When I Opened My Heart
Mar 24, 2019 | by Nancy Newbrough
Born and raised in a church that emphasizes works, I attended worship services every Sunday. During this time, I certainly believed in God, but did not have a close and personal relationship with Him. I did not read the Bible even though there were several copies at home.
After getting married, I started attending an evangelical church with my husband and his family. I strongly believe that God brought this new family into my life to open the door to a personal relationship with Him. However, I attended the Sunday services every week and took part in worship songs, but never took the next step of inviting Jesus to be my Savior and Lord.
In time our two sons were born. We took them to church every Sunday. Apart from that, I did not spend any time growing spiritually.
Almost exactly a year ago, my younger, preschool son was diagnosed with autism through a Katy ISD evaluation. I was devastated and spend many nights crying, not able to understand why this happened to my family and to me. I could not shake my growing feeling of loneliness. What I wanted was immediate healing for my son, for all the problems to be fixed at once. Worry about his future consumed me!
Grief took over – not only me, but my marriage and my family life. When I could take it no longer, one day I took my Bible in hand and broke down crying. I asked God to speak to me through His words and stumbled upon this verse: Do not be afraid, I am with you! I am your God -- let nothing terrify you! I will make you strong and help you; I will protect you and save you. Isaiah 41:10 Good News Bible
As I prayed, God revealed to me that the root cause of my problem was doubt. I did not doubt His goodness, His ability, or His love, but His willingness to work in my situation. He wanted me to place my doubts in His hands. So I shared with Him not only my doubts, but my worries, sins, hurt, frustration, disappointments, failures, and above all, my lack of faith. I knew only God could heal me and forgive me of my sins.
As I confessed it all to Him, God's presence became very real to me. He knew my brokenness and pain and was just waiting for me to let Him in. Not only was I overwhelmed by His presence in that moment, but also His unfailing love for my child.
God has been so patient during this journey. I asked God to help me grow in my faith and stumbled upon this verse: So faith comes from hearing and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17 ESV By starting to read the Bible every day, I have discovered God speaking to me through His Word.
I believe that God plans every situation for the greater good. Through this trial, I came to know Jesus and His sacrifice for my sins. With the Holy Spirit's presence in my life, I started experiencing deep joy and peace, a peace that I have never felt before.
My husband and I now ask God for His wisdom in each and every step of our lives. To receive help for our son, we completed special education paperwork, attended meetings, and felt God’s leading in selecting the right program for our son.
We are overjoyed with the huge progress in our son's speech once he started attending KISD’s preschool program. He receives speech therapy three times a week, and Jesus is working miracles through his teachers. We believe that God has a plan for our son, plans to prosper and not to harm him, plans to give us hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29: 11 paraphrased)
I feel stronger in my walk with the Lord than ever before! The Holy Spirit has prompted me to be baptized in obedience to Jesus’ command! I am very excited to take this next step along with my husband in our journey as believers in Jesus Christ.
As I continue to grow spiritually, there is so much more to learn! But my God is a faithful instructor who teaches me every day through His Word and His Holy Spirit.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God. And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding, will guard your
hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4: 6-7 NIV