of Pamela Baron
I was brought up in the Catholic faith. My parents were devout Catholics and the Catholic church was the only faith I knew. As a child I spent a lot of time singing. I would play the organ and sing for church services. I wasn’t there because I wanted a better relationship with God; I was there because my parents taught me that Catholicism was the true religion. I never doubted that there was a God, I always believed and I do give my parents credit for bringing me up in some kind of faith. I would sing up to three masses a weekend. The problem was that I was singing for me, not for God. They told us that we were singing for God, but mostly I just loved to sing. I never understood the Catholic mass. Sometimes we would sing in Latin and we prayed the same prayers every week. We memorized these prayers as small children because we repeated them so often. We were never taught to read the bible. We were taught that only the priest was aloud to read scripture. I never knew what the bible taught.
When I was eighteen years old I got a job singing in a wedding band. It was my dream to be a professional singer! I remember driving home from a catholic service one Sunday telling God that I was not going to come to church for a while because I needed to find out who I was and seek my career. In the band we played on weekends and did pretty well as far as money went. I had a blast! I was free from my parents and could do what I wanted to do. We drank at the weddings and I even smoked marijuana on occasion. I didn’t like performing when I was high. I was paranoid and thought I was singing off key all the time. I liked alcohol though. It was a lot less frightening singing in front of people after a couple of drinks. I was really getting involved with bad things. I started a relationship with the drummer of the band. He was great! He had a fantastic personality and in my opinion, he was the best drummer. We dated for about two years, and I was fired from the band because of a booking error on the leader’s part, and that was very hard. He wanted me to choose to sing at a wedding instead of attending my parent’s 25th wedding anniversary. I had no choice. It was hard on my relationship and it was very crushing on my dreams. My relationship with the drummer worsened while this was happening too. He wasn’t faithful to me and I was devastated. Not knowing what to do, I sought revenge on him and dated another person also. We didn’t want to break up we thought we had a good relationship. It was progressively getting worse. The drugs & cheating lead to abuse. I began to believe I was worthless.
I always forgave him. That’s how I was brought up! Always forgive…(thank you mom and dad)
We stayed together and even started our own music business with a loan from our parents. It was going to be great, and it was, except the relationship was getting worse. There was more abuse, more cheating, more alcohol, more drugs. We had a great business going, we were locally known all over the city. The people though, that came to our shows knew the truth about our relationship and it started to take its toll on the business. We abused each other and it was evident. The women in the nightclubs hated me. I think they were mostly jealous that I could have the job I had, and they were very jealous of the attention I received. That was awful too! My name would be written all over the bathroom walls of places I hadn’t even sung in yet. They called me horrible vile names. They made me cry. That hurt a lot. It was awful.
I remember praying in the bathroom at almost every show for God to see me through and to get me out!
After about 5 years in the business together, I decided it was time to end the relationship once and for all. You see, we broke up and got back together so many times. We had relationships in between. But the jealousy between us was so bad. We loved each other, but we had so many problems.
I ended the relationship in 1990. I had had enough. My girlfriend introduced me to her stepbrother Scott and he was wonderful and really knew how to treat me. I even remember telling God that I would go back to church, and I did start going to the Catholic services again, but my flesh took over and after we had gone to about 4 services together, well, it was easier and more fun to stay home with him. We started dating in July 1991 and in August I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Another blow! I remember asking God, “why me?” Every one of Scott’s friends and even his mother told him to leave me and not get involved. Thank God, he didn’t listen to them. Scott was there for me 100%. He slept by my hospital bed and missed work, and helped me pay bills, he was perfect! God had finally blessed me. I remember asking God about the cancer and seemed to always hear the reply, “I’m testing you”. Well, knowing that I would get through this and now that I had a man who was faithful and cared about me, I could get through anything. Scott moved in to my apartment when my brother got married and helped me with everything. I knew I was living in sin, but somehow it didn’t seem to matter. Our relationship was great! (At least I thought so) We dated for two years.
The doctor bills from my cancer were not going away, even though I had insurance, I couldn’t keep up because of the way I foolishly handled my money before. On the advice of my brother, I declared bankruptcy. Scott was talking about finding a place on his own since he moved in with me straight from his mother’s home. It hurt me very much that he wanted to stop living with me, but we still were seeing each other. I didn’t know this at the time, but Scott had been pouring out his feelings about me and the relationship to my sister. I never knew there was anything wrong.
I remember talking with Scott one Tuesday night about getting married, and since his family owned a very posh restaurant, we made a phone call to his mother and asked how much it would cost us to rent the facility for a wedding… Well, he never told me what the response was. The following Saturday morning I called him to find out when he was coming over to see me and that was when he told me we had to stop seeing each other. That was the end for me. The pain was so incredible I knew I couldn’t live without him. I begged and pleaded with him to stay and tell me why, but he couldn’t and never told me why. I had just started working a regular 8-5 job and was canceling a lot of my singing jobs because Scott didn’t want me to do that anymore. I think I worked 2 weeks at my new job and Scott left. I was back home with my parents because of the bankruptcy and truly wanted to end my life. I had thought about it many times before in my past relationship, but this was all I could take.
I remember being in my parent’s home in such pain that I couldn’t eat, sleep, or even converse with anyone. My sadness and anger were so extreme. I remember crying so hard that I thought I would die just from the emotional pain. I remember praying to God and asking why. I remember telling him I couldn’t live anymore and that the pain was too much to bear. I still communicated with Scott which was really only him being kind to me because he knew how much I was hurting. I would pray and just beg God to take my life. I did pray though. I asked God to give me a sign that He existed so I could live for him and not kill myself.
He gave me a number of signs. I remember asking him to help me, and I surrenderd my life to Him and that I would live every minute for Him. He was faithful, it was the hardest thing I ever did, but I put my complete trust in Him and just held on to His robe… I heard Him say, “hold on”…and so I did… I started to talk with Him all the time and ask Him for strength. I didn’t know how to get through the pain, but it seemed as months passed, He helped me to bear it.
I started going back to the Catholic Church because I knew that God wanted me in church. It was hard though, because every time I went I would always be in tears. I had asked my Dad why I always cried in church and he told me that God was trying to tell me something. Well, he was right! I listened and watched for signs and symbols of God everywhere I went. I got out the bible and started to read scripture. God was opening up my eyes, but I didn’t know to what.
I prayed a lot, though not the way I was taught in the Catholic faith, I prayed from my heart and it seemed that more of my prayers were being answered in talking to God as if He were my friend and not repeating the same things over and over again. I finally saved enough money and got back out of my parents home and rented my own apartment. It was hard. I didn’t have much money, but God somehow helped me through. I prayed still and I was still trying to communicate with Scott because I loved him so much, I couldn’t break it off all together. I was always writing letters to Scott asking why, why, why, but never sending them.
One day, I had started to write a letter to Scott, but for some reason, instead of writing “Dear Scott”, my pen wrote “Dear Jesus” and so I wrote. I asked Him every question in the world why my life was the way it was, why did Scott leave, and a million other questions about why my relationships were always failure. I must have written about 4 pages and when I was finished, I put the letter away.
Around three or more weeks later, I stumbled across the letter that I had written to Jesus, and there, in my own handwriting, were the answers to all of my questions! It was a miracle. God gave me a miracle. I wrote more letters and truly got response from the Lord Jesus Christ. I think He was honoring my steadfastness in searching. I knew for sure that God was real and I never doubted Him again.
God started showing me a lot of things once I started to trust Him. He was truly opening up my eyes to the way I was and the sins in my life. He wanted me to change my ways. When I would read the bible he would reveal to me His truth, a little at a time. I started to tell Jesus that I will try real hard and obey Him and I will wait for the man that He picks for me, not one I pick myself. I felt confident that I needed to change a lot about myself so. I trusted God in the timing of everything.
When I would go to nightclubs and sing with the Karaoke machines, I started singing my love songs to God and not to Scott. It seemed to have an effect on people. When I sang about how great my love was, and imagined that love to be for God, people would be crying when I would sing. They would all tell me how it touched them so. It had to be God! I remember God dealing with me in the area of alcohol. I wasn’t an alcoholic, but I sure relied on it to have fun. He started opening up my eyes to other people’s drunkenness, and I saw how ugly it was. But I still thought, that I wasn’t like that at all.
I prayed for God to send me a man that would pray with me, I prayed that God would send me a man that would go to church with me… He answered…
In front of my face for 2 years was a guy at work named Todd. I always thought he was way too young for me so I never pursued it. Well, I found out it was his birthday one day and asked him how old he was. He replied “26” oh! That wasn’t too young! I remember just small talk at first. Then one day I decided to take his phone number off the roster at work. I made my girlfriend dare me to call him. So I did!
Todd was very sweet and he seemed different then other guys, He had a gentleness and a way about him that kept my curiosity. Todd and I both wanted to attend church together. He was Catholic also, that was interesting. We would go to church together and read our bibles. We even tried to have our own bible studies at my apartment. The problem with reading the bible and being Catholic was that you started to see a lot of things wrong with the Catholic faith. A LOT of things! It started to make us look for a church that taught only scriptural doctrine and not traditions that seemed meaningless and many of which were abominations to God! (According to the Word) We knelt down to pray one day and asked God to show us to a true church. Well, about 1 week or so later, Todd was let go from his job for no reason at all and we didn’t understand… Well, God had it planned out…
The first time Todd went looking for a new job, he stopped at place called Miro Tool. He just saw it, and being a tool & die maker, he went in and applied. Todd came to my apartment after the interview and told me the neatest thing. He said that while he was in this interview with this owner, they ended up talking about God and they were both in tears. Todd knew that that was where God wanted him to work, so he was offered the job and started right away.
Not long after that, Todd was invited by his boss to a bible study at his bosses home. He really wanted me to come, but it was 35 minutes away and I didn’t feel like driving that far. Well, after the bible study that night Todd called me and told me how wonderful it was. I thought to myself, “how wonderful could it be?”
Todd couldn’t stop talking about it. Not long after that he told me that we were invited to attend his bosses church and see if it may be what we were looking for. I fought a little because it was ˝ hour away and I couldn’t see driving a half and hour to church on Sundays. But I finally agreed.
The Sunday I walked into Abundant Life Apostolic Church, something changed. I felt something I never felt in a church before. I felt true love and I couldn’t stop crying. I cried through the whole service. The music was so awesome and it wasn’t an ordinary denominational church. I could hear the people there praising God out loud and praying in tongues and I had never seen this before! One lady came running down the isle and I was in shock! I thought these people must be crazy! …Anyway… after the service Todd and I talked in the Truck and said we didn’t know why, but we were going to that church again.
I heard the most awesome true to scripture preaching I had ever heard in my life in that church. It wasn’t a “make you feel good” sermon that only taught comfort and a patted you on the back. This sermon had something different, it was as though God were talking Himself. It had power and it wasn’t watered down or changed. They preached from the whole bible, not just the New Testament!
We went back to that church and I started going to the bible studies with Todd. These bible studies were awesome and there was so much true love from the people. I felt like Jesus was in the room.
I was always hearing the tongues and interpretation in church and not understanding. You see, I was taught that speaking in tongues was of the devil. Well, that was a lie straight from Satan’s mouth himself.
In the service one Sunday I decided to ask a preacher there about tongues. He showed me every place in the bible where in the early church that when the people of God were filled with His Spirit, they spoke in tongues. He also showed me about baptism and how the name of Jesus is left out in the baptism thereby omitting the power to remit sins. You see, I was baptized as an infant (with no sin of my own) in “the name of the father and of the son, and of the holy spirit” Well, the name is Jesus and no one ever said the name. Plus, there is not one time in the bible where people were sprinkled at baptism. They were immersed!
Well, God spoke to my heart and I want to be filled with the Holy Spirit and I wanted the anointing and the power of God on my life. The scripture in the bible that clearly states this truth is in Acts 2:38. “Repent and be baptized, everyone of you in the NAME of JESUS CHRIST for the remission of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost! Well, there it is, the plan of Salvation!
How do I know this is true? Well, I repented, repent means to turn away from your sin and stop doing it. I knelt down at an alter and spoke to Jesus from my heart, and when I called out His Name I was filled with the Holy Ghost! It was the most awesome experience of my life! One minute I was speaking in English and the next minute I was speaking in tongues! I was so in awe and felt such joy and peace that nothing could ever compare. I knew that I needed to be baptized again, because I hadn’t had it done right the first time. After I was baptized and filled with the Holy Ghost my whole life changed.
I couldn’t do the things I did before. God was changing me. He made me clean, honest, and sober, took away my smoking addiction, healed my asthma, healed my cancer scars, and delivered me from everything that had me bound. Anything in my life that I loved more than Jesus had to go, and he told me through the Holy Ghost because now it was inside me and I knew it was God!!!!!
Todd was baptized and filled with the Holy Ghost too! You see, there is no interpretation of scripture except by the Holy Ghost and if you don’t have the Holy Ghost, you cannot know the truth. Your eyes need to be opened! Scripture says that the promise of the Holy Ghost is to you, and to your children and to all that are far off! It’s for everyone. And it is the true “born again” experience that is spoken about in the scripture. “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” Except a man be born of water and of Spirit…. Read for yourself it’s in there!
Thank you Jesus! For the freedom, the peace, the forgiveness, the gifts of the Spirit, and all of your blessings, because Lord, now that You’ve helped me to find you and gave me truth, I am free to accept your blessings.
Todd and I were married in November 1998 and were blessed with a beautiful daughter Rebecca in 2001. –Thank you Jesus!
Wait! There’s more! Through the Gifts of the Spirit I have witnessed to many others who have come to the truth. ( There is only ONE truth! And it saves!) …My nieces Marie and Amber, Baptized and filled with the Holy Ghost. My younger Brother, David, Baptized and filled with the Holy Ghost, Co-workers Rob Bauer and Richard Nell and their wives, Baptized and filled with the Holy Ghost! –Former high school classmate Jerry Mitchell, Baptized, filled with the Holy Ghost! My Older sister Barbara Dean, Baptized, filled with the Holy Ghost! Her husband John, baptized in the name of Jesus, soon to receive the Holy Ghost! Friend Rachel Stoddard, Baptized and filled with the Holy Ghost! Joan Bauer mother of Rob, Baptized and Filled with the Holy Ghost! Jerry Hearle father of Roxanne Bauer, baptized and filled with the Holy Ghost! Old Business partner and drummer in band, baptized in Jesus name, received the Holy Ghost and is serving God now. His Brother David Baptized and filled with the Holy Ghost. My friend from work Wendy Baker baptized and filled with the Holy Ghost, Friend Cari Kohl baptized in Jesus name and filled with the Holy Ghost….You see once God changes your life with truth, others follow with little effort because they have seen the Glory of God! Amen & Amen!