“Athena, do you realize that you took the Lord’s name in vain 34 times in that one hour presentation?”
I was shocked that I’d said “God” in a derogatory manner that many times during my talk. This was back in 1986 and the Lord was beginning to awaken my awareness of Him and my sinful state, and one of my reps was lovingly pointing out my blind spots. At that time in my life I literally talked like a trucker, dropping “F” bombs galore and cussing up a storm. It was a big part of the culture in Scientology and I’d spent 7 years in that environment, so drinking lots of coffee (and alcohol), smoking 3 packs of cigarettes a day, and swearing like a sailor was my daily fare.
God began to surround me with Christians in my new business venture and looking back I cringe when I think of how I must have sounded to them. At that point in my life I considered Christians wimps and people who needed a crutch, so I wasn’t the least bit interested in any of this Jesus nonsense. But God had other plans.
After Chuck’s fund raising business came into question with the State of Washington Attorney General’s office, my job was on the line with A.L. Williams because the word “fraud” was mentioned in the media regarding the investigation. You can’t sell mutual funds and be licensed with the SEC and be anywhere in the neighborhood of fraudulent activities! So this event in our lives was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back and pushed me to the wall. I was finished with our relationship as it had threatened my career and all I wanted at that point was a divorce.
I walked in one afternoon after I’d made up my mind that it was over, and Chuck seemed different. He had been crying for days and pretty much on the verge of a breakdown, but earlier that day he had talked to my agency manager on the phone and decided to give Jesus a try. I was shocked that he would do something so lame but I could not deny that there was a major change in him, and whatever it was, I found myself drawn to it. It was only 3 days later that I heard myself saying “Well, maybe we can give our marriage one more chance.”
For someone who had such disdain for “those Christian people” it was pretty amazing that I was actually asking myself, could I really be one of them? After all, now that my husband is, I guess I will have to be too…
I began to read “Mere Christianity” by CS Lewis and God softened my heart. It wasn’t much longer before I called one of my other managers and asked him if he could pray with me. We met that same day and prayed together…I gave my life over to Jesus and asked Him to take control. What happened next was nothing short of a miracle. That foul mouth of mine was gone. The continual cursing and “F” bombs that were second nature to me disappeared, no longer to return.
In an instant, I was a changed person.
As I thought about my salvation experience the other evening at our Bible Study, I was struck by the miracle God had performed in my life by cleaning up my mouth. I believe even then He had a plan for me to speak for Him, so His first order of business with me was to wash my mouth out with some Holy Spirit soap.
How sad that I could be deceived for 12 years into believing my experience with God before Sound Doctrine was worthless and that I was literally a Judas who needed to be silenced. The more I ponder this, the more I get a sense that God still has a special job for me to do that will focus on the spoken word, and the enemy was intent on destroying me so that the job would not be accomplished.
As we spoke about this at our Bible Study on Thursday night, our leader read from Psalm 119 two references of how His word revives. I immediately thought of someone getting mouth to mouth resuscitation and sensed His reviving power in my life over this last 4 months preparing me to speak for Him.
I looked up the definition of revive on dictionary.com and especially liked the 2nd definition:
2. to restore to life or consciousness: We revived him with artificial respiration.
I truly have been restored to life and consciousness since I walked away on November 10 and have been revived with mouth to mouth respiration from the Holy Spirit.
He has breathed new life into me.
Revive me according to Your lovingkindness, So that I may keep the testimony of Your mouth. (Psalm 119:88)