Thanks be to God who leads us, wherever we are, on his own triumphal way and makes our knowledge of him spread throughout the world like a lovely perfume! II Corinthians 2:14 (Phillips Translation).
Since we are approaching Thanksgiving, I have been thinking about all the things I am thankful for, family, good friends, my health and most of all the Lord and all the good things He has done in my life.
I started thinking about my journey and how the Lord has kept His hand on my life from the time I was a child. We moved to Citrus County when I was about five years old. We lived on 4S Farms (in Hernando) and our house was next door to Mrs. Vanness’s Fruit Stand (on Hwy. 41). Our family became friends with her and it seemed we were over there quite often, getting a cup of fresh squeezed orange juice or citrus fruit. Mrs. Vanness started picking me and sometimes my brother (who was younger) up on Sundays and taking us to the Methodist Church. There I enjoyed Sunday School and I sensed the love of God drawing me. I remember when they taught us about the scripture that says “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” Matt. 6:4 (KJV). As a child, I took this literally, I remember going home and getting into my closet to pray to the Lord.
I continued to go to the Methodist Church until we moved back to Pasco County (in the middle of my eighth grade year), where my family was from and where my parents were living when my brother and I were born. At that time, another lady, Mrs. Edwards, who was a friend of our family, gave me and my friend Terri Crabtree (Dyess) a ride to the Trilby Baptist Church. There the Pastor spoke to me and my friend about making a profession of faith in front of the church and being baptized. I thought sure, I’m saved, I have no problem doing that, but what happened afterwards was unexpected. I remember standing in front of the congregation with the Pastor and my friend as he led us through the sinner’s prayer and I began to feel the presence of God like I never had before. It brought tears to my eyes and I remember looking out at the congregation and feeling a love for them like I had not felt before and I remember seeing Granny Evans there looking back with tears in her eyes. We were baptized following our profession of faith and after that I had such a hunger for the Lord, I began reading my Bible every day and wanting to be in Church every time the door was open.
It has been many years now (I was 14 years old) since that time and the Lord has seen me through good times and bad and I still love Him and His people as much as ever. I’m thankful for my journey. I’m thankful for a God who loves us so much and I pray that if anyone reading this has not already invited Him into your heart that you would do so or if you’ve strayed away, that you would think about rededicating your life to Him. God bless you all. Have a good Thanksgiving. Kelly Rowe