Pro. 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
As far back as I can remember I have believed in God and that Jesus is the Son of God.
I believed in Jesus Christ as Savior but I confess I didnt fully understand the significance of this.
I did not know anything about the Holy Spirit.
We lived in a farming community where there was only one church building that was shared by four different denominations so we went to church only once a month. The children were given a book to do our Sunday School lessons in.
Except for a period of a couple of months when I was in hospital and incapacitated with a broken leg this continued until I was nearly nine.
At that time we moved to a city.
I went to Sunday school for 12mths then gave that up
Apart from Scripture at school my I had no church life.
When I was almost eighteen I began going to Church again and was confirmed
I married and had two children who were baptised. Early 1957 we moved to Wauchope and I stopped going to Church again.
I liked listening to church programs on the radio trying to get some understanding.
In 1960 I started going to church and taking one child on alternate Sundays
This lasted for a few years but then I was unable to get to church because I was working on Sundays.
By this time we had TV and I did watch Christian programs on that.
PSA.119:67 Before I was afflicted I went astray.
Then I was afflicted with arthritis.
JOB 33:19 Or a man may be chastened on a bed of pain with distress in his bones.
When I was 32 I was afflicted with rheumatoid arthritis and suffered much pain and depression.
One night during this time I took a couple of sleeping tablets but I was in so much pain I couldnt sleep, I took a couple more tablets but still couldnt get to sleep so went to take some more.
There were only two tablets left, something made me tip one down the sink and just take the one left.
Years later looking back on this I believe it was God who made me tip that tablet down the sink.
The next morning my husband had trouble waking me up.
I got up and told the children to get themselves to school and went back to bed and slept until about noon.
I got up had a shower and went back to sleep until the children arrived home from school.
Only God knows what would have happened if I had taken that other sleeping tablet.
Even though I had wandered from the path God was watching over me, a strayed sheep.
After years of trying many different medications which didnt help, at the end of November,1968, the rheumatologist put me into a hospital in Sydney.
I arrived at the hospital without much hope, expecting to end up bed-ridden or at the best in a wheel chair.
That evening the doctor called to see me and talked to me about my future treatments. He told me I would need patience as I could possibly be in hospital for 4 to 6 mths. Because, as there were over 130 different types of R.A. it could take that long to find out what type of R.A it was, and to find the right medication.
He also told me that I would need courage, as some of the tests were painful
After the doctor left I knew I needed help and in desperation I prayed, for the first time in many years I prayed. I really cried out to God for patience and courage. God answers prayers.
I was in hospital for only five weeks as the very first test that was done showed which type of arthritis I had and the first drug they tried worked.
I believe now that once we belong to God, even though we may wander from the straight and narrow, He is always with us and keeps His hand on us just waiting for us to turn back to Him.
PSA.119:71 It was good for me to be afflicted so that I may learn your decrees.
JER.3:22 Return, faithless people; I will cure you of backsliding. Yes we (I) will come to you for you are the Lord our (my) God.
Deu.4:29 But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him with all your heart and all your soul.
Of course I was not completely healed but after about 3 yrs. the arthritis went into remission
I began to pray more and tried reading the Bible, I had many ups and downs but I was trying.
On 28th of December, 1973 I had a fall and broke both my legs.
I cried out to God; Why? Just when things were beginning to go well? I dont believe God made the accident happen, but He used it to teach me many things.
I was flown by air ambulance to a hospital in Sydney, where an orthopedic surgeon set my bones.
Air splints were put on my legs and I was flown by air ambulance to a hospital in Sydney,
The splints kept going down and the accompanying sister would blow them up again.
I was told later that air splints should not have been put on my legs when I was going to be flying as the pressure could have crushed my bones
Once again God was watching over me.
At the hospital an orthopedic surgeon set my bones.
Bert told me later that after the doctor had set both my legs he went home and thought about it then rang the hospital and told them to prepare me for an operation in the morning, as he wanted to do some prepare work on my right knee. The bones of the lower leg had telescoped into the bone of the upper leg behind the kneecap
A couple of days later Bert told me that the doctor told him that I could possibly be on my back for nine to twelve months and that I would probably have to wear a caliper on my right leg.
Once again I cried out to God, and asked Him to mend my bones as quickly as possible and to help me get through each day.
Mat.6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Psa.118:24 This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Again God answered my prayer, I was able to take each day as it came and the time did not seem to drag.
I was in hospital for only four months and I did not have to wear a caliper.
In September, 1978 some friends invited Bert and I to Christian dinner. Here I had an encounter with God, He spoke to my heart.
While the guest speaker was speaking, I had a burning feeling in my heart and got warm all over. When the speaker made an altar call I wanted to go out but couldnt get out of my chair.
It wasnt until months later, when I was reading my Bible and in the bookoif Mark, the description of the men on the road to Emmaus, made me realise what had happened to me that night.
On Sunday morning a week after my Emmaus experience, I was alone in the house and turned on the T.V, which I did not usually do on Sundays. There was a Christian program on and I sat down and watched it.
Towards the end of the program the minister said; If any of you here or in the television audience, dont know that, should you drop dead right now and face God, that you are saved, stand up.
I had never fully understood salvation and thought we would not know if we were saved until we died, so I stood.
Then the minister said; If you want to be saved, or to know that you are, pray with me the sinners prayer. So I did.
A couple of days after I prayed, my friend Rosemary invited me to go to a Bible Study/Prayer Meeting group she belonged to, the following Tuesday, so I did.
After the meeting Rosemary asked me to her place for lunch but I said no as I had some shopping to do but she persuaded me to go and have lunch first
After lunch we were sitting talking about the mornings meeting and Rosemary said something about being born again and the Holy Spirit. I said I was saved but didnt know anything about the Holy Spirit, then she asked me if I would like her to her pray for me and ask Jesus to baptize me in the Holy Spirit. At that time I didnt know much about the Holy Spirit so I said no.
Shortly after I said good-bye and left and went and did my shopping and heeded for home.
I had only gone about a mile when I heard a voice whispering to me to go back to Rosemarys place. I thought I was imagining things and shook my head and continued. In a few seconds the voice spoke again and I still thought I was imagining it and continued to drive. Then for the third time the voice spoke again, this time I turned the car and started to drive back.
All of a sudden tears started to pour from my eyes, I said to myself this is silly, Rosemary probably wont even be home.
The voice said, I wouldnt be sending you back if she wasnt home.
When I pulled up in front of Rosemarys she was out front talking to a neighbor, when she saw me with the tears pouring from my eyes she came to me quite concerned and asked me what the matter was.
When I told her nothing I just had to come back she understood.
Amazingly the tears stopped as soon as I got out of the car. I believe they were cleansing tears.
Rosemary took me inside and prayed, asking Jesus to baptize me in the Holy Spirit. Nothing startling happened, there were no clashes of thunder or flashes of lightning but I felt peaceful.
Rosemary told me then to have faith and believe that Jesus had baptized me.
Once again I said good-bye and headed home.
Something amazing did happen I sang all the way home.
The reason this was amazing; at the time the drug I was on for R.A was giving me problems with my throat, if I talked for a while or tried to sing I lost my voice, yet I sang all the way home. Praise God.
Some time after that my husband told me I was a different person easier to live with.
Deu.5:1 Moses summoned all Israel and said: Hear. O Israel, the decrees and laws I declare in your hearing today. Learn them and be sure to follow them.
Joh.14:26a But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things.
That afternoon, when the house was quiet I sat down and prayed and asked God what he wanted me to do now, thinking He would have me do all sorts of great things, self pride. The still small voice said, Study and learn.
I realised then I that I really knew nothing. I had not even read the Bible. From that day I read the Bible avidly and with great interest and there BEGAN my understanding. It is written, The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, this I entirely agree with. I read every bit of Christian literature I could get my hands on. I joined a Christian tape club and received many tapes and listened to them. I learnt a lot but most of all I learnt how much I didnt know. I am still learning.
Jer.4:19 Oh, my anguish! I writhe in pain.
One night, late 1978, I was in terrible pain, I could not sleep, I could not even lie down. I sat on the side of the bed crying, I could not even pray all I could do was say the name of Jesus over and over
I dont know how long I had been sitting there when there came a wonderful feeling of peace. The pain eased and I was able to lie down and thanking God, go peacefully to sleep.
I thank my Lord for being with me through all the operations I have had over the years.
Through my many visits to hospital I believe I was able to testify to the Lord and His wonderful love and the wonderful things He does.
I have had many answers to prayers and many blessings since then.
In June 1986 my husband died.
Twelve months later I asked God how to express my thoughts and feelings about all the help, the answered prayers and many blessings He had given me and my love for Him.
Inspired by the Holy Spirit I began to write a few poems.
Some of the poems are about my struggles through RA.