My name is Carol Terry, and I am 46 years old. My mother and father did not take me to church when I was a little girl, but my grandmother did. I remember being afraid sometimes because I thought that God would actually be physically present and I was somewhat awed at seeing Him, I guess.
Anyway, I remember when I turned 15 that I began to feel the need to find a church and be baptized, God was drawing me to Himself. So it was that I was baptized on November 1, 1970, and remained in the church until I turned 18. At the time I was not attending Sunday School or bible studies and was not receiving any other encouragement from those who had been Christians longer than me, so I eventually drifted back into the world–where I remained until 7 years ago.
I found out that the world was a terribly cruel and evil place to be. At first I felt grown up and alive and thrilled to be a part of the “what’s happening” crowd. I was working and had my own apartment and could come and go as I pleased.
I was introduced to marijuana first and was extremely promiscuous. But I thought I was living the life and continued on this course. Later on I began to take pills, to drink, continued to smoke marijuana, and then started doing cocaine. I started out snorting it, but this led to smoking it. By this time I had a really good job in Chicago, which I was able to keep (through God’s mercy), although I was drugged out of my mind sometimes, and even snorted cocaine in the bathroom at work sometimes! Payday would come around, and I could hardly wait to get home and call the drug dealer to bring over my best friend, “Crack.” I smoked and smoked until all my money was gone. I had only enough to get back and forth to work and often would have to borrow money the day after payday just to make it through to next payday. Then when payday would come again, I would do the same thing over and over and over and over and over.
Then one night, it was about six years into my crack addiction, that I was getting high in the kitchen one night. It is interesting to note that I had begun having hallucinations prior to this, often seeing demons out of the corner of my eye. Anyway that particular night the Holy Spirit spoke to me and told me that if I died right then I would go straight to hell. It was at that moment I began to be convicted right where I stood.
A couple of days later (after payday and having spent all my money), I had reached a point where I was so ashamed at how I was living my life and how low I had sunk. I called on God saying “Lord, I am tired of living like this.” I knew I needed help, so I grabbed the phone book and opened it to the yellow pages to “Churches.” Not having a particular preference at the time, I just closed my eyes and pointed. My finger landed on a church called Grace Missionary Baptist Church. I called the number, but I got a recording. I left a message anyway, telling the pastor that I needed help and to please call. Well, not long after that the pastor did call me, and I told him why I had called. His name is Sam Williams Jr., and I never shall forget how he came out to minister to me the very next night. He prayed for me and encouraged me to come to church that Sunday, which I did, and as a matter of fact I joined the church that Sunday.
All of that happened 7 years ago this past February. I have been drug-free ever since. The Lord also took the taste for alcohol and cigarettes at the same time he freed me from drugs.
The Lord has since blessed me with a saved, Christian husband (who was also freed from drugs and alcohol), a wonderful home, and a good job where I live, so I do not have to commute to Chicago anymore.
I have told this testimony several times, and even as I write this, tears are in my eyes, because I know it was the power and love of God that saved me and it is His power and love that keeps me. I love the Lord because truly he heard my cry.
Thank you for allowing me to share my testimony with you.