At 24 years of age, I broke up with the boyfriend I dated after Larry. Although I broke up with him, I was devastated. He was good looking, rich, and did whatever I asked of him. I was unable to commit to a relationship because I was so wounded inside. I would break up with guys for no real reason except to gain attention or feel self-pity. However, I could not be alone and always needed a guy in my life. I decided to date Larry again so I wouldn’t be lonely.
One Friday evening my boss at a rehab facility in Queens New York asked me to babysit for her children. This was something that I did on a regular basis and felt honored to be able to help my boss. This particular night “Terry” had a severe headache and she and her husband decided to stay home. Since I was already there, she asked if I could stay for coffee. Reluctantly, I said yes because what I really wanted to do was go out with my boyfriend and friends, (since I wasn’t needed to babysit.)
At the table were Terry’s husband, “Lou”, Terry, and me. Their children were in the other room. I asked a question to start some small talk: “Where did you meet each other?” I asked. Terry didn’t answer my question, but replied, “Well, I wanted to marry Lou for a long while, but I was unable to walk because of a car accident. Lou was debating if he could handle a crippled wife. Then one day, a woman at a Christian wedding asked if she could pray for me to walk. I said o.k. I immediately was healed and began to walk that moment. Jesus healed me”
I said, “That’s great for you, however, I don’t believe in Jesus because I’m Jewish.”
Terry answered, “Wow, I didn’t know that, but just this weekend, I took home all this information from a conference I attended that explained how Jesus loves the Jews and came to save the Jew first before the gentile.” She first read (Isaiah 53:6) to me, “All we, like sheep, have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
She then read (Romans 10:9,10) to me, “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved, for with the heart man believes to righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.” She also read to me, (Romans 10:13) which states, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
When Terry said those words, it was as if the Heavens were opening. I felt a strong sense of peace. Growing up as a reformed Jew, I was taught not to believe in Jesus and that it was a cult to be talking about Jesus a lot. I couldn’t tolerate people telling me that I was going to hell if I didn’t accept Jesus Christ.
I left Terry and her husband’s house feeling elated. I felt like a ton of bricks from the past were taken off my shoulders. When I got home, I called Jeanne who was in “Jews for Jesus” because her husband was a Christian and lead her to the Lord. I shared with Jeanne the good news that I accepted Jesus into my heart. She started crying on the phone and exclaimed, “Nick and I have been praying for you for over 3 years to accept Jesus because He is the only way to heaven.” If you die in your sins, you go to hell without Jesus. For the first time I believed that this was true.
The next day Terry called me to check up on me and see how I was doing with my new belief. She instructed me to start reading one to three chapters of the book of John in the New Testament bible. Since I never had opened up a bible before, this was a new experience for me. She told me to ask the Holy Spirit to give me revelation to what I was reading.
I did exactly what Terry instructed. I was interested in learning all about Jesus. Within a few weeks, I attended my first church service with Jeanne and her husband, Nick. Larry came with me. When the Pastor spoke, I felt like every word he said was exactly what I was dealing with in my own life. I truly felt the presence of God and knew I was protected. Larry continued to come with me to church whenever I asked him to.
Within a few months, I started another job in a hospital in New York. I met an art therapist who asked me to attend a college and career group at her Baptist church. I met several other believers who were in their 20’s and loved the Lord. One of the guys in the group was a Jewish believer in Jesus like me. He informed me about a Messianic Jewish Synagogue in the Long Island area. Larry and I attended that Shabbat (Saturday). When I walked into the congregation I felt like I was home. The rabbi brought the Torah around and everyone was Praising Jesus who they called “Yeshua”. The rabbi spoke about our Jewish Messiah with such joy. I loved the service and couldn’t wait to return again.
Meanwhile, let me mention that I was still involved in a sinful lifestyle because the new belief in Jesus “Yeshua” was new to me. I had friends who were not saved and Larry, who wanted to marry me, was not as excited as I was. Larry came with me to all the bible studies and services at my Messianic Synagogue but did not feel the joy of the Lord that I felt.
There were a few sins that I stopped doing right away. One was cursing. I never considered this a sin until I got saved. In the book of Ephesians the bible states, “Let no corrupt communication come out of your mouth but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace to the hearers.” The Holy Spirit delivered me from cursing right away when I accepted the Lord. I was changed immediately.
I was also delivered from lying regularly. In Ephesians 4:25, the bible states, “Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth to his neighbor: for we are all members of one another. Lying was easy for me since the rules at my house growing up were so rigid. The only way to have any sort of “life” was to lie my way through. God helped me with this sin right away.
I was involved in many other sins that were not as easy to break out of so quickly. For instance, I was an angry person. This was not good for a believer because the bible states, “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger and clamor, and let evil speaking, be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.”
Since I was a baby Christian or “Messianic Jew”, I felt I had time to get myself right before God. I continued to party every weekend. I drank heavily and smoked cigarettes as well.
After 2 years of being saved, around the age of 26, I visited my first Charismatic Messianic Congregation in Bellmore, N.Y. Larry and I went to the service together and found it to be amusing. People were dancing around the temple with tambourines. I felt the presence of God but it was very weird for Larry. We laughed throughout the service. At the end of the service, the rabbi’s wife, Marcia, and some of the elders came up to us to greet us. They explained why people dance in the service.
David danced unto the Lord in the book of Psalms. They also spoke about why the people raised their hands as well, and pointed this out in scripture.
To my surprise, I felt drawn to go back to this congregation. Marcia was extremely friendly and invited me to her house to disciple me. At first, I was hesitant because I wasn’t sure that I wanted to change the way that I was living. I enjoyed praying to Yeshua and seeing prayers answered but didn’t want to give up my partying on the weekends. Marcia was very convincing. She got me to come to her house once a week to go through the bible.
There was a group of young adults that met each Friday night in Bethlehem Assembly of God. I began attending that group and the Messianic congregation on Saturdays.
Marcia showed me scriptures about drinking, sexual immorality, and anger issues. She taught me about the Love of God in a new way which made me feel wanted and loved for the first time for real.
I struggled with my drinking and partying for a while. Larry introduced me to his friends at the clubs who did drugs, such as ecstasy, special K, and marijuana. I never experimented with drugs in the past. The first time I tried ecstasy I was hooked. This was not what I wanted to do since I was trying to follow Yeshua.
Marcia worked diligently with me to help me stop drinking and using drugs. On 3 occasions I almost died. One night I came home from a club in New York City with friends. I was on several drugs at once. I started to feel my heart racing and felt like I was going to have a heart attack. I came home to lie on the living room floor. I cried out to Yeshua, “Please Lord don’t let me die”. I won’t do drugs again. At that moment, I was fine. He healed my heart.
Unfortunately, it was not easy to stop using drugs. Marcia and Rabbi Ron at my congregation met more frequently with me. They were my “Spiritual Parents”. I felt so connected to them. They prayed for me and encouraged me to serve the Lord with all my heart. Although I wanted to, it was not easy. There were 2 other times I took drugs and almost died. Yeshua saved me both times.
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