"Born Again" October 7, 1979
(He Touched Me)
When I was 14 years
old, I began attending a Southern Baptist Church. I was very
active in the church, participating in the Youth Choir, GA'S, and
anything else that was available for the youth. I had been raised
Episcopalian to that point.
When I was 15,
there was a revival meeting at the church. An evangelist from the
Holy Land was helping that year. His name was Anis Shirosh, I
remember him so clearly. One night, after the sermon, there was an
"altar call". Having been convicted in my heart, I went
down front. When I got there, the Pastor of the church met me.
He asked if I felt that I was lost. I told him yes. He asked
if I believed that Jesus Christ had died on the cross for my sins, and I
told him yes. He asked if I would take Jesus into my heart and
accept Him as my personal Savior. I, once again, answered yes.
The pastor of the church shook my hand, welcomed me into the church and
began making arrangements for my baptism. I attended that church
for about three or four years after that.
I married at the
age of 24. We did not attend church anywhere, but I had heard my
husband relate his experience of Salvation to a friend. He asked
me if I was saved and I told him yes. My testimony was not quite
like his, but I was okay. My husband Jerry, very skeptically, let
it go at that. UNTIL........... Labor
Day Weekend 1979. It was that weekend that would change both of
our lives...FOREVER. My stepdaughter, Carrie, was kidnapped, raped
and murdered that weekend. She lived with her mother and
Stepfather in Greenfield, TN. Jerry's father was in the hospital
in Memphis, where we lived, dying with Cancer. We got the call
late on Saturday evening. We drove to Greenfield and began to
wait. Carrie's body was discovered on Sunday afternoon in a field
about two miles from the house. Jerry and I went out to the scene
and he identified the body.
immediately became angry with God and began blaming Him for this
terrible tragedy. "How could you do such a thing to this
child", he asked. Then came that 'Still Small Voice'.
"Well, if you had been doing what you should have done for the past
6 years, maybe I would not have had to allow this to happen".
Jerry's attitude changed and since then has tried to serve the Lord to
the best of his ability. He was called to preach in March of 1995.
me? Well, during the time of Carrie's death, there was great
turmoil. We lost her and two days later, lost Jerry's dad.
We buried them both that week. When we got back to work, it was
too much to handle, so we both took a leave of absence and went away.
While we were away, I began to question my salvation. By this
time, I had been to the Missionary Baptist Church and heard the Gospel
preached, heard testimonies, etc. I was coming to the realization,
that what I had, was different than what these people talked about.
Then, one day, it hit me like a ton of bricks.... I was LOST!
This was toward
the middle of September. Jerry and I stayed off work for about
three weeks. We stayed with his mother and I kept asking
questions. I asked every question you could think of. The
main question I asked was to myself...where will you go if you die
today, Heaven or Hell? The answer was always the same...Hell.
I just couldn't believe that I had gone all of those years,
believing that I belonged to God only to be told....no you don't.
One thing is for sure, that night so many years before, God had
convicted my soul for the first time. It is only through His
wonderful mercy that I had survived to this point. For surely I
would have gone to Hell had I not.
I got so tired
of asking questions, and finally realized that there were just some
things I would never understand until God had saved me. At work
one day, I was so close to being saved that I could taste it.
However, being human, I let Satan cheat me out of it. My
conviction was so heavy that day, that I could barely breathe, but I
just couldn't get on my knees in front of all of those people I worked
with. None of them would understand the dilemma I was in (and they
probably wouldn't have). What I didn't understand was that my
heart is what needed to be on its knees. When I got home that
evening, I fell onto my bed sobbing. Jerry came in and asked what
was wrong. I told him that I had turned God away that day at work
and began to explain what had happened. I was afraid that He would
not deal with me again. But God spoke to me through Jerry telling
me that He had not turned His back on me. I would get another
chance, but that could be the last.
A couple of
weeks went by and nothing. Each weekend, Jerry wanted to visit the
church he had grown up in, so we would travel to Bruceton, TN.
Each weekend, we would end up back at Landmark Missionary Baptist Church
in Memphis. Why? Because Jerry was still not yielding to
God's will. Eventually, he did and one Sunday morning and
presented himself for membership to Landmark. He was accepted and
baptized the following Sunday. Finally, we were free to attend
Pleasant Ridge Missionary Baptist Church. So we traveled to
Jerry's moms once again.
We got up on
Sunday morning and got ready for Church. God had still not chosen
to deal with me again since that day at work a few weeks before.
We went though Sunday school and the Church service as usual. I
still felt nothing. We came to the altar call at the end of the
service and the congregation began to sing an invitational song. I
still didn't feel anything. I was wearing a very long pendant that
day. I happened to look down and noticed that the pendant was
jumping up and down with my heartbeat. I thought it rather strange
that my heart would be beating that hard and me not really physically
"feel" it beating. I still stood in that pew.
Then, a thought came to mind. What if this is God saying,
"How much do you trust, believe, question? How willing are
you to step out on faith?" I decided that I'd better go to
that altar, even if I didn't have a strong feeling of conviction, even
if I didn't understand what was going on or feel that God was dealing
with me. I moved Jerry out of my way and made my way to the altar.
When I got there, I knelt to pray, but there was nothing there. I
couldn't pray, there were no words. I finally told God that I
didn't understand, but that I wanted to be saved. Then I stood,
hugged Jerry's uncle and went back to my seat. Jerry and his
mother asked me on the way home after church if I felt any different and
I told them no. We went home to Memphis that afternoon.
Monday morning I
awoke and began to get ready for work. Looking in the mirror to
put on my makeup, I asked that all-important question...where will you
go if you die today. What's this; did the word Heaven enter my
mind? Surely this must be a mistake. I'm hell bound I know I
am. Let's just keep praying and go to work. Tuesday morning
rolled around. Once again, while dressing for work, the
question...where will you go? Once again, that wonderful word
Heaven enters, but this time, not for a split second. It lingers
for a few moments. God.... could this be? Have you actually
saved this wretched sinner? Let's get this straight.... when?
And then God spoke to me...just to me, that "still small
voice" was talking to me, Sandra Medlin. "Remember
Sunday morning when you got to the altar and couldn't pray?"
Yes, I remember. "You couldn't pray for your soul, because I
saved you as you stepped into the isle." Oh my gosh, could it
be true. Did it really happen..."Yes my child, now you belong
That is my
testimony. I didn't shout or jump up and down like some.
There were no grand celebrations in the church, as I have since
witnessed, just total, calm, wonderful, sweet peace in my heart. I
was saved on October 7, 1979. Not everyone knows the exact day or
year or month. But believe me, when it happens YOU know! God
Himself tells you. And no matter what the month, day or year, it
is planted in your heart forever more.
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