Donna Schexneider's Testimony
I had been raised Roman Catholic in South Louisiana. The catholic faith was the main denomination amongst the French people in Louisiana. My father divorced my mother when I was a child, and it bothered me that being divorced kept my mother from partaking of communion at mass.
Once she allowed me to date, my mother told me to be mindful prior to getting serious with a young man. She told me that a couple who would pray together, would stay together. This represented security to me...so when I fell in love with the young man, and we decided to marry — I asked if we could be married at mass. He replied, "I prefer to be married in my home church where I'm fed." My ignorance made me think, "We'd save on the grocery bill, they would feed us."
From catholicism to pentacostalism: a Full Gospel church — Assembly of God — was from one extreme to another! But one service the pastor preached under great anointing on Salvation — being born again. It was as if a thousand flash bulbs went off within me, and for the first time I recognized Jesus paid a personal price for me on Calvary — it had not been mass produced for the catholics, but whosoever would accept Jesus as Lord, and Savior. I literally became that new creature in Christ Jesus...I was born again! Many in the family of God encouraged me to seek, and receive my gift of the spirit — but those tongues bothered me — I preferred to talk in English. I had always been an avid reader but I didn't have the understanding of the Word of God that I desired.
Then I noticed all those that had been filled with the Holy Spirit. They seemingly had a understanding of the Blessed Word. They were always quoting the Word, it was included in their testimonies. So I got down on my knees and asked the Lord, "If receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit will give me greater understanding of the Infallible Word of God, I am ready to receive my gift." I was down at the altar, praying during revival, and was gloriously filled with the Holy Spirit. The Word came alive to me — I couldn't get enough of it.
God had all things in His control — soon thereafter He placed a call on my life to teach an adult Sunday School class. If I had never received an understanding, how could I have taught? As I study to teach, I'm the benefactor. I am strengthened and nourished spiritually as I feed upon His Blessed Word daily. Now I understand the value of being in a church where I am fed — spiritually!
This is a followup to a testimony in Volume 3, No. 6 (#18) 1994. ed.
By Ms. Donna Schexneider
I have experienced the blessing of being set free, and as John 8:36 says — "Who the son of God sets free, is free indeed." And with being set free and "born again," I am truely a new creature in Christ Jesus. A marked evidence of this blessed spiritual experience is the Peace of God that passes all understanding. That is mine.
Nine years ago, March 20, 1985, I was involved in a near fatal automobile accident. I spent two years hospitalized... my most serious injury was a head injury — brain badly bruised. I was in a coma condition for three months. I came out of the coma at a infant stage mentally — I could neither read, nor write, didn't know my name, nor could I care for myself, and failed to recognize friends or family. A dramatic memory loss is a fairly common characteristic of a head injury such as I had incurred. My mother shared with me, the most amazing aspect of my condition, as she saw me lie for two years in a hospital bed, that the doctors referred to as my "death bed" (they had little hope for my recovery) was that no matter what I was facing, or enduring, I'd open my mouth, and correctly quote the applicable Word of God. As I did this, my mother said the "Peace of God" was over me, and she literally saw "the joy of the Lord become my strength."
I was finally scheduled for discharge, and was so eager to return home to a normal life. I had been married for 30 years. But I had to face the horror that my husband had back-slid — turned his back on God, blaming God for the accident. Once he turned his back on God, I imagine it was easy to turn his back on me, his wife. He had left me, and was divorcing me! This was worse then the initial accident. There are times when a emotional pain can hurt worse than a physical one. So many questions flooded my mind & heart & soul: "Why?" "How-come?" "When?" "What?" "Where?"
But once again, the faithful abiding presence of my Lord brought such peace and comfort. I recognized my Lord was "a Friend, who stuck closer than a brother, and would never leave me, nor forsake me." I might have been forsaken by my husband, but my Lord's sweet abiding presence was ever with me. "The Joy of the Lord was my strength." and according to Philippians 4:13, "I could do all things, through Jesus, who strengthens me."
The positive aspect of my relationship with my Lord kept me covered by the Blood of the Lamb, and therefore no negative feelings of anger, or bitterness, or hate could enter into me. To this day, I can love my ex-husband, who is still in a backslidden condition, with the Love of God, and intercede often in prayer for him.
God's Word is so precious and true. I've seen the reality of Proverb 22:6, where we are told "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is older, he will not depart from it." I never put any of my children in a position to have to choose sides. I exhorted them to remember their father, to love him, respect him, and pray for him. My two older sons and daughters-in-laws contacted me following my discharge from the hospital. They stated, "Mom, the fact you're alive is a miracle, and you've had a long hospitalization, and what you're facing now is unbelieveable. To face it adequately, it's time to leave South Louisiana, and come up and be with us." (No one could have prepared them, or me, for what their father and my husband was doing). I thanked my sons for their love and concern, but told them, "I have no desire to live with any of my children." But when I went to visit them, I discovered the blessing that both sons had bought new homes, and without me ever asking, or expecting, had designed, and built lovely private apartments for me in their basements. I now had two homes that I could come and go from, as I so desired. What a blessing to see the tangible evidence of love, respect, and support from my sons.
The move worked together for my good. I was able to leave my past behind, and press forward to a fresh, new life. I had to leave my home church behind in Louisiana, where I had been saved, filled with my gift of the Holy Spirit, and taught an adult Sunday School class for many years. Though I miss my family in God there, I have found God has a great, big family, all related by the Blood of the Lamb, and you will fit in God's family wherever you are.
Life goes on, and I've learned the value of living one day at a time, keeping my hands firmly clasped in the nail-scarred Hands of my Lord, and He ever faithfully leads, guides, and directs me. This is a fresh new year, but I have no fear as I face the unknown tomorrows, for I know Who holds my tomorrows. My Lord changes not, the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow — and that includes 1996. I'll trust my Lord to go before me, and make my crooked pathways straight... I walk in a strong , immovable foundation — I walk on the Rock — Jesus Christ!
Praise His Holy Name!!!