Testimonies

I am weak but He is strong! - by Jan Olson

I grew up in Purdy, Washington. I had two older sisters and a younger brother. We lived on Henderson Bay and had great times playing on the beach and in the woods behind our house. My parents took u s to church on Sundays and we said grace and bedtime prayers. They tried to mold us into good little citizens, but often resorted to emotional and physical abuse in an effort to make that happen. We lived in fear much of the time. I started school too young and had a difficult time learning. I was too

shy to make friends and too uncoordinated for recess games. I felt like a total misfit and I lagged behind for several grades. I dreaded being left at home alone with my sisters. They fought like cats an d dogs and when they tired of that they would gang up on me. They did some really cruel things. Eventually, I started losing my temper. I recall putting my fist through a window in our front door because they locked me out of the house. Well darn it, I had to go to the bathroom! I was disciplined for my outbursts of anger and I soon learned to control my temper. I internalized my anger; however, where it spawned all sorts of rebellious thoughts and behaviors. Despite everything, I had a tender heart and I vowed never to treat anyone else the way that I had been treat ed. I was good to my little brother and our family pets always seemed to love me best.

            The summer I turned 12, I went from a short chubby kid to a tall slender young lady. I began receiving positive attention which helped boost my self-esteem and I began enjoying a more active social life. I loved starting High School. I was having so much fun I didn’t stop to study. Then my first report card came out. Whoops! I buckled down and did a lot better after that. A girl at school invited me to a Crusade for Christ meeting and it was there I asked Jesus to come into my heart. I felt different and left there wanting to live for Christ. The memory of that gradually grew dim however, as my worldly desires became stronger.

            I married young and had my only child. His dad and I divorced when he was three and I was on my own for the first time. I was involved in numerous romantic relationships in the following years; a couple of which resulted in marriage and divorce. I was always disappointed in the end and I eventually started using alcohol to ease my emotional pain and feelings of guilt. At first I used it to help me through crisis situations, but eventually I needed it to cope with the stresses of daily living.

            By my late thirties, I still hadn’t found Mr. Right. It was obvious to me by then that I had poor taste in men, but I dreaded spending my life alone. In desperation, I called out to God to help me find the right guy for me. Two hours later, I met my Bill and we have been together for nearly thirty years. In the early years of our marriage, I continued to drink and smoke; destructive habits I wanted desperately to be free of. My many efforts to quit had been fruitless and I finally admitted I needed help. Through A.A. and a renewed faith in God, I was set free from both. I was so thankful to God for my deliverance and I was hungry to know him better.

            I began reading my Bible and listening to TV preachers. Later, I began longing for the company of other Christians and I began attending Olalla Bible Church. Immediately, I felt at home. I learned what the Bible says about heaven and that I can’t earn my way there through my own efforts. Jesus already paid the price for my admission. All I had to do was accept his gift of a ticket. He has made many positive changes in me already and I knew the comfort of his presence as I battled cancer. The love and support of my Christian friends was amazing too. I believe he will  continue to help me work on my imperfections; self-centeredness, anger, impatience, pride, gluttony and all the rest. Meanwhile, he loves me unconditionally.  How awesome is that!

    Jan has passed into eternity with her heavenly father after a courageous battle with cancer.  We miss her but we will see her again!!!

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