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Char Sims
Romans 8:35-39

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Char's Testimony

by
Charlene Sims

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: ‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’ Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35-39).

Tears streaming down my face, I was setting alone in my room in a wheelchair crying out to God. "You ask too much this time," I cried.  I can't go thru this alone. And all He replied to me was, "Oh, really?"

I had just learned that I had advanced metastasized breast cancer. It had spread to my liver and my bones, thus the reason for the wheelchair.

About one month earlier I had gone to my regular doctor as I was having major hip pain and it was getting worse by the day, until I was unable to walk.  Diagnosis – Cancer had eaten away a major part of my left femur about 2 inches below my left hip. It was so bad that the bone was in danger of breaking, if any pressure was placed upon it, and I was to stay completely off my feet and remain in the wheelchair until further notice from my oncologist. I thought: “Lord, You have given me another trial and I don't want or need any more--just let me die.”

But let’s talk for a minute about trials and go back in time aways. When I was 3, my birth dad left us and my mom divorced him. At 7, mom married again and divorced this man two years later. And when I was 11, she married for a third time. This man, who became my step-father, turned out to be very abusive both verbally and physically. My mom gave me two little brothers by this man and I adored them. I used to pretend that they were my babies. My step-dad had a raging and uncontrollable temper and would beat whoever got in his way.  Usually it was Mom or baby brother, but I caught it on occasion.  My first brother hardly ever “caught it,” for he was the apple of my step-father’s eye.

At 20, I married my high school sweetheart and became pregnant with my first child one month after we were married. I was ecstatic and could not have been happier.  I had a precious little boy, and 21 months later, I had my second little boy.

My husband was going thru the Los Angeles Police Academy to become one of L.A.'s finest officers, and we had just purchased our first home in Lakewood, California.

Life was beautiful – or so I thought. My new baby was 6 weeks old. One night, I was sitting on our sofa folding a mountain of diapers.  My husband had taken a night job in a gas station, a couple of nights a week, to supplement our income and I thought that was where he was. But all of a sudden the front door burst open and in walked Bob with a torn shirt, a “mouse” under his eye (a black eye), and a very “fat” lip.

I was so stunned, and said to him, “Oh my God, what in the world has happened to you?

My first thought was that he had some kind of car accident. He said, “I have a confession to make to you. For over the last three years I have been having an affair” (longer than I had been married) “with Dottie.”  I had thought Dottie was my very best friend and she was my matron of honor at my wedding. She was married also. My husband, Bob, continued: “Her husband caught us in the act, and beat me up.” I was so devastated. I had lost my husband and my best friend in one fell swoop.

He asked for my forgiveness and I tried to give it, but I was not functioning well and could not seem to pull myself out of depression and emotional pain. I was like a zombie. And then the Lord gave me a miracle. He picked me up, dusted me off and made me His child!

An older neighbor came to my door about ten days after I had found out about the affair. She said she knew that things were not right in my home and that she would like to invite me to her home for a Bible study. She had a teenage daughter who would sit with my boys, and said I would be right across the street. She also had a daughter-in-law that was about my age and said she thought I would really like her.

So that Tuesday night, in November of 1963, the plan of Salvation was presented to me, and I gave my heart to the Lord, Jesus Christ.

Life took on an entirely different meaning. I was given an emotional healing, and I began to pour my life into my Lord; I could not seem to get enough of the Word of God, the Bible, and also made my boys the focal point of my life as well as the Lord.

My husband continued to have affairs and I tried to turn a blind eye to it and just believe that someday the Lord would save him. But alas, 17 years later he walked out of our lives for good. I was 40 years old and had to begin a new life.

My oldest was just out of high school and my youngest still had a year to go. It was a struggle. We dealt with so many trials, drugs, rebellion; so much anger and hurt – my youngest almost died from an overdose of cocaine, but that is another story.

The Lord, bless Him, brought us through it all and gave me and my oldest son a wonderful wife (my daughter-in-law) and I was given three beautiful grandchildren.

Things went along pretty well for awhile, and then the company I worked for closed the department that I was working in. I was in my mid-fifties and could not find a job. I was only receiving unemployment insurance and was having a very hard time. Finally the unemployment insurance stopped altogether, and I was still out of work.

My step-father had passed away about 1 1/2 years prior to that time, and my mom lived in a 3 bedroom home all alone.  My relationship with my mom has never been good. She does not walk with the Lord, and we have always seemed to clash, like oil and water – we are just not a good mix.

But I had no choice, I had to swallow my pride and ask to come home or be on the street.  And thank God, she took me in. I finally found a good job and things were starting to look up.

Then, I got sick. So there I sat, needing to put on my armor and fight another battle: Cancer!

I was 62 years old, unable to walk, and living with someone who could not stand me. I cried and prayed and almost gave up. I asked the Lord to give me just one little blessing, just to let me know that I was O.K. and just to let me know that He loved me. And the miracles began!

The next morning, before I even opened my eyes, I received my first of many miracles. I have a Gardenia bush under my bedroom window, and I swear that bush had not one bloom or bud on it before. But before I opened my eyes that morning, my room was filled with the sent of Gardenia.  After dressing, I went outside to see it, and that bush was filled with beautiful Gardenia blossoms.

I belong to an on-line church known as Friday Study Ministries, the First Church On The Net, and they have held me up in prayer and have been so supportive. I know that their prayers tugged on the Lord's heart. And still do. Praise God!

I also am a member of Light and Life Christian Fellowship, and they are loving, supportive, prayer warriors and these two churches are my heart. The out-pouring of love and support was almost overwhelming. When they found out I had cancer, they started bringing meals, financial blessings, people showing up to bring me to church and Bible studies, an assistant pastor gave up his days off to take me and stay with me for my doctor appointments; and I received a brand new wheelchair.  They built and painted a wheelchair ramp for me to match the trim of our house, lots and lots of prayer, cards, lovely cards and sweet phone calls of encouragement and love. And even a computer!

It has been three years now since my battle with cancer began, and now, praise God, I am IN REMISSION!!  I am no longer in a wheelchair and He has blessed me indeed. He has allowed me to know, according to His Word that He will never leave me or forsake me--even unto the end of this world. And just like Isaiah 12:2, which says, "Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; for YAH, the Lord is my strength and my song; He also has become my salvation.”  

I will praise, love and thank Him forever for the work and loving-kindness He has and does bestow upon my life. Now, always and forever – thank you, Jesus. Amen and Amen

 

Char Sims
 

Char has shared her true story with Friday Study Ministries, The First Church on the Net – and with you!


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