Jim Knighton

           

           

Save me and I shall be saved

  My whole life I was taught to love God, church, men of God everything to do with it. I was either playing basketball or going to church. Even though I was going to church I don’t ever remember a lot about church or feeling God move on me. I was probaly 12 or 13 when we had youth revival, and at the time we had a lot of youth. One night several youth came down and said they got saved, after the service preacher asked me why I hadn’t went down I told him I didn’t feel anything. He started asking me if I wanted to be saved, was I not sorry for my sins the next thing I knew I was crying. Preacher told me if I was sorry for my sins I was saved so that was my first confession. Nothing really changed next 3 or 4 years.

  When I was 16 I got a job at Shoney’s restaurant, it was the first time I got out into what you call the real world. I got to hanging out with wrong crowd I tried drinking but just didn’t like it, tried drugs same thing just didn’t like them. I still hung around that crowd and church wasn’t that big deal. I still went but was just there. By my senior year I had quit basketball and working at Shoney’s was my life. At the same time I met Donna and we dated off and on.

  After I graduated from high school in 1982 shoney’s asked if I wanted to be a manager. I moved to Clarksdale was asst. manager. In Feburary 1983 Donna and I got married. I was promoted to executive manager. I should have been happy but I was home sick, Clarksdale is not myrtle so in 85 they transferred me back to new Albany. I lived down there for three years and the only time I ever went to church was the night I got married. If you had asked me I would have told you I was saved. Shoney’s was closing stores and I was getting tired of all the hours so I quit and went to work at futorian in shipping. Now that I was back home I still wasn’t back in church. To be honest had no desire for church but Donna wanted to go and matt was born I knew I was supposed to take him. We started going to Temple Baptist that’s where my dad and mom were going. We went for while everything was going good. We went to church and work. Richard Johnson was preacher and he started preaching on lost church members it shocked me. I didn’t know there were lost church members, I just thought they were backsliding. It shook me up but I didn’t tell anyone I just told Donna I would like to start going to new oak grove that’s the church I was raised in. We started going there and the preacher there preached stuff that didn’t bother me or convict me. As time went on he left and we got Bro. Charles Smith he was young and loud going to seminary. He came in preaching about lost church members. Here I was again but in my mind I had no where else to go. I went to him one wensday night after service and told him I was lost. We went to one of the back rooms and he said if I wanted to be saved I would have to pray to God and ask him to save me. I got in floor and started praying asking God to save me. He ask me what I was feeling I told him nothing he said if I meant it God would save me. I started crying and then it seemed like I got peace. He said I was saved. After that it did seem I had a desire for God and the church that I had never had before. Seemed like things were going good, church was growing we had visitation, workdays I was enjoying church. After I had been saved year the church voted me deacon, taught Sunday school men, RA leader my life revolved round the church. Then Bro. Charles left for another church. It hurt I just couldn’t understand why we couldn’t keep preacher.

  Bro. Claude came and right away I could tell something was different he cried when he preached and you could tell he was sincere. He started preaching about what are you passing on to the next generation. It sounded good then he preached about tradition of men rendering the word of God to no effect. He also preached about examine yourself whether you be in the faith. People started leaving the church thought Bro. Claude was trying to run everything, but everything he preached was right in the word. I often wonder why I didn’t leave all I can tell you was it was the grace of God because I had run before. As time went on people started getting saved people that I thought was already saved. Bro. Claude started bring in other preachers Bro. Tim preached on getting things in you’re life out so God could work. Bro. Greg preached about tearing out the old, these are just some of the sermons God used to show me where I was at but at this time I still considered myself saved. Bro. Sandy and I worked together and one day at break he was talking about how God had showed him how deceitful his heart was and how he had lied to himself about his salvation. I can tell you that is the strongest I had ever felt God move it was like God was talking to me not Sandy and even though he was talking about himself it burned in my heart the truth about me. All this time Bro. Claude had been preaching about examine yourselves and I thought I had but God showed me I had just been looking at it lightly not really digging in to my salvation experience. But prideful as I was I tried to hang on to what I had. At this time we were meeting in the youth building while we remodeled the church. Bro. Terry came and preached a revival in October 2004. When we built our church we put these big pillars in the front and Bro. Terry came and he preached on being a pillar in the church and it was good but then he said their was some here that think you’re a pillar and you’re not. When he said that it was like God sat on me and told me that was me. It was the strongest I had ever felt God moved on me. Before I could always get the conviction to go away but this time I couldn’t  get away. I knew there was no denying it anymore I was lost. I will never forget thinking of how I could tell Bro. Claude I just knew he was gonna be disappointed in me. I had been with him for 11 years. I just knew he was going to be upset. The next mens prayer meeting after the revival I went in and I told Bro. Claude I was lost and when I was expecting disappointment he just started smiling. You may not believe this but I was releaved to know where I really was for the first time in my life I really knew where I stood with God. I wish I could tell you I got saved right there but it didn’t happen. The next three or four months I tried to figure out how I was gonna be saved. I remember laying in bed thinking of different ways I would be saved. I tried reading more praying more nothing. Bro. Claude asked me in mens prayer meeting one night what was going on and I told him things I was doing and reading and he told me I was working and as long as I was working God wouldn’t save me. Over the next few weeks it seemed he told me that a lot I just couldn’t see it. I had gotten to a place in my life where it seemed my life was turned upside down me and Donna were having trouble. I always prided my self in having everything together but it seemed it was all slipping away. God was showing me how my whole life I had depended on me, I had never depended on him for anything. I didn’t realize how much my pride was in control. My biggest thing was I couldn’t believe God would save me. There was services God was moving but I said if I went down he wouldn’t save me. In may2005 lighthouse had there birthday celebration and I drove up there with Bro. Claude and Becky and Bro. Brian Purdy got up and was giving his testimony and how he was saved and as he was talking he quoted a verse Jeremiah 17:14 Heal me, O Lord,  and I shall be healed save me and I shall be saved for thou art my praise. That phrase save me and I shall be saved just kept running in my head, I couldn’t tell you anything else about the night. The next morning as we were going back I couldn’t find that verse I had looked for it but just couldn’t find it. Becky found it and I just couldn’t get it off my mind all day that Saturday. Sunday morning came and Bro. Claude went around the church asking what we got out of the birthday celebration. As people went around telling what they got out of it I was thinking about telling them about the verse God had given me. When it came my turn God told me to go to the pulpit and read the verse, in my mind I was gonna read it tell them God helped me this weekend but as soon as I got up and started reading the verse God moved on me and when I read save me and I shall be saved it was like my eyes were opened and I really believed God would save me. I fell down behind the pulpit and told him I was sorry for not believing him. It was like I was in another place I had no idea what was going on around me just that I believed. The next thing I know is the church is singing it is well with my soul. The church was singing it but God was telling me.

Rachel (Rutherford) Gibson

           

           

RESTING IN MY SAVIOUR

Personal Testimony of Rachel (Rutherford) Gibson

The earliest memory I have is of being in church. My parents are Bro. Tim and Carol Rutherford.  They were both saved before I was born.  My dad was called to preach and later to be an evangelist.  In July of 1986, they sold everything we had and went on the road with dad as he started his ministry.  I was just two years old.  As I grew up, I remember times that I was touched and at times moved to tears but didn’t understand what was happening or why. 

          I had bad back problems growing up.  Finally, when I was 13, we were told I had scoliosis.  For those who don’t know what that is, scoliosis is an irregular curve in the spine.  I didn’t know then that 7 years later God would use my attitude towards the scoliosis as a major key point in my salvation.

          I entered a treatment program that required a change in my diet and life routine.  These changes made it impossible for our family to travel together.   Dad moved the family to a small town in Florida, which was close to my doctor, so I could have the treatments I needed.  Then Dad continued to travel on in evangelism, while Mom and we kids stayed in Florida.  I went through the treatment for nearly two years.  Since my back was continuing to curve and I wasn’t improving, the doctor dropped me from his program.  This allowed our family to all be back together again.  We went back on the road with my Dad in October of 1999. I saw a chiropractor off and on when I could, so the treatment was sporadic.  During this time, my oldest sister Denise married Steven Bach, and they remained in Florida. 

          In April of 2001, a friend of mine was killed in a vehicle accident.  He was only 16 and full of life.  I was very bothered by his death. For the first time, I was aware that my life was out of my control.  I always thought I would get saved when I was older, but when Jeremiah died, I realized that I may not have that long.  It may seem strange to some that read this how I had been raised in church and under the preaching of the truth but did not know that I had no promise of tomorrow.  I had heard the verse, “What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?”, but until God opened my spiritual eyes to the understanding of it, I was completely oblivious.  I knew at that moment that I was accountable.  I knew the difference between good and evil and not just right and wrong. 

          A few weeks later, dad was preaching at Bro. Edgar Paschall’s in Kentucky.   There was another preacher there, Bro. Mike Bagwell, whom I had never heard preach before.  The only thing I remember about his message was him saying something about “trampling on the blood of Christ.”   He also preached about the Son pleading my case, even after I had trampled on Him.  His words made me feel like a dog.  I wanted to crawl under the pew and hide.  God told me then it was time to quit playing games and seek Him. 

A year or so later, we went to camp meeting in Pontotoc, Mississippi – Festival of Joy Cupbearers to the King.  I don’t recall who preached or what was said, but I felt God dealing with me.  I went to the altar crying but didn’t really know why.  My dad came down and asked what was going on.  I told him God was dealing with me.  He asked in what area, but I really didn’t know that either.  He left, and I didn’t know what to do, but he came back with Bro. Terry Owen to help me.  Bro. Terry asked me a few questions and then he asked if I had ever told God I loved him.  I told him that I hadn’t.   He told me to tell God that I loved Him.  I tried, but nothing would come out.  I couldn’t say the words, “I love you “to God, because I knew I didn’t.  At the same time, I didn’t want to admit how I felt to Bro. Terry.  Bro. Terry asked me if I had told God.   I said, “No.”  He then asked, “Why?”  I told him, “Because I don’t.”  He wanted to know why, but I really didn’t want to tell him the reason.  I finally told him I didn’t love God, because I hated Him (God).  Bro. Terry wouldn’t leave that alone either.  He had to know why.  I told him I hated God because of my back; I felt God had cursed me and didn’t love me.  Bro. Terry and my Dad looked at each other and said they thought that had been my problem all along.  I almost felt relieved to have finally admitted that I, Rachel Rutherford, was a God hater.  I knew that was a terrible thing, but at the same time I didn’t see myself all that bad

          Time passed.  I graduated from high school and decided to attend Blue Mountain College in Blue Mountain, Mississippi.  In order to go to college, it meant that I would have to move away from my family.  I talked with my parents and Bro. Claude and Becky Mills about living with them.  They all agreed, so I moved to Myrtle, Mississippi and lived with the Mills family.  I stayed with them from February through May that year. 

While living in Myrtle with the Mills, I had been seeing a chiropractor in Memphis.  One particular day I saw him, and he gave me bad news.  He had taken x-rays and measured the curvature of my spine.  He came into the room and told me my back was very critical, and I needed to have surgery within the next year.  My spine was at a 100 degree curve.   This prompted my move to Memphis, Tennessee and is really what started into motion the events surrounding my salvation. 

I lived with a family from the church I was attending there.  I got a good job with insurance benefits, but when my benefits went into effect, I still had no doctor to perform the surgery.  While we prayed for guidance to find the right doctor, my sister Michelle moved to Hattiesburg, Mississippi.  She got a job at a rehabilitation clinic.  In the meantime, I was still lost and had not gotten saved.

Bro. Mike Williams called me around this time.  I believe it was around two years after I realized I was lost.  It took 3 years for God to finish His work.  Bro. Mike said God had put it on his heart to remind me of a song I had been singing for years, “Let the Blood of Calvary Speak for Me.”  What he wanted me to know was that “there’s no work that I’ve accomplished” and no goodness in me for God to save me.  It was completely on the merits of His Son and only for His glory.    

While Bro. Greg Moffitt was my pastor, I had talked to him about some things going on in me.  Bro. Greg told me that I hadn’t been thankful for all the goodness God had put in my life.  One night I was out with some friends from church.   On my way home, I barely escaped a car accident.  It shook me up.  But what really got my attention even more, was when God told me I was driving my life the same destructive way.  It’s amazing the way God can use everyday circumstances to get your attention but even more amazing is that it would take a little longer before I finally realized what God was really saying to me. 

Dad came to Lighthouse Baptist Church, where Bro. Greg Moffitt was Pastor, to preach a week of meetings.  One of the nights, Dad preached out of Isaiah.  The particular verse he dealt with was, “He shall not fail, nor be discouraged….”  I remember Dad saying that over and over.  God was moving, and I knew He was there.  At one point, Dad came up to me and said that God wouldn’t fail me.   God wasn’t discouraged that I hadn’t believed Him yet.  That gave me hope to continue to seek.  It’s so easy to get discouraged when you’re lost and you’ve been seeking for a long time, and you haven’t gotten saved.  I know now if I had sought Him with all my heart, I would have found Him and been saved, because that’s what God says in His Word.  As I found out, “He shall not fail,” and He didn’t.  It was a couple of years before this truth became completely alive in me.

          During this time, life was going on, and God was continuing to move and save people around me. Camp time came around again in February, 2004.   Bro. Claude Mills started preaching to the lost.  I don’t remember his text.  I only remember he kept calling out to the lost and asking these questions:  “Are you lost?!?”  “Do we have anyone who’s lost, without God?  Is there anyone who is just genuinely LOST?!?”  I fell in the floor and started begging God to do whatever it would take to make me feel my lost condition.  I had never reached a point where I believed that I needed God.  I had been taught it, preached to about it, but had never felt it in me. I was self-sufficient.  My life was just fine.  What did I need God for? 

          That same week my parents gave me a “butterfly” magnet.  (If you come to camp, you know what that is.  If you don’t, come and see!)   The verse was from Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think towards you saith the Lord; thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”  When they read that verse to me, it was just like God (Himself) was telling me that’s really how He felt towards me.  Even though I hated Him, His thoughts toward me were peaceful.  I was reminded of a time when I heard a message about Judas betraying Christ. Even though Jesus knew Judas was going to betray Him, He  called Judas “friend.” 

          Bro. Greg Moffitt preached at our church about his Pearl of Great Price.  He talked about how precious this Pearl was to him.  He told of how he sold and gave up all for this one Pearl, because it meant that much to him.  He cupped his hands and walked around the room and asked people to look at his Pearl.  He preached how much he loved this Pearl.  I wanted what he had!  I wanted to be able to love God that much, but I didn’t know how to get there.  I had other witnesses to how great the Pearl was, such as my parents.  I had seen my dad cry and shout about what God had done for him.  I had watched my mother praise God for being her peace that passeth all understanding when listening to Mrs. Becky Mills sing, “I Give You Jesus.”  However, until God stirred in me, I thought that was just the way my parents were.  Hearing Bro. Greg stirred up a desire in me that I have never felt before. 

          God was still working behind the scenes to answer the prayer for my back.  I spoke earlier of my sister moving to Hattiesburg and working for a rehabilitation clinic and God was working through that.  Around January my sister, Michelle had eaten lunch with a nurse at the clinic where she worked.  She told Mrs. Margaret about me and the struggles I had with my back.  Mrs. Margaret in turn talked to the doctor she worked for about me, and he wanted to meet me.  We set up a consultation time with him for February 10, 2004, so my parents could be there too.  He took x-rays and talked with us about my history since the scoliosis had been diagnosed. He wanted to run more tests but before he would schedule them, he wanted to let me know how critical this issue was and that I had taken it too lightly.  He wanted to schedule surgery for some time that year, preferably in March or April.  He went over the pros and cons with us.  He made me realize that if I wanted to live a comfortable life, I had to get the surgery done as quickly as possible.  We set the surgery date for March 23, 2004. 

          There was a lot going on during this time.  My sister and her fiancé (Craig Routon) were married on February 13, 2004.  Exactly one month later, on March 13, my Grandpa Rutherford passed away.  When grandpa died, I became “really” mad at God.   I felt He had taken my grandfather too soon.  Here I was, mad at God, and my surgery was   scheduled for the next week.  

          The morning of my surgery arrived.  We had to be at the hospital at 6:30 that morning.  They took me back to start prepping me for surgery.  I was so afraid.   At this point, I really believed that God may just let me die.  I knew that if God let me die on that table, He would be just in doing so.  I laid in my bed that morning, while I waited for surgery, looked at my family, and thought to myself that this would be the last time I would ever see them.  Before they took me back, dad and Bro. Greg prayed for me.  That was the last thing I remembered. 

I woke up to a strange voice telling me to wiggle my toes.  I asked if I was going to be able to walk again and then I asked for my mom.  Every time I woke, the verse in Romans 2:4 about “the goodness of the Lord doth lead thee to repentance” came to my mind.  I wondered why that verse would even be on my mind, but more than that, why would God want to be good to me? 

          I stayed in the hospital for only a week and had almost no pain.  They released me from the hospital, and my Mom and I stayed with my sister, Michelle, at her house.   I had to be there for 6 weeks before I could travel a very far distance, so I couldn’t go home.  During the time I stayed with my sister, we went to her church.  The services were very dead.  I felt very desperate to feel God and have Him say something to me.

          After about 3 to 4 weeks of fearing that I would never feel or hear from God again, Denise called and asked mom if she would bring me to come and stay with her for a while.  She told my mom that they were having a meeting at their church with Bro. Larry Winkler.  We got permission from my doctor for me to travel, and we went to Denise’s house.  The meeting was good, but I didn’t feel God at all.  Thursday night, Bro. Winkler preached about Naaman and how he had to admit who and what he was:  just a leper who couldn’t do anything to make himself any better.  That night I told God that I missed his presence and that I just wanted to hear him one more time.

          The next week we went to Lighthouse’s birthday celebration.  God didn’t move on me there either.  I really thought I had said no too many times, and God wasn’t going to talk to me again. 

          I went back to stay with my sister, Denise.  Two weeks later there was a meeting not far from her house.  The week before the preacher arrived, I listened to preaching tapes at night when I went to bed.  I asked God every day and night to do whatever it took to bring me to the end of myself, so I could be saved at that meeting. 

          The meeting started and we went Monday night.  The preacher who was preaching that week was Bro. Fain Jordan.  I had never heard him before.  The first night he preached, “Has America Seen It’s Last Revival?”  Tuesday night, he preached out of Psalms, but I really don’t remember much about that message.  Thursday night, he preached a continuation of his message from Monday night; I didn’t get a thing out of it.  We went back Friday night.  When Bro. Jordan got up to preach and read his text, he said he was closing out the meeting with “Has America Seen It’s Last Revival?”  I was so upset!  I almost closed my Bible and set it next to me.  My first thought was that God must not want to save me.  But somewhere deep inside of me, there was still enough hope to pray.  I told God that I had prayed for a week that if He really wanted to save me, He would meet me at this meeting.  It was the last night, and He hadn’t.  I went on to pray and tell Him that right now, if He wanted to save me, He could change the preacher’s message. 

          Bro. Jordan continued to preach, but I was only half-heartedly listening.  He had my full attention though when he stopped and said he couldn’t preach on what he had planned on preaching.  He said that while he was praying, God told him to change his message, because there was one person there who was religious and lost and had been for a long time.  Then he said, “You know who you are.”  I began to shake and tremble all over.  It was almost like God himself had sat down right next to me and said, “There, I changed his message!”  I was in shock at the fact that God had even heard me, because for about a year, I had felt that God wasn’t hearing me when I prayed.  That night, there was no doubt in my mind that He had. 

          Bro. Jordan was preaching about people who had stepped over God’s day of Grace.  I had often wondered if I had, and if I had, would I know it.  It was very apparent to me that I hadn’t, because God was there and He was talking to me.  God had changed this man’s message for me!

          At the end of the service, Bro. Jordan asked for everyone to bow their heads and close their eyes.  I knew what was coming next.  I heard him say that if you were the one who God changed my message for, why don’t you raise your hand and be honest with God about who you are?”  I couldn’t raise my hand.  I heard Bro. Jordan thank others around me for raising theirs, but I couldn’t do it.  I didn’t even know the majority of the people there; yet, my pride was so big and so strong that I couldn’t do it.

          Bro. Jordan started talking about some things and then asked again for the hand to be raised if you were that person.  I still couldn’t.  Then he told a story of an elderly lady, who was very active in her church.  On her death bed, she admitted to Bro. Jordan that she had never been saved.  When she died, Bro. Jordan said he asked God why she had never been saved.  God told him that when she was a young teenager He had come to her and asked her to give her life to Him, but she said not right now.  He came again when she was a young woman, and she told God there was too much going on in her life.  God came again when she was old, but she had turned Him away so many times she didn’t even recognize His voice.  When Bro. Jordan made that last statement, God told me that if I turned Him away this time, He would never deal with me again.  I shot my hand into the air as quick as I could.  Bro. Jordan never acknowledged me, so I thought he must not have seen me.  But then God said that He (God) had seen me, and I started weeping.  I began to beg God for mercy.  I knew I didn’t deserve it, but I wanted it. More than want, I desired it! 

They had everyone stand, but I couldn’t.  God was there, and I didn’t want to let Him go.  I stayed seated and continued to pray.  The hymn they were singing was “Why Not Tonight?”  A verse in it says “Tomorrow’s sun may never rise to bless thy long diluted sight.  This is the time. O then, be wise.  Be saved, O tonight.” 

          Teresa, my brother-in-law Steven’s sister, was sitting next to me.  She sat down and asked if everything was okay.  I told her that it wasn’t.  She asked what was wrong.  I told her I wasn’t saved, and I needed God.  She started praying for me and then got Shae, her pastor’s wife, to come talk to me.  Shae sat down and asked me a few questions and then she prayed for me.  They dismissed church and everyone, except for the people I was with, left.   

Bro. Jordan came and sat beside me.  He asked questions too, and then he asked me to read Isaiah 53:4-5.  He wanted me to put my name in the place of “our transgressions” and so on.  I looked at the verses and broke.  I couldn’t do it, so he read them to me.  He asked me a question before he left.  He wanted to know if I had ever seen myself as a sinner in need of a Savior.  I told him that I hadn’t.  He said I would never be saved until I did, because that was the reason Christ came – to save sinners

          After he left, Denise, Shae, Teresa and Joy Strickland were sitting around me.  They were trying to get me to admit that I was a sinner.  Denise told me that maybe all God wanted was for me to admit it, and He would be right there to save me.  I just couldn’t say it.  I couldn’t admit it, because I didn’t believe it.  Even though I had heard it all my life, the actuality of it wasn’t real to me.  Joy Strickland asked me if I would just say it.   She said I didn’t need to believe it; she just wanted to hear me say it.  So I said, “I’m a sinner.”  There was no emotion, no feeling, and definitely no believing.  Then they all started “preaching” at me.  It started making me mad, but I could still feel God; I knew He was there for me.  I didn’t understand why, since I couldn’t believe I was really a sinner, but I was glad that He lingered.  Joy said it was obvious, by the way I said it that I didn’t believe it, and she didn’t know why.  She pointed out the fact that if you’re not saved, you’re a sinner, so what was my problem?  My only answer was pride.  I was the “good little girl,” raised in church all my life.  I had sung in church and obeyed and respected my parents better than most kids.  How could I be a sinner, and how dare them for saying I was! 

          Shae was sitting next to me, and she did something that finally made me explode.  She got right up to my ear and said, “Rachel, just say, ‘God, I’m a sinner.”  I got right in her face and screamed at her, “I’M A SINNER!”  When I did, God said to me, “Yes, you are.”  It broke me and I said, “Oh, God, I really am!”  I started weeping and the others did too.  When God told me I was a sinner, His voice wasn’t mean or angry and that amazed me.  I sat up again, and they asked what was going on.  I told them God was still there, but He hadn’t saved me yet.  Denise started to sing, “What you need is Him. What He wants is you. What you need is the blood. Nothing else will ever do. So why do you hesitate? Why do you pause? What you need is Jesus. What He did at the cross.”  Denise asked what was holding me back.  What was I holding onto that I wouldn’t let go of?  I told her I didn’t know of anything. 

          I did the only thing I knew to do.  I started singing the chorus of a song I had known since a child, “Whatever It Takes.”  The chorus says, “For whatever it takes for my will to break, that’s what I’ll be willing to do.” Shae asked me to sing the whole song.  The first verse says, “There’s a voice calling me from an old rugged tree, and it whispers draw closer to me.”  At that phrase, it was the first time I had seen God as approachable.  When I started singing the next verse, God really sat down on me.  The words say, “Take my houses and lands.  Change my dreams and my plans, for I’m placing my whole life in our hands.”  When I sang that phrase God said so clearly, “You’ve never given me your life.”  I stopped singing and started crying.  Shae encouraged me to sing it again.  I began singing, but at those words, “I’m placing my whole life in your hands,” I couldn’t go any farther.  I had been asking God to show me what I was holding on to.  I had thought it was my love for music, so I gave all of it up for awhile.  When I didn’t get saved, I went back to it.  I had made a checklist in my mind.  That night, I saw at the bottom of the list was my life.  All the things on my checklist made up who I was, and God wanted ALL of it.  Denise and Shae told me not to stop now.  Tell God again, and keep singing.  I don’t know if I started singing, but my heart was being poured out to God.  I was telling Him how I didn’t care what He did with my life. I didn’t care if he allowed me to live or die, but if it was to live, I didn’t want to do it anymore without Him in it.  I told Him my life was His to do whatever He wanted with it.  At that moment, it was like He was standing in front of me with a huge, fluffy pillow, and all He said was “Rest.”  I fell into that pillow so thankful for REST!  I knew it was over! NO more battles, only peace.  I could truly sing for the first time, “Blessed assurance, all is at rest.  I in my Savior am happy and blessed.”  I came up thanking God, and then they all joined in.  As long as I live I will never be able to thank God enough for the “rest” I have in my Savior….and, oh, how sweet my rest is!!