Nancy Ruth’s Testimony
My life before I received Christ:
God has always been very real to me. I distinctly remember a time at the age of two or three when I woke up from a terrifying nightmare. I was too afraid to make a single move toward going to Mom and Dad’s room. As I lay awake in bed fearing for myself and my baby sister, I remembered that God is our Father and He wants us to talk to Him. I decided to tell God what I would have told Daddy. As I spilled out my fears and dream, I sensed the presence of four people I could not see entering the room. One went to check on baby Holly (who was sleeping soundly). One stood at the head of my bed, facing out, guarding. One stood at the foot of my bed, facing out, guarding. The fourth sat on my bed where Mommy always sat when she tucked me in at night. As I felt a soothing touch, the song that came to mind over and over was this: “All night, all day, angels watchin’ over me, my Lord. All night, all day, angels watchin’ over me.”
When and how I received Christ:
I don’t remember the exact date and time I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. That bothered me for a long time, so I did it every chance I got. I remember one time telling my mother I had done it (though I don’t remember actually doing it) and she said, “I thought you did that with your Daddy.” I shrugged and responded, “I don’t remember that.” This continual re-asking finally stopped at fourth or fifth grade summer camp (Forest Home, Forest Falls, CA). It was Friday decision night. I went off by a big rock to pray by myself. I said, “Lord, I don’t remember if I’ve ever asked you into my heart, so…” and proceeded to confess my sin and ask Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. Then something happened that I’ll never forget. I didn’t hear an audible voice, but God said in my spirit as clear as day, “Enough. Enough! You may not remember the exact date and time, but I do and that’s what matters.” That was good enough for me.
My life since receiving Christ:
I grew up in the Lutheran church. I was baptized on Homecoming weekend my freshman year of college (1997) at University Baptist Church, Shawnee, OK. I dedicated my vocation and future to the Lord the week before my first classes started at Oklahoma Baptist University.
It took several years for my calling to shape itself into a clear direction. It started after leading half of the closing program for VBS in 1997. When God finally revealed what I should major in at OBU, it turned out to be Applied Ministry: Education Emphasis. During my senior exit interview, Dean Rader suggested I look into perusing a master’s degree. That is what I ended up doing.
While in seminary, two things happened that changed my life forever. The first was the unexpected death of my oldest sister, Ronna. Long story short, my world shattered. The only thing that didn’t drop out from under me was God. Although I was angry with Him, He kept me going, pulled me out of the pit, and restored my calling.
The second major thing that happened was my involvement with the children’s ministry of Wedgwood Baptist Church of Ft. Worth, TX. Clint May, the children’s minister at the time, was in his early years of leading a revolutionary new ministry for preteens (5th and 6th graders). My involvement with Leaders In Training forever changed my paradigm of what Christ-following kids can do. (You can learn more if you like at www.leadersintraining.org.)
Here’s the rest in a nutshell. God has and continues to stretch me and help me to grow. It’s often scary, uncomfortable, and different from what I would have chosen, but with God as my Rock, I know I can follow Him anywhere. I wouldn’t want it any other way.