My Mother's Two Birthdays

Today is my mother's birthday,
but here is the story of her spiritual birthday.
 I hope you are blessed
when you read how God brought her to Himself. 

I Am a Child of God
Ileen Beverly

"Out in the darkness, no light could I see." That, to me, was the early years of my life growing up on a farm in Kansas. There was no mention of Christ or God, except in swear words. When I was in the 3rd and 4th grades, we were living in st. Joseph, MO, and someone asked me to go to a Bible class in a home near the school. I was fascinated by the marimba that the lady played for the singing, and I went for quite a while. I heard the Gospel and realized that I was naughty, that I had sinned, but I wasn't saved at that time.

In the spring of 1950, when I was 13 years old, my grandpa, on whose farm we lived, decided to go to church on Easter, and I went with him. When we got there, no one was there. I do not know for what reason, but I do know that it was part of God's plan for me. Because . . . since we were all dressed up, we went to the Baptist Church, not far away in town. When we got there, I found that my favorite friend from school went there.

After that, the folks at the church and my friend and some neighbors that lived close by our farm started taking me to Sunday School and church. It was then that I learned the truths of the Gospel and that, indeed, I was not in any shape ready to meet God. The verse from the song, Amazing Grace, "Twas grace that taught my heart to fear" was true in my life. God made me tremendously afraid of Him and made me more and more conscious of who He was.

In May, they prayed at our 8th grade graduation. I was holding on to the pew in front of me and trembling, to think they were talking to God. That was so scary to me. I could no longer run away from Him as I was so conscious that He was everywhere and in control of everything, and that, whether I liked it or not, I was going to die one day. It got so bad, I could not sleep for months, and some nights, I was so alarmed,  I would crawl into the foot of my parents' bed. My mother, not a Christian, tried to comfort me, saying that young people do not usually die.

That summer, I picked strawberries to make some money. I earned $7. The folks at church started telling how good it would be for me to go to church camp - telling all the fun stuff, of course, and that I could go for just the $7 that I had earned picking strawberries. My mother encouraged me to go.

The first two days, I could not understand much about what they were talking about in class, and evening chapel times made me miserable. But . . . on the third night, I was so, so under conviction. The message was on James 1:23, that when we look into the Word of God and see our sin and do not obey, it is like someone seeing a dirty face when they look into a mirror but do nothing about it and forget it is dirty. I knew that lately, when I did not hear the Bible, I did not feel bad about how bad I was. Then he read I Corinthians 6:2.  "Behold , now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." He brought out the fact that we do not ever know if it is our last day and brought out illustrations. Well, boy! Here I had been going months without sleep for fear of dying. When the invitation was given, I put down my song book and decided that no matter what anybody thought, I was going to God, and I wanted forgiveness and be His child.  As soon as I started down, I began sobbing. I really didn't know why, but now I know that it was the cry of a newborn child. Before anyone prayed for us that came down, I was already God's child.

I was transformed. Life began for me then. When I went home, after two days, my mother asked me what happened to me at camp. The first Sunday I went to church after camp, I went down at the invitation at the end of the service and let them know that I had become God's child at camp and that I wanted to be baptized. I went to a series of classes, and on August 27, 1950, I was baptized. When I got home, with my hair still wet, the doctor was there and my mother was in labor. I scurried around and got things ready. My baby brother was born that night, and at the age of 14, I took complete care of him until my mother could.

My whole life was completely changed. I had not been a good student at school befor that, but I began studying and soon was near the top of the class. My mind came alive. Life made sense, and to do all for the Glory of God was important to me. But . . . my father was very, very against the decsion I made and the change in my life. He made it very hard for me. He made fun of me for reading the Bible, for the goals of right and wrong activities. He said only bad things about Christians and the Word. He livmited the times I could got to church, and to me, to go to church and be with the Christians was like heaven, but I obeyed and aske permission to go to morning services and some special youth activities. Since I showed respect, he did let me go much of the time, although it did not please him. I know God was making me strong and teching me lessons of endurance and how to face ridicule with respect of those who did not respect the most precious thing in your life.

It is now 2012. I have walked with Christ all these years, through many things -trials and blessings. I can hardly wait to see Him face to face. I have never ceased to be in awe that God, my Father, brought me to Himsel and desired me to be His child. I will never understand it. I so do not deserve it, but I am sure I am His child because He has told me so.

Romans 8:14-16 "for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the bondage again to fear, but year have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, 'Abba, Father.' The Spirit itself beareth witness withour spirit that we are the children of God."

I John 3:2 "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is."


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Ileen!!
Thank you for your


kerry said...

Wonderful testimony!!

Joanne Sher said...

What a beautiful testimony - and legacy for you, Vonnie. Happy Birthday, Ileen!

Rita Garcia said...

Beautiful story! Happy bIrthday, Ileen!! Have a blessed and wonderful year!!


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