My Prayer for You
Here is my story of Salvation. If you are not saved I pray that as you read my story you will come to know the Lord as I have – in a way I never thought possible or even existed. To my friends who knew me and now see the evident change in my life – I can only hope this will speak loudly to you and warn you of the danger ahead – dying without Christ. This is my personal story and I pray in some way it touches your life.
Religion and Rituals
I grew up in a Catholic home going to church when we could, taking part in Holy Communion and Confirmation. I never questioned it. I just did it because it was what I knew and was taught. I always believed everyone went to Heaven. I’d confess my sins to the priest and thought I was okay. I’d make it to Heaven as I was.
Although I remember always seeing a Bible in our home, I could never understand what was in it. I saw it as a mystery and the words within it did not apply to me. I just thought it was for all the people who lived back in that time. I figured what I was being taught now was all I needed to know out of it anyways. So I didn’t bother with it.
First Pain in My Life – Divorce
My mom and dad divorced when I was 15. It was the first real feelings of pain and hurt I ever felt. I didn’t know how to accept their divorce. I was angry for quite sometime but I eventually came to accept it and move on. My father then moved to the Yukon and I ended up moving there with him where I finished my last year of high school.
Life in the Yukon
I met a man and had a child seven years later. We pretty much lived a rich lifestyle. I felt I had all I needed. I always bragged about all the things we had. Boats, vehicles, ski-doo’s etc. I was happy because I had all I wanted. However that didn’t last very long.
More Pain – Death
During my eight years in the Yukon I managed to visit my mother in Newfoundland when I could and she also made it up to see me in 1996. But not long after she left, I got the news that she had cancer. I was devastated! One thought came to mind – death! I grew up thinking and hoping that no one close to me would ever die. It was always someone else’s mom, dad, grandparents, brothers or sisters – not mine. Despite the distance to Newfoundland, I was able to visit my mom twice that year when she took ill. My brother and sister were also able to visit her.
“What is my sister talking about?!!”
The very last time I visited my mother, my life was changed forever. My sister and I were sitting with mom in her room. I knew my sister was ‘saved.’ She often told me that I needed to be saved too and ready for heaven. She told me that Christ died for my sins. But I thought: “What is she talking about!”
In the past, my sister had sent me Gospel papers to read. She even sent me a Bible when I was in the Yukon. But I had no idea what being saved entailed nor was I interested. I just thought it was strange and not for me. I had no idea how real it was. To me, my sister was just religious.
But that day in my mother’s room, my sister began to read from the Bible and she read from Ecclesiastes. What I was hearing stirred me up. Something happened that day. I asked if what she was reading was true and she said yes. It all made sense and for the first time my mom understood it as well.
The Bible Speaks To Me
The verses she read spoke of meaningless lives and how empty and vain life is when we live it for ourselves. It was saying: “to everything there is a season.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1) “A time to be born and a time to die.” (Ecclesiastes 3:2) “As he came forth of his mother’s womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand.” (Ecclesiastes 5:15) “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good and sinneth not.”(Ecclesiastes7:20) “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; Fear God and keep His commandments; for this is the whole duty of man For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13,14) At that time, life was dishing out things I could not explain and I wanted answers. I never forgot what she said and what she read and from that day on I was never the same.
Death Speaks to Me
A couple of weeks later while we were still with my mother, our brother tragically passed away. I thought…what next!! I was getting upset at all this turmoil. What is going on here? I asked God what else He had in mind. What else was He going to let happen to our family and to me. I knew He was talking to me. I knew He was dealing with me. I was distraught and helpless.
Things Are Out of Control
At one point I had so much control in my life and all of sudden things were happening that I could not stop and I realized I wasn’t in control any longer. I left about a month later which would be the last time I saw my mother – that wasn’t a good day! Mom passed away on September 21, 1999 – just four months before the birth of my son.
I didn’t return for mom’s funeral. Mom and I had already discussed it and we agreed it was too much for me and could cause me to lose the baby. Mom had said to me: “I am not even going to know you are there anyways Deanna.” So she was okay with it.
A Relationship in Jeopardy
I headed home only to face yet another crisis. My son’s father and I were having a lot of issues and I knew my relationship with him was the next thing I would lose. I was terribly burdened about it all. I felt so alone, empty and one question weighed heavily on my mind: ‘what is this life for!!!’ I felt no one understood me and no one could help.
In January I had my baby. He was the one thing in my life that helped me get through all of this. I knew I had to be strong for him and take care of myself. But no matter what I did, the emptiness was still there. Nothing seemed to fill the void – no matter what I tried.
Emptiness Gets Worse
My relationship completely broke down. I had to start packing boxes, preparing to leave the Yukon. I wanted to move closer to home but I had no idea what was going to happen. All I knew was I had to go. I didn’t know if I’d ever be back. I moved to PEI to be closer to my siblings and I was longing to get back to Newfoundland to bring closure to my mother’s death. All circumstances just seemed to fall into place and it looked like I would be staying in PEI for good.
But my perspective didn’t change when I came to PEI. I was still troubled and burdened. To add to my misery, I heard that my father now had cancer. I was always expecting the worst. I just couldn’t deal with it, so I ignored it and tried not to think about it. I thought…no more! I was tired of crying and being in pain.
My Problem Was Sin
There were times I just wanted to forget what I had heard about my sin. But I could not forget it. I tried many things during those seven years in PEI but the end result was always the same: I was not satisfied. I kept falling into more sin and causing myself more grief.
Over those same years, I attended some Gospel Meetings. But there were times when I avoided Gospel meetings, thinking I would try other ways to find happiness and peace. I would get discouraged because I wasn’t getting saved. Each time I would go it reminded me of my sin. Every time I sat there I felt like I was the only one in the room and the preacher was speaking directly to me. It was conviction and it was God speaking to me. I had a strong will and God knew this.
Things Come to a Head
The day arrived when it was clear to me that I could no longer go on not knowing if my sins were forgiven and not knowing if I was going to heaven or hell!! I knew that if I didn’t get salvation this day my final destination was going to be Hell. I KNEW this. I knew I needed forgiveness and I needed to repent of my sin. God says so. “Except a man repent ye shall all likewise perish.” Luke 13:5. Who was I to argue with my Maker?
I was frantic that day. I emailed my brother and asked him: “What do I do? I want this! I want to be saved. How do I do it?” ‘It’s already been done!’ came to mind. (Jesus said: “It is finished.” John 19:30)
My brother shared some great little examples and stories that day I will not forget. I went to my bedroom very upset. I was desperate to know where I was going to be when I died. He had used the example of a gift. He asked me ‘how’ I received a gift. I thought about it and then said: “Well you just accept it.”
Then he gave me an example of how to ‘trust.’ Suppose Jesus is in a boat out in the water. You are there along side the boat, wading in your sins and you cannot clean yourself off before you get in the boat with Jesus. You just need to take His hand; trust Him and get in the boat. He will then cleanse you from your sin. That example made so much sense to me.
But then I thought: “Well, I don’t love Him enough, I should have more love.” Satan, the enemy was at work that day. He was too close to losing a soul to Christ. I recall kneeling down and reading a gospel story written by Murray McCandless. Two people were traveling on a plane; one was scared and the other had peace. They both got on the plane and they both arrived. It wasn’t the amount of faith that brought them to their destination; it was the plane.
How Can I Be Saved? How? How? How?
I got up off my knees. I was in tears! How do I get saved?!! How? How? How? Walking past my closet, I thought: it’s not the things I do that will take me to Hell; it’s what I am. A sinner! I got down on my knees again. I prayed to the Lord to save me. I cried out in despair. I wanted salvation more than anything. I didn’t care what anyone else thought. Right then and there HE saved me. I had peace and calmness. I rested on His Word. I rested on the work He did upon the Cross for my sins.
My eyes then fell upon Romans 10:9: “If you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.” I didn’t question His words. I trusted Him. He said on the Cross: “It is finished,” and I rested on the finished work of Calvary. He knew that day I was ready to receive His salvation.
God’s Word, the Bible tells us that we must be born again (John 3:7). “Truly, truly, I say to you, except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” (John 3:3) It tells us where salvation can be found: “Neither is there is Salvation in any other for there is none other name under heaven given among men where by we must be saved.” “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up: That whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 2: 14, 15)
Society says we must see to believe. Christ tells us we must first believe to see. Christ did the work. He said: “It is finished.” (John 19:30) There is nothing anyone can do to obtain salvation. Everyone seems to have there own way but it’s not His way. We have to accept that we are wrong and He is right.
Jesus once suffered for sins. Where are your sins today? Are they laid on Him or are you still carrying them?
(Acts 4:12) It tells is how to be saved: “
For God so loved the world
that He gave His only begotten Son
that whosoever believes in Him
should not perish but have everlasting life.
I pray that you will begin to search the Scriptures and find the truth out for yourself. The time is coming when He will be coming back for His people. Will you be left behind? Don’t wait till it’s too late. “Whereas you know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away.” (James 4:14)
NOTE: Deanna’s smiling face above was captured on camera minutes after she obeyed the Lord as a Christian by being baptised at an outdoor ceremony at West River, Prince Edward Island in July, 2005.