I grew up in a Christian home. I went to Sunday School and church every Sunday and loved going. I loved everything about church and God, but one night at a youth meeting I realized that even though I loved what I knew about God, I hadn’t ever given my life and my all to Him. I didn’t really love Him. The youth pastor talked about professing Christians and real Christians. I realized that night that I had been professing something that I hadn‘t really experienced. With many tears, I gave my life to God that night.
The summer before I went to college, I learned about the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I had a lot of questions and at college, I made some friends who taught me more about it and showed me scriptures to answer my questions. I still had reservations because I had heard of kids going away to college and getting into cults. I definitely did not want to do that, but I genuinely wanted all of God that was available. I prayed and read all the scriptures I could find about it and God gave me a real peace about it and I knew that it was of Him.
Receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit was the highlight of my college experience. After 2 ½ years, I decided that I really didn’t want a career that would necessitate a college degree. I wanted to get married and have children. I really believed that God was leading me to quit college and go home. I knew that my parents would not be very happy with this decision, but I felt that it was the right thing to do. I talked to my grandmother on the phone and she told me that if I thought God was telling me to quit, that I needed to ask Him to show me in His word. I didn’t understand that. I thought that there was no way that it was going to say in the Bible Renee’ quit college. I thought she told me that just because she didn’t want me to quit. It made me mad. But, the next day as I was reading my Bible, I came across a scripture that did say to me that I should quit college and go home. It was a great revelation of how God’s word is alive and will speak to you in every area of life no matter what you are going through. I was super excited about all that and no longer mad at my grandmother. J
I went home, got married and we had two beautiful daughters. I was a stay at home mom and was living my dream. Then, after 19 years of marriage, my husband suddenly died and my world was turned upside down.
Several months after his death, I began to feel that God was telling me that I would get married again. Every time I thought about that, it made me queasy. I couldn’t imagine being with someone else. Finally, I told God that if He wanted me to remarry, that I would, but He would have to bring the man because I just couldn’t think about it anymore.
I had a sizeable bank account and after a few more months, God told me that I was going out get married and spend my money on my new husband. When hurricane Katrina hit, my youngest daughter and I went to New Orleans to do volunteer relief work. While we were there, I met Loyd. He told me all about his vision to race NASCAR and all he had experienced in the short time he had been saved. (see his testimony and first year story)It really sparked something in me. I felt life and hope coming back to me. I felt that even though it had seemed that a part of me had died when my husband died, I began to feel hope that God could still use me and wanted to use me. I really had a desire to be used of God.
Even though Loyd and I were not looking for a spouse, God put us together and we were married 6 weeks after we met. We did indeed use my money to race Daytona in Feb 2006, 4 months after we were married. It was just as the Lord had told both of us. He had told Loyd that he would race Daytona in 2006 and He had told me that I would spend my money on my new husband.
Before Loyd asked me to marry him, he said that God told him to ask me a question. He asked if I would stand on the street with him broke and homeless and preach the gospel. Thinking that that would never happen, I said yes. And….actually it did happen.
For our honeymoon, we went to the NASCAR race in Atlanta and then to a cabin in the mountains of North Carolina. The race was the first I had ever been to or seen. It wasn’t the best experience. We were sitting too far down and I had earplugs that hurt my ears. It wasn’t until Loyd climbed in his car in Daytona that I became a fan of racing.
We have had many adventures as we have followed the leading of the Lord. We have been to almost every NASCAR race track, walked from Florida to North Carolina, hiked a lot of trails in the NC mountains, driven around the country in an 18 wheeler, preached in the streets of Chicago and down the east coast of Florida broke and homeless, seen Niagara Falls in the winter, worked on a ranch in Nebraska, etc., etc. We have met a lot of people, prayed for a lot of people and preached to a lot of people all over this country.
Through all of our experiences, I have learned that God is more awesome than I will ever know or understand in this lifetime. He is beyond our comprehension and ability to describe in words. He is powerful, loving, and infinitely creative. He is so far beyond amazing!
Every time I think that I have given Him my all, I grow and become aware of more that I need to give Him. It’s a lifelong process. But He deserves our all. He’s worthy of our all. And He’s trustworthy of our all. He is worthy of much more than our all, but since we have nothing more to give than our all, He graciously receives it and gives us all of Him. What a great bargain for us!!