I was just a sinner on my way to Hell in my younger years. I loved the pleasures of the world and went after them with all my heart. But one night, when deep in sin, I cried out, “Oh God, isn’t there a better way to live?”
From that time on, God led me until the Light of the Gospel was shed across my pathway. Before we were married, my husband was saved. It made me angry and I told him he could go his way and I would go mine. He sent me some literature from the Apostolic Faith Church, but I didn’t want to have anything to do with it. I intended to burn the paper, but something always caused me to postpone it, like the phone’s ringing or someone at the door. Then my mother, who wanted to read it wasn’t a Christian.
One day while cleaning house I saw that paper again. I thought, if I can’t burn it, I might as well read it. What wonderful testimonies I read! But the devil told me I had gone too far—that this wasn’t for me.
There were sins in my life about which I had never told anyone, but I couldn’t hide from God. When He showed me I would have to confess everything and ask forgiveness, I said, “I’ll never do it!” I was working in a woolen mill at the time, running a loom. As the shuttle went back and forth it seemed to be saying, “Yes, you will; yes, you will.” I would stubbornly answer, “No, I won’t! No, I won’t!”
After three weeks of being under awful conviction, I became so irritable my mother said if I didn’t become more civil, I would have to leave home. I knew I had to do something. The next morning, after the family had gone to work, I wrote those two letters of confession. I ran to the post office to mail them before my courage failed. I hesitated just a moment before dropping them into the box, as the devil told me, “If you mail those letters, it will be the end of everything for you.” But God gave me courage.
When I asked God to forgive me, the chain snapped. I shouted, “I’m free, I’m free!”
I went home, and while washing the dishes, I just bowed my head and prayed, “Lord, I’ve done what You asked me to do. Now, will You forgive me?”
Every time I had said, “No, I won’t,” it had felt as though a chain were tightening around my chest. When I asked God to forgive me, the chain snapped. I shouted, “I’m free, I’m free!”
I went to my job about an hour later, and the girls there asked what had happened to me. I looked so different. I didn’t really know what had happened, but I knew I was different. People would ask my mother the same question, and she didn’t know either, but she could tell them I surely was different.
The first thing I did after the Lord saved me was to burn my deck of cards and my make-up. I had a large inward goiter and I decided I would trust the Lord for my healing and take no more medicine. My mother asked what I would do if it flared up again. I answered, “I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.” That was 45 years ago, and I never had to cross that bridge. The Lord has healed me of many other afflictions, too. I suffered with sinus trouble so bad that I prayed to die, but the Lord told me my work wasn’t done and He healed me.
I came to Portland to live, and a year later my husband and I were married. When I was expecting my first child, I would have nightmares that my child might have the physical deformity I had. After several weeks, I had to have an answer from God. One Sunday morning I determined that I would pray until I knew, and in five minutes the Lord gave me the promise, “Fear not, for I am with thee.” All fear was gone. My child was born perfectly normal, as were all six of my children and eight grandchildren. I thank God for these added blessings.
Because of the malformation of my mouth, I had to have four teeth to hold my dentures. When those teeth became so infected that the only solution was to pull them, I went to one of our ministers and asked him what to do. He said, “Ordinarily I would say, ‘pull them,’ but you are not an ordinary person, nor do we serve an ordinary God. We will pray.” He and another minister anointed and prayed for me, and when I went back to the dentist a week later, those teeth were healed. And God has healed them several times since.
God has given me more privileges in His service than I ever expected. For years I have worked in the church office, reading Spanish and other mail. It is a great blessing to pray for those who write, helping to carry their burdens to the Lord. I want to serve Him until He calls me Higher.