I am going to a better place

A place where I will have a mansion, and the streets are of pure gold!

My name is Carol Reiter, and this is my story:

In my early teenage years, my family and I began attending a Bible preaching church every Sunday.  We even attended the Wednesday night prayer meetings. Although I was attending church often, I was far from God.  When I was about 15 years old, the pastor preached a sermon on John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have ever lasting life.”  That day after the sermon, I went to the front of the church, partly because others in the church were doing it, and partly because I wanted some peace and joy.  At the front of the church someone prayed and read Bible verses with me.  I thought that that made me right with God.

However, the peace I got from that experience did not last.  It was not the real peace Christ could give me, because although I believed in God with my head, I did not believe in my heart.  The Bible says in Romans 10:9,10 that true belief is in the heart.  The Bible also says that Jesus must be Lord and Master, but I was afraid to let Him control my life; I was afraid He would make changes that I wasn’t ready for. I wanted to continue my partying:   I didn’t want to give up my drinking, smoking, and drugs.

My lifestyle was dangerous, but I figured that God would take care of me, because I had that experience in church.  I thought I could have my fun and count on God to protect me.   I figured that all my prayers would be answered, too.  But when my mother passed away in 1977, I began to blame God for taking her.  I began to rebel more against God.  I felt He wasn’t answering my prayers, so I stopped praying and going to church.

At age 16, I got married and partied even more.  Marriage did not bring me happiness, and after 10 years we were divorced.    After the divorce I went into depression.  I was seeing a counselor five days a week and was taking heavy medication for my depression. I still did not have any peace or comfort.   A few months after that, I was married again in 1990.  My depression improved, but it wasn’t long before I started having personal problems.  I began praying a little more; I wanted God to give me peace and guidance.

Then in 1993 I had a heart attack.  Diabetes, which had been uncontrolled for years, had taken its toll on all my organs, especially my heart.  I had to have triple bypass surgery at the age of 34.  The night before the surgery, a minister prayed with me, but I still had no peace with God.  The thought of not surviving the surgery petrified me, and I feared that if I died, I would not go to heaven to be with my mother.  I came through the surgery but continued to have heart problems.

In 1995 my husband and I were visited by the pastor of a Bible-believing church located nearby.   He invited us to church to hear more about the Bible.  We went to the church a few times then quit going.  The Pastor continued to visit us.  I’m glad now that he didn’t give up on us, for we began to visit services again.

I quit smoking, drinking, and partying, and I convinced myself and others around me that I was a Christian.   I decided to join the church in July 1996, and I began serving the Lord.  I helped a lot in the church nursery and tried to block out the doubts that crept into my mind.

About two years later on June 25, 1998, the pastor preached his Sunday morning message on salvation as he always did, but this particular Sunday was different for me. I felt that the Lord was drawing me to Him; for the first time I understood the message of God.  During the next few weeks, God continued to speak to my heart.  I saw myself for what I really was: a sinner in need of a Savior.  I couldn’t go on deceiving myself.   I couldn’t go on in my sin.  On Sunday morning, July 25, 1998, when the Pastor asked for those who wanted to receive Christ as Lord and Savior to come to the front of the church, I couldn’t stay in my seat.  I went up front with a humble heart and prayed to the Lord to forgive my sin.   In that quiet moment, I believed with my whole heart and surrendered my life to Jesus Christ.  I finally knew I was truly saved and on my way to heaven.  It was so different than my previous experience in the front of the other church when I was a teenager.  This time I wanted Christ with all my heart.   I didn’t care what other people thought or how I looked.  This time I wanted Jesus to rescue me from my sinful condition.  This time I found the peace, joy, and happiness that I had been looking for all my life.

Life hasn’t been without troubles, but since I am now a child of God, He helps me with my problems. I am legally blind, but the Lord is helping me cope with that. He has brought me through several heart attacks. Many times the heart doctors have given up on me, but the Lord keeps me going.  I count my many blessings every day.  And I am not afraid to die.  I know I am going to a better place where I have a mansion and the streets are made of pure gol!  Jesus Christ changed my life. I am not afraid to tell people about the Lord.  He is the best thing that ever happened to me.

John 3:16  “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”   This is my life verse:   it has a lot of meaning for me.  This verse tells us that God loved the world so much that He sent His only Son to die for our sins.  God Himself took my punishment!  What a great price He paid to rescue me!

Romans 10:9, 10 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”   This verse explains the kind of belief God wants us to have.   To be saved, we need to believe in the heart that Christ’s death and resurrection provided our only way to heaven and that we must trust in Him alone for salvation.