By Regina McQuiston
"For God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
On the night of January 5, 1988, my whole life changed. I learned that Jesus loved me. How I knew, I don't know. I just knew that I knew. God opened my eyes and ears so that I would know that he loves me.
I was raised a Catholic and went to Catholic school. My family prayed the rosary every night. I know I had spiritual moments. Yet, I still married outside of the church. After 14 years, my husband and I had our marriage blessed. I was so happy to go to confession and to receive communion.
I did not know you were to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, let alone to call the heavenly Father, Abba, and the Holy Spirit, my Helper. Mine! My Advocate. I did not know.
My Dad, who was living with us, was going to daily mass so I started going. I thought I was doing God a favor by going a couple mornings a week.
In 1986, I came across a prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I memorized this quickly and started praying it morning, noon and night because I was not happy. I thought, “Is this all there is to life?” I had fear, shame and blame. Mostly I blamed my husband and I am sorry for this.
My life changed
Yes, on January 5, 1988, my life changed. My friend Janet and I went to a Healing Mass St. Pius. We wanted to lift her husband up in prayer. He was in the hospital preparing for cancer surgery.
Fr. Edward McDonough was the celebrant. Janet had undergone knee surgery and was on crutches. The ushers insisted that everyone on crutches come down to the front. We tried to tell them we did not come here for her but for her husband who was in the hospital. We finally relented and moved to the front.
Several times that night Father asked Janet to put down her crutches and come forward. She was thinking, “Who does he think he is? The doctors said not to put weight on my knee.”
After Mass when Father blessed her, she felt a lightening bolt go down from her head and settled in her knee. Well, that night she walked out carrying her crutches and I walked out with a new heart and a new way to worship God with my whole body. You could not wipe the smile off my face. Bill, Janet's husband's surgeon, found evidence that cancer had been in his hip, but found no cancer.
Life in the Spirit
Soon after this I met Joe and Marion Lyons at a Mass at St. Pius. During the Our Father, I lifted my hands slightly to praise God. Joe and Marion Lyons , leaders of the parish prayer group, were sitting behind me. After Mass Joe tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Come, the Holy Spirit is calling you." I was so happy! I went to a Life in the Spirit Seminar. I cried and smiled. I was baptized in the Holy Spirit on April 9, 1988. I did not feel a difference that day.
Changes were gradual over the weeks, months and years. My heart was changed. I met Andrien Farquharson as she was starting a program to pray with people called “Listen, Love and Pray.” After several classes I started praying for people following 5:30 Mass. I did this for 10 years. Now a group of us pray for individuals with needs.
I am a Eucharistic minister, altar server at daily mass and a leader for women’s "Sister's Intercessory," where we come together to pray for the world, our country and are families.
Be not afraid
I have never looked back, never thought, “Am I doing the right thing?” The battles are still there. God reminds me often "be not afraid."
My sisters and brothers at the Spiritual Life Center at my parish have helped me and are helping me in this sojourn. I would not want to travel without God's love, graces, gifts and all the people he has sent me in my walk. Crosses are easier to carry because Jesus loves us so much that he says, “Take my yoke.”
God gives everyone opportunities to know and feel his love. The Bible is our source of scriptures that tell of God’s love. With his grace, love and gifts of the Holy Spirit you and I can fight the battles. We are not alone. Let Jesus make your heart sing.
Regina McQuiston gave her testimony at
St. Pius X Catholic Church in Dallas, TX, and at a
family reunion. Regina and her husband John have
one son and three grandchildren. She was a
stay-at-home mom and now loves to babysit.
She enjoys playing golf occasionally and traveling
with John in their motor home.