October 2000

The details and rules of this contest can be found by clicking here. Landover Baptist Church congratulates this year's winner by giving her an all expense paid trip to the Holy Land and by posting her incredible testimony below.

Dear Pastor,

I wish to submit an entry for your personal testimony contest.  I read the testimonies of those who previously won and was so moved, I felt I had to submit an entry.  However, I am not entering myself.  I don't have nearly the Christian values it takes to win such a prestigious award, but a member of my family does: my sister-in-law, whom I lovingly call "Sis."  She was once a terribly private person who would prefer her identity not be revealed.  But she deserves this great honor as much as anyone.  I sincerely hope the award can be given anonymously.  You see, before turning to God, Sis was a miserable person on the verge of collapse and possibly suicide.  Now, she is a content individual, basking in the limelight of the renewed recognition her religious conversion has brought.  And she owes it all to the Bible.

Sis's history is sad, indeed.  Years ago, she was diagnosed with cancer and had to undergo chemotherapy treatments.  I cannot begin to express how devastating this was for her.  I'm not sure anyone can imagine what a cancer victim faces.  I wasn't sure Sis would make it.  She was a beautiful woman, whose appearance had earned friends, popularity and a wealthy husband.  Then the cancer hit, then the cancer treatments, and eventually the unthinkable she lost all her hair due to radiation!  She was beside herself.

Her problems got worse.  Her husband began to lose income.  The family was forced to make severe sacrifices.  Trips to the day spa were reduced to two a week.  One of the nannies had to be laid off.  And Sis had to perform her own grocery shopping once a week.  Sis began to lose respect for her husband, and their intimate times together became fewer and fewer.

As if all this wasn't enough, Sis lost one of her daughters in a car accident.  Granted, it was her stepdaughter, but the daughter she really loved the most.  Her relationship with the remaining daughter was much like Mary Tyler Moore's relationship with her son in "Ordinary People."  They really weren't close.  And they drifted further and further apart as the little girl grew and eventually became articulate, talented and as beautiful as her mother (before the hair loss).  When she turned six, the spoiled little girl (to whom Sis had so selflessly devoted unthanked hours of highlighting hair and sitting in the waiting room during collagen implants) gave Sis's lopsided wig a hard yank, leaving Sis bald in front of several friends.  Sis never forgave her for that embarrassment.  In fact, the memory of that humiliation haunted Sis.  I finally asked, "Isn't there anything you can do to bring some closure to the anger you feel towards your daughter?  If you don't find some way to channel that anger, it will just eat you inside, honey."

That is when Sis found God.  One of those annoying fundamentalists who typically drive bikes around the neighborhood "witnessing" on Saturday morning decided to appear at Sis's doorstep, incognito.  He was dressed in shorts and carrying several dozen boxes of doughnuts, presumably for sale.  Never one to turn down sweets, Sis invited him into her house and was compelled to listen to his 55-minute description of God's love and how it can change our lives.  Ordinarily, Sis would not listen but instead check to see if the young man noticed how various parts of her looked.  But the boy said something that really caught Sis's attention.  He said that, with the presence of Jesus in our hearts, guiding our lives as our personal Lord and Savior, we will be better able to feel love in our hearts toward all, including those with whom we seem to have the most differences.  Suddenly ashamed of the estranged relationship with her husband and daughter, Sis began bawling, and that very day, she begged Jesus to take over her life.

At first, Sis noticed no change.  She didn't feel any closer to her daughter or her husband.  But then she discovered the Holy Bible.  The more Sis read the Bible, the happier she became.  You see, Sis learned that God does not require His followers to love their children or husbands.  In fact, the best Christians, the ones closest to Him, will forsake their families in His honor.  Indeed, no one can be a disciple of God until he  escapes the bonds of familial love, rejecting his family in favor of the Lord (Luke 14:26; Matthew 10:35; 19:29).  God once ordered Abraham to kill His only son just to see if Abraham truly loved God and would actually obey such a command (Genesis 22:1-12).  Reading these verses made Sis realize that her lack of intimacy with those with whom she lived, and the feelings of ire and sadness, were not wrong or sinful.  They were perfectly natural and, indeed, showed her closeness to God.  

But while Sis was certainly less anxious, her life didn't completely change until she read the Book of Psalms and learned: "Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones" (Psalms 137:9).  This gave Sis a whole new outlook on life.  Granted, she certainly didn't take the verse literally.  Sis understood that specific Bible provisions were written for the times and must be adapted as society develops.  After all, bodies dashed against stones today would create impenetrable blood stains, ruining carpets and even hard wood floors.  Clearly, the edict could be satisfied alternatively in contemporary society.

Today, Sis is content, her family wealthy again, and she is close to all around her (those remaining).  She has more acquaintances than ever and is finally receiving the attention she long craved.  She is so secure that she has lost concern for her appearance and allowed herself the luxury of eating rich foods and gaining huge quantities of weight.  The presence of God, and the sympathetic words He wrote in the Bible, have given her a new life and beautiful outlook.  Surely such an amazing turnaround makes her a viable candidate for your award.


Edina Ramsey

Boulder, Colorado

Read last year's contest winning testimony by clicking here>

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