Monday, April 6, 2009

Laurie Ann Shares Her Story

It's day number FOUR out of eleven of salvation testimonies to be shared on Selah the days leading up to and just after Easter. I can't think of a better way to celebrate His resurrection than hearing God-stories of souls raised from death to life. So pause. Ponder what He has done. Then praise Him!!!!

Laurie Ann from A Magnolia's Heart BeatALWAYS blesses me with her in-depth teaching as well as her vulnerable and genuine heart for Jesus Christ. Her testimony made my heart want to beat for Him all the more...

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My Story/His Story
By Laurie Ann

I grew up in a Christian home. My mother sang of Jesus and read to me of Jesus before I even knew who she was talking about. I never remember a time of "not" knowing Jesus. I grew up singing of His love for me, my love for Him, Him having the whole world in His hands, Him loving the little children, loving him because He first loved me, and I never doubted that He did that. I don't ever remember "not" being in church. Mother and Daddy both made sure we were there every time the doors opened. They taught us about giving - I was always excited to put my quarters in the offering plate or in the envelope at Sunday School, and although I knew I was supposed to do it I didn't know why.

I grew up in the church. Sunday School, Mission Friends, GA's, Acteens, Youth Group, Church Choir, you name it, I was into it. I loved church. When I graduated from children's church to big church I remember the first time mother let me go to the sanctuary. The preacher preached on Isaiah 55 and when the preacher read, "Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not?" I raised my hand to answer him, LOL! I knew the answer and I wanted him to call on me so I could tell him that I knew that nothing satisfies us but God. I looked for Jesus in church, because that's where Momma said He lived. I knew He lived in my heart, too, but I wanted to see Him in His house and remember being disappointed that He was a no-show during the service.

When I was about 8 years old, after a particularly firey sermon that involved a fist banging on the pulpit, the invitation was given. A friend from school trotted down the aisle and I went right behind her. I wanted some of whatever she was getting. The preacher talked to me and I believe with all my heart that I was saved. I was baptized and so happy.

In my teens I began to not be as close to God as I was when I was younger. I was still in church but I was at the age to where Momma no longer held me and rocked me and sang of His love for me anymore. I had a Bible that was opened on Sundays and Wednesday nights and maybe Saturday evening to go over my SS lesson for the next day.

When I was about 14 the preacher asked a (what I now understood!) rhetorical question. It was, "If you died in a wreck after you left church right now where would you spend eternity?" Well, I wasn't sure at all. I mean, surely God would take me but after my teenage angst and ugliness?

There was ALOT of it. I wasn't as bad as some, but I caused all kinds of grief for my parents. Not drugs or promiscuous behavior, more emotional angst, I'd say. It's hard to go into because there was sort of a reason for it, but to bring it all back up would be to rip the scars off some almost-healed wounds. I'll say this. I was diagnosed with depression at the age of 9. My father was a functioning alcholic (he's recovered now) who provided plenty of emotional and verbal abuse during my growing up years. I was well loved. Don't get me wrong. I understand now that it was more of an illness for him than an intentional thing. Mother was a gem. She tried her hardest to make a good life for us and I bucked her at every opportunity. I'm happy to say that they ultimately divorced and Daddy has since quit drinking. I have a sister who is almost 13 years younger, you see, who I didn't want to grow up the way I did. She was in 6th grade when they divorced. She caught alot of it but didn't have to live with it day in and day out. I'll be like Forrest Gump now and say, "That's all I've got to say about that."

So...I wasn't so sure about it the more I thought of it. I responded to the invitation and asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. I went through some rough patches in life where I didn't not believe in Him but you sure couldn't have known He was a part of my life by the way I acted. Around the age of 17 we went to a retreat called Faith Week. I recommited my life to Him and have been assured of my salvation ever since.

My walk with God has taken different lanes in life but I have always known He was beside me and will never leave me or forsake me. I'm finally on the narrow path, now, and my whole trust is in Him. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He loves me and gave His life for me. He moved from my heart to my heart of hearts. He filled my mind, my heart, my very being with Himself and His love for me and made me want to share it with others.
Laurie Ann loves her family, her friends and sweet tea. She married her best friend 17 years ago and falls in love with him again each day. The nest is empty but fills up again and again with frequent visits from her bonus daughter, son-in-law and grandsons. Her heart beats to serve her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Please join her at her blog: A Magnolia's Heart Beats where her heart shines with humor, depth, authenticity and Truth in each and every post.



15 friends shared a comment:

Michele Williams said...

Such a beautiful testimony! You always bless my heart. Thank you for sharing your story.

Blessings...

The Real Me! said...

Amen sister! God is so good and He is so faithful.
You are always such a blessing to me Laurie Ann!
Big Southern Style hugs to you my sweet friend.
Kim

Terri Tiffany said...

What an awesome testimony!! She shared her story from the heart and I know if more people heard it like she gave it, more would get saved.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

So great to read of Laurie Ann' story and the many others that you posting during this week of remembrance. I think it good and wise to "write" our witness down somewhere, even if only for ourselves so that we can, in part, see the tracings of our Father's faithfulness throughout the years.

Have a blessed week of Easter pause, friend. May God reveal Himself in a way this week that you've never known.

peace~elaine

LAURIE said...

Thank you for sharing yet another great testimony. I love Laurie Ann and she possessess such a great spirit every day in her writings. The power of God is simply amazing! -blessings, Laurie

Joanne Sher said...

I love these testimonies, and I LOVE learning more about Laurie Ann. What a wonderful tale of seeds planted, sown and growing.

Angela said...

What a beautiful and inspiring testimony.

LisaShaw said...

Very encouraging and precious. I've seen this sweet sisters face around blog land. A privilege to hear her testimony and others as you share.

Love you LauraLee.

Marsha said...

Beautifully told, Laurie Ann. I thank God for the way He is using you in so many ways. His purpose for your life is being lived out beautifully in the way you utilize the gifts He's given you.

Thanks for doing these testimonies, Laura Lee.

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

I Loved Laurie Ann's testimony.
And I just read your devotional- the one where yall were having communion and you raised your arms and surrendered, when at first you wanted to run! I just feel so blessed LauraLee comin here this evening.
Thank you!
Holykisses,
Lea

Denise said...

Such a precious testimony my dear friend, love you.

Alleluiabelle said...

LauraLee,

I absolutely love your site...it's so rich, so inviting, so loving, so Him.

I've become a 'fan' of yours...to see what that means...please stop by my site. I have a surprise waiting for you on my 4/6/09 posting.

Blessings,
Alleluiabelle

LauraLee Shaw said...

Laurie Ann,
I certainly have enjoyed walking alongside you in bloggy world. So thankful our paths have crossed, and our testimonies too. I can't thank you enough for letting me share this powerful slice of your life on my blog.

Much love,
lauralee

Laurie Ann said...

LauraLee and everyone else who posted comments, thank you. I am humbled and reduced to tears with the love that ya'll pour out. You are precious to me!

Josh said...

These testimonies are all so varied and such a blessing to read. Thank you for sharing yours, Laurie Ann.