I was saved many years ago in a trailer house on a country road outside a smallish town in Kansas. I was at my sister and brother-in-law's home that night. My first pastor and his wife were there and led me to the Lord.
I soon moved to that small town and worked in a store there until I moved to Texas to get a M.R.S. degree.
While living there, I had opportunity to live by and attend church with my sister's mother-in-law, I.O..
Strange name, yes, special lady, yes.
While my first pastor and wife were teaching me doctrine, I.O. was teaching me other things. By her life.
I learned what being a Baptist meant from my pastor and his wife, I learned what being a Christian was by I.O..
I didn't know it then, but I look back now and can see it clearly. The Lord had my first pastor and his wife for me......and I.O..
I needed her just as much as I needed the other.
My pastor taught me right from wrong, I.O. lived it. (I saw it in COLOR because of all the time I spent with her.) I was taught to have respect for the church and God's man....and the Bible....I learned it because I saw I.O. live it.
She was the first person I stood beside while singing and learning songs I did not know. I heard her sing them and I saw her smile. The songs were strange to me, but they were not strange to her. Hymns? She loved those old songs, and now I do. Lots of them by heart, just like I.O..
One especially......she said it was her song........you know, the one that goes: all to Him I.O. (I owe), sin had left a crimnson stain, He washed it white as snow.
I of course think of her every time I hear or sing this song. It brings a smile to my heart.
She opened her home to me, I spent as much time with her as I possibly could.
Who wouldn't want to be with her at her farm?
She had kittens, a barn, an apricot tree, trucks, cow dogs, wood for a fireplace, upstairs bedrooms, herbs, vitamins, books, Inspiration tapes, gardens, a spider she talked to by her kitchen sink.......and sheep! I got to help with the sheep! There were fun little lambs and mama sheep with minds of their own. I.O. had names for them of course and knew all of their personalities.
I also remember looking at her Bible. It was all worn out. Being a new Christian and all, I didn't know people carried their Bibles with them everywhere they went, but I.O. did. I heard her quote Scripture and wondered where she came up with all of it. It all seemed to fit for the occasion. I heard her hum hymns, I saw her be concerned about others. She was real.
She took lots on herself and too very good care of me.
Her life and friendship to me filled the empty spots that were left from my old life. I was very rough around the edges but I didn't know it. I.O. never let on that I was off on almost everything that came up. She had a merry heart concerning me! I had to be somewhat of a thorn in a saddle.........I had been lost for 19 years, then I.O. gets this present, a 19 year old one! Looking back,I never knew it if she wanted to choke me, or shake me..........all I know is that she handled me with great care.
I needed strict teaching and love, and I got both. ( BTW....my pastor and wife were very patient and loving towards me also and I was very close to them, too)
I was a very scary package indeed.
She is indeed my spiritual Mom. She helped me grow up for a year in the Christian life. I am so very thankful for her. I'm pretty sure my life would not be what it is today had it not been for I.O..
I'm also glad to say that my mom got saved a few years back. I was not brought up in a Christian home, but I'm glad to say my mom will be in heaven. And I.O..
And me.
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Jamie Anne said…
that is a beautiful testimony!
mosbb said…
The name here, I.O., is one that brings back lots of memories of our early conversations. God was indeed so good to give you this special lady...He knew what lay in your life's path, and how she would and could influence your life. Isn't is amazing? Reminds me of the song, "His Grace Is Still Amazing To Me."
Mobunny said…
(my word to type in is : ablest.....is that a word?)
who is most ablest?

well, I've never heard that song, mosbb.
I'll have to look it up somehow.
Heather said…
She sounds like a wonderful, special person, Mo.
Anonymous said…
What an inspiring testimony, thanks for sharing it. (o:
ancient one said…
Thanks for sharing your story about I.O. I will think of her when we sing that hymn again. I was saved when I was 25. I was a rough person too. I look back at my life and I can see the hand of GOD and all the good people he placed along the way for me.
I was given many wonderful IO's in my life too. Your story is a great testimony to remind us all to live our walk so others can see it.

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