by Angela Posey-Arnold
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Angela Posey Arnold
“I would like to stand up and say that I love the Lord.”
The members of the congregation where I attend church usually start their testimony with those words. Then they begin by telling everyone what the Lord Jesus has done for them. The stories are their own and come straight from their hearts.
I am always blessed by one sweet man that stands up, usually the first to stand when testimony time is announced. He has a speech impediment but he stands up straight and tall and with a massive amount of courage he shares his testimony. I have to admit that I cannot understand some of his words but it doesn’t matter, the look of love on his face is enough to see that the Lord shines though him. He is not afraid to stand up and say that he loves the Lord.
My testimony begins before I was born. I came into this world blessed by God. He so graciously planned for me to be born into a family that loved Him. My family prayed for me before I was born. I am so thankful for that because when I was two weeks old God began to perform miracles in my life.
At two weeks of age, my Mother, an RN, noticed that my legs were uneven and that my hips were uneven. They took me to the Doctor and I was diagnosed with Congenital Hip Dysplasia. In 1960 this was usually a diagnosis that was followed by a life time of a severe limp and uneven legs.
My family was devastated to hear the Doctors say that I would always limp and possibly not even be able to walk.
Immediately the doctors went to work and I was placed into a body cast. My legs were casted into a horizontal position. Of course I don’t remember all of this. I just know what my parents have told me and pictures I have seen. I had to have a special rocking chair, a special high chair and I learned to crawl pulling the cast along. The most important thing that anybody did was that they all started praying for me. My family, being a praying Christian family, had me in their prayers all the time.
They prayed that I would be healed in faith believing that I would be.
Month after month of my first year I had to be taken to the hospital and placed under general anesthesia. The doctors had to x-ray to determine progress. They had to completely change the cast as I grew. Progress was slow but month after month my precious family and church family prayed for me.
Momma says that I was a happy baby despite the cast and all the medical procedures. I really did not know any difference and I was not bothered by any of it.
My Daddy used to pick me up and hold me over his head and “bounce” me so I would laugh. One evening he was holding me up and “bouncing” me and the cast split right down the middle. They took me to the doctor and he took the cast off. My little legs were thin and withered under the casting. But, the doctor noticed something different and decided to do an x-ray while the cast was off. He came back into the room and seemed to be somewhat bewildered. He told my parents that he did not understand it but my legs were amazingly the same exact length.
Even though I did not have a normal hip socket on the right side, tendons and ligaments had grown to form a socket and hold my leg in place and the leg had grown. My legs were even.
This is the point that I really wish I could remember. I wish I could remember how happy my parents and grandparents were. I wish I could know how they praised God and thanked him for this miracle. I know they did, I just wish I could remember it.
The doctor said that there was no medical explanation, the only explanation he had was that the fervent prayers of my family and church had been answered. He called me his miracle baby.
I tell you this because I would like to stand and say that I love the Lord. I praise Jesus because I can stand and walk and not limp. I praise Him that I had a normal childhood. I have always loved Him as long as I can remember. I never remember a time when I did not love Jesus.
I know that He has been with me all my life and He has loved me. Not because I am anything special but because of the prayers of my family and church and because He has a plan for my life.
My Mother keeps everything. She never throws anything away. She still has my brother's and my baby teeth. I found my baby book one day at Mothers house and many times she wrote, “Angela loves to hear stories about Jesus.” And today, 46 years later, I still do.
I am so thankful to Him for my family. I am so thankful that I have always known Him and always loved Him. I am also thankful that even as I grew up into my teen years, He never let go of me.
I was raised in a small town in Northwest Alabama. My teachers in school and at church were usually one in the same. We said prayer at school and we read the Bible. I never heard anyone say anything bad about Jesus and I actually thought that they whole world loved Him. I had never heard anything any different until I went to college.
Now, I think that when a child is born and raised in a Christian home the devil works overtime to try and steal that child. Even though I was saved and baptized and already had my name in the Book of Life, the devil tried to destroy me and my witness for Christ. I know he does this and he uses our weaknesses to do so.
I know he does, it happened to me. College was hard for me. I was confused and I let the world confuse me. I had professors telling me that God was dead and that Jesus was a myth. The devil convinced me that life was not about Jesus, it was about how much I could obtain. He had me deceived into thinking that I could live wildly and that my parents were wrong. I was very confused and troubled; I thought that success was all about money and not answering to anyone about anything. I moved away from home and I moved away from my Lord.
I would like to stand up and say that I love the Lord. He never moved. My angels probably had to work overtime but they were always there. Jesus never let go of me and He protected me. Because He knew that I would figure it out and He protected me until I did. He knew that one day I would realize that the devil had lied to me and that I was on the wrong track. Again, I have to thank him for my family who never stopped praying for me.
Even during those crazy confusing times, I knew Jesus loved me and I loved Him, I was just blinded and confused for a little while. God has used those crazy years to teach me things. He used the experiences I had to bring me closer to Him.
After I started dating my husband we attended a revival service at his parents’ church. The preacher told us about how Jesus was coming back. I realized that I had forgotten that, I had let the world and the devil deceive me. I could not wait to get to the altar where I cried sobbing as I prayed and begged for forgiveness. I felt so terrible because I had let Jesus down and I had let my family down. All I could say to Jesus at that point was, “I am so sorry, please forgive me.” After all He had done for me, how could I have been so stupid? But when I knelt to pray, He forgave me and told me that He had always loved me and always would.
I still lived with and hung on to some guilty feelings. I felt so bad because I felt that I had failed Him. I was so afraid that I had been so bad that when He returned I would be left, the pain of that was unbearable. He forgives when we ask but forgiving ourselves is not so easy. Again, the devil jumped into overdrive and started trying to deceive me into thinking that there was no way that Jesus could really forgive me for the things I had done. I felt so guilty and I prayed and prayed for the Lord to forgive me and please take me to heaven with Him. The devil kept throwing up to my mind all the things I had done and telling me that Jesus could not forgive such a sinner as me. I continued to pray and try to forgive myself but the guilt was overwhelming.
My husband and I had just bought our first home in 1988 and I remember this night just like it was yesterday. I had worked really hard all day and fell into bed exhausted. I said a short prayer and went to sleep. During the night I was suddenly awakened and I saw Jesus standing at the foot of my bed. I knew it was Him but I couldn’t speak. He said, “Angela, I will take you with Me.” And then He was gone.
I jumped up out of bed and looked all over the house, but He was gone. The guilt was gone and I instantly knew that I never had to worry about my salvation again. He had forgiven me completely and He would take me with Him. I will never doubt it again, ever. I know the truth and have the blessed assurance of His unconditional love.
I would like to stand and say that I love the Lord.
Since that day He has done so many wonderful things in my life, He blesses me in ways that I could have never imagined. He sends His angels to protect me and He has a hedge of protection around me. He sends people into my life to encourage me and gives me the strength to walk through the valleys knowing that each challenge He and I face together brings us closer to each other.
As I grow older I grow closer to Him. With each passing day I want to see Him more. He continues to be with me and I never want to be without Him. He is my hope, my friend, my Savior and Lord. The hole in my soul is full and it is filled by His love. Loving Him is the most important thing I do. Living for Him is all that matters. I look forward to being with Him for eternity and I can’t wait to see Him and sit at His feet. Just to touch the hem of His garment…..Oh what a day that will be.
While I am still here on earth, just passing through, I believe that the most important thing I can do is to practice for heaven. Praising Him all the day long, loving Him and learning all I can about Him. I want the world to know, I want everyone to know Him and I will continue to work for Him as long as He leaves me here to do so. What else could be more important? He has given me talents that I am using for Him, and I continue to be a willing vessel.
I would like to stand and say that I love the Lord.
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Thanks for sharing your testimony. I know of others who was lied to by satan in their college years, but came back to the truth. I so appreciate your sharing that JESUS APPEARED TO YOU. He has to me, too and perhaps I will share my experience, too. God Bless You!!!