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Friday, June 29, 2012

Cathy Payton's Gomer Testimony

I am sad to say, this is the last of The Gomer Testimonies. I hope you all have been as inspired as I’ve been. I love how God works in our lives, especially when music is a part of that. I want to thank my Gomer friends for taking part in this series and for stopping by to support each other. A great group of people who understand the awesome love of God and the need of a Savior!

Here’s Cathy:
(Third Day pics are hers)
I didn't grow up in church or with any real education or knowledge about God and Jesus. I attended vacation bible school one or two summers, we celebrated Christmas and Easter, but there was no relationship with Jesus in my childhood. In the late 90's I began a search for God -- I started listening to Christian music, attending church sporadically, going to women's faith conferences, and first discovered Third Day. I vividly remember hearing “I’ve Always Loved You” on the radio for the first time.

Music was and is my great passion, and so I filled up on the music of Third Day and other Christian artists like Jars of Clay and Switchfoot. But nothing clicked, my ears were closed, and I fell away from my search. For the next 12 years I knew I was missing “something,” and although I lived a good life with friends and family, I filled that emptiness with all the wrong things -- the things that you think are filling you up, but that actually leave you emptier than before.

Then in the fall of 2010 I heard that Third Day had a new CD, Move, and bought it along with the previous one, Revelation. As I listened, I remembered how much I loved them and what the music had meant to me, but I still didn't hear the message that was being shouted at me by God.

Then I heard that Third Day was going to be in concert near me and ordered tickets. Before I could see them, I reached the lowest point in my life. My marriage has been falling apart for the past year, I was more and more depressed, eating to suppress my feelings, drinking heavily (which is not like me at all) and listening to the kinds of music and talking about the kinds of things that just weren't the real me. I was empty, I didn't know who I was any longer.


As I sat on a beach at sunrise in March of 2011, at the lowest point of my life, I heard a terrible voice that told me that maybe everyone would be better off if I weren't around anymore. I was so lost. I wanted to drown out the ocean and the beauty around me on that beach, so I put in my earphones and Third Day’s “
What Have You Got to Lose” came on. I had a revelation that changed me forever. I realized what I had been missing. God spoke to me through that music, and I knew that I had to make a change in my life and that change was Jesus.

I went to see Third Day two weeks later, and again a month after that, and both times I experienced the Holy Spirit in those places-- surrounding me, holding me. I described going to the concerts to my friends as "it's like going to church." I found a local church that plays contemporary Christian music and is so welcoming and open--and haven't been able to get enough of it.

Does anyone else think church doesn't last long enough on Sunday morning?

Then, several weeks later, as friends prayed for me, I felt the Holy Spirit hold me, literally. I felt pressure on my back where the Holy Spirit was holding me -- and I am not one to imagine things or feel things not of this world. I was overwhelmed. I knew it was time to be baptized and profess my belief in Jesus as Savior. I had never been so sure of anything.

I was baptized Sunday, August 18, 2011.

I've seen many more Third Day shows since that first one, along with many other Christian bands. Every time I see them in concert, I feel the same overwhelming love of God surrounding me. Third Day's music has also introduced me to a community of beautiful, caring, God-loving people--the Gomers--whom I now proudly, and with great affection and love, call friends. In May of this year I was blessed to be part of a huge gathering of Gomers at Third Day’s show in Raleigh, NC, during which we gave the band special commemorative scrapbooks, full of letters and photographs from fans touched by their music and ministry, in celebration of their 20 years as a band.

I'm so thankful that Jesus used the music I love, the music of Third Day, to move me to Him. I can't believe how so much has changed in such a short time and yet it really was years of searching to come to this point. I'm so happy to be in this place and hope He will help me find the peace I need in my life.

In honor of the song that turned the switch for Cathy the music devotion this Tuesday will be inspired by “What Have You Got to Lose.” Come join us and see what it’s about.

Cathy (a.k.a “Grateful Gomer”) lives in Virginia. She is an editor and writer for a marketing and design agency. She has one son, who is 23. Her other favorite CCM artists include Jars of Clay, Switchfoot, and Needtobreathe, along with newcomers Mosteller and Rhett Walker Band.

See Cathy's blog and awesome concert pics. http://gracenote.me/





Other Gomer Testimonies:





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