It's never too late to believe.
Some of you might have a family member or close friend that does not have a relationship with Jesus. 2 years ago in April I was in that boat with my father. 1 year before that, also in April, I was there myself struggling. We came to SEcdoned Baptist West Campus and after testing it out for about 5 months we joined.
In April of 2007, John and I got baptized together. I came to Christ and felt the Holy Spirit make me walk the talk. It is a glorious feeling. To no longer worry constantly, but to put my faith in the Lord. It had always been a huge fear of mine that I would lose my parents. My father especially, to cancer. He had cancer when I was young- 4 yrs old. He was young too! Since that first bout of cancer he never missed a day of work. Never. Not one day. He was more machine than man. A Hoss- spelling?
In June of '07 we started seeing my dad lose his balance. He started being distant and laying down and even missing a day of work. We had no idea he had a brain tumor. None. It was as if the Holy Spirit was testing my heart. I'm not saying my new faith was the reason for this - no way. I just know this was the time. You want to not worry anymore? Here's your chance. Let's face that biggest fear of yours. My dad had cancer that had spread from his lung to his brain.
Less than a week later he was having brain surgery- on my husband and I's 3 year anniversary to be exact. I remember it clearly. There was a family in the waiting room we got to talk with. They were waiting on a gallbladder removal patient (been there, done that- y'all know I can rock a surgery) and they asked us so sweetly, "what are y'all waiting for?" our reply, "Oh my dad's having brain surgery." I really felt no worries. The Lord was in the seat next to us, holding my hand. I knew he would be fine. And he was. An hour after the 6hr ordeal, my dad came out smiling on the gurney?sp? and said, "how did I do?" I will never forget it. Once they wheeled him back to NeuroICU- not a fun place- all he said was pointing at me first, "Gillie" and I said, "Yes daddy, you're right." And then pointing at my mom, "Momma". "Yes John". He then smiled. The next day he was ready to go home. He had a big ol' head scar to match his abdomen scar from his first cancer go-round, but those were the only indicators that he'd battled cancer. The next week he was at Leelah's 1st birthday party holding her on his lap.
We had been doing so well. I say "we" because the whole family battles the cancer together. His leg had been hurting. My dad had just driven to Oklahoma and back on it. We didn't know it had a tumor growing on it. They operated to remove the tumor they had found on his hip. THis was unexpected. After his hip surgery in February, he never walked again. For his hospital wall I made a poster with a verse, "For those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will WALK and not be faint."- Isaiah 40:31.
In April of 2008.
My father was raised without a personal, saving relationship in Jesus. He was just about the most loveable person you could meet, but he did not have Jesus in his heart. Personally, I had doubts he would ever be saved. How can a 62 year old person who was a believer in religion and not in Jesus be saved? Our church has this awesome program called "Prayer Pagers" where they gave my dad (who wasn't a member of any church at the time let alone ours) a pager. My mom and dad had to live with us at the time. My friends are the greatest. They blew up his pager day and night. Praying. So many friends brought meals, watched Leelah, prayed and prayed. My dad would keep the pager right next to his chair. Every time it went off. He prayed. We told him, "Dad that's someone praying for you." He couldn't believe that strangers would do this. They were praying for his salvation. It worked. My dad came to know the Lord toward the end of April. I want to say either the 12 or 24th I get mixed up. He started to pray the blessing before meals. He started telling friends that he had, "I'll pray for you." At one point when my parents were selling their home, I got so worried (I'm human). My dad was in his chair and said, "But God will work it out, right Gillie?" He was right. that next day it all worked out and their house sold.
My daddy went to be with Jesus on May 29th, 2008. He was saved one month before he passed. I know my earthly daddy lives with my heavenly one. DO not lose hope in the Lord for your loved one. Be the light for them.