A Testimony by Heather Scaggs
There are times when I look back over my life and it seems like one of those very eerie dreams. It is like I’ve awakened and every emotion was touched in some way, but I cannot remember the details of the dream very accurately.
There are some things that I do remember about my life before now…and those things I am quite certain of. I am certain God used every detail of my life THEN to make me who I am NOW. He preserved me, even in my time rebellion, for the ministry He had planned for my future. And God used all the things the enemy meant to destroy me with for the good of His kingdom. <Praise break> God is so GOOD!
I received the Holy Ghost at the young age of ten years old. I loved God. I loved going to church. I loved the people of God. I spoke in tongues, went to all the camps, showed up to almost every church service and function, was involved in music ministry, and really tried to live for God. However, somewhere along the way I began to let the spirit of the Children of Israel begin to influence my thinking. “Waah, Waah, Waah, take me back to Egypt!” Although, prior to receiving the Holy Ghost, I didn’t know too much about the world. I didn’t really know what I had been saved from. In my late teens, I began to have a great deal of exposure to the lifestyle of sin, and oh was it ever so tempting! The world began to have a stronger influence on me than the church. Looking back now, I realize I never really became grounded in the Word of God. When the world taunted me with its pleasures and conjured up questions about who God was, I was not equipped to fight back. I did not have the confidence to provide answers to the questions which arose in my mind. So I played the part of a Christian for a while and went in and out of trying to live for God (sounds a little bit like those old Israelites).
By my early 20’s, I had already dabbled in several extra-curriculars that, had my Pastor known about them, would have gotten me a visit to his office. I had tasted alcohol, evaded holiness standards whenever the opportunity arose, introduced lust and covetousness into my thinking and started cussing like a 12 year old who got their Xbox taken away. I was looking for any opportunity to leave the area because my ties with my friends in church were just strong enough to keep me from leaving the church. But when the time came….I left. My parents had moved out of state and I saw that as my opportunity to run!
I spent the next three years “sowing my wild oats” if you will. Not that my wild oats were all that exciting since I considered beer and my blue jeans pretty wild at the time! Nevertheless, I spent very little time thinking about God or the things of God. Although I did not make a conscious effort to think about God, there was always this still, small voice in the back of my mind that spoke to me. It never allowed me to lose my purity. It never allowed me to destroy my mind. It never allowed me to destroy my body. It never allowed me to go too far. Because I had been filled with the Holy Ghost earlier in my life, no matter how far I tried to run from God, the Holy Ghost constantly tugged and pulled at me. Once you have been filled with the Holy Ghost, you will never be the same again! Even in my rebellion, the tug of the Holy Ghost always seemed to reel me back in. When I had the opportunity to participate in activities that could have ruined my life, there was always something blocking that path. There was always something that kept me preserved.
My journey back to my relationship with God was equally as miraculous as God’s preservation of my life. He began to very subtly speak to me in ways that he knew would get my attention. Things that were personal to my walk with God, though small, began to just show up everywhere. These things reminded me what it was like to be in God’s presence and be surrounded by people that truly loved me. God was creating a longing in me to be back in the safety and security of the church.
One night, one life changing night, when I was wallowing in the pity of my sin and at the lowest point I had ever been in my life I began to pray. I felt a heaviness that I had never felt so strongly before. I remember telling God “I don’t even know how to pray anymore…but if you are listening…I really need you right now.” Guess what?! He was listening! All along he had been sitting at the edge of his seat, waiting for me to want him, waiting for me to tell him how much I needed him. That is something that is very beautiful about our God. He loved me so much that he was just waiting for me to ask him to jump in and rescue me. What an awesome, mighty God!
That very same week I received contact from someone at a local Apostolic church who wanted to invite me to a fellowship group. God worked out several interesting details to make that contact happen and that was a miracle in itself. Is God on time or what? I jumped at the opportunity to fellowship with people of God. This was His answer, His confirmation that he had indeed been listening to me. That night I met an absolutely beautiful and amazing woman of God that allowed me to pour my heart out to her and talk about God. It was such a fulfilling and refreshing time. That Godly fellowship filled me up so much that I knew this was the answer to my prayer. There is something very beautiful and anointed about fellowship with someone who is filled with the Spirit. That night and that fellowship was pivotal in my walk with God.
That moment was approximately ten years ago now. A lot has changed in ten years and God has done some amazing things. I have had opportunities to teach youth, be involved in music ministry and speak to women in a variety of settings. I have an amazing husband who loves God and has an equally beautiful testimony of Gods preservation in his own life. We have two beautiful children who are bright and bring joy to every one they meet. We have recently had the opportunity to become a part of home missions work under a phenomenal Pastor. I have friends that sharpen me and love God and am constantly surrounded by good people.
God has placed a very sure calling on my life to minister to women, a calling that I am sure he preserved me for. In hindsight I realize that, even in my sin, God was preserving me for the ministry and family that he had planned for me. You see, even when the last thing on my mind was God, I was still that first thing on His mind.
As I ponder this dramatic exit of mine from the things of God and my miraculous return to Him, I am reminded of Psalm 121:8, “The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.” Just as He preserved His people Israel, through their moaning and groaning, backsliding and rebellion, He preserved my life and restored me to an even greater place than I have ever been in my walk with Him! Now that is some cool God stuff!
Heather Scaggs and her husband James attend Victory Apostolic Church in St. Johns, MI pastored by Anthony Spagnuolo. Heather is a mother of two beautiful children, and works as a nurse. Heather is a music minister and speaker, and enjoys serving God in ministry.
Copyright 2015 Heather Scaggs and Crystal Schmalz Ministries