Betty’s Faith Story
I did not have the privilege of growing up in a Christian home. Neither of my parents knew the Lord as their Savior until just a few years before going to be home with Him. I can remember as a small child, living in St. Louis, that my mother would walk me to a church so I could go to Sunday School and then she would come back to get me when it was over. When we moved to Arkansas and lived a small farming community, my teacher at school invited me to attend Sunday School. I was eight years old and was ‘big enough’ to walk the short distance by myself. That summer during Vacation Bible School the pastor asked us if we wanted Jesus in our hearts and I raised my hand. He told that was wonderful and I would be baptized the following Sunday afternoon. That was it. There was no prayer, no repentance for my sins nothing. I am hearing from more and more people that the same thing happened to them. We were a product of the time.
Since I had been baptized and wanted Jesus in my heart I believed what the preacher continued to tell me. He would look at me every Sunday and say “you’re a Christian now.” I believed him and began trying to live my life by what I was being taught and reading in my Bible.
This went on for a long time and by that I mean 38 years. I was the good deacon wife, Sunday School teacher, WMU member, Bible Study Teacher and the list went on and on. But there was always a doubt in the back of my mind that I could not put my finger on about my spiritual life.
In February 1994, I began taking a weight loss program at the church entitled, Weigh Down. It was one of those eat whatever you want but only eat half programs. During this time our pastor was also preaching a series entitled, “Do you know, that you know, that you know for sure that you are saved.” On the sixth week of the program the founder, Gwen Shamblin, was teaching from the eighth chapter of Ezekiel. This is the chapter where the Lord took Ezekiel through the temple and showed him all the horrible things that were taking place in God’s house. It is actually the inside of a heart, my heart, and it was not a pretty sight. Jesus revealed to me that night that I was not really a true Christian and that I had never given Him my heart. I only thought I did. Wow, talk about an eye opener.
That night I could not stop thinking about what she said and what Pastor Chuck had been saying. At 11:46 p.m. on March 6, 1994, I got out of my bed and kneeled beside my bed and gave my life and heart to Jesus Christ and I have no doubt whatsoever that I am a child of the King and will live with him in eternity. But it doesn’t stop here – when morning came and I told my sons what had happened, my son, Scott, began to cry and when my husband asked him what was wrong he just looked at him and said , “I can’t say what Mom just said”. Within a few minutes my husband had led our son to the Lord. We were baptized together the following Sunday.
I joined Weigh Down to get rid of some extra weight and I did. I got rid of all the years of sin, guilt and burdens that had been weighing me down and that was the biggest weight loss ever for me.
God doesn’t care where you are or what you are doing when you come to know Him. The important thing is that you listen and follow Him.