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The World Didn’t Satisfy Me

"He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord." Psalm 40:2-3

These verses really describe what has happened to me during the last few months. In order for you to fully understand what took place, I should go back to my childhood. When I was three years old, I was taken away from my parents and placed in a foster home. In this foster home, I was exposed to witchcraft, drugs and a lot of evil things. Joseph & Elizabeth Tindall adopted me when I was almost seven years old. As I look back, I am so very thankful that the Lord allowed me to be placed in a Christian home, and that they were willing to endure me till I came to God.

Once I reached my teenage years, I began to be very outwardly rebellious. I was into witchcraft, heavy rock music, smoking, drinking and reading very evil, sensual books. I was searching for happiness. I was so very miserable. During this time, my brother, who was also adopted, ran away. Since I was already very rebellious, I decided that I would also leave. The police made me return home because I was so young, but my life started to go downhill very fast. I often tried to commit suicide. I was so unhappy. I was very bitter towards God and my parents. My life was almost ready to crumble to pieces when one day I heard a message on salvation. From the time of that message, I made a choice. I then knew what I would do—I would conform to the religious principles that we were taught until I was eighteen. Then I would do what I wanted.

I conformed for some time, but then I found out that it’s not very easy to conform when you haven’t been transformed on the inside. Soon I was back to my old ways of rebellion. My attitude and my life really concerned my parents. Many times they tried to talk to me, but I would always refuse to talk.

Around this time, we met Dr. Ronald Williams from Hephizbah House (a place for rebellious teenage girls). When I heard about this place, it sounded sort of exciting, so I asked dad if I could go. I thought, "Well, if I go to Hephizbah House, I’ll be out from under my parent’s authority for awhile, and then when I come back I’ll be almost eighteen." Dad and Mom agreed to let me go out there, and I went in February of 1999. When I got to Hephizbah House, I found out that it was not as I had expected it to be. I again tried to conform, but inwardly I had no peace or happiness. I was still very miserable. This went on for about two and a half years. One day I wrote Dr. Williams a note and told him that I was leaving. I was tired of living a double life. I had turned eighteen in May of 2001, so they could not keep me there against my will.

On September 24, 2001 my pastor came out to Hephizbah House and picked me up. I was planning on "going out into the world" and finding "true happiness." All I could think was, "My life will be wonderful now, because I am finally out from under authority! "Oh how foolish I was to have such deluded thoughts.

The morning after I had arrived at my pastor’s place, I found out that dad was coming home from Bolivia for a week (my family are missionaries to the Bolivian people). When I first heard that he was coming home I thought, "Oh great! Just the person I want to see in my rebellious state!" That weekend there was supposed to be meetings in North Carolina at Camp Wesley, and dad asked me if I’d be willing to go. I really didn’t want to spend the weekend with dad so I thought, "I might as well go down there." The Lord had a much different reason for me to go!

I was under deep conviction all week. I was miserable, and I knew the right thing for me to do would be to repent and give my life to the Lord. Something held me back. During that weekend, dozens of people came up to me and said, "I’m praying for you," "I really care what happens to you," and "I’ve been where you are, and it’s not worth it at all." I wanted to show everyone that I could go to a weekend of meetings and not get saved. I hardened my heart. On Saturday night Pastor Mose Stoltzfus preached a message on Signs of the Times. This message really convicted me, but yet something held me back from going forward during the invitation. On Saturday morning, I had met Lorraine Wurtz and Margaret Waldner. They looked so peaceful and happy. I knew they had what I really wanted. I started watching what they did. By the glow on their faces, I knew that they were happy deep down inside. On Sunday Lorraine and I took a walk. She shared her testimony with me. This got me really thinking, "If the Lord could save her, then surely there must be hope for me!"

On Sunday evening Margaret and Lorraine came up to me and wondered if I would sit with them in church. I didn’t mind sitting with them, but they sat so close to the front. I knew I couldn’t sit through another invitation. I ended up sitting with them, and Mose preached on Roadblocks to Hell. They had an invitation about eight verses long, but I wasn’t going to respond. Once it was over, I was so glad…I made it the whole weekend without getting saved! The Lord had different plans for my life. After the service, a group of girls came to me and starting praying aloud for me. Now what was I supposed to do? I was under conviction, but didn’t want to get saved. About seven girls were around me praying for me. I was crying.

After a few minutes, I asked to talk to Mose & Rhoda Stoltzfus. They took me out to one of the rooms, and we started talking. I told them all that had gone on during the last while, and then we knelt to pray. I started confessing my sins, and there was such a great spiritual warfare in the room. I surrendered my life to the Lord and asked Him to forgive my sins and be in charge of my life. I got off my knees. I felt such a peace and a joy. I had finally found what I had been searching! I wondered why I had not repented much sooner. My life was now transformed for the glory and honor of God. The world never gave me the happiness I desired. It only gave me guilt, misery and scars.

In closing, I would like to say a word to the young people who may be reading this. I tried many things of the world, but they brought me no peace and happiness—only scars and regrets. Don’t look for happiness in the world. It really isn’t worth the pain. In Jesus you will find the happiness that you are searching for. Make a decision for Christ. I desire to be a clean vessel for the Master to used for His glory.

 

Because of Calvary,
Penny Tindall

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