January 20, 2014
I first would like to say thank you to my amazing grandmother Ida, who taught me about the Christian faith at home and at church. Grandma had started Victory Baptist Church on Pond Drive. I remember going to church as a child and sometimes we had a plenty people and sometimes it was just us–grandma, my sisters, my brother and I. When it was just us grandma would get up lead us in song and share the message of the Lord. You see sometimes we had a pastor and sometimes we did not but, grandma never let that stop her from going to church and serving the Lord. My grandma instilled good values in us as we were growing up and for that I am forever grateful.
I have always been taught if I had any problems to take them to the Lord in prayer and he would take care of them. Grandma would always say that God would answer in his own time and with his will for us. As I grew older the problems got bigger so I prayed more and harder. Sometimes God would answer the way I asked, sometimes not. It was hard at times to accept the way things turned out but, I always remembered that it was God’s will for the situation.
Much later in my life I met a man, a man that was rough and hard on the outside but, so soft and tender on the inside. I knew from the moment that I met this man that there was something special about him. Little did I know that this man would become a very big part of my life one day. I was going through some very tough times in my life and needed someone strong to lean on so I leaned on this man that God put in my life. His name is Doug and he is the most amazing & compassionate man, a very unique man. When I first called for him to help me, he was right there, no questions asked. He held me as I cried mourning the loss of very dear loved ones. The pain was unbearable, a pain I could not explain. When Doug first held me I felt love, compassion, strength…everything that I needed to feel. After I cried a while and was able to regain my composure we talked about other things and Doug left.
We later started talking about dating and decided to give it a try. We had our fair share of ups and downs as all relationships do. Doug was very adamant that he would never marry and that he would not talk about religion. When he started talking against Christ I would pray for him. I prayed for many years for God to put someone in Doug’s path that would bring him into the kingdom of Heaven. I rebuked Satan from Doug in the name of Jesus Christ. I used to deliver pizza and I spent many hours while delivering pizza praying for this man. I knew somehow that Doug was a child of God and that God would keep him safe. I trusted God to take care of Doug on a spiritual level. Well Doug ended up working with a couple of pastors, when he told me that I chuckled and said to myself–God has you right where he wants you. Sure enough one day Karrie–our oldest daughter asked Doug to pray for her. He did not know how so he called Chad and asked Chad to help him pray. Chad stated that he would pick him up the next morning and that’s where the story of Doug coming into Christianity begins. Doug thought that Chad was going to talk to him one on one but, Doug was surprised at the comfort that he got from hearing the gospel sang and then hearing the message of the Lord. The man that had been so adamant that he would not talk about religion was now finding himself drawn to the church. He attended church regularly, read his bible, prayed at home and talked to the pastor in search of answers. You see for the first time he was realizing that God/Jesus Christ was real, he still questioned who was there a bit but, he came around.
Doug had a very painful childhood, he often felt as though God had abandoned him–or so he thought. I often told Doug, that God can show us the way but, it is up to us to follow, you cannot blame God for people‘s actions or choices. Well the morning that Doug accepted Christ he and I were praying and Doug started realizing that God had been right by his side the whole time, because he could not have come through certain things alone. I remember seeing his face when he said “God has been right there all along” I said yes he has. God has never left you. Doug accepted Christ at 4am on May 18, 2013 and then confirmed his step of faith at the Sunday morning service. That was a huge step for him, it meant that he was stepping out on faith for something that he had been adamant that he did not believe in. Doug was later baptized in the name of Jesus in September of 2013. It was a huge celebration for us!
Now Doug and I had broken up due to some issues that we just could not resolve. God kept us in each other’s lives even through this. When I would back off from Doug he would call me back or I would be drawn back to him. My mom told me several times Doug needs you, you are all he has down here with the family being so far off. Sometimes mom’s do know best. Well we stood by each other even in the hardest of times, we would get mad at each other, sometimes leave crying but, we always ended up back together. We always remained very close, best friends sharing precious moments in our lives with each other. So as Doug was growing in Christ he was realizing also that he needed & wanted me back in his life for good. I was unaware of the things that Doug was feeling at that time. Doug had made a comment to me that really threw me for a loop so I really backed off from him. He stated that “You tend to forget that we are broke up”. I felt like WOW! After everything we have been thru and you have the nerve to say that. I was so hurt! I prayed and asked God to help me thru this and that if Doug was meant for me to give me the strength to get thru this, if he was not for him to show me and let me move on. I rebuked Satan hard that week. I spoke to the pastor and his wife about how I was feeling, they really helped a lot. They told me to hang in there and give him time. I prayed even harder, rebuked Satan harder! Then I started CLAIMING OUR MARRIAGE IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST! I TOLD SATAN THAT I WAS NOT GOING TO LET HIM TAKE THE MAN THAT GOD HAD BLESSED ME WITH! Well early on in October Doug asked me to go on a date with him for our would be 6 year anniversary and then he stated that he was not saying NO to marriage anymore, he just wanted to take it slow. Well October 15 this wonderful, amazing man proposed to me and of course I said yes! We married on January 11, 2014 & had a beautiful wedding, thanks to our families and of course our church family. We could not have done it without you all.
My testimony is that if you believe enough, trust in God, pray with all your might God will come thru! Never give up! Take it to the Lord in prayer, claim your blessings and enjoy what God has blessed you with.
Sincerely,Crystal M. Hoksbergen