I attended church as a child with various neighbors and friends. At the age of 17, I went forward and prayed to receive Jesus Christ as my Savior. However, over the course of several months, I slipped back into the relationships and habits I had before knowing Christ. As time went by, I eventually married Paul and we had 2 beautiful children together.
On the surface, everything seemed ‘normal’, but behind the scenes, our marriage was falling apart and I struggled daily with my husband. I had no peace, no love, no joy. I was full of anger, hate, and bitterness. We began taking the children to church for ‘moral training’. The children loved going to church, and even taught Paul and me several Bible songs and simple prayers. We went to church for our children…it had nothing to do with us as adults. Occasionally, I would hear God speaking to my heart, but my feelings of inadequacy kept me from acting upon His promptings. I felt God couldn’t forgive someone like me.
Then God gave us a “wake up call” in April of 1993 when my family and I were involved in a head-on collision with a pickup truck. As our car came to rest after the collision, I looked over at Paul who looked as if he were slumped over asleep with his eyes open, but the blood pouring from his head was a terrible realization of the situation. I was desperate to get my family out of the car.
As I worked to get the children out and was trying to pry open Paul’s door, my mind was screaming, ‘Paul is dead! You’re now a single mother! You will never make it alone! This is all your fault!’ I stood next to the car with Paul still trapped inside, my mind still screaming the truth of the situation, and then a soft voice came to me. I’m not sure if it was audible or even what was said, but I immediately called upon the name of Jesus, and in that moment, the screaming, insulting, and condemning voices stopped instantly.
My first prayer was, ‘Jesus, I can’t do this anymore. I need You, Jesus. Please come help me! Please help Paul!’ Peace filled me instantly and it was as if my soul stood at attention and was unbound for the first time in my life. I had such incredible peace as I was standing in the middle of this scene of destruction and chaos on the side of the road. All my bitterness was gone.
My life verse is the verse God showed me when we all arrived home from the hospital… 2 Corinthians 5:17,
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
I clung to this verse in the following weeks knowing what I had experienced was real and true. Jesus started changing my heart toward my children and my husband. God was teaching me how to be the wife, mother, and woman He created me to be.
I am forever humbled and grateful for the saving power of Christ, and how he made me a completely different person than I was before!
—– Lori ——