As you know we are in a difficult time in history, many Christians believe we are close to the end times described in the Bible. We cannot control the economic or culture changes, but we can further the kingdom by sharing our faith and living a life for Christ. The following story is from a man who was led back to the Lord a few years ago by one of our Sheepfold moms. Hopefully this powerful testimony will inspire you to share the Lord with someone in your life.
Not knowing where to start, I will start at the beginning. I was raised Catholic by a wonderful mother and father that loved me and my brothers and sister. I had no complaints growing up and in fact I was very blessed to grow up in a parish that was very nurturing. I went away to college and got lost in the world. There wasn't the same sense of community that I knew as a kid. I stopped going to church after getting married. I was divorced 3 years later and moved in with another woman that I lived with without marrying for a long time. During this time I grew further apart from God until one day I started thinking that the whole God thing was silly. I thought about this for awhile until one day, around six or seven years ago, I came to the conclusion that there was just no God at all. In fact, I felt as if I had had a revelation which only a very few intelligent people ever truly realize. Not only was I certain there was no God, I could clearly see that mankind had been languishing in ancient myths for thousands of years. I thought that mankind had no chance to progress out of this needy stage until we had all realized we were alone and no one was coming to help us. Now an odd thing happened that day. Here I was, making a quantum leap of intelligence only to find myself the loneliest man in the universe. But there I was, for me, God did not exist.
I am not sure of the day or month she walked in but by some quirk of fate I was there to answer the door bell the day that one of your moms came to my company. I saw a young woman whose countenance did not look quite right for someone coming in for a job interview. I had never involved myself with the hiring process of the finance assistants before or since but on this day I asked the manager how the interview went. He said OK but wasn't sure. I told him, you should hire her. When he asked why, I said I don't know but you definitely should hire HER.
And so your Sheepfold mom was hired. Now, our company is mostly men and to be quite honest my team can be rough around the edges. I need to establish a good working relationship with all of my staff. At some point our polite conversation turned to family court. I myself had been through five grueling years of custody and child support appearances with my step daughter and granddaughter. Your mom and I were able to share information about the court system as she was going through her appearances.
Eventually this led to her telling me a little about her history and situation with her boyfriend. I certainly didn't know the whole story but one day when I asked her how she got herself out, she told me "I didn't, God did". Please understand that I am arrogant and full of pride. I scoffed and told her she didn't give herself enough credit.
She should be proud of herself for the strength and courage that she had to break free. I think this is when she started speaking to me earnestly about God. Every day we talked, she would peck away at my walls. She never assaulted me with fire and brimstone, she just kept asking me questions which I would answer and she would counter with scripture! I found it odd that this young woman would even think that she had a chance in a debate with me. In fact one day, when I was feeling particularly foul I hurled an insult at her which I thought would break her completely. I said "How can you worship a dead guy?"
My company was not a good fit for your mom and in a short time she left. I lost track of her until one day one of my team ran into her at a store and she handed him a business card and invited us to lunch. I thought the invitation was a joke and surely we would be stood up as repayment for all the teasing we had put her through. But I gave in and went to lunch that day. I met your mom again and our conversations continued as if no time had passed. She continued to ask me questions...gentle questions which were philosophical to me. I learned the details of her situation and learned for the first time that she had been living at your shelter when she came for the interview at my company. There were many times when I was overwhelmed emotionally by the stories of drug abuse, fear, physical abuse, mental abuse and the threat of violence and death to herself and her daughter. I was amazed that she was alive at all and able to tell me any of these things. I marveled at her strength and her conviction but I insisted that she take credit for all these things. She always insisted the strength did not come from her but from God.
She asked me how I knew I was a good person. My response was, I follow a set of accepted human behavioral and moral philosophies that keep me within the framework of human law. To which she asked, "But what do you judge those standards by? What makes your philosophy better than a terrorist's? By what standard do you judge human standards?" She answered her own question. "To be truly good, you can only judge yourself by God's standards."
In that moment I felt as if the walls of my soul were being torn down. I saw for the first time in 20 years that I was simply an arrogant fool. My "great standards" had no foundation better than any terrorist. God had put this young, faithful woman in my life to shatter my pride and undermine my arrogance. A story from scripture came to my mind from childhood. I saw very clearly David slaying Goliath.
That was only the beginning of a series of realizations and revelations that I have been through. God reached out to me through a woman that had been through real life trials. Looking back, I cannot think of or imagine any other way that God could have broken through my barriers. I had been building thick walls of defense for every possible assault on my intellect by any priest, preacher, rabbi or philosopher that would care to challenge me. My arrogance was complete and my pride was very strong. Compassion turned out to be the way into my heart and mind. I had to meet someone who had been through the worst possible experiences that I could imagine before I would listen to God's voice. God's voice spoke to me through your little lamb.
And so, if it were not for The Sheepfold, your lamb would not have survived. She would most likely be dead. Her daughter would either be dead, abused by a drug addicted father or at best, a foster child. I would not have met this wonderful lady and my soul would still be locked behind walls of arrogance, condemned for eternity.
I have no way of knowing how many women and children you have saved from terrible circumstances, but I do know that through God's miraculous provision you have saved a wonderful woman, a beautiful child and an arrogant fool.
May God shower His blessings on everyone in and around The Sheepfold and from my heart of hearts, Thank You.
Phil – Sheepfold Partner