Testimonies

Index Page

 

Mary Smith

I would like to share with you my testimony of how the Lord Jesus Christ came into my life. First I will give you a little of my background.

Unlike some Christians I cannot put a day or a time to my conversion, but I do know that the Lord was striving with me for some time before I was reconciled to Him.

Growing up in Lewis I was very much aware of the church and Christianity, and that God’s people were different and had something special. Although I did not come from

a home that had “professing Christians,” I was taught to fear God. My elderly Aunt, who lived with us in the family home, took worship at the close of each day.

After my parents separated I lived with my mother in the old family home along with an extended family of grandparents, an elderly aunt and two uncles. I had a very loving and sheltered upbringing.

As I was growing up I often thought of God, usually in bed after saying my prayer. In the summer I would leave my curtains open so that I could watch the clouds drifting along the sky and I would wonder about what lay beyond the skies, when it all began, and especially how it all came about from nothing, and that it was once God and Eternity. The realisation of knowing that Eternity had been forever and would be forever was so awesome that it scared me sometimes.

When I left school at seventeen I went to work in Glasgow for a year, I then came back home to work and it was then I met my husband Murdo. I was twenty when we got married and we have three sons. During these years I had no thought of God and lived for myself. For some time after our third son was born I was not very well and we were already having problems in our marriage. My husband had a problem with alcohol and I was becoming unhappy and miserable. Many times over the years I planned to leave him but each time something prevented me from doing so. I believe now this was God’s plan that we should be together.

When our two older sons left home to go to college I really believed life would get better, things would be less stressful in the home and with only our younger son to look after I could go out into the big wide world and get on with my own life, but

God once again had other plans. Any ideas or plans I made  to change my lifestyle did not really work out but what I did find was I had more time to reflect on the past.

It began to worry me that all the work and effort I was putting into keeping everything together was meaningless and at the end I was going to be alone with God and when I died I would die alone. I am sure God was at work then although at the time I could not see it.

I will tell you of some incidents and of some of the people God used to change my life.  

During the time when I was working as a Home Carer I got to know Christine who was the Community Nurse at the time. She was aware that I was without Christ and spoke to me about Jesus. Some time later she gave me a daily reading book “Streams in the Desert.” I read it often and found many texts in it that were of great comfort. One was “God will allow no more suffering or trial above what you are able to bear.” I thank God for His promises.

Some years later I was visiting my cousins husband John who was terminally ill with cancer. John was a fine Christian and a good friend of my family. He called me to his room and asked me to sit on the chair by his bedside. Then he went on to tell me he was soon to meet his Maker and as he spoke about Christ his face was bright and beaming. I sat there and listened in awe and I could see the joy he felt in the knowledge that he was going to spend Eternity with Christ. He quoted the words of Jesus in Luke chapter 23, verse 28 “Daughters of Jerusalem, cry not for me, cry for yourselves and for your children. His face and his words to me that night stayed with me, and for a long time afterwards I asked myself the question “Why did he call me?”     I now understand that he called me because God Himself was calling me. God sometimes calls the most unlikely people to come to Him and by His grace we are saved.

Shortly after John died a friend of mine died of cancer as well. Nanna was a fine lady who had been a Christian for many years. She had many trials in her life but she always had time for others and greeted everybody with a smile. During her illness her love and her faith in Christ shone through. At her funeral the Minister spoke on the Song of Solomon, chapter 2, and in the packed church that day I am sure there were many who felt the presence of God there as I did.

It was some time after that my neighbour Audrey asked me to go along with her to an Outreach Mission in Barvas. Without giving it any thought I agreed to go but I did not think to ask her who the speakers were. I was surprised to find how relaxed and informal it was. The main speaker was the Rev. George Macaskill, minister of the A.P.C. Church in Stornoway. He spoke about man and sin and gave an illustration of the footballer Dennis Law and a disputed goal and how a video film was used to show whether the ball was in or out of the net. “Be sure your sin will find you out.”

I was very impressed by what this eloquent speaker had said and felt rather disappointed that it was over so soon. On our way home I told Audrey I would like to hear the Rev. George Macaskill preaching again sometime. The message that night may not have instantly convicted me of my sin, but I believe that the Holy Spirit began to work in my heart at that time.

Over the next year I was aware of some changes in my life, I was gradually seeing a reason and a purpose for everything, things I used to enjoy I no longer wanted to take part in, or be part of. I also began to realise my sinful state and my need of Christ, until one day I knelt down before God and asked for His forgiveness acknowledging that all that had gone on in my life was no more than I deserved after going my own way all these years.

I cannot talk about what happened next without telling you a little about Murdo.  One evening months later I went to visit my friend Mary Anne, who at that time had been a Christian for three years. During the course of conversation she asked me how things were at home. She went on to say “If Murdo was to become a Christian maybe things would be different.” I answered her by saying “I don’t know how that would work, both of us would have to become Christians for our lives to really change.” As we continued to talk she asked me how I was placed with God. I surprised myself as well as her by telling her how I felt drawn by God, my need of Him and how I wished to go to listen to the preacher I heard speaking at the Barvas Mission. As I left that night she said she would take me along to the A.P.C. church some Sunday evening.

A couple of weeks later she phoned me to arrange for us to go to church. Murdo was coming home that weekend so I suggested that I would ask him to come along too.

When I came off the phone I felt such great joy at the thought of going to church that I made a promise with God then that I would never again stop going to His house.

The following Sunday evening we all went to church, for Murdo it was his first visit in nineteen years. To my surprise it was not the Rev. George MacAskill that was preaching it was a visiting preacher The Rev. Noel Due from Australia. Yet again God had other plans, plans that were to change our lives forever. The Lord spoke to Murdo that night through the Word by the preaching of the Rev. Noel Due. His text was from Luke chapter 18, verses 9 & 10 the parable of the Pharisee and the publican and Murdo came to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Over the next few weeks we continued to go to church and as it happened it was three weeks later before I heard the Rev. MacAskill preaching. During these weeks I could see Murdo was different and I felt a wonderful calm and peace within, a peace that could only have come from God Himself. I could feel the joy of the Lord as He tugged at my heart and I knew that I too had found Christ. This was a wonderful and blessed time for us together as we got to know the Lord in worship, prayer and in fellowship with His people.  The next communion Sabbath we openly professed our love for Our Lord by taking the bread and the wine at His communion table. For me, it was Psalm 51,”After Thy loving kindness Lord have mercy upon me.” that encouraged me to make this profession of faith. Praise be to God for His saving grace. 

The prophet Joel was given the great vision of the coming of Christ, chapter 2, verse 25 says, “I will restore to you the years the locusts have eaten.” God has indeed restored our lives and continues to bless us both, and our sons day by day.

God continues to honour His promises and God uses His people to direct others to Christ Jesus. May all the Honour and Glory be to God.