Friday, November 16th, 2018

 

Background Testimonials My Testimony

 

 

Pastor Sandy’s Personal Testimony

Let me begin my story by telling you that after being raised by a single mother who loved the Lord with all her heart, read His Word, and prayed with me daily, I chose to go my own way in the world until I was thirty-two years old. In 1977, after only six months of marriage, my new bride, Suzy, and I separated. It’s no wonder! When we got married, she was very career minded and didn’t drink at all, but me, well I lived for the moment and drank like a fish. It’s understandable why the marriage didn’t last very long.

During the months of our separation, I began to take stock of my life and was saddened by what I saw. I knew there had to be more to life than what I was experiencing. I felt so empty inside, and I lacked any sense of purpose or meaning for my life, but I wasn’t quite ready to do anything about it. I was having too much fun playing music, getting drunk and filling my nose with coke.

While we were separated a friend of ours told Suzy that she had accepted Jesus, was born again and attending church. Suzy began to go with her, and it wasn’t long before she knelt down at the foot of our bed one night and asked Jesus to come into her life. I remember her telling me about this experience and how she was now going to church. I was truly happy for her. I knew about Jesus from my childhood, that He could change a person’s life, but at this point in time, I wasn’t ready to surrender my will to Him and give up all the fun I thought I was having.

Many nights, after closing the bars, I would drive back to my little room thinking about my life and how God could change it. Then, I would get up the next morning and do the same stupid things all over again. How Dumb!!

Finally, I had had enough! I was sick and tired of waking up sick and tired. It was Sunday morning and I called Suzy to ask if I could go to church with her. By this time, she didn’t want to have anything to do with me, but I persisted and finally, she consented to meet me at the door of the church. I’ll never forget that long walk down the center aisle with what seemed like every eyeball in the place fixed on me, this loser of a husband who had shown up for service. God was there! He was gracious, and every word that preacher spoke was meant for me. It was as if I was the only one in the room. Finally, he got to the end of his message when he said, “I don’t know why you’re here this morning. Maybe you’re an alcoholic; maybe you’re on the verge of a divorce (I remember thinking “That’s two out of three!”). Jesus is here this morning, and He will meet you wherever you are at this moment in your life. Come and receive His love and forgiveness.”

Well, I did, and He did! I went forward, and Jesus saved me. Since then, God has done exceedingly, abundantly, above and beyond anything I could have ever hoped or thought. He not only saved me and my wife, but He saved our marriage, sent me to Bible College and called me to pastoral ministry. Having delivered me from alcohol and drugs, I am now blessed to be used by Him to help others find the freedom and transformation that only He can provide.

This year, Suzy and I will celebrate our thirty-second anniversary. We’ve been blessed with two lovely daughters and four awesome grandchildren. Life for us hasn’t always been easy, but Jesus never promised that it would be. What we have experienced is a life that is so rich, one that’s unlike anything the world has to offer. We’ve truly experienced what Jesus promised to all who will make the choice to follow Him: “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

I hope you will find encouragement in my story. No matter where you are in life, Jesus is there; no matter what you need in your life, Jesus IS The Answer. What He’s done for me and my family, He is ready and willing to do for you. He is no respecter of persons; He accepts everyone who comes to Him. It was He who said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

May the Lord bless you and keep you.

Pastor Sandy Shoemaker

February 2009