I Would Never Go Back!

 My testimony   by Debbie Joslin

 

I was not brought up in a Christian home but I went to many churches as a child. My sisters and brother and I walked down the road about a mile to a country church where I learned the Lord’s Prayer, John 3:16 and the 23rd Psalm. My first grade teacher taught me the Golden Rule and read the Old Testament to our class every morning. She apparently didn’t know that was illegal. My parents divorced when I was eight years old. After that I did not see my Dad much and my Mom spent a good part of the time in the psychiatric ward of the hospital or at the state mental hospital. I remember as a child praying that if God was real and if He truly cared for me then could I please have a family? Eventually my Dad remarried (his fourth wife) and we kids went to live with them. My Stepmom was nice to us and took us to church whenever the doors were open. That lasted almost two years and then we were alone with my Dad. By that time I was 15 and very rebellious. I went to live in a Christian foster home and graduated from high school early with a GED so I could be on my own. I remember clearly that I felt God calling me to him when I was 17 but I thought it was too late, I had already done too many bad things and God could never forgive me. I was an alcoholic and smoked pot and did drugs and led an immoral lifestyle. My life continued on with the same problems and hurts until I was 28. My life, by then, was a mess and I didn’t know where to turn. I called my sister who was living about three hours away and she invited me to come to her house for a visit. What was unusual about this was that my sister, Dora, and I hardly ever talked. She was a Christian. In high school she was called a Jesus freak and we had very little in common. I still don’t know why I called her except that the Holy Spirit prompted me.

 

I drove to the little Oklahoma town where Dora lived and told her my sad story. She asked me if I would like to talk with her Pastor and I said yes. She has told me since that I shocked her socks off when I said yes. We went to the Pastor’s house and sat down and talked with him and his wife. I told them my story and they said I needed to confess that I was a sinner and ask God to forgive my sins and trust that He would do so based on what Jesus had done on the cross. I prayed the sinner’s prayer and my life has never been the same since. I didn’t see lights or hear music or anything but I finally had the peace that had been missing all my life. I had peace with God and peace with myself. I forgave all those who had hurt me and I let them know I forgave them. I spent the next couple of years repenting and confessing my sins to God a little at a time as God brought them to my remembrance. I started attending a good solid Bible believing church and reading the Bible. Within a few years God gave me a husband who loves the Lord Jesus and loves me too. We have had our struggles and we have had some hurts but God has always taken care of us. We have four great children here and two in Heaven. I had a miscarriage in 1998 and our little baby boy died at one month old in 1999. I am still not perfect and I still sin but I know that I can go to God and confess my sins and He is faithful and just to forgive me of all iniquity. I know that when I die I will go to Heaven because Jesus death on the cross paid my sin debt, a debt so huge I could never have paid it. I know that if He can forgive me, he can forgive anyone and I know that I would never want to go back to life without Jesus.