesus, I couldn’t get enough of the Word. I read my Bible like it was the only book written. The words leapt off the page and into my heart.
We had gone a few times to church as children; basically Christmas. They gave away fudge to the children who attended. Now I had a desire to go. My brother Bill, Terry and I rode a city bus for 12 miles to the church my mother last went to before she got married. We had no idea that there were churches of that denomination much closer.
One day at church the Sunday school teacher and her husband recognized my hunger for
more of the Lord and offered to pay my way to a church camp that summer. My parents let me go. I remember very little about the camp except being laughed at one day because I
put my pants on backwards. The other thing was being filled with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. When the Holy Spirit filled my heart and my mouth with a holy language EVERYTHING about me changed. I received power from on high to be His witness. My fear melted away. I became unafraid of speaking out. And my favorite topic? You guessed it, Jesus!
I was so excited after camp that I remember putting a picture of Billy Graham on a notebook that I carried. I walked proudly through the halls at school and tried to share my faith each chance I got. I had joy unspeakable and full of Glory! I was not alone. No, I would not be alone ever again.
I wanted to do something for the Lord. There is a scripture, Isaiah 6:8 that says: “Also
I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.” That scripture became my heart’s cry. I set a goal. I would sing for a Billy Graham Crusade. This was of course, a dream that never came to reality, but it was a dream I held on to for years.