I was raised in a home where my mother and my oldest sister took us to a Lutheran Church. I was there for 16 years. I was baptized and confirmed at the age of 14. Even after I was confirmed, I was confused about the true way of salvation. When I went back many years later and looked in the notebooks my father had saved for me, I found the notation, "What is it really like to know God?"
I went on in ignorance, got married when I was 21, had a son, then my twin girls when I was 30. At that time I remember thinking to myself that "this is what life is all about." But, I was also in a marriage that had been split up seven or eight times because of an unfaithful relationship. I began to realize what a mess my life was in. I went to counseling with my minister and all he had to offer me was a psychology book. Even though I was not saved at the time, I thought it was really odd that a minister would not offer me anything from the Bible, the Word of God.
At that time, I just turned to go my own way. My marriage was broken and I had no one in my life. I got into the nightclub scene. I loved to dance and it got so that rock and roll was all I had to uplift me. At the same time it was my downfall. I went on like this for nearly two years. But my life was empty. Oh, I loved my children, and I got up every day and went out and worked hard to provide a home for them. But it got to the point where I would get up in the morning and look in the mirror and I couldn't stand myself because I knew something was missing. Something was terribly wrong.
About this time, my friend Judy, at work, had started attending an independent Baptist Church she had attended as a child.. She had just built a house and was trying to fill her life with material things, but she felt a void in her life also. She began asking me if I'd like to attend with her, and I didn't respond at first.
But the Lord brought another woman, Barbara Lewis, to work with me temporarily because she had been injured and could not do her regular job. She began to preach the Word of God to me. Every one around us abandoned the area when she started witnessing and preaching. I couldn't leave because this was my job area. But, I really would not have wanted to leave. Something drew me to what this woman had to say. She told me in no uncertain terms that I was a sinner and needed to get saved. (Note: "Saved" is a biblical term referring to the forgiveness of sins by God and the rescue of a person from the power and penalty of that sin. This is God's requirement for everlasting life. It is another way of referring to a person who has become a "born again" Christian.) She opened the Bible and began to read from the book of John, chapter three, verse 16. I just listened and thought to myself, "something is clicking here". While I didn't really understand everything, it was enough of a nudge for me to seek out my friend Judy and ask her if I could take her up on her offer to take me to church with her.
I got my two-year-old twins ready that next Sunday morning, and my 10-year-old son, and we were off for church. I went for two weeks and listened to everything that was being said. The Saturday night before the third Sunday, the Lord opened my heart and let me see myself for what I was -- a sinner destined for hell if I didn't get saved. I had no peace that night. I knew I had to get alone with God and deal with this. I had read enough of the Bible, the books of John and Romans, to know what I had to do. That Saturday night, May 14, 1981, I got down on my knees and acknowledged that I was a sinner and asked the Lord to come into my heart and change my life.
The next day I couldn't wait to get to church. Even though my children were there with me, I felt like there was no one around me and that the pastor was preaching just to me. I was convinced that those who were there could see my sin because the message was so pointed at me. During the invitation for people to come forward and get to know Christ as their personal Savior, I literally ran up the aisle. I was weeping as I told the personal worker that the Lord had come into my heart the night before, and I said that I so wanted my family to be saved also. I was so focused on getting up that aisle that I did not know until later that my son had come up right behind me and accepted the Lord as his Savior also. The Lord was so good to me, and I praise Him for that.
I continued living in Baltimore. About 1983, things began to change at Western Electric where I had worked for 17 years. I felt I was being pulled in the wrong direction and I prayed to God to remove me from that atmosphere. Little did I know I would be moved to another state.
I was offered a job at the Western Electric plant in Allentown. It was a big decision for me. I went to my ex-husband to see if that door might still be open for me. After talking to him, I knew that chapter of my life was closed and I jumped right in to finding a new life in Pennsylvania. My sister lived with me for a couple of years until she retired in 1988 and moved back to Baltimore. I was pretty lonely after that. I work with both men and women at work, and I had a number of men come up to me and ask me out. But, I had promised myself that I would not get involved with an ungodly man.
So I began to pray to God. I told Him I did not know if I even had a right to ask Him for a husband, but that I was lonely and I would like to have a man that would lead and guide and direct my children. I asked for a man that reads the Bible and a man that would want to sit and have family devotions and share God's word with his family. I asked for a man that I. could have a spiritual relationship with and good fellowship with.
I believe God gave me that husband when he gave me Scott Wilson. Our marriage has not been without problems. We all have problems. But we can always get down on our knees and ask God for guidance and direction. For me, sometimes, that has meant I've had to go to my husband and ask him to forgive me for trying to lead the family. After being a single mother making all the decisions for so long I find that I sometimes have a tendency to try and be independent. At those times I find it a comfort to turn to the Bible and read the book of Ephesians, chapter five, verses 21 to the end of the chapter. "Submitting yourselves one to the other in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as onto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it." That helps me remember what a true Christian home is like under Christ. I find if I submit myself first unto the Lord, then unto my husband, most of the time everything just falls into place. That's the advice I would give to any young woman just starting out in her married life.
Kathy Wilson lives in Boyertown, Pennsylvania with her husband, Scott, and their family. If you would like to hear more about the Savior that changed Kathy's life, you are welcome to attend services atLehigh Valley Baptist Church
Or call us at (610) 965 4700 or 1-800-893-9586.