19 Apr. 2008

A little blue book, a friend, and me....

Today I share this at a Gideons Auxillary Luncheon....




It wasn’t a thunderbolt or the hit over the head with a bible that brought me back to God.
It was indeed the Holy Spirit and the quiet witness of a lady, and others at a Baptist Church outreach program.
I had spent the last number of years in very loud rebellion from God, but I was also digging a very large hole for myself. I was lost, very lost, but strangely found comfort in being around the Christian ladies at the community activities held by the church.
In the third term of Hi-Time in 2002, I ended up in a creative writing class with Mrs E, another Christian lady and a number of non-Christians. The “teacher” who wasn’t Christian and I were struggling deeply in our personal lives but mostly put on brave faces.
Occasionally it was just Mrs E, the teacher and I at the class and we found ourselves sharing some of our personal struggles with her. She seemed to have wise counsel.
The last day of the term was a tough one. The teacher had to leave early to be at home. So it was just Mrs E and I.
My memory is not as good as I would like it, a legacy from my years of rebellion. But I do clearly remember the two of us sitting down at a table quietly in a little room.
In discussion with her I realised that my life was quite a mess, and it wasn’t about to get better any time soon, the way I was going.
I also realised I had to get real with God and stop shunning Him from my life.
Mrs E pulled out a little Gideon’s Testament and started pointing out some scriptures to me. Then she prayed with me. I asked God for forgiveness for my rebellion against him and asked him to be in my life again, and I re-dedicated my life to Jesus as my Lord and Saviour.
I was SO Happy; it was like a Huge weight had been lifted off me!
I was fearful of what my non-Christian husband would say, but knew that God in my life was more important than anything else!
I also knew I needed to show my children God, because if I didn’t, who would?
I was given the little Gideon’s Bible to take home.
I still have the little blue book today, or rather my eldest son does. Robbie has taken quite a lot of enjoyment from it. He loves reading the John 3:16 verse at the front and the translations! He also has used the little helps as well.
For a long time he has carted it around with him, like a treasure. Now my middle son has his own little Gideon’s Bible that I found for him at a second hand store.
Sean too carts his around like a treasure, even though he is just learning to read. He occasionally asks me to read something for him.
I am sure there is some novelty in that they are the right size for their small hands. The fact they know what the little book contains... the Words of God, and they treat them like treasure, as indeed the little books hold within treasures for life, is great.
The bibles are a gift in our home, and I hope the pleasure my children find in holding God’s Word in their hands and in their hearts stays with them forever.
Maybe one day, when they are grown, they will cart them around in the back pocket of their jeans and read them to someone as Mrs E did to me.

It has been five and a half years since that day. Many things have happened since then.
The day after my decision, I told my Husband that I wanted to start going to church. He was not happy. So, for a while I didn’t attend normal church services, I only attended a House church.
After the Christmas holiday recess for house church, I was really struggling; I felt I was starving from lack of teaching and fellowship. My mum (a Christian, and married to an unbeliever at the time), encouraged me to make a stand and go to church. I was a bit hesitant, but knew I needed the fellowship, so I went.
Although my husband wasn’t happy with it, he didn’t stop me. He did not stop me from taking the kids either. It wasn’t easy taking two littlies to church on my own, but I was welcomed and cared for.

I believe I was on the verge of a breakdown before I gave my heart back to God. I secretly went to a counsellor who tried to encourage me to have a holiday at Glenside, and go on medication. I knew I couldn’t do that. But I was on the verge of giving up on my marriage and at times of giving up on my life. Through all of the turmoil within me, my husband was oblivious.
It was God that stopped me giving up. He stopped me, and He lifted me up from the dark hole I was in.
I praise God that he placed Mrs E in the right place at the right time, to lead me back to Him.
I had worried initially that my “getting religion” would really end my marriage.
But in reality, I know that God sustained my marriage for the following two years. God also blessed us with another son in that time.
I tried hard not to push God in my husband’s face. I was careful not to leave my bible around and tried to make sure that Radio Rhema wasn’t playing when he got home from work. Sometimes though He would come home unexpectedly.
He grew increasingly discontent with my Faith in God. It became harder to be around each other. Near the end, He said he was leaving, but he changed his mind the next day. I was an emotional mess. A month passed and my husband declared that our marriage was over and didn’t love me anymore as he said I wasn’t the woman that he had married. He moved out a week later. It was 10 days before Christmas 2005.
My husband blames God for our marriage ending.
I don’t blame God,
I thank God for the extra years that He gave us, and for our three sons.
The road has been tough since then, but now there are no more arguments, I can talk openly with my children about Jesus and I can read the bible without fear of angry words.
My children are content, and they see their dad often. Their dad and I are now on good speaking terms. He has re-partnered, and God has shown me that my children can be a blessing to his fiancé who cannot have children of her own.
I have accepted my life as it is now.
I have a deep joy that no sorrows of this world can take away.
Before God filled me anew, I was empty, rotten and took pleasure in cursing His Name to all I knew.
Now all that I am is because of Him, for if not for Him, I would have taken my life.
He is the reason I live, and every day is a surprise.
I am amazed how God guides me into things.
I have found that God turns my cant’s into can’s.
For the past two years I have run the church playgroup, which is a miracle that God convinced me in doing it!
I love the journey I am on with God, God has given me His deep strength to through all the valleys.... He has carried me or held my hand all this way.
I cry in public and laugh out loud now more than I ever did for Jesus has broken down walls.
But for all the heartache, I wouldn’t trade this life I have with Jesus, for all the whole world.
His Word he has planted in me, as the lamp to my feet and the light to my path.

I want to encourage Gideons to not give-up, or be disheartened from giving out God’s Word.
We don’t know how and when God will use the bibles Gideons give, to bring someone into His Kingdom, or how many of that someone’s generations to follow will come to know Jesus, like my own kids.
Remember His Word never returns to Him void.



Have you ever been given a bible from Gideons? Did you put it on the shelf, throw it in the bin or did you read it?

If you have a story to tell because of the gift of a little Gideons bible, why dont you let them know, as they would love to hear your story.

If you would like to know more about Gideons International.... you can find them here....
http://www.gideons.org.au/Public/godslove.htm

2 comments:

  1. That's a great testimony Kaz! I'm sure it will be a blessing to all those who hear God's powerful influence on your life through the servanthood of the Gideon volunteers. Good on you for sharing it!!!

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  2. I found your blog by way of the Laced With Grace blog roll.
    There are so many things in your testimony that I could identify with.
    I was raised in a Christian home. But during my 20's during a horrible time in my marriage-I walked away from God for 7 years. I didn't want to have anything to do with Him. Satan had tricked me into believing that it did not work.
    God brought me back. My marriage was brought back.
    Things have not been easy in this walk here on earth. But I thank God that we have a hope and a home waiting for us.
    Recently my father in law went home to be with the Lord-one of the churches he attended bought Gideon Bibles instead of purchasing flowers. I pray that they find themselves into hands that need a hope and a future.
    Thank you for sharing your story-it blessed my heart.

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