In 1997, I was working full time, going to college for Electrical Engineering, married to a wonderful man, and raising two children, ages nine and seven. I became weary, exhausted and felt like something had to go. The pressure was becoming too great to keep running at that pace. I wanted rest and peace. I needed a break.
My husband and I were both raised Catholic and did attend church regularly. We both had the mindset that being born and raised catholic, and receiving the sacraments was our assurance to heaven.
While I was weary, I received an invitation to come to my best friend’s church. She was born again, and continually invited me to come and relax and hear the Gospel in a different way. I went and heard the salvation message.
During Worship, I started to cry. I could physically feel my stress and burdens leave my mind and body. My heart was touched by the Holy Spirit. I said the prayer of salvation. Then according to the Pastor, “I was saved, and have my ticket to heaven.”
The Lord gave me the strength to endure and keep going! I remember leaving the church that day, buying a Bible, but never having the time to read it. When I did open the Bible, I would read a few verses, and the content was boring and not alive to me.
I finished college in 1999. I was promoted and received a great job as a Process Analyst. Life was good! I did it!! My family and I continued practicing the Catholic faith.
On June 2, 2003, I was diagnosed with leukemia. My entire life came to a screeching halt. Devastation was upon me and my entire family. My heart was broken beyond words. Random thoughts of my Grandfather dying of leukemia at age 38 were paralyzing me. I was healthy. How could this be? I found myself absent from hope. I thought I was going to die. I thought that I wouldn’t see my kids grow up. Material things no longer mattered to me. I valued the time I had left with my family.
I had thoughts about heaven and hell. I remembered the salvation prayer I said. Where am I going? Is heaven real? I had no assurance in my heart. I realized I did not read the Bible. I never started a real relationship with Jesus. I did not talk to Him or think about Him, and I never praised Him for what He did for me. I was confused and scared. I felt desperate. Was I really saved?
Three days after the diagnosis, my life was changed dramatically. I cried out to God, fell on my knees, and said, “God if you are really real, please come into this room!” I was shocked! In an instant my family room was warm, and flooded with bright light. He filled my entire being with his presence. It was like liquid love. I heard His gentle, powerful voice speaking to my heart about Jesus Christ and His love.
In complete surrender, and totally broken, I was desperate to know Him. The Lord revealed Himself to me! The veil was removed. I repented instantly by saying out loud, “I have ignored you my entire life.” The Lord revealed to my heart His radical love for me, His sacrifice, and His power to enable me to forgive all offenses. I knew with all assurance God is who He says He is! He is Love! Heaven is real! I wanted to know Him intimately.
I was changed forever! Fear left instantly and peace flooded my heart. I trust Him! I belong to Him. Jesus Christ is my Lord, my Savior, and my Life! His love compels me to love Him and serve Him with Joy!
Through all the trials, God has ordered my steps and opened the eyes of my heart. He has filled me with His Love and His Word. He has called me to Himself. I am experiencing this incredible life in Christ.