In this next story by Greg Weddle, he describes the way God supported him in his climb out of the pit of Satanism, along with past greed, egotism, lust, lost job, lost marriage, lost Jaguar, lost money. He was $15,000 in debt, and living again with his parents. To read the earlier story which describes his amazing one-night conversion, click here: Greg converts from following Satan to God.
The following story begins with Greg at rock bottom. But he is buoyed by having encountered God in a very convincing way, and by having supportive parents and bosses.
I had lost my great-paying job as a supervisor in computers. So I went down to the Kroger in Farmington Michigan, where I had gone to high school, and applied for a job there and they actually hired me. Here I am, working at a grocery store, stocking shelves, and running cash registers. And it's wild because people that I used to give bullshit about me driving a Jag would come in and I would wait on them. You'd think I'd be totally embarrassed. But it was so good. I was actually thankful because it was honest. It was really something that I was a different person. I had been changed. I was doing some humble work that was in the truth and helpful, serving others, and not just giving them a line of BS and trying to put on a show as a big shot. I couldn't be a big shot any longer. I was just me, doing that grocery work. God had just converted me that whole night. There was a joy in that. God had showed me that I had been using people and living a lie and was just promoting myself and trying to get what I could get. And I couldn't do that any more. So I was just serving customers, and was thankful for it.
The guy I worked for there at Kroger was awesome.
At that point, 1973, I was way in debt, because of the accident and medical bills and such. Fifteen thousand in debt. In today's money it would be $100,000. A lot of money. Then a Corvette cost $6,000. A Porsche was the same.
I get a call out of the blue. When I was out of high school for a couple years, I had worked for a guy at a Standard gas station at Haggerty Road and Grand River in Farmington. He always liked me. He was a very staunch Baptist and he'd ask me if I was praying, and I'd say at that time "My Mom's praying for me. Ha ha ha". He called me out of the blue and said, "I really need someone who can work midnights Saturday. I'll pay you more than I'd normally pay someone." So I added that job on. I had a 12 hour shift on Saturday nights.
Then I saw a job advertised in computers again at the Huron Cement Company, which was in the Honeywell building at Southfield Road and Nine Mile in Southfield, Michigan. The building is still there today, but it's not called Honeywell any more. It is located across from where the IBM building is now. It was on the 12th floor. I didn't have a car, but I applied for the job, and I explained to the guy that I didn't have a car, I lived in Farmington and didn't have a way to get here. And he said, "Well I know there are a couple people here that live in Farmington. Maybe they can give you a ride." So there was this guy who was the choir director at his church swinging by, picking me up at my parent's house, taking me to work. After work, he drove me home or dropped me off at the Kroger store. It was a Godsend. Without that help, I wouldn't have been able to keep that job.
Also the manager at Kroger was just so good to me. He was awesome. When there was some kind of crisis at my IT job, he would let me work late there, instead of coming to Kroger. Working late meant my driving co-worker was long gone. So late at night I would just walk home from Nine Mile and Southfield to Grand River and Farmington Road, where my parents lived (Editor's note: Google Maps says that's 8 miles). It was just "pray and walk". It was just so good. A good time actually.
Working those three jobs, I paid off all my debts in less than two years.
The only time I had to myself was an hour for lunch. At that time, next to the Honeywell building was a vacant field and I would just go over there and read my Bible for an hour. You'd think that I wouldn't be thankful to have no time to myself, no car, and a heavy workload. But I was very grateful for what God had done for me: freeing me from my old self-centered life and giving me honest activities. It was a great improvement, even though you might not think so. He did a lot. He did an awful lot for me.
So then the next big thing happened. This is a little sensitive I guess.
Sometimes I had to work overtime. I had to write a whole payroll system for the company. It was one of the biggest projects I ever did way back then. Huron Cement Company had boats that ran steel all around. The crew and the Captains on those boats had to get paid. So there were all kinds of different pay rules and taxes. So here I am working at 11 or 12 at night.
It had probably been 18 months since the night I was converted. A cleaning woman was in the building. She came into my room. She was coming on to me in a very strong way. We were the only two in the whole building. And it was almost like 90% of me wanted to. I hadn't been with a woman in two years. It was just so tempting. But I just got myself by the scruff of the neck, and kind of excused myself, ran down the hall, got into an empty office, shut the door, dropped to my knees and immediately, boom, I was just filled with light, it was just like waves of light again and again flushing me clean. And I'm on my knees, and I look back in the spirit at what I almost did, what I almost did, what was so attractive, so tempting. I could almost throw up, it was so repulsive. It was so ugly.
And from then on, you know how the Bible talks about treating the younger women as your sisters and the older women as your mothers? (Editor's note: See 1 Tim 5:2) That's how it was for me. Never in my life since that point have I ever had an attraction to pornography or to masturbation, where it was always an issue before that. It was gone, totally. It was almost like my Isaiah experience with the white coal (Editor's note: See Isa 6:6-7). God just cleaned me. I look at women differently.
Deciding no to the cleaning woman's advances took me to the wire because so much of me wanted to do it. It seemed like that's what I wanted. But now I understand that we all have an openness to the demonic because of our sinful nature, and we are actually feeling the demon's lust. We are feeling his desires for this. He wants it so bad, and you feel it, thinking it's going to be so good. It's almost what we're made for in the Lord is 10,000 volts, and by contrast you feel 100,000 volts of demonic energy. It's like a tractor beam. You are drawn to it. But the Lord freed me from it. I didn't experience that any more.
While I was considering my own decision, it was just me. But once I made my decision, the Lord helped me. He was definitely there. But I first had to first make that decision, before He helped me.
It could have gone the other way. God knows what my life would have been then. I might not have been able to recover from that, because it was such a serious juncture. Sometimes you're at a crossroads.
What happens when you give in is that you become weaker, and the demon becomes stronger, and you lose your free will. You're a slave. Jesus said, "He who sins becomes a slave to sin." (Editor's note: See John 8:34) That's what happens. You become a slave. And God set me free, and it was a life-long freedom. I was totally different after that.
What God was doing was cleaning me up for what was coming next. (Editor's note: Greg's upcoming marriage to Josie). The Bible says that what God is tying together, let no man put asunder (Editor's Note: See Matt 19:6). And He doesn't just show up at every wedding and marriage like an errand boy and join people together. There a lot of things that God is has no part of. My first marriage was one of those. But my second one, God was a part of from the beginning. And he had cleaned me up from a spot where I never would have been worthy of Josie. It would have been like a snake and a bird. We would have had no communion. But God had just changed me. The first time I laid eyes on her, she was leading worship at Shrine of the Little Flower (Editor's note: In Royal Oak, MI), in a prayer meeting. It was just like being struck by lightning, for goodness. She had such a relationship with the Lord. (Long pause) The Lord did a lot. He did an awful lot for me.
Lake Orion, Michigan
How Wtness.org discovered Greg's story: In 1980, Deacon Bob Ovies of Royal Oak, Michigan wrote a book titled 'New Lives' (Servant Publications, Ann Arbor), and in it was Greg's conversion story, which is reprinted on Wtness.org. Bob and Greg both attended the same Royal Oak-based prayer community in the late 1970's and 80's, and they still stay in touch. Bob was the Deacon of St. Columban Church for many years, and WTNESS.ORG Managing Editor Bill Griffin attended St. Columban during those years, and read the book in 1997. Greg was in Royal Oak in August 2014 to attend a prayer vigil for a dying Mike Stack (see the three articles Mike contributed to WTNESS.ORG). Greg met Bill at that prayer vigil, and Bill remembered his name and his story. Bill invited Greg to visit Bill at his home, and there Greg recorded these stories on a digital recorder.