We are so blessed to have MaryLu Tyndall on LBOC today. I asked her to share her testimony of faith here, in conjunction with an interview about her latest release, Veil of Pearls, on InfiniteCharacters.com. I hope you enjoy.
I grew up in a home that was broken in more than one place. My mother married multiple times, and I never knew my father. In addition, we moved twenty-five times before I turned eighteen. So, you can imagine what that type of upbringing can do to a shy, insecure little girl. I craved love and stability. I wanted someone to take care of me and never leave me. I had two choices to fill that need. One, to turn to the God I learned about in brief periods of Sunday School, or two, to seek to fill that need on my own with the things I saw in the world. I made the wrong choice.
Everything I did, every party, every relationship, every material possession I bought, every success I achieved, ultimately left me alone and empty. At age thirty-five, my second marriage was failing, I hated my dead-end job, my youthful beauty was fading, and my teenage kids were rebelling (wonder who they learned that from?) I remember wanting to kill myself, get it over with. I felt no hope for the future. I was a drinker back then. Alcohol helped numb the pain, and whenever life overwhelmed me, I’d sneak in my closet where I had a hidden bottle of Tequila, and have a drink or two. One dark day, while sitting there drinking, I glanced up and saw my old Bible sitting on a shelf. I dusted it off and began to read, promising myself that I would read it from cover to cover to see if anything happened. What did I have to lose? I wanted to believe so badly that God was real and that He loved me, but I had grown very skeptical over the years.
I read it every night before I went to bed. Somewhere in the middle of Ezekiel, something began to happen. Passages prophesying how Israel would be scattered all over the world and then in the last days would return to their own land, flew out at me from the pages. You see, Israel was in the news a lot back then. Suicide bombings and rumors of war were a common story each night. And I knew enough history to know that Israel had only become a nation a few years before I was born. The stunning revelation that God had predicted that the Jews would return to their land sped through me like a cyclone. I remember saying out loud. “You’re real.” And then God’s presence fell upon me. I can’t quite describe it except to say it felt more real than anything I’d ever felt, hopeful, almost like a light went on inside of me. I got on my knees and began to sob. There in my bedroom, beside my bed, all alone, I gave my life to Jesus. I knew God was with me now. I knew He loved me and had a plan for my life. Suddenly my life had meaning and my heart was full. This is what I had been searching for!
But life didn’t get instantly better. In fact, it got worse! I had married an atheist and all of our children were atheists. I was in a house full of atheists! I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know where to find a church, so I simply didn’t go. I had no Christian friends. My husband was not receptive to my newfound faith and asked me not to talk about it. So, you can imagine the struggles and heartaches I endured, in addition to the constant battles of faith. Yet, through it all, God never left me.
Now fifteen years later, I am happy to report that my husband is saved and all of our children but two have made solid commitments to the Lord and have been baptized. My marriage is better than I could have ever imagined, and though we still have struggles with wandering kids and jobs and family and life in general, one thing I willingly shout from the rooftops: God is real. He loves you more than you could ever imagine. And He is faithful!
Next week I’ll be posting a music devotional inspired by MaryLu’s favorite Hymn, Amazing Grace.
Posts you might like:
What Have You Got to Lose?
Greg Holt—A Gomer Testimony
How God Breathed Creative Inspiration in My Writing—by Jennifer Hudson Taylor
A Christy Award finalist, MaryLu Tyndall dreamt of tall ships and swashbuckling pirates during her childhood years on Florida’s Atlantic Coast. She holds a degree in Math and worked as a software engineer for fifteen years before testing the waters as a writer. Now, while writing her eleventh novel, she manages a home, husband, and six kids while battling three cats who have decided that her keyboard is the best place to sleep! She believes that without popcorn and chocolate, life would not be worth living, and her sole motivation in life is to bring others closer to God.
The following is a blurb about her latest release which promises to be a very good read. See an interview of MaryLu on my other blog, InfiniteCharacters.com.
Veil of Pearls
She thought she could outrun her past. . .
It is 1811, and the prosperous port city of Charleston is bustling with plantation owners, slaves, and immigrants. Immigrants such as the raven-haired Adalia Winston. But Adalia has a secret: her light skin belies that she is part black and a runaway slave from Barbados. Skilled in herbal remedies, Adalia finds employment with a local doctor and settles into a quiet life, thankful for her freedom but still fearful that her owner will find her.
Born into one of Charleston's prominent families, Morgan Rutledge is handsome, bored--and enamored of the beautiful Adalia, who spurns his advances. Morgan's persistence, however, finally wins, and Adalia is swept into the glamorous world of Charleston high society.
But Adalia's new life comes at a high price--that of denying her heritage and her zeal for God. How far is she willing to go to win the heart of the man she loves? And when her secret is revealed, will that love be enough, or will the truth ruin Morgan and send Adalia back into slavery?