“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love;
According to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.”
It affected my health. Sin has a way of invading every part of your being.
As time went on, I became more anxious and guilt-ridden over my transgressions. I was overwhelmed with self-condemnation and the anguish over my situation became so heavy that it began to affect me physically. I wanted to be rid of it but I didn’t know who to tell and I didn’t know where to go with my tormented conscience. I felt frantic and longed to cleanse my heart and mind of the grief that I’d brought upon myself.
One day, I made my way to a park. As I sat there, I prayed in desperation, begging God to forgive me for the sins I’d committed.
At once, I felt an overwhelming peace come over me and I knew I was forgiven. I felt as though something lifted off of me and my heart was at rest. It was such a beautiful experience. The following Sunday I went to church and it was as if God’s Word was sticking to me and the Gospel began to have meaning to me.
One month later I was sitting in a medical facility. There was a woman seated next to me and I began talking to her about God. I told her about my experience in the park and the peace that came after I prayed for forgiveness. She held my hand and talked to me about Jesus and how I could have a personal relationship with Him. When I prayed for forgiveness at the park, I didn’t know anything about receiving Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior. I found it incredible that God orchestrated the events of my life to allow this woman to guide me into an intimate relationship with God. She and I prayed together and I asked Jesus to come into my heart, forgive me of my sins, and bring me into relationship with Himself. When we finished praying she said,
“Welcome to the family of God. You are my sister in Christ.”
The woman asked if I’d join her at her church the following Sunday. When I arrived she gave me my first Bible. Inside she wrote the date that I accepted Jesus, the day we prayed together in the medical facility. She invited me to a Bible study which happened to be in the building where I lived. During the course of the study I was able to meet other women, sisters in Christ, who shared a love for Jesus.
Our family had been living in Japan and we were to return to the United States. When we arrived stateside I began attending Sunday church but found once a week church attendance wasn’t enough for me. I was so hungry for the Word of God that I began looking for an online Bible study to do during the week. That’s when I found Love God Greatly. I joined a group and enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with the Lord every morning. Two years ago after a few studies, I became a facilitator. The fellowship with the other women in the study has been so helpful to me and my spiritual growth.
My husband has not yet come to know the Lord. I believe God is showing me that I need to be more prayerful and less assertive when I share my faith with him. I am so passionate about God, often unable to contain my happiness and I want to tell him all about Jesus, about the meaning He has given to my life, but he doesn’t always understand or want to hear about it.
I feel God is impressing on my heart to talk less and pray more for my husband and children.
I can see God pursuing my family and have witnessed Him working things out in my home. I am trusting that God will continue to work amazingly in their lives as He draws them to Himself, as He did me. God’s love never fails.
Marilyn, American Canyon, California
Interview conducted and post written by Joan, LGG Leadership Team Member