Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. – Jesus in John 7:24
Editor’s Note: Today we have the great honor of sharing one woman’s story of faith, of growing in her walk with Jesus, and of trusting Him to direct her steps. Sometime during this Come and See journey through the Gospel of John, we hope you will write out your testimony of faith to show others how you’ve “passed from death to life.” If you missed it before, here’s the link to a UFC resource on how to do this.
At the time I was born, my parents weren’t committed Christians. My mother was backsliding, and my father was not a believer. My mother’s family had been people of faith on her mother’s side, and my father’s family was not religious at all as far as I know. About the time I was 3, my mom had a near-death experience, and God used it to bring her back to Himself. Her decision didn’t seem to affect my father from what I could tell in my growing up years.
My mom took my sister and me to church regularly as we were growing up. We learned all about “Churchianity.” We learned all the Bible stories, went to every VBS and church camp, and continued to learn throughout our school years. I say “Churchianity” because although I knew the Bible stories, books of the Bible, and memorized lots of verses, I don’t recall learning how to have a personal relationship with Jesus. I remember, though, having lots of questions and a strong desire to get to know Jesus better.
Linda Grimaud married Robert almost 48 years ago. They have three grown children and five grandchildren. As Robert was a pastor for many years, Linda was involved in ministry of all sorts, but the last 20 years have been her favorite as she has traveled to India and Africa to help train pastors and their wives.
Now, looking back, I’ve learned that being a follower of Jesus is a process. He doesn’t let anything get wasted from a sincere heart of faith. My high school years brought lots of struggles, bad decisions, poor career choices, boys, and you know. My mom wasn’t a very good influence on my Christian growth, I suppose because she was my mom. Her life was very service oriented, and she taught adult single ladies. My father actually became a believer my senior year. He had the gift of helps from day one.
I chose not to go to college but took a career path into being a beautician. I loved the work but not the job. Then I was offered an opportunity to become a dental receptionist. Again, I loved the work but not the job. That job gave me the experience of learning to do financial books, which helped me to become a Christian school secretary. I loved both the work and the job. I loved working with kids.
About the time of this transition, God brought a young man, a new believer, into my life. Two years later we married, and he was finishing college. It was then that he told me he felt the Lord calling him into pastoral ministry. That truly was not on my radar, but God has a way of using other people to push us into His plan, and conforming us into the image of His Son. The life of a pastor’s wife was challenging, exciting, educational, full of people, emotional, full of people, stretching, and on and on. I needed to learn so many things about serving God, His people, and myself. What an educational process it was. The things I liked best were serving the church through hospitality and working with the children’s programs.
Then, one day in November 2001, my story turned into HIS story. God opened an incredible opportunity for me to go to India with a lady friend to teach women. The only problem I had with this opportunity was I didn’t talk to adults. I was a great children’s teacher, so what would I have to offer and how would I do it? But I went, in January 2002, and it changed my life forever and for the best.
If you know me, you have probably heard me say that I never wanted to be a missionary growing up. I heard all the visiting missionary stories and what I heard was: tigers and lions and people, oh my! I am so thankful that God is a Gentleman. He has patience. He lovingly guides. He’s gentle in His challenges, but His goal is ever-growing His children into the persons He wants them to be, whether we realize it or not.
These past 20 plus years going to India and Africa, I have loved the work He’s given and never seen it as a job. I have experienced Philippians 4:13 — “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength” — up close and personal. I’ve heard God whisper in my ear when I was tongue-tied before a message. I’ve felt His comforting arms holding mine when they were shaking from nervousness before a crowd of hundreds. I’ve heard Him call my name with clear affirmation when I’ve questioned “who am I to be here?” with seasoned preachers and evangelists. His story being drawn out through me is one I never could have envisioned telling without HIM directing my life!