Mar 12, 2012

How Great Thou Art Lord!

Recently, I felt the Holy Spirit tug on my heart. "Go sing at the local jail."  "The local jail?" I wondered. "You mean the same place I was taken to the night of my arrest?" http://dlouyoung.blogspot.com/p/my-personal-testimony.html
 
Immediately, my heart cried out to God. "But, I haven't sang in public in over ten years. How will my shaky voice be a blessing to anyone?" Then, I wondered, "What if Satan attacks? This certainly would be a convenient place to be arrested!" I began to pray. "Oh Heavenly Father, You know my heart. And You know that I fear disappointing You. Please guide me to do Your will and protect me from the enemy."

The next day, I purposefully listened to my favorite worship songs. My eyes instantly welled with tears as the song "How Great Thou Art" played over my computer. In my mind, I imagined standing before my Lord and Savior while singing the song directly to Him. Instantly, my heart overflowed with joy! I knew that I had discovered the song God wanted me to sing. So, I downloaded the karaoke version of the song from iTunes.com. Because I didn't know the lyrics, I printed the heartfelt words on a sheet of paper. http://www.elyrics.net/read/c/carrie-underwood-lyrics/how-great-thou-art-lyrics.html. Then, with only a few practice runs I felt ready to do the Lord's will. 

A feeling of calmness overcame me. I even shared a laugh with my husband as I told him, "Clear your credit cards just in case I need to make bail for disturbing the peace." Then, while my seven-year-old was still at school I drove to the local jail. Along the way, I practiced singing the song a few more times.

Parking Lot of Local Jail
When I arrived at the jail and pulled into the parking lot, I felt another tug on my heart. "Go inside the lobby." So, I responded. I walked into the main lobby area. Immediately, I noticed two young adults sitting in the hard red plastic lobby chairs. They looked up at me as I sat down beside them. I quietly began to look around the room. It had been over three years since the night I was arrested and taken to this very jail. Unbelievably, a feeling of gratitude overcame me. "Thank You God for saving me from the path I was on! I love You Lord!"

Then, I looked at the woman and quietly asked, "Are you okay?" She smiled and replied, "Yes, thank you." I felt a strange connection to her, so I continued. "Do you have family in there?" She simply replied, "No. I have to do some time." Suddenly, I began to share my personal testimony with the woman. When I had finished the woman said, "I didn't want to come today."  I couldn't help but smile. Then, I softly said, "You may be surprised. It may not be as bad as you imagine. You know, the choice to sin is ours. My life actually began the night I was arrested. That's when I first chose God. I will pray for you." She smiled a smile of relief. Then, she offered her name. After that, I stood up and turn towards the front door. Then, suddenly for a moment I paused and turned around. I said, "I will add you name to my prayer board as soon as I return home." Once again, she thanked me.

Next, I returned to my car. Now, joyful anticipation filled my heart. I couldn't wait to sing to God! I approached my car, sat down and turned the key in the ignition. I left my driver's side door ajar. Then turned the volume of the compact disc player almost all the way up. I was ready to give thanks to the Lord and to praise Him with my song. I began to sing. As God would have it, I instantly knew all of the words to the song. I was hitting all the notes!  

Soon, I began to look around. As I sang, I noticed that a few grounds keepers had stopped raking for a moment. Then, I watched as a patrol officer rolled down the tinted windows of his K-9 patrol car. He was parked a few feet in front of my car. I watched as he moved his fingers up and down on his steering wheel while I sang, "Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee. How great thou art. How great thou art!"

Then with all my heart, I sang the final note. I closed my car door and began to slowly drive away from the parking lot. As a drove along that long dirt road, I took a moment to reflect on that night in late October 2008. I thought about where I might be today, had I never surrendered to the Lord. Then, as my eyes welled with tears, I thanked God for simply loving me!

 Please share your thoughts in the comments section below! 
To read the first written and published personal testimony 
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