Mom says I was singing before I was talking. I don’t remember it, but I don’t doubt it.
More than 50 years ago I was born three months early in a small town where I was stuck in an incubator for a month with no human touch. I had to fight just to breath. Only God knew how He would use this test. Though my parents were given no hope for me, God had a plan.
I lived, yes I did, and I grew up in church.
I remember the devil being after me. One time when I was five he was standing in my doorway and wouldn’t let me out. I screamed but nothing came out. Angels later ministered to me. That’s the last time I remember seeing angels but I don’t doubt they exist.
When I was 12 a “friend” got me to puff on a cigarette and drink some wine. Not a good idea at all. Why did I do it? Why? Just prior to that I was singing in church and putting tracks in people’s mailboxes. I was knocking on doors telling neighbors about Jesus. I heard the whole world had to know before He would come back. I wanted to do my part.
Then I backslid for way too long.
I never ever felt right about it either. I ran away from home at 14 years old. Really I thought I knew everything and really I knew much of nothing. I had to find out the hard way.
Finally, when I was 27 years old a man professing to be a satanist began talking to me about the book of Revelation. I knew I had a Bible that my praying Grandma had given me. I got up, found the Bible, and locked myself in the back room. I read the entire book and it felt like The Light was shining just on me. It was New Year’s eve 1987. I began my journey back.
After nine miscarriages and a seriously failed relationship, I began a new life. I saw an ad at a local music shop. “Christian band looking for a singer”….. I answered the ad. God knows what He’s doing. I was hooked. I went back to church and started serving. I was later recruited into Bible School. Yes, that’s what I said. I didn’t want to do it at first because I was in a band and we were playing gigs. I had written a jingle for Altoids and they were paying us to play the jingle at each gig. Wow that was fun. I was even on the radio, and was known as the Altoids lady for a minute. God had a different plan.
While in Bible school a friend got a job at a prison and asked if I would like to bring my pastor and come minister. That was the beginning of this long chapter in my life. Since 1994 to the present, I‘ve been a servant in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice System, and the State of Louisiana prison system. After being licensed and ordained in 1999, I became a volunteer chaplain at a men’s maximum security prison where I served for seven years. I formed a non-profit organization, Lionzbride Ministry, and the rest is history in the making.
The next chapter is not known, thank God, or I might mess it up. God plants seeds inside of us even before we are born. He does have a plan and we don’t have to know it all, but it really helps to know Him. His sheep hear His voice and come running.
No matter how far we go in the wrong direction, while there’s still breath, there’s still time to turn around and run in the right direction. God never tires. His arms are wide open. His love is better than life itself. Hold on to Jesus.
Stand firm when he attacks. Trust the Lord; and remember that other Christians all around the world are going through these sufferings too.~ 1 Peter 5:9 TLB
~ Constance Carter