I gave up my religion in the 1960s.
I had one young son, but I wanted more children. After having two miscarriages, our priests promised me that the child I was carrying would be all right this time. Just to be sure, two priests gave me special blessings. One priest touched my stomach with a “splinter” he claimed was from the true cross Jesus was crucified on, and the second priest touched me with a piece of bone he said was “from St. Anthony’s foot.” They promised me that now everything would work out fine.
However, my child, a little boy, was still born at a full nine months.
I stopped believing in everything. I hardened my heart towards God. How could God do this?
My husband had his first heart attack six weeks after our baby died, and in 1971, he passed away.
In 1988, I was living at my sister’s house in Florida. It was here that I met a woman who was a born again Christian. She tried to tell me about her faith. I would not go to church, but I did start to read my Bible.
I moved to Pennsylvania in 1995. One day my son called me and said, “Mom, would you like to go to church this Sunday with us?” I was going to say no, but changed my mind and agreed to go. He attended the Lehigh Valley Baptist Church, and I went with him that Sunday.
After that, every Sunday I was at church with my son and his wife.
I looked forward to it. I was learning so much of what the Bible said. Everyone seemed so happy. I wanted to feel that way.
One Sunday at the end of the service, a song was being sung and the pastor said, “Come, will you come?”
I had tears running down my face. I knew that I needed God.
But I wasn’t sure how to find Him. I had prayed every day and asked for forgiveness, but something just didn’t seem right.
Later I talked to a lady from the church. She agreed to do a Bible study with me to find out what God says about how to be saved. We went through many scriptures.
Finally on April 21, 1997, I repented of my sins and accepted the Lord as my Savior!
As God says in Jeremiah, chapter 29, verses 11-13:
I finally realized that God only wants the best for me and that He loves me.
At the age of 74, I followed the Lord in believer’s baptism! What a difference KNOWING GOD has made in my life! I talk to God in prayer every day and read His Word to know Him better. And I thank the Lord every day for my blessings.
Alice went home to be with her Lord, Friday, July 3rd, 2015 at the age of 92. She touched many lives through her warm smile, gentle touch, and constant prayers. She truly was a prayer warrior and a blessing to all who knew her. This was Alice’s personal testimony, written in her own words.
Some of the lives she touched…
The time I got to spend with Alice was a privilege. A chance phone call that I answered in the church office opened up a wonderful opportunity to get to know this lady. Although she was rather quiet when in a crowd, once you got to know her, she would open up and become your friend. There are a few things about Alice that really shone out.
One was her tenacity. She was not a quitter because the going got hard, and she did not use her age as an excuse to not do something. Up until just a few months before Alice passed away, she was still climbing on chairs to hang up her holiday decorations (which she had for every holiday!). Even as she grew weak from the cancer, she still would not sit back and let others wait on her, but continued to put forth the effort to do what needed to be done, even if it took longer.
Alice was a lady who prayed. It was quite natural in conversation for her to mention someone who she was praying for. Being with her in the days before she passed away, I listened as, even while struggling with her own pain, she prayed for others. She kept a list in her Bible, which she also faithfully read every day. She had a stack of note cards with Bible verses that she had memorized since then!
Alice was quick to express her love. She loved her son, was always looking forward to spending time with him and remembering the sweet times with him previously. She loved her pastor and church, appreciating phone calls from them and watching the TV program when she was no longer able to make it out for services. She loved other people; everywhere she went, she would stop and talk to someone that she had gotten to know and care about. And she especially loved her Saviour. He was often brought into her daily conversations. Even the day before she went to see her Saviour, while suffering pretty intense pain, she was expressing her love for Him.
Although we grieve at no longer having her with us, it is a blessed thought to think of her forever free from pain and forever with the Saviour that she loved. I am so thankful for the time that I was given to spend with her.
I remember Alice fondly. I would come in to church and sit in the middle section. It took awhile until I would notice this small woman sitting over by the booth by herself. She would arrive very early for church service. She would just sit quietly until people starting trickling in from Sunday School. I noticed some women greeting her, chatting with her until the service started. One day I got up the nerve to “show myself friendly”. At first I would just ‘hello and how are you.’ Eventually we would engage in conversation about our testimonies, our families and what the service might be about. I would share different things about my husband’s health and my son’s difficulties and his need of salvation.
Before I knew it, I would visit with Alice before every service. Sometimes she would have a burden on her mind and share it with me and other times she would mention she was praying for my family. Imagine. Praying for my son who she had never met and for my husband who would wave when she asked who he was. I almost always came away ready for the service with a confidence that everything was going to be fine.
Then one day she wasn’t in service. I would ask her the next time I saw her if something was wrong. Sometimes she was just feeling a little tired and couldn’t make it to service, other times she would confess that she was sick with either a cold or something else. What I really didn’t realize was her health declining. I just didn’t want to I guess.
She was still driving up until about 6 months ago. I was hard for her to give up her independence. She would get up very early in the morning to do her shopping because the stores were not busy and she could get around without any aids. She made sure to buy specific items to make her dinner for her son and his wife on Sunday afternoons. Alice would actually start making sure she had all the ingredients for her special sauce. As she was getting sicker it had occurred to her to teach her son how to make the sauce..what brand to buy, fresh ingredients…etc.
Eventually she could no longer come to church and I missed her. I had gotten her phone number and would try to call her at least once a week maybe twice. In the last two months the calls got shorter and shorter because Alice was getting more tired and unable to carry on conversations as much as she had liked.
Alice was a true prayer warrior, prayed for many of our church family (who may not have even known). She was a friend and I will miss her but I won’t forget her. I know she is now with the Saviour whom she loves.
It’s not goodbye Alice it’s see you later.