“Debbie (Stocking) Hall’s Testimony”—This part of Debbie’s testimony ends before we were married on December 26th, 2010 and before the church was birthed in Oct. 2010. The rest of this story will follow soon.
Train up a child in the way he should go , And when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22-6) Thank you mother and daddy!
I don’t think I could tell you when I first realized that Jesus was in my life, he just always was! My name is Debbie Stocking, I am called Mom by two Sons, and MeMe by 4 beautiful grandchildren, one girl and three boys. I found out about the power of prayer when I was about 3 years old. One of my babies had lost a shoe! My mother suggested I pray to God, and he would show me where the shoe was, and He did! She always took me to church, and read a Bible story book to me everyday at nap time. She raised me to be a Good Girl! My parents were very poor, and I never had the clothes or shoes, to feel like I fit in. I remember the day I started First Grade. I had to get on a bus .I was scared to death, I was all by myself, everybody was bigger than me and as I slowly pushed my way down the aisle, there was a little girl , (I think she was in the 3rd Grade) who motioned for me to sit with her !” Thank you Jesus!” Everyday, she would save a seat for me! I don’t remember much else about her, but I do remember her kind spirit. I always wanted to be like that little girl. I wanted Jesus to come into my heart when I was very young. But my mother advised me to wait until I was older and could understand the meaning of salvation. I walked the aisle and gave my life to Jesus when I was 9 years old. All my early childhood was spent going to schools where the kids, were children of parents, who had money and prestige, (I thought) I never felt like I fit in with them. The year I turned 12, my Dad got a job that moved us to Woodward Ok. . We rented a house in Sharon Ok. A little town that is about 8 miles south of Woodward. I was so happy! All the kids were poor, just like us! This is where I met the boy who was to someday be my husband. We were boyfriend and girlfriend when we were in Junior High and all the way through High- School. We got married when we were nineteen years old! We didn’t have any money, but I knew in my heart, that someday we would. I never wanted my children to feel the inferiority, that being poor, brings to your confidence. My ex-husband was a very smart man and very ambitious, so it wasn’t long before he had a good job, that moved him up rapidly. The first two and a half years of our marriage was spent going to bars every weekend! I hated it! I didn’t like to drink or smoke, stay up all night long or be around anyone who was. I was even expected to go when I was pregnant with our first son. Once my oldest son was born, I didn’t go to the bars with him very often and this began the downfall of our marriage. I was always taught that a woman was to be submissive to her husband, and so begun my life of denial.
LOVE ALWAYS PROTECTS, ALWAYS TRUSTS, ALWAYS HOPES, AND ALWAYS PERSEVERES. 1CORINTHIANS 13:7
Our first Son was born in 1973 and our second son was born in 1979. I stayed home and tried to be a good Wife and Mom. That was all I had ever dreamed about when I was growing up! We built a big, beautiful home in 1977 and it was paid for six years later. I always had a new car to drive and could finally afford to dress the way I had always wanted to.
I took the boys to church, taught a Girls Auxiliary class, attended a women prayer meeting, did visitation, and taught Bible School. I never realized the importance of having an intimate relationship with God. I thought that being a Christian, meant you had to go to church, be religious, don’t cuss, don’t drink, be a good person, and of course believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins and rose again. Once again, I didn’t realize the importance of having an intimate relationship with God! Why had no one ever explained that to me? My parents will be married 60 years this month and so will my ex-husbands in September. Divorce was never an option to me! It had never entered my mind that the man I had chosen to be the father of my children and to grow old with, would ever hurt me! Didn’t he promise to always love and protect me? After all, I had devoted my life to my family! I was the perfect wife and mother, I working in the church for God! In December of 1990, my life as I had know it, ended …..I begged God to please let this be a bad dream, and I could just wake up and everything would be alright…… but, this was not to be…..
The next six years of my life were a living nightmare!! If hell is worse than that time of my life, I know that I don’t want it. This was not a one time thing, it was a way of life for him, and this is entirely a different matter when it comes to forgiveness. True forgiveness is to let it go, to act as if it never happened….and it was still happening , I honestly cried out ….My God, My God, why have thou forsaken me? I was angry at God! I hadn’t work out in the public for seventeen years! How could I think of leaving and getting a job? But God had a plan for me. I just didn’t know it yet! I was divorced on December 30th 1996. The next thirteen years of my life is what I now describe as my “Wandering in the Wilderness Years”
“I KNOW THE PLANS I HAVE FOR YOU,” DECLARES THE LORD““PLANS TO PROSPER YOU AND NOT TO HARM YOU, PLANS TO GIVE YOU HOPE AND A FUTURE.” Jeremiah 29:11
My little granddaughter ask me,” MeMe, why don’t you go to Church? “I really didn’t know how to answer that question, but I felt the Holy Spirit tugging at my heart once again. I knew things were getting ready to change in my life, because God had started to open and close doors, I had gradually learned how to drive outside Woodward, I wasn’t even scared anymore! I had learned to use a computer and had started to work at a bank! I had started praying to God again, but realized that my praying was more intimate, and I was starting to share more with God about how to handle my life. The church at Sharon, I had attended since I was little, was getting a new pastor. When I think about what started to happen in my life, as our new pastor, a young, cowboy named, Beau Hague, inspired me to work on a relationship with Jesus, and helped me learn how to forgive and how important it is if you want to truly “Walk with God!” Legalism, tradition, and religion were not want I wanted in life! Jesus was what I wanted! I rededicated my life, to serving God, I realized at this time, that God had something really special in mind for me, and I truly sang the words of the song,” Where ever he leads I’ll go” and meant it with all my heart. I was baptized on Mothers Day 2009, I know that I didn’t have to do that, but I really needed to have the spiritual experience, of leaving the old life behind and starting over again, washing me white as snow! To go forth in the newness of life.
God begin to send people into my life, people who needed help, who needed recovery, and most of all needed Jesus in their life. It is so hard to forgive, and sometimes, it is ourselves we need to forgive first of all. But forgiveness is what it takes, to free you from the chains that bind you to Satan. Unforgiveness, controls your mind, as long as you think about this anger, bitterness, hate , revenge will engulf your very being and rob you of any joy and contentment that you could ever have. Remember ‘he, who angers you, controls you! “Just let it go! Jesus has already paid the price, and we need to thank God constantly for the gift, he freely gave to us. On my Pilgrims Progress, there have been many events in my life that are stored and remembered only when they are needed to help someone else through something I have already been through and can hopefully shorten their grieving time. Fifty some years later, I still think of the little girl at the back of the bus, motioning for me to come sit with her. She will never know what an impact she had on my life.
God is building a home… He is using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. Ephesians 2:19-21
This month of July, marks another milestone in my life! I had always promised myself that I would never again be married. I would never again be controlled by an ungodly man, beg him to love me or be a co-dependent of sinful addictions. Most of all I would never let a man have that small part of me that protects me from ever being hurt again. Once again, I think God had a plan all along; I had to go through all the trials, so I would know how to recognize the man that God had chosen for me. In July of 2009, Dennis Hall comes into my life! “A man who walks with God,” doesn’t just talk about it, strives everyday to build a relationship that is stronger than the day before. He loves to study and memorize the Bible; he loves to spend time in prayer with God! I don’t have to beg him to go to church with me. I love the fact that people will tell me all the time, that they can tell he really loves Jesus. I just love to be with him because his conversation is an understood love for God. He loves to teach me, he is the only man I have ever met, that I truly respect and could be spiritually submissive to. Dennis knows I understand him, and I know he understands me. Had I know all the years of hell that I went through, and all the years of wandering in the wilderness, was going to be the time, that God knew it would take, to prepare me, for the man, that he was molding into a new creation….a real man, I might have been a little less stubborn. I feel that God has a big, big, plan for the two of us, as we work together for God’s Kingdom, so be ready to watch, as God’s plan unfolds right before us. May God bless each and everyone who reads these words, and please believe with all your hearts, that God truly does restore the years that the locust devours!