I remember answering the knock at my heart’s door. My family and I had traveled to Nova Scotia by train when I was in grade 7. We were visiting my mother’s family and on the eve before we were to return home, my uncle spoke with me outside of my grandmother’s home. He gave me a little pocket New Testament by the Gideon’s. I remember flipping through the pages and in the back, there was a section to sign and date if you accepted Jesus into your heart.
I signed it. I believed then and I believe now, that that was my salvation date.
You see, I had gone to church sporadically as a child. Mostly to the French Catholic church as that was where Mom had brought us when we were much younger. But as I grew older, I began to attend the English Catholic church. I believed in Jesus and loved Him. We received ‘religious’ teaching at school so I had some familiarity with Bible stories.
By the time I was 18, I had completely stopped going to church, as most young teens seem to do. This particular summer though, I was working at a gas station pumping gas. One beautiful day in July, a man came in for a fill up and commented about the beautiful weather. My response was “thank God!” He immediately began to talk with me about God. I found out that he was a pastor of a small church a few blocks away. He kept returning for gas and conversation.
This was the man who introduced me to Psalm 139. You can read more about that in my blog called The Night Fear Left. It didn’t take long for this Psalm to become my favourite. While I didn’t return to church, I did speak with Jesus and read my Bible often.
Fast forward now to age 22. By this time, I was married, a new bride of four months and an at-home wife. I remember the day quite clearly. It was a Wednesday and I was doing laundry and had dirty clothes sorted in piles all over the kitchen floor. We had a little washer-spin dryer. Do you remember those? You rolled it up to the sink to attach the hoses and filled the tiny washer with only so many clothing articles. Hence, the piles on the floor waiting their turn.
Anyway, Linda called me. She is the wife of the Pastor who married us. We had become friends and anytime I had Bible based questions, she was the one I called for answers. So, she called me to see if she could pick me up for the weekly Bible study. [chuckle, chuckle] I can still see myself standing there and looking at all the clothes on the floor and saying to her that I can’t, I am doing laundry. That wasn’t the first excuse she heard from me as she had invited me the week before and I didn’t go.
Her response to me was
“You know, the devil is in the laundry.”
I looked around and didn’t see anything, just dirty clothes!
“Honestly, I really do have dirty clothes all over the floor!”, I said. I really couldn’t see the devil anywhere. It was just clothes.
We continued the conversation then said good-bye.
I looked around again. Then I heard it. Jesus spoke to my heart and said
“You have six other days to do the laundry. Why is it always on Wednesdays?”
That’s when I realized that the devil was in the laundry. He was stopping me from going to Bible study. I made up my mind, right then and there, that I was getting off the fence of indecision. I was climbing down on Jesus’ side rather than straddle the fence, dipping in on either side whenever I felt like it. In fact, I was serving both God and the world and the Bible says in Matthew 6.24 that “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (KJV)
You see, I still believed in Jesus, I still read my Bible. But the problem was that I wasn’t sold out. I wasn’t living for God. I was living for myself and this had to stop.
That Sunday I went to church, the church where Linda was. To my surprise, there were no women present that day! I was the only one! It turned out that there was a Christian Ladies Retreat that weekend and the women had all gone to it but would be back that evening. So I returned to church again to meet the women and to let Linda know I had climbed off the fence.
From that Sunday — February 18, 1981 — I have been in church. I made my decision to follow Jesus and though I lived in an unequally yoked marriage for 29 1/2 years, it was the best decision I ever made! God has always been faithful to me, never abandoning me, never leaving me.
Even when I had to make a major decision about the marriage which was an abusive one, God has always been with me. And the story continues……
Do you have a story to tell? Would you like to share it with me? Please leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!
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