All the Way My Savior Leads Me

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I grew up in a Christian home.  My father was the choir director of our small local church, and my mother played the piano.  We were always at church.  It was our community.

We were known as “holy rollers,” although I never saw any rolling.  Sometimes, someone would “feel” the Spirit and let out a “whoop,” but that was the most disruption I recall.  I loved being at church and felt that was the place I belonged.

I do not remember a time I did not know about Jesus and His love for me.  I can’t remember a time I didn’t pray and sing of His mercy.  We lived under strict rules and I was very compliant, so my young life was never “wild.”  Except for that one night…

Around the age of 12, I wanted to be cool.  I was the furthest thing from looking cool – red hair, freckles, and skirts that came to my knees (mini-skirts were in).  The twins across the street were cool and had even taken up smoking.  So one afternoon they gave me a pack to try.  I hid it in the backyard and waited for the moment of my rebellion.

It came after dinner.  I didn’t even get through with a fourth of the first cigarette before I felt sick.  I threw the pack away, much to the twins’ chagrin when they found out the next day, and went to lie down on the couch.  Mom knew something was up.  When I confessed my grave “sin” she took the opportunity to talk to me about life choices. 

Through many tears and a box of kleenex, I finally understood what she had been trying to teach me all along…I needed to rely on Jesus to be my guide through life’s decisions.  If I truly loved Jesus then I needed to follow Him each day.  I could not stay on the throne of my heart and give lip service to my Savior.  I needed to bow down and allow Him to lead me.  It was what He meant when He said to take up my cross and follow Him.  I was to die to my self, my desires, and live for Him.  If coolness came with it, OK – if not, OK.

 I know the story is simplistic.  I know my rebellion didn’t amount to a “hill of beans” in comparison to others’.  I know it’s almost laughable now.  But then?… it was life changing.  I bowed down to the One I understood wanted my best good, and would show me the way to walk, if I would let Him.

And today, 33 years later, I can say…He has kept me in Him, and has faithfully led me all the way:

All the way my Savior leads me,

What have I to ask beside?

Can I doubt His tender mercy

Who through life has been my Guide?

Heavenly peace, divinest comfort,

Here by faith in Him I dwell!

For I know, whate’er befall me,

Jesus doeth all things well;

For I know, whate’er befall me,

Jesus doeth all things well!

Fanny J. Crosby

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24 responses »

  1. I haven’t heard the term “Holy Rollers” for a while. I remember my sister had a friend when we were young, who dressed different than everyone else, was a little quieter, went to church more than the rest of us, and that’s when I first heard the term. I remember she was always there for my sister’s slumber parties, was always smiling, and always had a great attitude. Our home seemed to collect all sorts of folks, no matter what church they went to. Some 40 years later, I go to a church where they all know I dress a little different, but they all dress the same, they go to church three times a week, and I only go twice on Sunday, they always have a smile and so do I, always a great attitude, and though I have never seen any of them roll, I bet everyone of them is “on” one. 😉

  2. Hmmm…

    How is it I have never heard that story? That’s funny. Growing up in a slightly more charismatic church than you I was associated with the Holy Rollers a little more. I remember in High School being called a Holy Roller, and then being called a hypocrite because I was (to steal a line from Paul) a sinner of sinners.

    I wish I had allowed the Lord to lead me through those years – my formative years would have held much less strife for me in the long run; however, in the last few years He has taught me much and lead me to learn and revel in His grace. What a glorious thing to be able to say!

  3. Thank you – it’s the simple personal stories that bless. I understand your simple rebellion – a bit like the time I came home after my first drink of beer!

  4. Bro Burt:
    Probably because you were still in your baby crib! I’m so glad He’s leading you now! 😉

    WayfarerJon:
    Thanks. You inspire me to write from the heart.

    Blessings to you both! ~Michelle

  5. Paper Bubble,

    I’m glad y’all took this story in the spirit it was intended. Some see it as too juvenile to be of merit, but it is a part of my testimony, and need for a “higher power.”

    “Holy roller”….it sounds like a priest who gambles or something. Heh heh heh

    I’ve never heard that one before 🙂

    The term “holy roller” was a derisive term used to describe those who came from the Pentecostal Movement. Although our denomination did not believe evidence of the Holy Spirit was given through speaking in tongues, we were associated with “holy rollers” because we came from the Pentecostal Movement of the early 1900’s.

    I found this definition from Wikipedia:
    Holy Roller is a term in American English used to describe Pentecostal Christian churchgoers. The term is commonly used derisively, as if to describe people literally rolling on the floor or speaking in tongues in an uncontrolled manner. For this usage, the Oxford English Dictionary cites an 1893 memoir by Charles G. Leland, in which he says “When the Holy Spirit seized them..the Holy Rollers..rolled over and over on the floor.”[1] It is generally considered pejorative, but some have reclaimed it as a badge of honor, e.g. William Branham’s statement “And what the world calls today holy-roller, that’s the way I worship Jesus Christ.” [2]

    My church never displayed this type of “enthusiasm,” but we were not opposed to clapping and singing with gusto. 😉

  6. I know the story is simplistic. I know my rebellion didn’t amount to a “hill of beans” in comparison to others’. I know it’s almost laughable now.

    Wouldn’t it be cool if we lived in a world where this was the wildest rebellion experienced by teen? {sigh} This speaks well of your faith, family, and church.

  7. Thanks, Ric…it would be so cool! I’m watching the news in Kosovo right now. I will trust in the Lord for His purpose is sure.

    God bless you and please keep writing your blog – I love reading your words.

  8. Hi. Looks like a nice blog. I spent a bit of time over at John Shore’s blog as the resident MDM (mindless, delusional, mythicist). It taught me just how blind spiritual blindness can be. I plan to check out the ‘Authentic Conversion’ blog. I think there is a lot of not so authentic conversion going on these days.

  9. Hi, Dan, I’ve had some of those terms thrown my way as well. I don’t ever want to “force” my faith on anyone, but I do think it’s just fine to share it (reason for the blog). I also don’t believe I can ever truly know anyone’s heart; therefore, I will not judge – we’re all on a journey.

    Glad you like the blog – stop by anytime. 🙂

  10. Absolutely. Real Christians don’t proselytize, just put the gospel out there. I’ve noticed we are automatically trying to convert folks just by mentioning God in conversation. 🙂 The link is to the ministry I have been with for 20 years or so helping military folks. If you have military friends or know folks with hearts for the military, could you pass it on? Thanks!

  11. I worked with military families for a couple of years through the Chaplaincy Ministries of my old denomination. Yes, I checked out the link, and would be happy to pass it on. It was through watching a documentary on the History channel about the military blogging in the war zones that got me interested in starting my own blog. The life of sacrifice they live for us is a debt we all owe them. God bless them, and you, for the work you’re doing.

    I can just add the link to my blogroll, can’t I?

  12. Having written for and worshipped with a variety of denominations, I hope you won’t take this too seriously.
    Most of your post was great. Reminded me of part of my upbringing and made me wish I’d yielded the throne (that illustration reminds me of Campus Crusade for Christ).

    But the first part of your post – Holy Rollers – reminded me of this verse “Mmmm mmm mmmm” by the Crash Test Dummies.

    ‘Cause then there was this boy whose
    Parents made him come directly home right after school
    And when they went to their church
    They shook and lurched all over the church floor
    He couldn’t quite explain it
    They’d always just gone there

    Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm
    Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm

    That was my definition of “Holy Rollers.”

  13. I’ve never heard that song – but I have witnessed the scene! 🙂 Not in my denomination, we were too reserved. I wasn’t allowed to dance, so rolling on the floor would be way off limits.

    It was a good upbringing. Although legalistic, the strict rules kept me in line. A little more grace would have been nice, but you can’t give what you don’t understand.

    Thanks for visiting – You’re welcome here.

  14. Michelle, I saw the addition to your blog roll! Thanks. We need exposure so folks know were out there. The current site is not just about a year old, but the minisry has been around since the mid seventies standing on it’s own, but for even more years as part of a larger ministry focused on the military. The philosophy is ‘ministry IN the military, not just TO the military. Participation in the forums and blogs is contingent on registration,which asks folks to acknowledge being a sinner deserving God’s wrath but saved by grace. I noticed Samwrites2 comments here also. Great!

  15. Yes, I’m glad to have some new readers. Sounds like a great ministry – I read through much of the pages. Were you in the military – are you still? If so, thanks so much for your service and now for your ministry. Good work there! 😉

  16. You know, I believe I recently read another outstanding blog posting, where someone or other was talking about their first time smoking. I wish I could remember where I read that …

  17. I wrote mine first! 😉

    Yes, it was an outstanding post. I enjoyed it immensly and felt a kindred spirit. Thanks for commenting.

  18. MIchelle,

    I an no loger in the military. I served for 28 years, in the Special Operatins ‘arena’. I’m a government contractor these days with the same contractor for whom I worked when I went to Iraq as a member of a training team to begin training the New Irai Army.

    I think I might start a WordPress blog and duplicate postings from the CMF site.

  19. Dan, 28 years in Special Operations is quite a record. And now as a contractor… what?…helping to rebuild and train Iraq? That’s great. Thank you for giving your life to serve our nation, and our God. You will be in my prayers.

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