Right Church, Right Pastor
A new convert shares her story...
Growing up, my sister and I attended First Baptist Church in our small hometown. My great-grandmother would pick us up every Sunday to ensure we attended. My parents weren’t religious people, so they didn’t care much about going but didn’t mind if we did. When my great-grandmother got sick and could no longer drive, church ended for us.
We grew up in a sinful environment at home and at school. I always believed in God but never truly knew His love. When I was 15, my best friend since kindergarten died in a car accident. I completely shut down and turned away from everyone, especially God. “How could He do this to me?” I wondered. “Isn’t He supposed to love me? Why would He want to hurt me so badly?”
Hate began to fill my life, and my last three years of high school were filled with sin. Not long after graduating from high school, I learned I was pregnant. My boyfriend and I moved in together during the pregnancy. After our son was born, I really felt like something was missing. My boyfriend, our baby, and I started going to a Nazarene church in the next town. We didn’t attend regularly, but when we did go, I felt as if my life was coming together.
We married, and he joined the Army. What a miracle God was playing in our lives, but we had no idea. We moved across the country, and life seemed to get better. We tried out different churches randomly but never heard the message that was trying to get through.
When the Army led us to Tennessee, we were truly blessed. Upon arrival, we met some great Christian families who believed in us, answered my questions, and showed me the true meaning of unconditional love. They looked after me during that first year when my husband was deployed to Afghanistan. I was alone, raising our son and pregnant with our second child. After my husband returned, we started to explore the community and met a pastor who opened the door we had been waiting for.
After attending this church, we knew immediately this was the one. This was the church we had been yearning for. These were the people who would become our family. These were the messages that would lead us to salvation. After attending that church for a little over a month, that message from God came, and we were saved that morning. A month! God had been working in my life for so long; I just needed the right pastor and the right church to open my heart, not only to hear His Word but feel it.
After I accepted Christ, everything was gone…every hateful feeling, every hurtful sin that I had been holding onto was gone. I felt so light, so peaceful, something I had never felt before. My husband and I were baptized the next month. It has now been nine months since our baptism, and our lives have been amazing.
God has blessed us with a passion for helping others, for seeing the best in everyone, for letting go of negativity. Most important, we have a special bond and love for Him, our church, each other, and our two amazing boys. We are continuing to grow spiritually, and our love for Him grows stronger by the day. I can say wholeheartedly that I have been redeemed; I have been set free, and it is
all thanks to His love for me.
Testimony from a new convert at the
180 Free Will Baptist Church in Clarksville,
Tennessee; Chad Kivette, pastor.