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JoAnn's Testimony

When I was a small child I asked Jesus into my heart because I didn't want to go to hell when I died. As a child I endured years of sexual abuse, not just from one person, there were many. I always thought that I had done something to cause these things to happen to me. As a young adult, I married a man that also abused me, both sexually and mentally. I, once again, thought that somehow, I deserved the things that were happening to me.
I always knew that Jesus was in my heart, but I wasn't active in church, most of the time. After my second child was born, he became sick. The doctors could not find out what was wrong with him. Every six months he went into the hospital, but we were never told what was wrong. I prayed that God would make my son okay, and I told God that I would start going to church if He would just make my son alright. I asked God to take me in my son's place. God didn't take me, but He did make my son alright. I thought that my son's illness was a punishment from God for all the bad things that had happened to me. I thought everything was my fault.
It was some years later that I finally did start going to church again. I started taking my children to church. I began to make friends, and I started a slow process of changing. I realized that it was not my fault that I was abused for all of those years. I prayed that I could forgive all of the people that had had a hand in taking my childhood away from me. It was a slow process, but little by little I knew that none of it was my fault.
After enduring years of marriage where I felt that my husband considered me a piece of meat, I made a slow journey back to my hometown. There have been many thoughts of suicide. I have come very close to turning to that as an answer to my problems.
I have learned many things about my Lord and Savior since returning to Quanah. I accepted Christ into my life; I was baptized December 2, 2001. Since that day MY JESUS has set me free. I have learned that no matter what I do He will always love me. He has taken away so much pain and I am so thankful to Him for that. He has given me peace and joy, and a lot of happiness. I learned that Christ had taken all of my shame and guilt away when He endured the beatings and the hours on that cross. He did it all just for you and me.
The more I learn about Jesus the freer I am. I can't get enough of Him. He has given me a gift that I pray I will never loose. He has given me words to songs that have been recorded by a group of women called, Voices For God, from Trinity Baptist Church in Quanah, Texas, which I am proud to say that I am a part of.
When I seem to loose touch with Jesus from time to time, I realize that I can no longer write. As soon as I put my focus on Him again, the lyrics seem to just flow. The freer I am the more lyrics I seem to write, the more focused on Him that I am, the more lyrics I seem to write. I do not take any of the credit for this gift because I know that it all comes from Jesus. I thank God that He sent His Son to die on the cross for you and me. I give all my praise and glory to Him for all that I have gone through. I have become a stronger woman and it is all because of the Love of Jesus Christ my Savior. I can do all things through Him that strengthens me. The Lord is my Light and my Salvation, I pray that I will never forget the things He has done for me.
I no longer consider myself a sinner saved by Grace, I am a child of God that happens to sin. If it were not for the Love that God showed me throughout my lifetime, I would not be here today to share these things with you.
I have married a wonderful man. He allows me to be the person that Jesus Christ created me to be. He allows me the time that I need to do the things that I know Christ wants me to do. He supports me in every way in the ministry that Christ has given me.
Sometimes, I still want to put myself first, I forget about the things Christ did for me on the hill of Calvary. This, thankfully, only lasts for a few days and then I make my journey back to Him. I know that no matter what I do, Christ will always love me. He will always accept me back into His family; He will never forsake me, even when I think He should. Christ got me THROUGH IT ALL, and He can do the same for you if you will just call upon His name.
Please, never give up on yourself because there is One that loves you more than can ever be imagined.

Pastor John Spangler
Trinity Baptist Church 
1007 McClelland 
 Quanah, Texas 
 Cindy Snider, Music Director -  Nancy Stewart, Food Pantry Coordinator