Dee’s family was Catholic but only went to Mass a couple of times a year. She and her twin did everything together, including smoking and drinking at a young age—a pattern of living that lasted for years.
Dee later married and the couple ended up in California and started a family. The devastation hit when they lost a child prematurely, creating a wedge between them.
They turned to heavy use of drugs and alcohol. Dee became pregnant again and passed out during her pregnancy. After going to the hospital, she discovered she had gestational diabetes and other challenges. The doctors informed her the child would really struggle with disabilities and they encouraged a termination. She went to bed that evening, convinced she wouldn’t keep the baby.
A REAL AND RAW EXPERIENCE
This baby was John. Dee later told him she could not sleep that night. She looked over at her nightstand in her hospital room, and there was a Gideon-placed Bible. She opened God’s Word and began reading, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born, I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5 ESV). These were the first words she had ever read from the Bible.
“My mom had a very real and raw experience with the Lord that night,” John remembers her telling him. Dee placed her hand on her pregnant belly and said, “God, you know this baby in my belly.” Then came the words that would forever change John’s life. God told her, “I love you and him very much.”
She knew God was real at that moment and gave her life to Jesus Christ. Everything changed for Dee. Her decision to not keep the baby changed to promising to live for God and raising John to live for the Lord.
In God’s providence, one of Dee’s other doctors and his wife were believers. He was thrilled with the news that she was keeping the baby and told her they had been praying for her. Doctors performed an emergency C-section, and John was born.
That night in the hospital, Dee decided to give up alcohol and pills. She never touched them again. The doctor encouraged her to read the Gospel of John and “read everything in red.” These Scriptures led her to name her son John, which means: God is gracious.
REJOICE IN THE LORD
Dee began to raise him the best she knew how. Unfortunately, John’s relationship with his father was filled with abuse. Thoughts filled John’s head, such as, “I’m not valued; I’m not loved.”
Something else began to fill John’s head and heart. He would watch Billy Graham crusades on television and act like he was preaching. “As a five-year-old boy, I knew I didn’t want to spend eternity away from Christ. My mom prayed with me to receive Jesus as my Lord and Saviour,” he remembers.
John’s parents divorced when he was in the 4th grade. During counselling sessions, John began to feel a calling into the ministry.
One day, he got in the car with his discouraged mother and began singing these words over her: “Rejoice in the Lord, and again I say rejoice.” By the time they reached the driveway, Dee told him she felt the shame leave her. She stayed in the car and wept. From that moment on, she knew John would be a worship pastor. “John, you took my hand and led me to the presence of the Lord,” she later told him.
THE GOOD WORK
Today, John is a worship pastor in South Carolina.
“God is God and can do whatever He wants. But I believe had it not been for that Bible and verse in Jeremiah, my story would be very different. I may not be here. I thank God for The Gideons. I’m here today because of your good work.”
John will continue to serve the body of Christ, forever leaning on the Word of God. He will do so because he knows the life-changing power Scripture has on people. He is living proof.
(The original article was shortened.)
Source: Gideons International