Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Saved by Grace: Tammy's Salvation Story (Part 1)

image by diabolik808 / text added
Please welcome my blogging friend Tammy. You may remember her from her Valentine's Day craft post, and today you'll get to learn more about the lady behind the crafts.  This is the first part of her salvation story:

I could tell you how I grew up in a broken home; that my dad left when I was a year old; my mother married an alcoholic when I was 7 years old; how I started drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes at a young age; and on and on and on.

My story may bring tears to the reader’s eyes or even cause a feeling of anger on behalf of this child you are reading about, but my home life, good or bad, really has nothing to do with my salvation.

Regardless of a person’s home life; regardless of social status; regardless of wealth or poverty; each and every person comes to a crossroad in their life where they make the decision to either accept or reject Christ as the son of God and whether to fully surrender their life to Him and make Him Lord and Master.

Through the grace of God, He continued to reach out His nail scarred hand to me, waiting for me to take hold and surrender my life completely to Him. Oh, I had looked His way many times through my life. I had even tried walking with Him, but it wasn’t until I had reached the lowest I could go that I realized I could not continue my life of destruction.

Even at this lowest point I still could not fully surrender but the seed was planted. It wouldn’t be until a few years later at the age of 23 that I found myself on my deathbed of sin.

I was sitting in a laundry mat, longing for friendship when I noticed a group of people talking, looking at a book, and having a good time. They looked like nice people, but how would I ever get them to invite me into their circle?

Week after week went by and then I realized that the music that they were playing was Christian and the book they were all involved in was the Bible. I devised a plan….

I found a Christian bookstore and bought "The Book" – a paraphrase of the Bible. The following week I took my laundry along with "The Book" and spent the evening reading while I was washing my clothes.

I am not really sure how long it took, or when it actually happened but eventually I was noticed by these people and was then given a King James Version of the Bible which I began devouring. It was in late October 1987 that I finally surrendered my life to Christ. I will often tell people, "While I was washing my clothes, Jesus was washing me."

I wish that I could tell you that from that point on my life took the easy road. No problems; care free; all was sunshine and roses; but it was not.

Image courtesy of tonyaryals.com                        Most of the grand truths of God have to be learned by trouble; they must be burned into us with the hot iron of affliction, otherwise we shall not truly receive them. No man is competent to judge in matters of the kingdom, until first he has been tried; since there are many things to be learned in the depths which we can never know in the heights. He shall best meet the wants of God's people who has had those wants himself; he shall best comfort God's Israel who has needed comfort; and he shall best preach salvation who has felt his own need of it. –Charles Spurgeon,
Daily Help Devotional

The day I fully surrendered my life to Christ was not the end of my salvation story, it was just the beginning….

I spent the next several years studying the Word, growing in the faith, and learning that there are all shades of grey, right or wrong, when it comes to what people consider being a "Christian" is all about. It was a confusing time but the one thing I learned is that God never changes and through all my faults and failures, I wanted to be like Him, regardless of what others would think of me.

My husband and I married in 1992 and my mother was diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast cancer. I spent the first year of our marriage travelling out of state with our newborn son to help take care of my mother. In February 1993 my mother underwent a mastectomy. The doctors never thought she would make it through the treatments let alone have surgery. God was showing himself faithful. In October 1993 my grandfather passed away of colon cancer but not before he gave his life to Christ at the age of 90 years. Only a few months later my mother was given a Christmas present that no one wants; the cancer had returned. In April 1994 my youngest son was born and I began travelling out of state once again to help take care of my mother; this time it was with a toddler and newborn in tow. That spring my mother also learned that in addition to the breast cancer that she also had Leukemia as a result of the radiation she underwent to combat the first diagnosis of breast cancer back in 1992. In August 1994 my mother made her final visit to the hospital. While there she celebrated her birthday and the Lord gave her a special gift. She told me of a “dream” she had….
She was walking down a long hallway and at the end of that hallway was a large room with a huge dining table. She saw her mother and she motioned for her to be very quiet but to come into the room. As my mother entered the room she saw her father and as he turned around he pick her up and began swinging her around like a child and the three of them were laughing. She said that their was “joy unspeakable” in that room – nothing like anything she could describe or ever experienced here on earth. She said that is when the nurse came in to wake her up …. 
What you don’t know about this dream and the miracle was that her dad (my grandfather) was a hateful man and he was never kind to my mother from when she was a child to an adult. We were pretty sure that he had surrendered his life to Christ before he died, but it was always an unknown thing and something that weighed heavily on my mother’s mind. I truly believe that God gave her that dream to give her the peace she needed to make her journey to heaven 5 days later. My mother died at 50 years and 5 days old.

TM-004
My mom’s graduation picture

I hope you'll come back tomorrow to read the rest of Tammy's story!

4 comments :

  1. Oh Tammy you are such an inspiration and I always enjoy your well written words. I am so blessed to call you friend.

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  2. Having lost my mom as well, I am sorry for the loss you have endured. I'm thankful that God gave your mom a dream and shared it with you. It's always nice to have some kind of comfort in times like that. I look forward to reading part 2.

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  3. I'm am so sorry to read that you also have had so many losses to that awful disease...cancer.

    But I can't wait to read about the rest of your salvation story!!

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  4. My favorite part of your story is where you say this "Regardless of a person’s home life; regardless of social status; regardless of wealth or poverty; each and every person comes to a crossroad in their life where they make the decision to either accept or reject Christ as the son of God and whether to fully surrender their life to Him and make Him Lord and Master."

    ReplyDelete

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