I was raised as a Catholic, taking part in the sacraments: confession, first Holy Communion and then to Confirmation. I never quite understood why I had to confess my sins to a priest when I could just “talk” to God myself. Whenever I asked “that” question- I never received an answer. Nuns during catechism class were so evasive and strict, they never answered me. So, I decided I didn’t need to go to get confirmed, so I skipped classes every Monday. When it came time for me to be confirmed, my mother became furious to find out that I had “flunked out” of catechism, but in reality I dropped out. I was forced to return the next year to complete this sacrament, memorizing every prayer and chant to perfection. I completed my confirmation in the seventh grade instead of the sixth grade with even more questions about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the role of priests.
My parents became separated as I entered the sixth grade and that caused me to feel very alone. I smoked cigarettes, hung out with the wrong crowd and started staying out late and breaking curfew. My father and I were very close, so when he and my mom divorced, it really affected me negatively. My dad came to get my brother and I on the weekends and eventually, with my brother’s busy activity schedule, it became just Dad and I – which I loved.
As time went on , I had sex at an early age to fulfill a longing to be loved. I didn’t understand what the “big deal” was about sex, but the consequences became apparent a few years later. I experienced a pregnancy in my late teens, which I was encouraged to abort. I knew it was wrong, but I went through with the abortion anyway. That seemed to get rid of “that problem.” But what I soon realized is that depression, regret and sadness would soon follow. I thought that God would never forgive me for committing murder and that I was “bad."
So, I decided to keep drinking and hanging out with almost anyone and looking for love by being promiscuous. I remember one night being out with friends, smoking weed. I never liked how it made me feel, but I did it anyway. Then, one of the guys pulled some coke. I had never done it before and I knew “that drug” was serious! He put it on the glass, chopped it up fine and made four rows. All the while, I was praying under my breath, “Lord, please don’t let me do this!! Please God, stop me!” Just as the mirror of the row of coke came to me, there was a bang at the door! It was my mom!! Coke was blown to the floor along with all of the paraphernalia. God had heard my prayer!!
I used to ask, “How did she know where I was? What I was about to do?’ My only answer is GOD !!!
Becoming a Christian.
Can you hear me now, Kim?
As I went through my twenties I would often pray that prayer, “Lord, if you get me out of this, I promise I won’t do it again!” Each time I was rescued. Everything from stray bullets at clubs, car accidents while driving under the influence, to abusive men who could’ve really put their hands on me. But God’s grace was surely there every step of the way. Toward my late twenties, I began to realize that I needed Jesus in my life. One year, I lost two very close friends in one month. One who was “friends with benefits” who I had just saw the night before he died.
I went away to visit a friend of mine in California for two weeks and while I was there, I could hear a small still voice say to me, “that’s not who you are”. We went out for New Years Eve where I had no desire to drink, smoke or anything. I knew something was going on inside of me and it seemed liked God was trying to tell me something. In the meantime, a very good friend at work had been talking to me about Jesus’ love for years. I told her, “I’m a good person.” She told me, "Kim, even good people go to hell.” That was cold, yet so true.
Then, one Wednesday night at my nephew’s baptism, the Pastor asked the question, “If you were to die tonight, do you know where you would spend eternity?” I honestly couldn’t answer that question. I knew I was Catholic, but I had done so many bad things, but could God forgive me? I asked myself a lot of questions that night. At the end of the service, I told the Pastor, "I’m not sure where I would spend eternity, but I’m coming back on Sunday for more information. "He smiled and said, "I’ll hold you to that.” I returned to that church on Sunday and don’t quite remember what the sermon was about, all I know is that when the Pastor asked that question again, I couldn’t answer it and that really bothered me.
At the end of the service, I told the Pastor, "Look, I’m Catholic and I have some questions about this getting saved stuff.” The Pastor handed me his business card with his home and church office phone number. He said, "Please call me, I’ll be happy to answer your questions." I waited until that Thursday to call Pastor Jones and he was patient with every question I asked. 1.What does it mean to be saved? 2. Why do some religions sprinkle water as opposed to dipping (total submersion). 3. If I’m Catholic, can I make the decision to get saved and live for Christ? That Sunday, I walked up to the front of the church and gave my life to the Lord. Soon after classes and training, I was baptized, joined the choir and danced for the Lord.
How Christ has made a difference in my life today?
From that point on, I never questioned Jesus’ love for me, but there were times I questioned whether or not I’ve been forgiven. I realized that Jesus’ love for me is unlimited and unconditional. According to the scriptures, “For God so loved the world (Kim) that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) As I continue to grow in Christ through Bible Study, praying, fellowshipping and building my relationship with God, He has never let me fail.
From my career and jobs, to relationships, I know that, “the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord” (II Timothy 2:15). I listen to the small still voice within me that guides me and teaches me. I haven’t had a “burning bush” experience, but I know His voice. He tells me,”Go, Now, Stop, Wait, Yes, and No.” I just need to continue to trust Him and He will continue to lead me to my destiny. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Kimberlee Williams is a 55 year old woman who has been a Cosmetology Educator for 25 years. I have a nine year old son who I adopted when he was five. I volunteer at my church, High Place and minister in dance to the women of She Prayed.