THE KNOCK ON THE DOOR
A knock on the door the following morning alerted me to the arrival of my sister in law. I was beside myself with joy. With much anticipation we read and examined the messages spoken by the Virgin Mary’s apparition.
These communications were being received by the seers sometimes two or three times a day also weekly. We hoped that by diligent obedience to these heavenly messages we may get closer to Jesus. In the light of these revelations, I resumed my Sunday Mass attendance.
YOU WANT ME TO WHAT?
One day, months after faithfully following to the letter the do’s and don’t’s of the Virgin Mary’s messages, my sister in law informs me that TODAY we had to go to confession. It was urgent, she insisted, the Virgin Mary was giving a special blessing that will consecrate us to her son’s heart, but in order to receive this blessing we had to go confession and do penance TODAY.
Horror!!! I hadn’t gone to confession in years. I quickly contacted my local Catholic Church to find out confession times and very very slowly I made my way there.
Upon my arrival, I was told to wait for a flashing green light above a door with the give away sign “confessions here”. “ where is the confessional?” I asked myself, this was very different to what I was used to, I wanted to run out of there fast but I wanted Jesus more. So I stayed.
Green light flashing!!!, my moment had arrived, I opened the door ever so slowly, I walked into a large room with two chairs in the middle, side by side. On one chair sat a priest, face down, head covered. Sheepishly I sat on the empty chair, after a few awkward moments of silence, the conversation went something like this:
Priest: “In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”
Long long silence…..
Priest: “How long since your last confession ?”
Me: 20 years
Priest: Looking directly into my eyes now, “Twenty years, why bother coming to confession? Why are you here ?”
Me: “The Virgin Mary sent me”, he had a puzzled expression on his face, I then proceeded to tell him the whole story and put him out of his misery.
He assign me penance. I left the church really happy that day, I had obeyed the Virgin Mary and I was consecrated to Jesus’s sacred heart. What more could I ask for ?
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
A distant friend I hadn’t seen for a long while surprised us with her visit. Of course, I shared with her all the exciting things that had been happening regarding the Virgin Mary. With a serious look on her face and without stopping to take a breath she informed me that the Virgin Mary and the Catholic Church had nothing to do with Christianity.
WHAT?!!!!, she went to her car, comeback with a Bible and told me to read it.
After she left, I picked up the Bible in put it away. I had been warned in my days growing up in Spain that the Bible was evil and not for us Catholics.
I continued following the Virgin Mary’s book word by word.
My distant friend dropped in soon after, this time she had a video for me. She wouldn’t leave the house until I gave her my word that I would watch it.
The video was about this woman speaking in a church. Her name Joni Eareckson, (you can find more about Joni here Joni Eareckson Tada ). This woman, a quadriplegic, began to speak about Jesus and she was reading from a “Bible”. As her words reach my heart my eyes filled with tears. At the end of her message she said “I’d Rather be in this wheelchair knowing Jesus, than be an able person and no know Him”, her words cut me deeply. I turned to the person watching the video with me and asked? “how does she know Jesus without the Virgin Mary?” the person calmly responded that only Catholics had the special privilege of knowing Jesus through His mother. “Rubbish”, I retorted, “her’s is a different Jesus”. That night I cried myself to sleep. Who was right? Joni or the Virgin Mary?
Early morning the following day the phone rings, my distant friend very agitated almost in tears. She explains that she had a huge fight with her husband (I was aware of their serious disagreements he was Catholic, she wasn’t. He was convinced that her church practiced demonology) She was ringing to ask me if we could spend the weekend at their place. Her idea was for me to go to her Church on Sunday so that her husband could see that it was not as bad as he had imagined. Of course I agreed.
Sunday arrived and we went to church. Very different service to the Catholic Mass I was used to. At the end of the service the pastor called people to the front. My friend encouraged me to go. I reluctantly went only to make her happy. The Pastor asked me if I believed that Jesus died for my sins?, he told me that Jesus died , was buried and rose again so that by believing in Him I may receive Eternal life. I said yes!.
Because I was not from that city, he gave me the name and phone number of a pastor near me so that I could attend his church and grow spiritually. Of course, I didn’t ring. It wasn’t a Catholic Church, so I couldn’t trust it.
WAR BREAKS OUT
A fierce internal battle began to rage in me. Do I believe the Virgin Mary and my sister in law? or Joni, my distant friend and the pastor in her church?. These thoughts were driving me to distruction.
I remember very well the day I ran upstairs to the top floor of my house. I pulled out the Bible my distant friend had given me, then I picked up the Virgin Mary ‘s book and in a loud voice with tears running down my face, I said “ GOD, if you are real, if you really exist, show me which one of these two books is from You?. Throwing the books against the wall I continued,” is it the Bible? Or is it the Virgin Mary’s book?”
Instantly It felt as if a dark veil was lifted, I was coming out of a dark tunnel into the bright sun shining light. I knew then, I knew it was the Bible, God was showing me the Bible was His book. Joy of all Joys!
A BATTLE WON
That day marked the beginning of my spiritual walk with my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. My desire was to know Him like Joni Eareckson did.
The Bible says in Jeremiah 29:13
“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”
I had sought the Lord and He led me to Himself.
From that moment, my life began to change. I continued attending the Catholic Church for a few weeks. One Sunday morning before Communion I was reciting the prayer “Lord I am not worthy to receive you but just say the word and I shall be healed” I then heard what sounded like a loud thought within me saying, “Yes you are worthy to receive Me, I payed the price to set you free” From that day I stopped attending Mass.
Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.
What now ? Where to from here ?, I decided to check a Christian book shop not far from where I worked. I went in, my gaze fell upon a series of books entitled “The Bible for beginners “ For months I learned the Bible through these little books.
It happened that one of my clients, invited me to her church so they could pray for my healing.
I was going deaf. It was now almost a year that I had been diagnosed with Ménière’s disease. The prognosis wasn’t particularly hopeful . I went to her church, they prayed and miraculously my hearing was fully restored within a week. Jesus in His goodness had mercy on me and healed me.
My love, faith, dependence and trust in Him began to grow more and more, not only because He had healed me but because of who He was in my life. We stayed in that particular church for many years. It was a Pentecostal Church. In this Church I began growing as a Christian, I attended Bible studies, prayed and fellowship with other believers. But I also learned “things” that were not Biblical.
GOD IS FAITHFUL
But God’s Word says that the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth. He is faithful. He opened my eyes after years of Pentecostal doctrine, prosperity gospel, Toronto Blessing and your best life now rhetoric.
He led me into what I refer to as my “solid food” time. For 4 years I did not attend any church. The Lord brought into my life three Christian ministers Justin Peters, John Macarthur and Paul Washer. I had never heard of them before. God used these men to shake me out of the false teaching I had believed all those years and bring me into right fellowship with Him.
I can look back now and see how far my Lord has brought me. How He is changing me from the inside out. I couldn’t live without Jesus. I wouldn’t know how. I know one day I will see Him face to face. I will spend Eternity with Him, not because of anything I did but because of what He did. He saved me from God’s just judgement by dying on a Roman cross for my sins. I called out to Jesus and He saved me, a sinner!
“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
Psalms 18:2 ESV
I love the Lord forever and ever, so thankful for His death on the cross and His shed blood to save a wretch like me. Hallelujah!!!