I didn’t take medicine until I was 20 years old. Not Tylenol, not even cough drops. I was taught that there was no such thing as disease or death. “Man is incapable of sin, sickness, and death.”
Raised by a devoted Christian Science family, we faithfully followed the book that claimed to be the key that explained the Bible. Beginning in Junior High, my sister, my best friend, and I went to Adventure Unlimited, a Christian Science outdoor camp in the beautiful Colorado Rockies to white-water raft, hike the peaks of the 14ers, rock climb, and horseback ride. In high school, I went to Bible study youth groups and Mormon dances with friends.
Seeds were planted about Jesus, however, I was mostly there for the games, singing, dancing, and friendships. Jesus, Daniel, Joseph, and Noah were all still ‘fictional’ characters that I had read about in my Bible — the same Bible which I had dutifully carried with me to Sunday School week after week.
Sadly, at the age of 19, all of my prideful beliefs in Christian Science came crashing down the day my Mom, the closest person to me in the world, became seriously ill. My Dad and I had to rush her to the emergency room, but it would be the last time I would speak to her. She was in a coma for a couple of weeks and then passed away.
My ideas about sickness and death were seriously invalidated and everything I once knew, was now proven false. I can’t even explain how the emptiness filled my heart.
That summer I still went to AU camp as a Counselor. I pushed aside the Key to the Scriptures (my religious reference manual) with disdain. In the early devotional hours I only read my Bible and refused to open the other book. Every day I prayed to understand the truth and why things now seemed as they were.
One of the counselor activities was to be led into the forest and given a topical map and supplies. We were left there and told that we needed to find our own way back to the basecamp. On the way back, I lost the trail and began to feel fear creeping in. I started singing, “Shepard show me how to go,” a song that we sang in church growing up. I realized that I needed to know not only the way to base-camp, but also needed to find my direction to the TRUTH.
Before my Mom passed, I visited a church where the Pastor was talking about the rapture. I was amazed that when he cited scriptures, I was able to turn the pages and read them for myself from my own the King James Bible that I had since I was a child.
When I got back from Colorado, the first call I made was to that church. They connected me with the Pastor’s wife, and after a short conversation, I was referred to the college group. I remember how awestruck I was by the Scriptures being taught by the very same Bible I had been carrying my whole life.
Those planted seeds were growing.
I was invited to the Harvest Crusade, where I made the decision to give my heart to Jesus.
In a college course called “Pagan Culture”, the professor was giving a lecture about where Jesus walked. It dawned on me that Jesus is a real historical figure and not fictional. The whole Bible is real and supported by historical evidence. Then, at Apologetics Lectures, I learned about creation and Biblical evidence. I grew up believing God was not a physical being, but more of an idea.
You should have the same attitude toward one another that Christ Jesus had, who though he existed in the form of God did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped, Philippians 2:5-6 NET
Someone who is so important and powerful … thinks I am important. We are important and valuable to Him.
When I volunteered to teach Sunday School, I was given a Life Application Study Bible which helped to further open up and reveal the Bible studies and the truths that the scriptures give us.
The Bible is truly the only owner’s manual for this sacred temple of God (our body) that God created for us to live in on this Earth. There are many ways and applications that we can use today to read these precious words from our Lord and Saviour.
I am thankful and blessed to know that He chose me as one of His own, and am certain I have found the truth.
Debbie Gary lives in Southern California and enjoys off-roading, hiking, and dancing. Some of her favorite things to do are cuddling up with a good book or venturing out for some great bargain shopping. Debbie’s go-to verses are: Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know what I have planned for you,’ says the Lord. ‘I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope.” And Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.”
We thank you, Debbie, for sharing your heart and your Testimony of GOD’s love and grace in your life. Your contribution to Testimony Thursday this month is well appreciated!
You are loved to Heaven and Back, Debbie ~~
LindaRJohnson, TitusTwo Visionary