"The presence of Jesus simply overwhelmed me. I was immersed in His love and I couldn't help but cry, but not out of sadness. It was exhilaration. I really experienced His love, and that was the beginning of my new relationship with Jesus."
All my life I've believed in God. But over the last six years he's let me experience his love in ways that have made a tremendous difference to me, though they're sometimes difficult to describe.
Six years ago I thought that my whole life was in order. Everything was fine. God was not extremely personal to me; he was omnipotent and distant. But he cared very much for me. In fact, I knew he loved me even though he seemed far away.
So I was peaceful and happy. I received Communion every day and was active in the ladies' guild. Then one day our pastor called and said, "We're starting a prayer group. Why not come?"
Because I was interested and didn't want to disappoint the pastor, I went. The group was small, since it had just met for the first time the week before, but I honestly didn't feel at home in it. I don't know why, just didn't. The way the people prayed seemed foreign to me.
The week after that I intended to call Father to tell him that I didn't think I belonged at the meeting. I reached for the phone several times but never called. I just couldn't quite do it. Instead, I returned to the prayer meeting, and this time I felt more at home. So the following week I went again. It was during the third meeting that God touched me and let me know that this was where He wanted me.
It was really something. The presence of Jesus simply overwhelmed me. I was immersed in His love and I couldn't help but cry, but not out of sadness. It was exhilaration. I really experienced His love, and that was the beginning of my new relationship with Jesus.
After that I knew my life wouldn't be the same. I realized that the love of God was what life was about. Today Jesus is the most important person in my life. I love Him and know that His love for us is incredibly deep.
He's also enabled me to love others in ways I never could before— especially the aged and the sick. Years ago when I tried to visit convalescent homes I had such a hard time. I felt compassion, but I shuddered at the sickness and helplessness of it all.
Now Jesus has made me feel at home with times people and their suffering. I love them. I see their pain, but I'm not afraid. Because of Jesus' love for them, I can look at them with His eyes. Now I can be with them, hold them, and kiss them no matter what their condition is or what their sores are like. And I know that I really do love them.
The Lord has changed my life because He's a God of love. He is love. That's the good news. His love is indescribable, and it's given to everyone, everywhere.
Age 55 (at the time she wrote this story, in 1979)
homemaker, married 32 years,
5 children (one deceased)
How Wtness.org heard of this story: Bob Ovies, the long-time deacon of the now-closed St. Columban church in Birmingham, Michigan, shared with Bill Griffin, Managing Editor of Wtness.org, a book Bob had edited titled "New Lives". In this book was the story of Mildred Howell of Royal Oak, Michigan, who Bob knew personally in 1979 when this story was written.