Growing, growing and still growing…

As a little girl I grew up in a family that loved me tremendously, but my parents were not walking with the Lord at that time.  Every Sunday though, they would send us off with friends who took us to church.  We attended Latter Day Saints, Methodist, Catholic and many more churches.  It wasn’t until I was about 8 or 9 years old that someone helped me to recite the sinners prayer.  Did I fully understand it?, no.  Was I scared?, yes.  I had no clue if this was the right thing to do.  (note:  parents, teach your kids about God and Jesus, don’t let others do it.)  If you don’t know how, take your kids to church and study the Bible yourself so you can teach them.  See, I haven’t told you everything…  As a child, I was extremely resentful that my parents stayed home.  With that anger inside, I struggled to believe that there was a loving God and that He cared for me.  Why would he send me and my sister to church, but not my parents?  Then, in several occasions listening to the family and friends that would engage in drinking and partying at our house all the time or the bars or hunting camps that my parents took us to, the adults would mock or say things like “oh, those bible thumpers, or they’ll just brain-wash you there, made me fear it.  But God had other plans for me and my youngest sister.

My dearest friend and sister for life, “Mary”, had a wonderful mother who took us everywhere.  Swimming, 4th of July fireworks and to a revival/concert at AHS that changed my life forever.  See I got hurt at school that day.  My right ankle/foot was broke or severely damaged (I don’t know for sure because my parents could not take me to the ER or drs for other circumstances that I don’t need to go into right now.  All I know was that I could not put any pressure on it and it was 2 shoe sizes bigger than normal).  That evening around supper time, the phone rang.  Yes, it was a rotary landline hanging on the wall, no cell phones back then.  Anyway, it was Mary asking if my sister and I wanted to go to the revival/concert.  I said no because I was still in tears and couldn’t move my foot.  How would I walk in there?  Mary said, “I’ll carry you in.”  I don’t have a shoe big enough to wear, I said.  Mary said, “You can wear my slipper.”  After 10 or 15 minutes of trying to get out of going, within a half hour Mary and her mother came and picked us up.  Again, this is going to be life changing for me and I have no idea what is coming.

So, we get there in front of the Alpena High School Auditorium and proceed to get out.  Mary and my little sister are struggling to help me.  Mind you, every little bump brought tears to my eyes because of the pain.  I’m extremely embarrassed because I have a shoe on my left foot and a big fluffy slipper on my right foot.   I look up and even more embarrassment comes over me….  here comes an adult man to help and he knows me.  It’s my grandfather’s pastor, Pastor Mario Cuppetelli.  I thanked him and the evening began.  I’ll be honest with you, the embarrassment was so great that I would not look around in case I would recognize someone.  I guess I figured that I wouldn’t have to explain why I was dressed the way I was.  (note:  no one cared about that at all)  So the message lead into the Salvation Story and I could feel the pressure of evil trying to keep me from Jesus.  (didn’t realize it then, but looking back, that’s exactly what it was)  Then the music started.  A few songs and then prayer and more songs.  Still can’t put pressure on my foot.  Then came the sinners prayer.  Yep, I recited it again, but it was different this time.  I grew up a little since that time in church and understood more about the love of Jesus.  I’m telling you what though, I was still hung up on how I looked.  During that prayer, the Holy Spirit spoke through that person praying up on stage, and He said, my child, it doesn’t matter what you look like, I love you.  I busted into tears, because I knew he was talking to me. He meaning, the Holy Spirit/Jesus.  Right after prayer we sang Father Abraham and that’s when I felt the warm hand of Jesus.  Starting just above my right knee and slowly pulling down my leg to my ankle and foot, was this warmness and healing power of Christ Jesus.  I turned to Mary and I told her that I was healed.  Audrie, Mary and I were never the same after that night.  All three of us, even though our home life wasn’t picture perfect, loved our Creator and our Savior.  I think that from that day forward, we all prayed for our parents to come to the Lord and repent.  With my parents, it took 20+ years, but I’m excited and so over joyed that some day, I will meet them again in Glory.

Growing up wasn’t always easy and did I rebel?  Oh, yes and I wish I wouldn’t have wasted that time of my life.  Times got hard and I lost my way.  Many times we rode home with a parent that was drunk and shouldn’t have been driving.  But you know what, Jesus never stopped loving me and protecting me.  He had a perfect plan for me and He made sure that we were safe.  During this same period of time, my parents realized that Audrie and I loved music and loved to sing.  They found an accordion and guitar for us and we took private lessons for 3 summers.  Man, I didn’t like reading music.  Our teacher let us know that third summer that he was not giving lessons any longer next year.  We were crushed to say the least.  Even though I wasn’t a good student by doing my lesson book, I wanted to learn how to play with my sister.  So my mom begged him to teach us more.  He agreed and I’m not sure we even finished a full season with him.  We got the basics and off we went.  Today, my sister has not lived by me for over 25 years.  Over the past 6 years, God gave me two more sisters to sing with. We had some beautiful times singing together and touching peoples lives through music and song.  Their voices are like angels.  Their dad at the age of 91 playing the steel guitar and lead guitar, a dear friend on acoustic guitar and singing with me and a bass player that was fantastic.  Well, those doors are temporarily closed and I’m waiting for the next chapter that God has for me.

What I’m trying to say is that God is always in control and we need to allow Him in so he can protect us.  He gave us a will to make choices in our lives.  We can choose to follow Him or not to follow Him.  That’s it, there are only 2 ways, Heaven or hell.  I didn’t always make the right choices in life, but He graciously and lovingly guided my back all the time.  God gave us 10 commandments to follow and here is the first one.  In Matthew 22:37-38 (NIV) Jesus says:  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.  Then God gave us His only son to die for our sins so that we may be forgiven…  John 3:16-18 (NIV) says:  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.  John 3:36 (NIV) says:  Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.

Dear friends and family, please take this seriously because our time is short here on earth.  We don’t know when that last breath will be facing us and then it will be too late.  Don’t lose out on the greatest eternal life, Heaven.  John 3:3-7 (NIV) says:  Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”  “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked.  “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!”  Jesus answered, ” I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.  Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.  You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’  What Jesus is trying to say is that we need to repent of our sins (we all have sinned, including me) Romans 3:23 (NIV) says:  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  Then, ask Jesus to be the Lord of your life, to guide and protect you.  Then get yourself baptized.

If you don’t have a church and you’re not sure where to go… use the internet to find a church in your area that believes in the Bible and teaches God’s Word or ask a friend that has showed that they are a follower of Jesus Christ.  I love you so much and don’t want you to miss out.  By the way, I’m still learning and growing in my faith. -Evie

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