My name is Tanya Sparks. I live in East Tennessee in a small town. I would just like to share my testimony with you.
I was born in Erwin, Tennessee in 1979. My parents were non-christians. I grew up with my only experiences with God being when I got to go to church with my friends and relatives. I always knew about Jesus, but was confused. I had different religions in my family such as Morman and Free Will Baptist and got alot of different stories. All I knew was that if I was good I would get to go to heaven.
In 1995, my mom was drinking heavily and my dad was hardly home because he worked alot. I knew that things couldn't get much worse. Then, one day, my dad decided to go to a revival with a friend of the family. One thing led to another, and within no time at all, both of my parents were saved and started attending church everytime the doors were open. My sister and I thought that they were crazy. They had changed over-night!!!
In March 1997, I had what I thought was a salvation experience. I was only sorry that I felt bad because of a break-up with a boyfriend and not because of sin. The feeling lasted all of about 2 weeks. Then, I was back to my old ways. Throughout the most of that year I was in and out of church, all the time thinking that i was saved. Then, in September, I met my husband. He is a preacher and preaches where he is needed. I was so excited. He was older than me, and so mature, I knew the moment we decided to go steady that he was the one. I knew that he would not marry me if I were not a christian, so I started the act again. We were married on November 15, 1997. Finally I thought I had control of my life.
It wasn't very long before Steve, [my husband], knew that I was not saved. The first 1.5 years of marriage was rough. I was constantly laying out of church, discouraging my husband and his ministry, and just trying to separate myself from the church. In July 1999, I attended a revival where I got under strong conviction. I prayed the sinners prayer and finally thought that I was in. But, I was holding back sin in my life that I could not let go of. In April 2000, our church went through a battle. The Pastor resigned, alot of people left the church, and the piano player quit. I quickly stepped up to the position of piano player. I thought that I was finally in!!!
On December 10, 2000, a preacher from Madison County, North Carolina was the visiting pastor. He preached that day on knowing that you are saved. The Lord immediately started dealing with my heart. I knew right then and there that I was lost and if I had died before that day, I would have went to hell. I went to the alter and prayed the sinners prayer, asked forgiveness of my sins, and gave it all to God. The Lord SAVED Me!!! When I announced that morning that I had just then accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal savior, alot of people were shocked. Even my husband was shocked. I think that he knew deep down inside that I was lost; but, he never told me that. If the Lord can save someone like me, that decieved a preacher into marrying me, lived a lie for a year and a half, and was a preachers' wife, he can save anyone. Everyone can accept the Lord, even a rotten, wretch like me! Tanya firstname.lastname@example.org