Every time I hear the Williams Brothers song "I'm still here " . it brings tears to my eyes because by man's standards , I am not supposed to be here . I am going to share my testimony , in the hopes that someone can see that God is in the plan for your life , if you put your trust in Him and Him alone ...

My journey started out when I was 3 weeks late being born . My mother was afraid for my life , so they had to induce her and I came out . The next 3 months , my parents noticed that I was not eating or anything . I have came down with a very bad cold and I was weak . After examining me , the doctors found that I had a hole in my heart and told my parents that I was not goingto make it . Well, neither one of my parents were saved then but they knew it would be a miracle that I would come out of this . Well, needless to say , I pulled through ,

As I grew , they noticed that I was walking lopsided and my spine was curved . This was called scolosis . I wore a brace and special shoes for 2 years , hoping that would help . I was also in speech therapy for 8 years . Well, when the doctors saw that this method was not working , they decided to do surgery on me . At this time I was 12 years old . Well, January of 1975 , 4 days after my 13th birthday , I gave my life to the Lord . This was easy for me because I have always loved church and loved going to Sunday School . And at a early age , I knew how to pray ( I prayed not to get beat but a neighbor told my mother " I have never heard a child cry out to God like that " .. I guess I knew of Intercessory prayer before it became a part of our walk now ) . My surgery was scheduled for the monday after Mother's Day . Both of my grandmothers were there during the surgery and prayed with me . My maternal grandmother was a prayer warrior and my paternal grandmother was a Pastor of her own church (I call her a pioneer because you know no woman pastored her own church in the 60's ) . I came through the surgery just fine . Now , it was a long healing process . I was in bed for 3 mos , rehab for 3 , and in a wheelchair for 4 months . I wore a body cast for almost a year . Slowly , I learned how to walk again .

Well, as the years went by , I became more radical in my faith . I have become very active in church and I loved it . While , I was doing this , I also became aware that my body was developing and I know the boys would be hounding me . The very thing I was trying to save for my husband was taken from me by a family member and this continued for a couple of years . Never told a soul . I thought it was normal . There was no one to tell , because they would not believe me if I did . So I just prayed and prayed that God would still keep me . In my Senior year of High School , I recieved the gift of the Holy Ghost during a concert I was in with the Gospel Choir at school . Then I recieved the gift of tongues. My mother thought this was insane , but I knew it was God .

Then I went to college . I was out from under my parents' grasp and started to get involved in college life . I became a party animal until they told me at the bar that I didn't look old enough to drink . So I stopped partying and gotten into the dating scene . These years was a test for me but ,I knew God was still with me because I have gotten myself into a few situations I know that I shouldn't have . After college , I met and fell in love for the very first time . Well, my boyfriend drank and smoked drugs and introduced me to reefer . Then I started staying with him , a few nights here and there . My father told me that I had to go and be with him because I was too grown to be at home while my mother wanted me home . So, I told my boyfriend that this wasn't cutting it no more , so I tamed it down . We did still get together and stuff . Then I discovered that I was pregnant . He was happy , I was not because I knew that I have disappointed God . I was embassed to go to church . And when I did go to church , the mothers of the church was ridicule me because " I known better " .

I have dropped out of almost everything at church and sat down . My pastor noticed this . And my mother told me that I needed to go and talk to him . And i have done so . My pastor was very compassionate and he understood . He told me this and I never forgotten it . "Yolanda , do you know the story of the woman that was accused of adultery and they were going to stone her ? " I said "Yes " and he continued ..."And all her accusers were gone ... do you know what He said to her ... go and sin no more " . I took this as "okay , you made a mistake , don't do it again " . And I never did it again and I just have the one child .

During the pregnancy , family members was encourging me to have a abortion because they were afraid that something would happen to me given my medical issues . I started to recongnize this as a plan of the enemy and I told them that I was NOT going to kill my baby . My father did not speak to me until the baby was born .
I knew he was not pleased and the fact he (the father) was not working and I was . Well, needless to say , I gave birth to a son and he was very healthy , I thank God for that .

I had challenges with the father and after a period of time , we went our separate ways . When my son was 6 months old , I went to the altar at church and rededicated my life back to Christ and I haven't looked back since . At this time , God was working things out in me . I begun to walk in total obedience . I started really seeking the Lord and getting into the Word of God . A hunger and a thrist for the things of God was building on the inside . I was getting the Word on the radio , tv , read books , started to develop myself ...

I have begun to walk so humbly before God . He gave me the courage to be what I had to be to my son . About 1990, my father started to get sick and turned out that he was diagnosed with Colon cancer and was given 6 mos to live . During this time , I was still working on me ,when the enemy tried to take my mind . The guy I was dating at the time told me that I needed to "talk ' to someone . In other words , take myself to the Psychologist . I knew that he was crazy but I believed God is a heart fixer as well as a mind regulator , so I trusted God . (To be continued)

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