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Aug24ThuA family lets their lives shine for God. August 24, 2017 by Jamie and Amanda Crann
Amanda: I grew up in a small town in Newfoundland and Labrador. My grandmother was my role model—she was the most generous, kind-hearted and hard-working woman I’ve ever known. She made me feel loved and safe. She took me to church and taught me about God, but as I grew up, I turned away from him. I never stopped believing God loved me, but finding my way back to him was easier said than done. I was too worried about what others would think.
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When Jamie and I got married, we wanted to start a family, but were told our chances of having a child were slim. I was devastated. Even though I loved my stepson with all my heart, I longed to have a child of my own.
I was overjoyed and thankful when we found out I was pregnant—our prayers had been answered. Sammie was a gift from God.
Jamie: When our daughter was born, we started taking her to church. Each time we went, I felt a tug on my heart, but I ignored it. I was scared to go forward to the mercy seat—I didn’t know what was expected of me. As time went on, I began to understand more as I listened to Amanda read Bible stories to Sammie. It was like Sunday school for me!
Amanda: On April 11, 2014, I held my grandmother until she slipped away to be with the Lord in the wee hours of the morning. I had such an empty feeling, I wasn’t sure I could go on. I struggled to cope, to accept that she was no longer with me. When I went to church, I felt such a strong conviction that it was easier to stay home.
Exactly two years later, I woke up thinking about Nan—and my soul. I got myself and Sammie ready, and off to church we went. I could barely stay in my seat because God was knocking on my heart harder than ever. Before the service ended, I gave my heart to the Lord. I felt so much peace.
Jamie: I was away when Amanda committed her life to Christ. Two weeks later, we attended church as a family. This time, I could no longer ignore the tug on my heart. I had no idea what to expect because this was all new to me, but I went forward.
Amanda: As I watched my husband give his life to Christ, my heart felt like it would burst. From that moment on, our life changed. We always had a great marriage, but now it’s even better. I get emotional watching my husband grow in his Christian walk—when he prays, reads Scripture or gives his testimony. We love being involved at Botwood Corps, N.L., as a family. Each day brings something new, but we want to do whatever we can to glorify God.
Jamie: Becoming a Christian has changed every aspect of my life. I’ve learned a lot about forgiveness and my relationships are better. The loss of a dear friend and my father, just months apart, would have been much more difficult to bear without the Lord to turn to—I take great comfort knowing they were followers of Christ.
I want to learn as much as I can and have attended Christian retreats and seminars. I feel a strong calling to be more involved at our corps, and have become a greeter and the president of the men’s fellowship.
I didn’t know much about God or attend church when I was growing up the way my wife did, but I will serve the Lord for the remainder of my days. I am very proud to be a Christian and a Salvation Army soldier. I love to wear my uniform, whether at church or standing next to a kettle, because of everything it represents. It’s my way of letting my light shine for God.
Amanda: If you are reading this and are not in a relationship with God, there is no better life and no better time than now. We are all born with a purpose.