As I opened my morning devotional by Charles H. Spurgeon for 10th July I wondered what special message was awaiting me, for you see it was my birthday and I quietly sat with God with my new bible; King James Version a gift from my husband.
I've always loved new books especially the different versions of the bible of which I have either been given, bought, or found.
My first bible was given to me as a child from my grandfather. It was a small white gold edged King James in a neat little box type cover. I thought it was beautiful and just loved to leaf through the pages. I don't think I ever read it though.
The second bible was bought for my Grammar School education - more of a text book for Religious Education. It was a green hard backed bible and the version was English Revised. Again I only used it for homework and cannot remember what I wrote. I did like the teacher though. Miss Pass was her name.
The third bible I was given was when I became a christian and gave my life to the Lord; 17th August 1987. It was a Good News version and I read it with 'Everyday with Jesus'. But to be honest I didn't understand what I was reading but kept on reading it out of duty really because that's what I thought christians should do.
The next bible I received was a New International Version when I was baptised the following year. I thought it was a lovely present. It was new and as I said I love new books. I cannot remember anything specific about this bible except I took it to prayer meetings and fellowship meetings following the leaders of the group. Again I never understood the significance of the bible. I was just happy to belong to a group that welcomed me and I had friends because I was very unhappy and lonely.
At this time I also read a lot of christian books, everything I could lay my hands on to try and help me in my very difficult marriage. I loved singing in church and loved the new worship songs and sometimes I would cry a lot and sometimes I would feel strange nice feelings happening around me. I just wanted to belong, but in truth I didn't understand what going to church was really all about.
Then my marriage broke up. I was bombarded with all sorts of christian advice but all I could do was cry. I was very confused and there didn't seem to be anyone whom I could really confide in. At this point Jesus was just a name I said, I sang, I read about. I watched others and copied others in church.
I moved out of the area whilst I was separated from my husband and my mother being very dominant used to read from William Barclay a famous christian author. She never liked Saint Paul and she theologised everything from the bible. She even preached and was commended for her speaking abilities. I watched on in fascination.
Then I met two christians from this local Baptist Church who were missionaries from China. They seemed different and I put them on a pedestal as being more godly than me. I did this with all leaders, I thought that that was what it was all about.
Going through a difficult time with my husband I sought counselling from within the church. The church I had attended in my home town had made it quite clear that any personal problems should be god-centered and that going to the doctors and seeking help this way was not the christian way. I trusted these people and followed their advice.
As I sought help from these two christian missionaries they opened up my emotional life which had been blocked off for many years. I'm sure God used it but it had devastating effects and consequences for me personally.
I was told I had a witchcraft background and had demons in me. This assumption had come from the wife of the leading missionary because I had had a coughing fit in church and she had said then I had a demon.
I had read bits on this in christian books but it scared me. But when she said this I was absolutely filled with fear.
Every Friday for six weeks I was given what in the church speaks of as 'Deliverence'. I was held down, I was also told to take off my earrings and to cover my head.
For the first time in my christian life I remember praying inside to Jesus and screaming for help at what these people were doing to me. I didn't understand it and I was terribly afraid. There was such an evil presence in the house but confusion reigned because they went to my church and professed to be christians.
This whole episode left not only mental, emotional scars but homelessness with my little girl of 2 yrs old. The church had split my family apart.
In the end it was the christian next doors' husband who offered a roof over my head and my child until I found someone else. I was left in bits.
It was at this point that I prayed like I had never prayed before in my life. I turned to God for answers.
I found a flat for me and my daughter alone, had no tv and prayed for about six months on my own whilst taking care of my child.
Which bible I read I don't know but I prayed to Jesus for help. I saw miraculous answers to my prayers and in the end I went back to my husband.
This was the first stage of God showing me the revelation of Jesus Christ.
I didn't intend to write this but somehow I wanted to get this off my chest. I kept silent about this incident for 10 years and remained a recluse, but it seems again God's timing for another part of my healing has come.
There is so much I want to share that has happened because of Jesus and I do give Him all the Praise but a bit at a time.
The words 'Know the Truth and the Truth will Set You Free' have been prophecised over me for many years.
I just didn't plan on it taking so long.
God isn't a quick fix. God's healing is deep and makes us whole, holy and perfect in His sight.
I am not the same person at all from my early christian years. God has revealed Himself slowly and with care and naturally using everything in my life.
As the Lord leads I will share more. But I hope and pray that this touches someone to be patient with what God is doing with you.
Transferring from darkness into light takes a relationship with God through Jesus Christ and like any relationship of any substance and genuineness this takes time.
'Behold I make everything new'.
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