Emily's Testimony

I have been skeptical about accounts of prayer that are immediately and directly answered by God, seemingly like a dream come true. How can He so easily talk to us? That kind of awesome power is truly hard to wrap your mind around.

The new Family Worship service has been such a positive experience for my family and I want to thank all those involved with the painstaking decisions to create the kind of worship that inspires a deeper relationship with our Living Lord. My family and I enjoy the time we have next to each other in the pew and the meaningful discussions that follow.

The statement “I Believe in God” was a reason my husband and I got married in the first place, but I admit together we were never really fanatical about faith. In the church, we did the things that believers were expected to do, but now as our faith continues to blossom, I can witness changes in my husband, myself, and in our family. I hear my husband singing hymns loudly during household chores, and the second book he purchased for his Kindle was the Bible. The changes I witness in my husband inspire changes in my own life and I find myself being led by the Lord to take new steps as well.

For several years, I was a very active volunteer at Mothers’ Home, a local shelter for homeless and pregnant women. After physical burnout from over-extending my “Yes, I can do that” attitude, I let my time commitment there fade away as I felt the need to focus my energy on raising my own young children. As I listened to Pastor’s sermons about darkness and the importance of sharing God’s light, my thoughts always drifted back to the words used to describe Mothers’ Home physically and spiritually - “It’s very dark.” I’ve started to question: Is it dark there on purpose? Was it really God’s plan for me to burnout?

I usually don’t watch the news in the morning, but during the crazy winter storms with school delays, I did. I usually don’t let the TV play, but today we ran out the door to school in a flurry. By the time I returned the 700 Club was on. I usually don’t watch the 700 Club, but something about the story caught my attention. In the story, a woman was praying for help and just then the phone rang answering her need. I thought, “C’mon. Does that really happen in real life?”

The following Bible passage was shared on the show:

“Share your food with hungry people. Provide homeless people with a place to stay. Give naked people clothes to wear. Provide for the needs of your own family. Then the light of my blessing will shine on you like the rising sun. I will heal you quickly. I will march out ahead of you. And my glory will follow behind you and guard you. That is because I always do what is right. You will call out to me for help. And I will answer you. You will cry out. And I will say, Here I am.”
Isaiah 58:7-9 NIRV

It usually isn’t customary for me to grab the Bible to read more, but today our new Family Bible was there on the table next to me. As I opened it thumbing to Isaiah, RRRRIIIINNNGGG, my cell phone rang. Startled out of my thoughts, I gasped, “Are the kids alright?” (Having grown up in a military environment, cell phones are for emergencies and important matters!) Greeting me on the other end of the line was the new Executive Director of Mothers’ Home asking for my help to come back and volunteer. The memories of the past swirled in my mind, along with Isaiah’s verse “provide homeless people with a place to stay.” Somewhat reluctantly, I agreed to meet with the director. I purposely set the date in advance allowing me time to think, reflect, and pray.

I sat quietly for a long minute, processing. God just spoke to me? Uncharacteristically, I read a Bible passage about providing shelter to the homeless and as I am reading, a homeless shelter literally called my cell phone for help.  There is something divinely amazing about that.

I usually don’t ask a friend to pray for me, but before my meeting with the shelter, I shared my testimony at the Coffee Café after Sunday worship service. My friend and I shared the importance of God’s message to provide for the needs of your own family along with helping others. I feel that the Lord has given me new vision and is telling me exactly what to do, and I pray that I can listen to His message.

It usually is very dreary in the winter months, but when the doors of Mothers’ Home were opened, the home was full of sunshine. There is much work to be done, but the curtains are down and the light shines in. At the close of my meeting, I commended the Executive Director on the work it took to bring physical light to the home. My friend responded, “The light was inspired by you and what you did here.”

I usually don’t share a personal account of my life being directly led by the hand of God, but today I did.