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God...Who Are You And What Can You Do For Me?

For week 8 of this study the discussion questions are:

"My life before Christ...
How I came to know Christ as my Redeemer...
My life since coming to know Christ as my Redeemer..."

What Jenifer is really asking is, what is my testimony of Jesus Christ?

I never remember a time when I did not know who Jesus was, from the beginning of my life my parents took me to Sunday morning Bible study and Church, I was taken to Vacation Bible school every summer. My parents both taught a Sunday morning Bible class. On Saturday night Daddy would ask my brothers and sisters and I what our lesson was on for Sunday morning, we'd better be prepared to give an answer and "God" was not a thorough enough answer. But, it was during the devotional time at Vacation Bible School when I was 9 years old that I invited Jesus into my heart. I loved Jesus, He was my Savior; but being 9 years old there was not a dramatic life change. As an older teenager I rebelled, I wanted to do what I wanted to do--isn't that rebelling? I made some poor choices, choices that I will always regret.
God is faithful, even when we are not.
I married at age 18 and immediately had 2 sons. While I was pregnant with son number 1 I started attending church and Bible study regularly and reading my Bible (not daily yet). I was an avid listener to Christian radio--Focus On The Family. The years when I was in my 20's I was busy as a wife, mother, job, and college student. But, there was a dark period that was coming, a painful season; yet God used this season to dramatically deepen my relationship with Him. One night I had a nightmare, a rarity for me, but in this dream I heard someone banging on the front door to my home, knocking on the windows, jiggling the door handle--I heard no voices, did not see the person; but I perceived that it was Satan and he wanted in my home. In reality my husband had already opened the door to Satan's influence.
God is faithful, even when we are not.
This was a turbulent, painful, gut wrenching period. I often felt like I was apart of a theatrical drama that I did not even want to audition for much less take a role in. What did I do? I fell on my face before the throne of grace! The earth had been ripped up from underneath my feet and I fell into the Savior's arms. Jesus sustained me, His Word became Technicolor and 3-D to me. I read Scripture and studied it everyday, I prayed fervently. I held on to the only life-raft I had, Jesus. In time-- in His time, lessons were learned, character was built, ugliness was chiseled away, the Potter molded both my husband and I into the beginning of what His plan was for our lives. It is in the hard painful times that if we allow Jesus full access He will not only chisel out those ugly rotten areas, but He will create something that is lasting and that can be used for His glory!
It was not long after this storm that another one was on the horizon, my precious mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. She would be sick with this disease for many years, she went to be with Jesus in her eternal home March 2008.
Several storms and some hurricane in size have barreled in to our lives, some without warning. In late 2005 I was diagnosed with an early stage of breast cancer, I was 41. Even though it was an early stage of cancer I had a spray of it in the left breast, the surgeon said the left breast had to go, and feeling compelled by the Holy Spirit (who had led me to aggressively have a biopsy) I asked that both breasts be removed.
One of the memories I have imprinted in my mind of this time and this was just a few days after surgery is when I was trying to bathe at home. I had drainage tubes and could not get the upper part of my body wet, I was weak and terribly sore. I was sitting on the edge of the bathtub giving myself a sponge bath when my husband came in the bathroom. The look of love and tenderness and pain was evident in his hazel eyes. He told me, "if I could take your place I would." This is so precious to me, because all those years ago when our marriage was nearly destroyed God knew what we did not know and that a deeper love would blossom from that painful time.
God is faithful, even when we are not.
Within 6 weeks of surgery a grandson was born and then 5 days later my son David was deployed to Iraq. Many times during David's 2 deployments I would be awakened during the middle of the night with an urgent alarm to wake up and pray! I would scramble out of the bedsheets and on to the floor beside the bed where I would kneel and pray for David. There were a few times that the alarm was more urgent, more severe, "this is serious Annette you must pray for David now, you must battle in prayer!" For the first time in my life I prayed prostrate on the floor toward the east (I don't know why east, just was compelled to pray this way). One night I prayed until dawn. I asked David about 1 of these times, with a blank expression he told me that that was when they were ambushed.
God is faithful, even when we are not.
God was very gracious to us in that David did come home, and he is now completely out of the military after over 8 years.
In the course of my life God has progressed from being someone I knew to someone I know! There is a difference between knowing "about" someone and knowing someone.
Know--the word is ginosko and it "means to know by experience, to know by becoming acquainted, to learn to perceive, it is the knowledge of grateful recognition." From Dr. John Phillips Exploring The Gospel Of John.

"For my determined purpose is that I may know Him that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him perceiveing and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly, and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection which it exerts over believers, and that I may so share his suffereing as to be continually transformed in spirit into His likeness even to His death."
Philippians 3:10 Amplified Version--The full meaning of the Greek and Hebrew.

How do you know Him? By reading His Word--immerse yourself in His Word--and

"Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says."  James 1:22 NIV

Do you know "about" Jesus? Or can you say with confidence that you know Jesus?

Blissful Reading!


A Gracious Home said…
That is a wonderful testimony. I enjoyed reading it.