At the age of 7 years I was at church, watching a black and white film about Jesus’ crucifixion.
I still see Him — in black and white — hanging on the cross. They said He died for me.
Soon after this, I remember talking with my Sunday school teacher, who led me to pray, asking Jesus to come into my life, to be My Saviour. I knew, even then, that He was trustworthy, and I believed Him.
I grew up in churches, attending camps and Youth for Christ “rallies”, we called them. My parents took me to the Billy Graham Crusade in 1959, when I was 8 years old, and two years later, we left our Brethren Assembly to become Anglicans.
At 11 years of age, I was sprinkled along with my three siblings, and I understood Baptism to be a sign of Jesus’ cleansing me from my sins. I always had understood why I was a sinner and I accepted this as fact.
Through my teens, I knew that I was saved, but as I met a few challenges along the way, I began to realize I wanted Jesus to be more real and meaningful in my life.
There were Healing Ministries and Prayer Meetings I began to attend, where, over a 3 year period, I was being pressured to show signs of the Holy Spirit in my life. I struggled with the fact that I wasn’t speaking in tongues, and I wasn’t being healed of my headaches even though I was on medication for migraine. A godly man from church, who had Cerebral Palsy, was repeatedly being taken to healing meetings with no results and it grieved me, and him, that he was told he needed more faith.
Even though I was familiar with the scriptures I couldn’t see how these signs and wonders could become real in my life.
At a weekend retreat I had people praying over me and laying their hands on me, expecting me to speak in tongues. That evening, after a long time, and still no signs or wonders, I stood up from my knees, now blue from kneeling. I stumbled about. The people got excited and began praising God!
When I went to my room I pleaded with God to take me as genuine, as I had done for 3 years. If He wanted me to speak in tongues and be healed, I was ready!
I opened my Bible and read from Isaiah 43: 1 to 3, the words, “Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God…..”
I believe God meant these words directly for me at that moment. At last, I was at peace in my soul.
It was at the church I attended in Sydney that the Minister had been promoting the Baptism of the Holy Spirit to his congregation and became well known at the time. There I met my future husband who was also curious, and he showed me biblical teachings that made things clear.
Life gets complicated, at times, but He never changes, and He continues to show me His grace through Jesus, for my eternal salvation.
Oh, and I found out that I had a whiplash from 2 years earlier, when I fell awkwardly on a trampoline, this being the reason for my headaches, which have since been successfully treated, in God’s good time.