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Why Do I Feel Empty?


My Testimony - Shirl Montgomery

I was saved and baptized at the age of 9 and felt pretty confident that I was a “Christian.”  I taught Sunday school from the time I was 18.  I sang in the choir for 10 years and was in every drama and cantata my little Baptist church presented.  In fact, I was even appointed as a Trustee to serve on the church board.   When help was needed, you could always count on me.  In fact, at the age of 50, I was pretty much worn out; yet, there was something wrong.  I felt so empty!  I would sit in my car, after church services, and cry to the Lord.  I would ask him: “What am I doing wrong?”  “What do you want me to do, that I am not already doing?”  Finally, one day as I lay prostrate on the floor, bemoaning the sorry state of my soul, He answered me.  He said “It is not you!”  Well, that’s just great.  “If it is not me, what is it?”  Still no answer…

A month later my sister called to say she had started going to church and had received something called “The Holy Ghost.”  She called a few weeks after that to tell me our mom had also started going to church with her, and that mom had also received this Holy Ghost.”  I thought,  I have to see this!  It must be some kind of church to get my sister and my mom--who never attended church or served the Lord--to join.  I would just have to see this for myself.  My sister began to talk to me about her walk and about how wonderful it was to have the Holy Ghost, and she even said she had spoken in a foreign language!  Well, that sure is a changed person; she even had trouble speaking English!  She invited me to drive from Fort Worth where I lived, to Pauls Valley, to go to church with Mom and her.

I began to pray about this.  The “good little Christian” that I was did not want to do something against God’s will.  I had heard things about the kind of people my sister was worshipping with, and I was afraid!  For three months, I prayed that the Lord would lead me and show me what this was all about.  I asked Him to let me know--as soon as I entered their church--if their tongue talking and other stuff was of the devil; if He would let me know, I would run from there as fast as I could.

Well, my husband--who never attended church--decided to go with us to humor my mom.  I sat in the car for a few moments in front of that church and once again asked the Lord to let me know if I should be there or if I should run!  I got out of the car and started toward the church in front of my husband, still praying silently for guidance.  I began to feel light headed, and as I reached out to touch the church’s door handle, the hair stood up on my arms and my neck.  I felt such a powerful presence that radiated pure love!  I opened the door and stepped inside.  That church was so full, there was standing room only!  I can’t tell you for sure why, but that Pentecostal pastor singled me out and said, “Let that Baptist lady open us in prayer!”  I wondered why he would do that; surely, his deacons or members should be the ones praying. But I opened my mouth, and the rest of this story was told to me by others that were there to witness it.

As I lifted my face and hands to Heaven, I began to speak in tongues, rising higher and higher in the air.  A golden light filled the church and I was lifted higher still.  The Holy Ghost blew into that church so strongly that my sister said the pastor had to grab hold of his podium to remain grounded!  I could feel someone tugging at my waist and wondered who and why they were doing it.  I later learned that my husband was holding on to me for dear life.  The Lord let me know for sure that what I was experiencing was His Spirit and not the devil.

Well, after the service I felt so good.  So happy, so peaceful, so full.  My sister’s pastor explained to me that I had just received the Holy Ghost, as evidenced by speaking in tongues.  He suggested I find a Pentecostal church when I returned to Fort Worth.  I did not find a Pentecostal church within my driving range, so I continued at the Baptist church.  Forgetting about that wonderful experience, I settled for less.

In 2008, my husband was taken by cancer, and I moved from Fort Worth back to Pauls Valley, where I was born. I decided I HAD to find a Pentecostal church to worship in.   I was no longer content to just attend church; I had to experience the love of Jesus and his presence in my life.  I visited several churches before visiting the Paoli Pentecostal Church.  I found such love and acceptance from the pastor and from the church members, I knew I was home.  Shortly thereafter, I was baptized again, this time in Jesus’ name, for the remission of my sins and have never been happier.

I have grown spiritually and am getting stronger with each day.  I now feel complete.  No emptiness in my heart or in my life.  The Holy Ghost is what was missing in my life all those years!  What joy, what freedom, what peace.   Do I still have problems in life?  Yes, I do; but, I now have the right relationship with the Lord that allows Him to guide me and to give me victories over the problems.

I never get tired of praising and worshipping my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Yes, I am still very active in the church; but, now I have energy and joy and know that the Lord will give me rest when I need it.  I do not work for my salvation, I work for my Lord.   There is no longer something missing in my life or in my service. Thank You, Jesus!

If He did all this for me, He will do it for you.  If your life needs meaning and purpose, He is your answer.

Shirl Montgomery

August 2012