By Terry Rodery
I would like to share the story of my salvation.
It was late spring of 1993 when I realized that my world was coming apart. I had quit the job that I had held as a dispatcher for a major trucking company for a little over five years, and returned to cross country truck driving.
Driving a truck cross country has got to be one of the most miserable professions that a family man can have.
Long days on the road away from your loved ones and an excess amount of time on your hands to contemplate lives problems can really get you down. Most times when it came time for me to leave home to go on another run, my family and myself would be in tears, they did not want me to leave home and I certainly did not want to leave them alone.
After a few months of doing this, I began to search for another dispatching position. The job search grew long and tiring and prospects were slim. I had went on a interview with another company and the interview went well. Within a couple of days I received a phone call to come back for second interview and all seemed well. I was told that they would hire me soon.
In the meantime I had to leave home for a few more days on another run. Before I left, a family friend had called and asked if we would like to go to church with them. I explained to our friend that I was glad that his family was going to church, but I did not feel that church was a place for us.
He wished me a safe journey and we ended our conversation. I had never been a church going man and I could probably count on one hand the number of times that I had even been in church. In my younger years I had even wondered if there was a God but I was somewhat curious.
There had been two times in my teenage years, that I had went to church with friends, and on both occasions I responded to the alter call. It seemed though, that Satan had a powerful grip on me and I always fell back into my old routine. I later assumed there was a God, but he didn.t like me. I was to much of a sinner.
As I was leaving the house that day to go out of town, I kissed my family good-bye and told my sons, both age nine, to pray that I got the new job so that I could be home with them at night. Several hundred miles into my journey I began to reflect back on my farewell words to my sons.
Both boys were nine years old, and I had never though them anything about Jesus, I didn't even really know anything to teach them, and I had never once taken them to church. I wondered what they must have thought when I asked them to pray. I kept thinking about this for days.
When I returned home after five days of absence, I was excited to see the family and I wanted to call about the job I was trying to get. I called the company and to my dismay they told me that a person from their corporate office had decided to transfer down to fill the position. I was heart-broken.
When my wife returned home from work that evening I told her that I did not get the job. She was heart-broken. We talked allot that evening and during the course of our conversation she told me that she had found a lump in one of her breast.
My wife was the most important thing in my life and I did not want to loose her. We didn't know for sure that she had cancer, but breast cancer did run in her family. We decided that she needed to make a visit to the doctor, it was several days before she got an appointment.
Again I had to make another trip and the further from home I got, the more I thought about my problems. It seemed as though a stake had been driven through my heart and I didn't know where to turn. Over and over through my head I just kept thinking how miserable life was.
I began to reflect back to our friend calling me and asking us to go to church, and thinking how God didn.t like me or want me. It seemed as though, anytime I had asked God for something I never received it. I began to wonder if I asked him for something else he would grant it.
A voice began racing through my mind, a voice that I did not recognize. The voice said
"It is me, Jesus, twice before I have called your name and you have rejected me, this will be the last time I will call for you".
Now if you don't think these words will wake you up while you are driving 60 miles per hour and you are hauling 80,000 pounds, well, you should have been there. I began to cry out loud.
The thought of spending eternity in hell scared me to death. I began to talk back, "Lord I have been so bad, my whole life, I have never thought about you and what I could do for you, but what I thought you should have done for me". His response came to me in his words and I began to repeat them as if they were my own. As these words came, I began to write them down (while driving). Let me now share those words with you.
" YESTERDAY IS PAST AND GONE, NOW FOR YOU LORD I AM LIVING ON.
TO SPREAD YOUR WORD THROUGHOUT THE LAND, TO GIVE MY BROTHERS A HELPING HAND.
TO SHOW TO THEM YOUR LOVE IS TRUE, AND FOR FORGIVENESS TO ASK OF YOU.
LORD I PRAY, I PRAY EVERYDAY, THAT YOU SHOW ME THE WAY.
THE WAY TO LIVE A LIFE THAT IS RIGHT, TO DRAW ME NEARER TO YOUR GUIDING LIGHT".
I thought these words were beautiful and I knew these words were not my own. I began to wonder just exactly what all this meant. I concluded this was the meaning... Forget about the past wrongs you have done, I have forgiven you and you are a new person, Now you will live for me. Spread the message throughout the world that I am alive and I offer love and salvation to anyone who believes and seeks me.
Help the people around you in any way you can. Tell them this story so they know my love is true. Ask forgiveness and it shall be given. Pray to me everyday, not just when you want something. Seek me and I will show you the way to a wonderful life. I am the one who shall guide you on your journey through life.
Right then and there I decided I had better listen and listen well, after all it's not everyday that God speaks to me.
I returned home on Saturday afternoon and was greeted with warmth and love from my family. Sunday morning came and I woke everyone telling them "Get up and get dressed, we are going to church" They all looked at me as if I had gone mad.
We arrived at the First Baptist Church were are friends were members and was greeted by all. I sat through the service and was delighted by the feeling of being there. Near the end of the service the pastor asked everyone to stand and join hands. He said if there is a need in your heart, turn to the person to your left and ask that person to pray for you.
I could hardly get the words out of my mouth without crying. It was an elderly lady to my left and I asked her to pray for my wife, that whatever the lump was that was on her breast, would go away and that no harm would come to her. I also asked for her to pray that I would get another job so that I could be home with my family.
Monday came and things began to change. The results from my wife's mammography came back negative. The phone began to ring, I received three different job offers from three different companies. Now that is what I call a powerful prayer. Not only did those things happen, but other things that had haunted me from my past disappeared.
Again I broke down and cried and told Jesus that I was his, take me and make me whatever you want. Several days later I went back to the church to speak with the pastor. He reconfirmed that all had been forgiven, because I had sought forgiveness and I was a new person. He prayed with me from Romans 3:23-24
For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
On August 22, 1993 I was born again.
On September 26, 1993 my wife and children were born again.
"Praise be to God"