That's what I was for so much of my life. The fence walker. A believer, but not a doer. A person who thought that as long as I believed in our Lord and Savior that was "good enough". Throughout my life, I knew that something was missing, but living for myself first, just didn't get it.
God held me up through tragedies in my life, the loss of my mother in a house fire, and my brother not long afterwards in a car accident. I prayed about my heartache, God comforted me and gave me strength to walk through it. I still lived for myself, my way and my happiness. Happiness is not what I had because it was an empty happy.
I've always been a giving person, kind and helpful to others. When we're walking in darkness, we simply do not understand His way, and His Word. I attended church off and on: Church of God, Assembly of God, Methodist & Baptist, however, every time the ways of the world pulled me into doing "my thing" I would stop attending because I felt that it wasn't proper to attend church while being my sinful self.
In 2004, I began to read the Word at home everyday. I prayed and talked with God and began to feel closer than ever to Him. I have a business located by my home, and am open 7 days a week. I could not attend Sunday morning church so church did not seem to be open to me. I did not see other options at this time, so I watched several TV evangelists enabling me to hear the Word. During 2004, one of my children was arrested for drugs, and only a few weeks later was severely injured in a car wreck while driving drunk. Six weeks later my dearest friend died suddenly from a blood clot. My child continued on their wayward path, and was arrested a second time in 2005. I felt that I was a part of this as I kept bailing them out and just knew they would straighten up. I was an enabler, but as a parent we don't always understand the "tough love" part of it. During all this, I continued to read God's Word and watched the TV programs. In August of 2005 a very dark day came to my city, and at the same time, it was the beginning of the Light in my life. I lost everything (home, possessions, business) to Hurricane Katrina. In losing it all, my eyes were opened to what's important. During this time my faith continued to be renewed in the love that was given to me by so many people. I discovered that needs and wants are two totally different things. My needs were being met: shelter ( a fema trailer that was quite nice, especially when I thought about our soldiers living in tents) food and clothes were provided by many, and funds to help me get back on my feet. My eyes and heart were being opened wide.
I began attending a Baptist church on Sunday and Wednesday nights in early 2006. My child pled guilty finally and was due to be sentenced in March. I thought about bargaining with God about this sentencing and would think that I could go ahead and commit my life to God, and ask Him for leniency in the sentencing, and my mind would go back and forth. My heart won and I asked God to watch over my child and give us strength to walk through whatever happened in the case. My child was sentenced to 4 years with a hefty probation to follow it. It was difficult to hear and the road since has been very difficult. Two months after sentencing I gave my heart and life to our Lord and was baptized. My child is not in the same state as I am and very few know about their problems or that they are in prison. My pastor's wife and our secretary know and pray with me for my child. My child, who I'll call B, has been in for 2 1/2 years with almost a year left (they have 85% mandatory) B has grown a lot and was baptized while in prison, received a GED and completed a correspondence business course that I paid for as they have little learning programs. When B gets out the road will be very difficult for jobs and other things. But I know that God will guide the way. God has given me more strength than I thought possible through everything. B sees the Lord working in my life.
I'm not very good at remembering scriptures especially what book and verse they are written in, but I remember daily how awesome our God is when He picked me up and said I love you, child. I hope to learn more and more about His Word, and I hope you all will help me as I study and pray with you.