I’ll never forget one evening when I was 14. I had planned on watching an Elvis Presley movie. My mom informed me that she wanted to watch a Billy Graham special. Neither one of us knew who he was but she wanted to watch him. Well, I was horribly upset because Elvis was one of my favorites. I sat on the couch and sulked as we listened to the preacher on t.v. I had nothing else to do, so I though I might as well listen to what he is saying. He was speaking on John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave His only son.” He kept talking about how much God loved us. I was intrigued with every word he said. Billy Graham then explained salvation and how to ask Christ into your heart. While my mom continued to watch, I slipped into my bedroom. I closed the door and then knelt at my bed. I prayed and asked God’s forgiveness for my sin and told Him that I believed Christ died for me. I remember weeping and as I closed my prayer, which I had never prayed before in my life, I wiped my tears and never told anyone. The next week a girl from school invited me to her church. After attending with her, the youth pastor came to my house during that week. I was gone, but he spoke to my mom. When I got home, my mother told me all about the youth pastor coming and that she had received Christ as her Savior. She was smiling from ear to ear. Then she told me the youth pastor made her promise that she would call him when I got home so he could come back over and talk to me about Christ. She did and he came and talked to me about everything I remember hearing Billy Graham say. I went ahead and prayed with him, but deep inside I knew that I had already asked Christ into my heart. But, this helped me understand everything much better. My mom and I were baptized together the next Sunday. Eventually, my two brothers were saved as well.
Our home changed immediately. We were at church every time the doors were open. My mom went through a series by James Dobson on raising children. My brother’s and I had a mom who was now focused on her home and her children and life was never the same as it was before. We all loved church and couldn’t wait until the next service. Mom and I would stay up late many nights talking about how thankful we were and discussing all the things we were learning.
To this day, I still give my mom a Father’s Day card each year. She couldn’t replace a Daddy’s love, but she did the best she could.
As a young teen, I claimed the verse in Psalm 68:5 “A father of the fatherless…” I knew He was taking care of me and cared about all the situations I was going through as a teen. I talked with Him constantly and asked for wisdom and guidance in everything I did. Many times when I felt very much alone, I would feel His presence and I was comforted. I knew He had a plan for my life and I wanted to be in His perfect will.
I wasn’t perfect and I made many mistakes, but I knew and depended on my Heavenly Father. When you grow up without a father around, it makes it a little harder to relate to a Heavenly Father. I had to work really hard at believing that I was loved by my Heavenly Father regardless. I memorized scripture about His love and how He would never leave me. Not being good enough is something that is very hard to overcome. To this day I am speechless at how He has taken care of me and blessed me in so many ways.
Many times as a young girl I made the statement that I would never get married. That was until I met Jim Dillow when I was 18.
more coming tomorrow…
Click here for Where’s Daddy, Part 3!