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                            Lizzy's Testimony

God has used many events in my life to draw me to Him, and my hope is that as you read this, you will be drawn closer to Him also.



The first few years of my life were fairly normal; my mom stayed at home with us kids and Dad worked for Packard Electric in Warren, OH (GM). My father was saved shortly before I was born so I literally grew up in church. At the age of five, our church was having a revival and during the children's class an invitation to be saved was given. To please a family member, I went forward and prayed a prayer and for years thought I was saved because of that prayer. I had the “perfect” life; I often refer to it as the “Leave it to Beaver” life because my mother kept everything perfectly clean and was always there to listen. I was your typical light-hearted child and had no concerns about anything.

Everything changed on the morning of May 1st, 1979, when my mother woke me up for the school bus. Now, I was a typical 11 year old and hated getting out of bed! So, I just ignored her, rolled over, and went back to sleep! Well, I woke up with just enough time to throw on some clothes and rush out the door. Unfortunately for me, that wasn't going to work with my mom! Her rule was that the bed had to be made and breakfast eaten; we ended up having a huge argument. (During which I could've just made the bed and eaten!) Since she wouldn't let me go to school until I had finished, I went stomping down the hall mumbling under my breath that I hated her and wished she were dead. I finally finished and ran out to the bus without even a goodbye or a hug and barely made the bus. School that day went extremely well, and the icing on the cake was seeing my father's red Pontiac in the driveway. I have always been a daddy's girl so I was thrilled to see that he was home early. He came out and met me at the bus and led me around the side of the house. While walking he told me that mom had had a heart attack. (Years later I learned that it was really an aneurysm.) Being eleven I had no idea what that meant, so I proceeded to ask if she was okay and to ask if she was in the hospital. Dad, with tears in his eyes, had to tell me that no, my mother was not in the hospital. That, in fact, she was in Heaven with Jesus; she had died. All I could think about was that I had wished she were dead that very morning! I felt like I had killed my mom!
When I reached my bedroom and opened the door, I saw my bed and remembered the argument over making my bed which started a whole new round of crying.  The house was overflowing with friends and family, but I only remember one thing that was said to me. That was our Pastor, Pastor Bitterman, he told me that since I was saved (He first asked me if I was saved and I answered with a nod.) God would give me a peace that passes understanding during this time. I didn't have the guts to tell him that I felt like I had killed my own mother!
For months it felt like I was living in a haze; a nightmare really. My father did his best to be both a father and mother to his three children, but looking back at that time, I'm sure that had to be difficult as he was grieving also. In August we made plans as a family to travel from Ohio down to Mississippi to visit my aunt and uncle. A week or two before the trip my dad came home with a terrible headache and went to bed. The headache grew increasingly worse each day until it got to the point that he was in bed with the drapes pulled, and we had to be extremely quiet to keep his head from hurting worse. Thankfully, our neighbor knew about this and forced my dad to go to the hospital. After they examined him, he was told that he had a massive brain tumor (the mass of a man's fist) and that he would've died if he had been much later coming in. They also told him that he would probably die during surgery. He prayed about this and told the doctors to go ahead and perform the surgery that God was in control. Now, I had no idea about any of this. I was told Dad was in the hospital, but that it wasn't anything major, and he would be okay. I was sent to stay with an adult cousin. My cousin had the cutest little poodle, and I loved walking her everyday since I had never had a dog. Well, one day as I was getting ready to walk her, I overheard my cousin on the phone with her mother (my aunt). I then overheard the words that would strike terror in my heart; I heard her say, “No, we haven't told her that he could die....” I quietly walked outside and spent the whole walk in tears and wondering where the peace that passes understanding was that Pastor had promised I would have. From then on I became increasingly depressed; I spent every night crying into my pillow so no one would know that I was crying.
     Now, my dad had his surgery and miraculously came through it! But the doctors had explained that if he did survive the surgery, he would be blind and on machines the rest of his life. A few days after surgery he was awake and asking for his glasses so he could order dinner from the menu! The doctors couldn't believe it, and told my dad that even though they didn't believe in God there was no other explanation for it than a miracle. The neurosurgeon kept the tumor in a glass jar on his desk to remind him of Dad's surgery.
     However, he didn't come through the surgery without any consequences; his pituitary gland was destroyed so his body doesn't produce any hormones. This made him an immediate diabetic, hypothyroid, and he has major problems when he gets any sickness or infection. He also lost his ability to smell and lost his peripheral vision on the one side.
Meanwhile, while Dad was recovering I was continuing to be depressed. Then that fall, I was diagnosed with scoliosis and had to wear a backbrace from my chin down to my hips! Talk about embarrassing! I was in the 6th grade and looked like a freak and no mother to help me with any of it. My oldest brother had to take me to my fittings for my brace because my father was still recuperating from his surgery. I was a miserable little girl and started begging God to kill me too because I wanted to die next. This became my nightly prayer for months. If I would've known how to commit suicide I would've done it during that time in my life---that's how depressed I was. Then one day on my paper route, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and got me to thinking about if God answered my prayer would I go to Heaven? And as I started thinking about my salvation experience I realized that I had only prayed a prayer to please someone else, not because I realized I needed a Saviour to save me from my sin! I can remember sitting in 7th grade study hall shaking because I realized that I needed to be saved, and I was afraid that I would die before I could get to church and be saved! Death was no longer something that happened way off in the future; I fully understood that no one is promised another breath. That night we had revival services at our church, and I sat through the message just waiting for the invitation so I could go forward and get saved. Finally the invitation was given, and I went forward. I had to convince my counselor that I was NOT saved, even though I had told people for years that I was, before she would finally pray with me. That is such a special day for me; I still remember the outfit I was wearing along with the dreaded backbrace, and I still remember the room we met in! After I confessed that I was a sinner and asked Jesus to save me, I also promised Jesus that I would give my life to Him. Let me tell you, what a change took place in my life! I was immediately filled with joy and peace. Nothing had changed in my personal circumstances, I still had a backbrace on and had no mother and a very ill father, but God filled my heart with His joy and peace. I remember coming out of that room with a smile on my face. I was able to go to sleep that night without crying; what a difference Jesus made!
     Do you have the joy and peace that only Jesus can give? If you have never realized that you are a sinner and need to be saved, please email me. I would be thrilled to share Jesus with you.