God Settled My Doubts
When I was growing up in the Dominican Republic, my family lived right in front of the Apostolic Faith Church where my dad was the pastor. I was raised in the Gospel, and much of my time was spent in church activities or with friends from church. For a while, I thought this meant that I was a Christian. Then I learned in Sunday school that each individual needs to have a personal encounter with God and make his or her own decision to serve Him. I realized that being a pastor’s daughter was not a free pass to Heaven.
In 1976, when I was eleven years old, I made the decision to give my life to the Lord. Prayer meetings were being held for the young people every Tuesday, and on one of those days, I said, “Today, I am going to invite Jesus into my heart.” During the prayer meeting, God saved my soul, and it was a wonderful experience. From then on, I was different. I had not gone very far into sin, but I had done some mischievous things. For instance,my friends and I used to go through the neighborhood knocking on doors and running away. After God saved me, I told my friends I could not do those types of things anymore. I wanted to be a good example for others.
Growing up in a Christian home, I saw God answer prayer, performing miracles. One time my mom became very ill and was unable to walk. My dad had to help her with everything. This was during the annual camp meeting, and a pastor from one of our branch churches visited to encourage her. My mom said she wanted to go to the camp meeting, so my dad took her. There, the ministers prayed for her, and that was the end of the illness. God healed her, and she started walking again. On another occasion, my brother was very sick,and God healed him, too.
As I got older, I studied the Bible and drew closer to God. Then during a youth service when I was fifteen, God sanctified me. The experience was a blessing from Heaven like I had never felt before, and it made a definite change in my life. I was no longer looking at the world and wanting to do what other people were doing. My only desire from that point on has been to serve the Lord. I do not envy people in the world. I am fully focused on what God has for me.
In my twenties, I moved to the United States and began attending the Apostolic Faith Church in the Bronx, New York. During the meetings, I heard people testify about having the baptism of the Holy Ghost,and I realized how much I needed God’s power for service in my life. I began to pray, “God, what do I need to consecrate to receive it? Take from me whatever You require.” One Sunday, the Lord baptized me, and it was a beautiful experience. It brought a sustaining peace and joy as well as a closer relationship with God.
God has been good to me through the years. When I came to the United States, I did not speak English very well, but God opened doors for me, and I was able to get a job. He also gave me a Christian husband and has blessed us with three daughters. Our girls love the Lord and are involved in the work of the Gospel, and it has been a joy to serve God as a family.
Along the way, there have been trials, but God has always been faithful. One time I noticed that our middle daughter was not as physically active as she had been. I asked her what was wrong, and she said she just didn’t feel good. I took her to the hospital and was told that she had pneumonia though there were almost no outward symptoms. The doctor said it was fortunate that I had not waited even one more hour before bringing her in. Thankfully,the Lord was watching over her and had alerted me that something was wrong.
In 2011, my husband was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. He underwent surgery to remove the cancer, and that was successful, but there was the possibility of the cancer recurring. We know the Lord undertook, and he is still cancer free today.
Another trial took place in 2017 when one of my sisters passed away. This was a very sad time for me. She had been wholly dedicated to the Lord and sang specials in church. Often, when people visited her while she was sick, they found her singing, and this was a testimony to the peace God gives. She went to several doctors and was a witness to them as well. It was clear that they noticed there was something different about her. Many times I prayed, “God, do a miracle and heal her so the doctors will believe in You and pray,” but God did not heal her.
After my sister died, my thoughts and prayers continually turned to the question of “Why?” I would remind God, “She gave her life to You.” Then I would ask again, “Why? Why? Why?” Sometimes the grief and confusion was so great that I did not even want to pray. Then one night, the Lord spoke to my heart saying, “My will is My will.” He also told me, “I don’t have to show people who I am; I don’t have to prove Myself.” His words spoke so deeply to my heart that I just had to go to my knees and say, “Lord, forgive me. I give You the glory. I know You are God, and Your will is Your will.” It was still true that God had chosen to take my sister home, but He settled my doubts and gave me peace.
God is good and gives peace in the midst of all life’s trials. I want to serve Him for the rest of my days.