I love the Lord. He is my strength, for without Him, I was nothing. But because of Him, I am alive!!
Let me begin by stating: I'm a child of God. But didn't start out that way, I was lost and going to Hell.
I was raised up in church, my dad was my pastor. Everyday there was talk of the Lord, reading of the Bible, and prayer. My mom and dad were and still are walking examples of living by faith.
I was a church member, walked the aisle, had been baptized, taught vacation bible school, and could tell you how to be saved...the whole nine yards. Anyone who knew me would have said "that's a good Christian girl", but all they were actually seeing was a dying sack of flesh and bone walking around, bound for Hell.
I can remember talking myself out of salvation and then turning away each time He called.
I married a Christian man who was and still is a daily example and he played a role in my eventually coming to know the Lord.
Before I met him, I lived a life of being in the bars every night - closing them down, or drinking otherwise, smoking like a freight train and cussing like a sailor (hung on to some of those things for awhile after meeting him), My husband would tell me "Sonia, ladies don't talk that way." I would reply "I'm no !@#%$! lady, I'm your wife." I had a bad temper (was nothing for me to hit a wall or kick a hole in one, I had a lot of resentment and anger inside & was as two-faced as they come; smiling on the outside but dying on the inside. Kind of tells what I was like to live with.
We didn't attend church regularly, partly because my husband worked weekends, and the rest was because I didn't want to go to church. I didn't want anything to do with church. When I was 29, I started reading the bible, to ease my mind and to appease my husband. My husband always encouraged me to go to church either with him when he was off work or go by myself when he was working. I see now, that I was searching.
Then one Sunday morning in the fall of 1996, I was watching a preacher on local TV, Dale Thompson and he asked a question I had heard my dad ask many times in his sermons. "If you were to die today, where would you spend eternity?" It was then, God decided to give me a glimpse of where I was heading. I believe if I had turned Him away at that point, I would still be lost today.
I want to tell you Hell is very real and is the most horrible, terrifying place anyone could imagine. There are no words that can truly describe it, and there is no picture that can truly depict it. I can tell you though, that I felt a fear to the very core of my soul when I realized where I was going to spend eternity.
Nothing compares to the fear I felt. Not even the fear I felt when my dad was having quadruple bypass surgery and we thought we were going to lose him, or when I found out my mom had a cancerous kidney (that was the same day 9-11 happened). None of that was remotely close to fear I felt when I realized what Hell was going to be like.
I literally begged the Lord to save my soul from an eternity in Hell. I begged Him to forgive me for denying Him all those times. I'm a proud woman and don't bow down to anyone, but that day, I let go of pride and begged for my life.
Well, the good news is I'm alive in Christ, a child of God! Hallelujah! The old hateful, angry, boozed up, smoking, foul mouthed woman I use to be is now gone, I am new in Christ!! If God can save a vile sinner like me, He can save you. There is nothing beyond His forgiveness if you just ask.
I like to think of Paul, remember he used to be Saul the persecutor of Christians, yet God loved him so much He knocked him off his horse, made him blind and woke him up! The persecutor became the preacher for God.