I was a fairly typical, small town, southern Christian girl. I attended church regularly with my family and I trusted Christ as an 8-year-old child. I still remember the day like it was yesterday. I was sitting inside on a rainy summer day at church camp, reciting Bible verses with my counselor because we couldn’t go outside and play. I had heard the story of Jesus many times, but it was that day that I finally understood what Jesus did for me on the cross. He died to pay for my sins and He rose again on the 3rd
day…and ALL I had to do is BELIEVE this and I would get to go to Heaven. SO I DID! It’s that simple! This was only the beginning of my journey as a child of God. I was later baptized at the age of 18, simply because that’s the first time I had asked to be baptized. I was active in my youth group and attended church camp each summer, but like many Christians, I had a “see-saw” relationship in my walk with the Lord. My pregnancy with my daughter, at age 21, is when I again realized the need for His presence in my life…but even then, my relationship with Him was “rocky.” I was a busy single mom, working and going through college. It was hard! I was busy living my life and made very little time for the Lord. A few years later, while in nursing school, I met my husband. It wasn’t long before we were engaged to be married. Within a year’s time we were married, I finished nursing school, and we were soon to be parents of a new baby boy.
Fast forward a few years…my son was now two years old. We took him to the doctor for what we thought was a simple “crick in his neck,” only to discover that he had Stage IV liver cancer (Hepatoblastoma). This was the ultimate turning point for my relationship with the Lord. For 9 months during my son’s treatments, surgeries, and hospital stays, I dug into the Word and pleaded with God for my son’s life. Those 9 months were the most trying and difficult time of my life, but it was also the period of time that I was closest I have ever been to the Lord. I truly believe that the Lord was using this time in my life to work on that rocky relationship and to see just how committed I was willing to be to Him. The Lord was not only working on my son and his physical health, but he was also working on me and my spiritual health! I was finally able to see that spending quality time with God is very important. And there are many promises in the Bible about what happens when we do this. For example, Psalm 16:11 says that in God’s presence, there is fullness of joy. And Nehemiah 8:10 tells us that God’s joy is our strength.
For whatever reason, our gracious Lord saw fit to let us keep Cole here with us on Earth a little bit longer. Cole is now CANCER FREE and our prayer is that he will remain cancer free for the remainder of his life! My journaling Bible is the tool that helped me work on my rocky relationship with the Lord. I was introduced to Bible Journaling while we were in the hospital at St Jude. NEVER could I have predicted how the Lord would use me, my bible journaling, and my time spent in the Word to reach others, but I am thankful he did! Since cancer, God has continued to use me. I have met many people online who I have been able to share the gospel with. I have done Bible journaling workshops at churches, been asked to be on TV, radio stations. I’ve been asked to go on mission trips. This website was even created to share God’s word, encourage others, and to celebrate what God is doing in my life. I realized many things during my son’s cancer, but most importantly, I realized the need for God in my life every single day! In the daily struggle to balance different areas of our lives and the limited time we have, almost everything else wins out over spending time with God. God had given me a lot of chances to commit myself to Him, but due to my disobedience, I suffered much before I truly surrendered to Him. Since cancer, I consider each day a success when I get to spend time with my family, as well as spending time with the Lord in whatever I am doing. My prayer is that this might inspire you to do the same!
For believers, trusting his plan for every day life is equally as important as trusting Him for eternal life.
ETERNAL LIFE! What a gift from God… which we receive by faith and faith alone in Jesus Christ alone! Once we believe this, the Bible says we become a child of God, and as His child we begin a journey, or a walk, by having a relationship with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Once we become a child of God, we can never lose our salvation. We may fall out of fellowship with Him from time to time by not walking the right path, but God doesn’t kick us out of the family.
I have 2 things that I would like to leave you with today:
- If you haven’t trusted Christ as your savior, please do so today! We aren’t promised tomorrow. It’s so simple, you can do so right where you are sitting! The Bible tells us, in John 6:47, that we may KNOW we have eternal life if we simply believe in him.
- If you have already put your faith in Christ, are you putting Him first in your life? He sent His only son to die for our sins not to simply give us a clean start, but so that we can be with Him and draw near to Him. Do you have a relationship with Him, or is your relationship “rocky?” Don’t wait until a major life crisis to depend on Him. Get in the Word and get to know Him NOW.
Thank you for taking the time to read my testimony!
– MaryEsther –
When I think of my children, I thank God for the wonderful gifts He has entrusted to me to bring up for His Glory. I can’t believe He has counted me worthy of such a gift. My kids are beautiful, smart, funny, and they make my world full of sunshine even when it seems that it’s full of rain.
When I think about my children I think of how much they have both changed my life for the better in their own unique and special way.
I think abut how quickly they are growing up, and how much they are changing everyday. The things they say and do. And how no matter what they will always be mine! …I can only imagine how much our Heavenly Father must love us!
I often wonder what great plans GOD has for them… I pray they will be there for each other and support one another throughout their lives. I hope they respect others and find love. And mostly I hope they stay healthy and strong and are able to enjoy life.
My kids are my heart and soul. I am very blessed, and wouldn’t have it any other way.
If you asked me what my children mean to me the answer is simply, everything!
My husband, Kyle, is a journeyman lineman for a local power company. For those of you who are not familiar with what a journeyman lineman does, to put it simply, they build/maintain power lines. Each day they are high in the air, performing all sorts of dangerous tasks involving electricity and working long hard hours. He selflessly puts his life on the line almost daily to be sure that people have power. The hardest thing I had to get used to is worrying. I just have to pray daily that the Lord will protect him and keep him safe.
Kyle also grew up right here in Starkville, MS. He and I went to different schools growing up. We knew of each other, but had never officially met until our 20’s. I just know that the Lord had the timing planned out to the unique spot and exact moment we needed to meet.
Kyle is a very loving person and is extremely passionate about his family. His father and mother both died of separate causes when he was a young boy, so he did not have a typical family “raising” …as he would say. He attended church occasionally and was saved at a young age, but did not have the same church family experience that I had. It actually wasn’t until we were married that church became a priority in his life. I am often amazed at how, despite his obstacles growing up, he turned out to be a wonderful Godly man, husband and father. He is now very involved with our church as a member, deacon, and even the director for our children’s Awana program.
I love that we can laugh together, cry together, worship together and even survive cancer together. He is my encourager, my rock, my leader and my best friend. I’m so blessed that I get to do life with him!
Emmanuel Baptist Church
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1763, Starkville, MS 39760
Physical Location: 4211 Old Hwy. 12, Starkville, MS 39759
Phone: (662) 324-1000
CHECK OUT OUR APP (that I helped design): http://subsplash.com/emmanuelbc/app
AT MY CHURCH…
WE BELIEVE that the Scriptures, consisting of the Old and New Testaments, are verbally inspired and without error in their original writings, and are the final authority in faith and life.
WE BELIEVE in one God, who exists eternally in three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We believe that Jesus Christ, who was God from eternity, was begotten by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary and is true man and true God.
WE BELIEVE that God created a host of angels who were sinless spiritual beings. Some of them, led by Satan, fell into sin, and now oppose God and those God blesses. The holy angels continue to minister as servants of God.
WE BELIEVE that Adam was created without sin, but through his transgression fell from his original innocence. Descendants of Adam are born with a sin nature and are subject to death and eternal judgment, apart from divine grace.
WE BELIEVE that Christ died for man’s sin and rose bodily from the grave. We believe in His bodily ascension, in His present work as High Priest and Advocate in heaven for those chosen in Him, and in the “blessed hope” of His personal, bodily return to receive the redeemed saints unto Himself.
WE BELIEVE that salvation is by grace through faith in Christ as Savior and Sin-bearer and is entirely a free gift of God. Man’s works can in no way add to the finished work of Christ or in any way earn God’s favor, which is unmerited.
WE BELIEVE that at death the saved enter into the presence of God immediately, to spend eternity with Him. At death the unsaved go immediately into eternal conscious punishment. We believe in the future bodily resurrection of all the dead.
WE BELIEVE that God the Holy Spirit regenerates those who trust Christ. He baptizes all believers into the body of Christ, indwells them permanently, and seals them unto the day of redemption. The Holy Spirit empowers the child of God to grow in grace and to live godly in Christ Jesus.
WE BELIEVE that all who trust Christ as Savior are members of the Church, which is the body of Christ and of which He alone is the Head. The body of Christ is manifest in the local church, which gathers to glorify God through worship, equipping for service, fellowship, and witness.
WE BELIEVE in the pre-millenial interpretation of Scripture. Israel and the church are distinct groups with distinct promises and purposes within the program of God. Jesus Christ will come in the air for His church (the rapture) before the tribulation period (Daniel’s 70th week) begins. He will come again at the end of the tribulation period and set up His millennial kingdom on earth over which He will rule for 1,000 years. Satan will be bound during the millennium and the saints will rule with Jesus Christ.
At the end of this period Satan will be loosed for a short while for a final rebellion. The outcome will be that Satan will be cast into the lake of fire forever and with those who have rejected the gospel of Jesus Christ. A new heaven and earth will be created and the saints of all ages will dwell there forever in the presence of God and Jesus Christ.
WE BELIEVE that all Christians are called and commissioned by the Lord to live to the glory of God and be witnesses to the gospel of Christ.
WE BELIEVE that God will reward those who faithfully serve him. While eternal life is a free gift based on faith alone in Christ alone, eternal rewards are stored up for those who serve Christ out of love and proper motives.