I was blessed to be raised in a wonderful home with parents who lived by the Good Book. My parents and those around me all seemed so perfect that I couldn't wait to grow up. You see, I figured that once I became an adult, obedience would never again be a problem. I too, could be free from the weight that I carried as a guilt ridden four year old.
One day I confided my theory to my mother. And she, being the wise mom that she was, realized that even though I was only four years old, God had been dealing with me, speaking to my heart through my tender conscience.
Mom explained to me that every one has a problem with sin. The problems don't go away magically when you reach a certain age. She told me that no one was perfect except Jesus, not even my wonderful Daddy or my Mommy. And then she explained to me that Jesus knew that we couldn't be good enough on our own, and that is why He let them nail him to a cross to die. She said that all of us deserved to die, but that the God who created us loved us so much that He took our place on the cross, and He wanted us to love Him. She said that if I asked Him to come into my heart he would help me to do what was right. That was the day that I accepted Jesus into my life.
Our family learned to understand what it meant to trust God for our daily needs. There were times when we were down to our last crust of bread and the Lord sent a Good Samaritan to drop a box of food on our doorstep. One time when my father had taken a walk down the road to pray for a bit of protein to feed his family, and my mom was in the little cottage where we lived praying that the Lord would provide her family with an egg or two to serve her children, my father saw something laying by the side of the road. He went over to investigate and found a whole crate of eggs. Somehow it must have been dropped by a passing farmer and had been left to freeze in the snow bank. None of the eggs were broken and our family rejoiced in the wealth of farm fresh eggs all that winter.
After I grew up and got married, I tried to follow my parent's example of leaning on him, but it seems that we all have to learn things the hard way. My husband had a call on his life, but he had a good job with the Post Office and didn't want to give it up. He was afraid that if he became a preacher, he might not be able to provide adequately for his family. But the higher his wages rose, the farther we got into debt.
Bruce had made it up the ladder to the point where he was Post Master of Owen Sound. Mean while, I had learned how to use the computer and had taken up writing, but before I could get very far with that, another interest began to take over all my time.
I had always done well in art in school but had never been given the opportunity to work with oils. And so, when my husband decided to take a computer course at the local High school, I decided to take art there at the same time. Before the end of the course I had sold my first painting for more than I would have dreamed possible. All thought of being a writer vanished in the glow of artistic success. I was going to be an artist.
By this time, my husband was ready to take an early retirement (buy-out) from the Post Office. He wanted to help me get established as an artist. I was selling some of my paintings for good prices, and he figured we could set up an art center selling art supplies, doing framing, giving lessons, and showing art work. The whole thing would promote me, Carol Flett. I kept telling myself that I had to get my name out there in order to sell more paintings. I forgot that it was the Lord who helped me sell my first painting, and He would continue in His own way if we stayed in His will.
We were in the process of planning our business when the Lord began speaking to my husband again, telling him that it was time for him to go into full time service, but Bruce still wasn't ready. He said, "Not now, Lord. My wife needs her chance to make it with her art." I was so wrapped up in my own career that he wanted to please me, and in doing so, he had rejected the call of God on his life.
We went into business. We had done all our homework. We knew what Owen Sound needed. We knew how many artists there were in the area and how much it cost to go to Toronto for supplies. We knew how to promote and how to attract customers. Bruce was an expert in administrative skills, and I put my writing abilities to good use with a weekly arts column in an area wide newspaper, a monthly column in an arts paper, I was on a local TV report show once a month, and I did everything I knew how to do, but the bills kept adding up, and the income kept going down.
We were doing everything we knew to do, everything except one thing. We were not obeying God; hence we were not living in the blessing of the Lord, and oh, how sad it is to live outside God's blessing. Within fourteen months we had lost all our savings, we were losing our house, we had lost our health, and we were about to lose our business. We were ready to do whatever the Lord wanted.
That's when everything changed. God provided a way out for us. Our lives changed from nervous tension and extreme emotional stress to a beautiful peace that we had never experienced in our married life before. Our needs were met in God's perfect timing and we watched in awe.
He trained us in His own way, and then He put us where He wanted us to be. I like to think that in God's economy He has all different kinds of workers. There are those that He places in one place all their lives to be an anchor to those around them, and then there are those whom He uses as floaters to send on individual assignments wherever He has a special need. I believe that Bruce and I are floaters. Every time the Father sends us somewhere, he has someone specific that He wants us to reach, whether it is a neighbor or a backslidden preacher. Each assignment is unique and exciting. Our job has always been to befriend that person and encourage them to find peace in Jesus.
Lately, we have been involved with Christian Schools Ministries. One exciting assignment was helping a school in Northern Manitoba, beyond where the roads go, and living on a Reserve where most of the people don't even have running water or out houses, and where the main language spoken is Oji-Cree. Conditions were rough but the blessings were tremendous. I worked with children between the ages of eight and twelve, and I watched as the Lord began to deal with each of the children. Before we left, four out of the five had given their hearts to the Lord. They began praying for the fifth, and a few months later I heard word that their prayers (and ours) had been answered.
Then the Father began to speak to me about going back to writing, but I wasn't sure that it was really what He wanted for me. You see, I had made a lot of mistakes in the past, the greatest of which was rooted in the strong desire to promote Carol Flett. If I started writing, wouldn't I run into the same snares? I wanted nothing more to do with anything that would necessitate my own personal promotion. But it continued to play on my mind until I begged the Lord to show me what I should do.
This is what He directed me to:
Ps 78:3. "I will open my mouth in a parable which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us.I knew that Mom's story was a wonderful testimony of the workings of God. Still, I was not totally sure that I wasn't just wasting time, but when I opened my Bible and saw a long tedious genealogy, I realized that God went to a lot of trouble to keep a record of parents and grand parents. After that I flipped over in the Bible to another passage. It opened to me at Psalm 145:4.
4. We will not hide them from their children, showing to the generation to come, the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.
5. For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children:
6. That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children:
7. That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:"
"One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts."And verse 2 says
"Every day will I bless thee."I believed my writing would bless him, and I knew that I would have to do it every day. My husband reminded me that my painting did not have much potential for winning souls to the Lord but my writing could. I started back to my writing.
I now have five books in print. "Susie's Story", "Susie's Journey", "Susie's Calling" , "Gang Trouble", and a picture book, "Lost". I believe that the Lord Jesus is using these books, and is placing them where He wants them to be placed. I am amazed at how He has been in control of distribution.
Occasionally I hear of lives that have been touched by my stories and this really excites me. It's why I do what I do. There is no greater thrill than to have some small part in seeing a soul accept the Lord Jesus into their heart and life.
Since writing this testimony my situation has changed and I am now a widow. I still look to my Heavenly Father to direct every step I take, and I still pray that I can be used to help others. I pray that my blogs help some soul along life's journey.