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With Him All Things are Possible

Standing on the threshold of a happy future, our story is living proof of the awesome power of God.

I will never forget that Sunday evening at church. While we were singing, the pastor asked us to raise our hands if we believed in miracles. I raised my hand up high. Then he told us that as we sang "Don't give up, you're on the brink of a miracle," to pray to God for a miracle. Two weeks later, on March 17, St. Patrick's Day, my miracle happened.

I grew up in a Catholic home where belief in God was instilled in me at a young age. Religion was very important. With priests and nuns as teachers, hearing about God was a natural part of daily living. Attending church every Sunday was simply the right thing to do.

But my childhood was a time I would rather forget. My father was an abusive alcoholic. My brother, sisters and I lived in fear and shame. My deepest fear was for my mother who was often the victim of violent abuse. When I was seven, she gained enough courage to take us and leave him.

… I lived as though God didn't exist.

It was during my high school years that I began to question God. I couldn't understand why I had to face so much hardship as a child, while others around me seemed to live such normal lives. For four years of college and into the world of employment, I lived as though God didn't exist.

Eventually I moved to Toronto, married and started a family. But what I thought would be a happy domestic life soon became a continuation of my old life. My husband, Wayne, preferred a bottle of beer and his "buddies" to our children and me. This brought back memories of the life my mother endured with my father. Mine was a life of more pain and anger, and I blamed God.

But God had a plan. Our family moved to Twillingate, Newfoundland, where we found employment and financial stability. There, Wayne's sisters, Bev and Diane, were among the many Christians to have a tremendous influence on my life.

They never pushed their religious beliefs on me, yet they took the opportunity to speak in my presence of God and His grace. They showed sincere interest in the spiritual well-being of our three children, Shannon, Elsie and Wayne Jr. During this time, I started to think about God again.

There is a Bible verse that says, "and a little child shall lead them." Our daughter Shannon accompanied my friends and me to a Salvation Army church service one night. She enjoyed it so much I decided to make the Army our home church.

… the first thing I needed to do was to get right with God.

The pressure of our failing marriage left me constantly depressed. I couldn't eat or sleep and would often burst into tears for no apparent reason. My Salvation Army pastors helped me realize that if my life was to improve, the first thing I needed to do was to get right with God.

One Tuesday night, during a week of special services, my life changed forever. When I entered our church that evening, I felt absolutely nothing inside. But God took control. As I sat there, I started to say within myself: "Satan, I hate you and what you represent. You will no longer rule in my life." No sooner had I thought this than Bev asked if I wanted to give my life to Christ. Reaching out with her hand, she walked with me to the altar.

As I knelt there, I knew God wanted me to correct some things within myself. I was an unforgiving, angry, bitter person. I asked Him to give me the strength to forgive the two people who had hurt me the most: my father and my husband. I then surrendered my life to Him and immediately felt set free.

Two weeks later, on my miracle Sunday evening, Wayne decided to attend church with me. During the service, he left his seat and made his way to the altar and knelt down. That night he received the healing pardon of Jesus.

Since that moment, God has shaped our lives in wonderful ways. Among other things, Wayne and I are now in training to become ordained ministers of The Salvation Army. Although we still face many trials, temptations and difficulties, we know God is guiding us and with Him all things are possible.

Faith & Friends, October 2001




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