Aug31TueI endured childhood abuse and a painful divorce, but God stayed close to me. August 31, 2021 by Amanda Williams
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I often ponder, as I’m driving to work in the morning, that so many people are going about their day without knowing who Jesus is. As I see people, I think, Do they know you, Lord? I’ve been wired this way—to think of others in light of eternity—since I was a young girl. It’s a blessing and a burden. As Christians, I think we are called to carry a burden for the salvation of others. I believe our most important job while living on earth is to spread the gospel and bring others to Christ.
An Early Conversion
I thank my sister, Major April McNeilly, for first bringing me to church at the age of five. When I was growing up in rural Newfoundland and Labrador, attending and being involved in the lively Glovertown Corps was a big part of my life.
I played in the corps band, sang with the singing company (later songsters) and enjoyed many Friday night youth group activities. These experiences and the people who gave their time made a big impact on my young Christian life.
A Major Life Choice
I faithfully attended church throughout my childhood and teen years. Sadly though, once I left high school and attended college, I neglected my faith after meeting the man I would go on to marry. I know now that it’s vital for a Christian to date someone who shares the same values and especially the same faith. But at the time, when I was just 18, I didn’t realize choosing a life partner could set the direction for my life.
The Goodness of God
Even through some difficult circumstances, the Lord was still close to me. I endured childhood abuse, fell away from the Lord for many years and much later went through a painful divorce. God demonstrated his goodness and his love for me through worship music, as I listened to meaningful songs over and over. I believe that God used worship music to stay close to me, because he also wired me with a love of singing. April shared one song in particular that spoke to me powerfully, Yet I Will Praise, performed by Melissa Boraski, and I still listen to it often.
The Lord also drew close to me through prayer. When I was a young girl, I enjoyed having conversational prayers with Jesus. These prayers gave me so much comfort when I was dealing with the abuse. During my mid 20s and 30s, I prayed gut-wrenching prayers, even when I wasn’t living a Christian life, and I believe that God heard those prayers. He met me right where I was—utterly broken and devastated.
I have often thought that if it were not for the grace of God, my life would be so different today. I believe that the Lord never left me for a moment. At one of my lowest points during my first marriage, I realized I had had enough. I remember kneeling at the foot of my son’s bed and begging the Lord for forgiveness. I remember how peaceful I felt after that prayer.
Rededicating My Life to Christ
Now I am remarried to a wonderful man who shares my faith and love for God. I have rededicated my life to serving Jesus, and I am actively involved in the Deer Lake Corps, N.L.
I feel God’s love each day, even during the difficult days. I know that challenges lie ahead, but I have a peace that can’t be explained by worldly wisdom. It’s a supernatural peace flowing directly from the Holy Spirit.
I am so thankful for what the precious blood of Jesus has done for me. My prayer is that I continue to grow closer to him, and that I can be a positive influence in the lives of others, wherever the Lord directs my steps. I pray daily for Holy Spirit-inspired courage to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ.
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