Turning Into “Religion”

by | Jun 3, 1999 | Strength, Trust

I was 27 years old when I accepted Jesus into my heart. Being married for 6 years to a man I had promised I would never turn into “Religion” made it difficult for me to turn to Christ. Both Robert and I had hated those Sunday-Morning-Preachers on the radio, and we didn’t have anything good to say about the Bible. You see, my eldest sister suffers from Nervous Breakdowns and I was positive that the Bible was the culprit. Ines Maria married a man who was involved in a cult, they read the Bible and always tried to convince us that we needed to do certain things to earn Salvation.

Soon after we married my husband developed stress problems at work that affected his stomach. We decided that drinking a little wine or beer at dinner would help, but soon things got out of hand, and we were both drinking up a storm. Robert got hooked on it, and by our 6th year of marriage I was raising our 3 ½ year old son Keith by myself because Robert was always in a drunken state. Needless to say I needed help from above!

When a neighbor handed me a Bible, and told me that Jesus could change my life, and heal me of my Diabetes, I was not only skeptical, but afraid. You see, I were raised to be a good Roman Catholic, but as most Cubans, everyone in my family was involved in “Santeria” something I had always been petrified of because of all the Séances. I don’t know why I decided to be civil and listen to what my neighbor had to say, but I accepted the Bible she brought me as a gift, and read it as a story book only, not a religious book. It took 5 weeks of thinking, reading and praying (to God) for me to accept Christ with understanding of what I was doing.

The day I finally accepted Christ, I shared my good news with my 3 1/2 year old son. I sat on Keith’s bedroom floor, and explained what “Accepting Jesus” meant. Keith wanted what Mommy had, so he gladly accepted Jesus. This was not enough for me though … I had this overwhelming desire that I needed to dedicate my son to God (just like Kunta Kinte’s father did in the movie “Roots”), only instead of dedicating him to “The gods”, I was dedicating Keith to my “Heavenly Father”. If I remember correctly, I think I had read something like this in the Bible, something about a woman named Hannah .:-) I explained to Keith that I wanted to carry, and lift him up to the sky so God’s Holy Spirit would accept him and help him grow up to be a man of God. Praise God, Keith said “Ok Mom”

Robert was not happy about my decision to “get into what he calls “Religion”, and I call a “Relationship with my Creator.” To this day I never thought of telling him about the dedication of our son to God. Things got worse for a while, Robert was drinking away our food money, there were many fights and tears, at one point I even had to put a Restraining Order against the man I married … But God brought us through it all, and in 1986 my husband took my son around our little ranch house for a 1 ½ hour trip in search of all hidden beer and vodka so they could throw it down the drain together. I am happy to say that Robert has not had a drink since then! By the way, he also went for Detox, and Rehabilitation but did not continue to attend AA meeting for long.

During his pre-teens years, Keith had rebelled much, by the time he was 17 years old he got involved in drugs, booze, and sex, as well as heavily into all sorts of music, especially the hateful kind that speaks about murdering mothers and all sorts of demonic things. Funny, I was never afraid of him!

For years I prayed for God to “Set him and his girlfriend on Fire” (always being careful to remind the Lord that I meant “their spirit” not their bodies J). But the only fire I ever saw in Keith was the fire of hate towards me, his father, and the cops. He would go to church with me but only after much screaming, and door slamming on my part (I can not believe my Boldness). It seemed that he and his girlfriend Sarah were slowly trying to take over our household, all she needed to do was move in … So my husband agreed to have our Pastor visit us one day for counseling. That day, Keith really hurt me because he said “Mom, we can’t respect you because respect must be earned” … My Pastor was wise enough to calm me down (Oh how I cried while Keith smirked and my husband stood in shock). After this Pastor Tom fasted and prayed for guidance to help my son.

I didn’t know it at the time, but the Lord was using more than just my pastor, to reach Keith, He was using cops, and even one Christian song he loved … Then one Sunday morning during Worship, I happen to look and I saw my son kneeling down and actually Worshipping the Lord! Sarah followed suit J – Soon they were going to Youth Group meetings, and coming back excited about what God was doing in their lives. They both got rid of all their Non-Christian books, music and other stuff … They were on “Fire for God” and I was overwhelmed with Joy because not only did I have my son back, but he was starting to do what I knew all along God had planned for him!

That was 5 years ago, Sarah is no longer following Christ (we do pray for her). After much prayer, Keith decided to straighten out his financial situation and leave a $40K/year job that promised a successful future for him. On August 1, 2001, he left for Dallas, Texas to attend “Christ For the Nations University” http://www.cfni.org/ . He has a special calling to minister to the Youth and to lead in Worship. I wish I could say Keith is perfect in every way … 🙂 The fact is that he is far from being perfect. J … there are still times when I get so frustrated with him I want to scream (OK, sometimes I do), but I am so thankful to the Lord for His Anointing Power in our lives, and for all He continues to do.

Keith is visiting us for the Christmas Holiday, but does not waste a minute to bring the Gospel to the Lost in between his temporary 3 week part time job. Last Sunday night he and Christian band he used to belong to went to Atlantic City to preach. I will also enjoy next Sunday, when he preaches at my church before he goes back to college.

If you are wondering about my husband, well, I’m still praying for the Lord to “Set him on Fire”. Robert continues to rebel and is not what he calls “Proud of his son”. He feels Keith is wasting his time and money when he could have had a bright future. We are not worried though … We have promises from the Word of God that assures us that God is in control, and Robert will soon be serving Christ with us, and will also be proud of what his son is doing for the Kingdom of God.

In the meantime, God continues to provide for Keith financially while at school, he is selling Christian videos at a local Mall, and got straight A’s for the first Semester! He is waiting for the woman the Lord has for him and is not rushing into any relationship right now … There is a young lady he is attracted to, but he’s waiting for God’s guidance!

I still have Diabetes, but the Lord was gracious enough to provide me with an Insulin Pump (my Walking Pancreas) that keeps my blood sugars as normal as possible. I know He is my “Jehovah-Rophe”, the God that heals me!

There are times when I still get discouraged and want to give up. I know the only thing that gives us strength is to spend time with Him so we could get to know Him, and not be outside His will for our lives. I’ve messed up pretty big, but He is always there to lift me up. When he looks at me, he does not see my mistakes, but He sees the Blood that Jesus shed on the Cross … If you are discouraged about the things in your life; go to the Cross, and leave all your troubles there, the walk away with Jesus in your heart. Ask Him to lead you to the Church in your area. Read His Word, because His Word is LIFE!

Sing a Psalm, Him, or your favorite Christian song … The Word of God promises us that “He inhabits the praises of His people”

Chronicles 28:19-21 “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished.

Jeremiah 29:10-12 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

Philippians 1:5-7 being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

God Bless You “Indeed” Nancy (Received on January 2, 2002)


Turning Into “Religion”