During the pandemic season and our time of online services, I received an email from someone named Sue, explaining that she and her common-law husband of 11 years had started watching our church services online. Sue explained how the Holy Spirit had been speaking to her during the message times and that she needed to make everything right in her life – and in particular, how she needed to marry Jason … as soon as possible! As I sought to gain greater understanding of Sue’s story, I asked her to write it down. Here are some excerpts of what she shared…
“I had grown up Catholic but not reading the Bible, and I have always loved Jesus. When I was in a primary French Catholic School and the teacher said that Jesus loved me, I was in awe that Jesus would love me. I did not fit in at school and was teased a lot. It hurt but I was okay with it because Jesus loved me. The best way I could describe my walk with Jesus was that I met with Him every day and I spoke to Jesus about everything. Without Jesus, I absolutely would not have survived. But the missing key was that I did not read the Bible, so I did not really get to know Jesus fully and what He truly wanted, not did I understand the heart of God. The enemy is very good at making us believe the lie that it’s okay if you do this or that, and that it is not sin.
As a young adult, I started occasionally going to church with my aunt. We used to go for walks, and we would talk about God, Jesus and the Bible. I grew in God and started reading my Bible and going to Glad Tidings Church.
My husband and I separated when my son was just an infant and my daughter was three years old. I would pray for my husband and I to reconcile because I had read what the Bible says about divorce. Approximately 12 years later, my husband and I attempted to reconcile our marriage. Sadly, our marriage did end in divorce, and my husband married another woman he had been in relationship with.”
Sue shared how at this point in her life she felt hurt and confused. She slowly fell away from church and from reading her Bible. She would talk with Jesus, praying daily, but she had stopped listening and knowing what God wanted for her and from her.
Yet, her understanding of sin and sinful ways was challenging her heart.
In this past year and a half, Sue began reading God’s Word again and praying, asking God to forgive her and to restore her relationship with Him. As that place of spiritual intimacy with her Heavenly Father grew stronger, Sue became convicted of different areas of sin in her life that she needed to repent of. She had been in a relationship for several years with someone she was planning to marry, and they were living as if they were married. She realized that God did not intend for men and women to be in an intimate relationship outside of a marriage covenant. She had lived to believe the lie that this was okay. Now she had to tell the man whom she loved that they could no longer live as they had been doing unless they got married.
Sue prayed and fasted and asked God for strength to share her heart-felt convictions with her fiancé. She even asked God to prepare her heart if his response was not as she would have desired.
Sue was so grateful to find that her fiancé’s response was one of acceptance and life-change for both of them. Quickly, they began making plans for marriage. And, in a small and intimate wedding ceremony of just seven people in April 2021, Sue and Jason joined their hearts together in marriage.
It is beautiful to watch from a pastoral perspective at how Sue and Jason were able to be part of our online family at Spring Bay Pentecostal Church. Now, as COVID-19 pandemic restrictions lift, we look forward to our congregation getting the opportunity to meet Sue and Jason as we gather for in-person worship and times in God’s Word.
To me, this is good news! As we have had to move to online church services, our reach has broadened, and lives have been transformed by God’s grace. We are so thankful to God for all who are hearing the good news of Jesus and are welcoming His power and presence into their lives and their homes. The Holy Spirit is still at work, convicting hearts of sin and drawing people to life in Christ.
Pastor Jamie Greenwood
Spring Bay Pentecostal, in the heart of Manitoulin Island, Ontario
Point of Interest: On the website, exploremanitoulin.com, Spring Bay Pentecostal Church is described as the church with ample parking that dominates the hamlet’s main intersection! The PAOC is thankful for churches located in the centre of town who are reaching people with the love of Jesus and the truth of God’s Word.
Photos courtesy Spring Bay Pentecostal Church.
To see previously posted “This is Good News” stories, please click here.
To view or download posted “This is Good News” videos, visit www.paoc.org/theloop.