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Testimonies

Just Jesus - Pam Waldrup

As I began to see the facade of things while growing up, I felt that there had to be a meaning to life and a reason for being here on earth. The answer, I considered, had to be equally available to everyone. It couldn't be for only one class of people or for just the more intelligent. The religion I saw while I was growing up was one mainly of do's and don'ts, good and bad. They never told me that God wanted to live in me and to be everything to me. "Don't smoke, don't drink, don't cuss," I heard from my early youth. I observed some that practiced this on Sunday, but Monday morning it was a different story. Eventually I chalked them off as a bunch of hypocrites, and thought that God must be like that also.

After high school, I went to college for about a year, but soon lost interest and became a stewardess for American Airlines. It was exciting at first. My travels took me from the hills of Tennessee to the skyscrapers of New York and then to the beaches of California, Hawaii, and New Zealand. But I continued to ask within, "Why am I here? Where is perfection?" Surely, I thought, if I go there, do that, read this book, learn to meditate, take a certain drug, or meet the right people, I would find the answer. But what I soon discovered was that people are the same everywhere, and that I didn't change simply because I moved geographically. My questions remained unanswered, and I continued to feel the same inside. Although being an airline stewardess was exciting and challenging at first, the glamour soon wore off and the job became routine. I flew for a total of about three and a half years. It was toward the end of this period that I was in an earthquake that hit the Los Angeles area. I remember waking up and seeing everything shaking around me. I realized for the first time that I could not control things, and that everything outward was vanity. I decided to change my life and I gave away most of my clothes and fancy possessions. I thought the answer was to be kind to people, lead a simple life, and be free. I quit the airline and lived "the beach life" for a while. Once again, however, I got bored and decided to move back to the quiet hills of Tennessee. I wanted to live in the woods with my cats and enjoy nature. I felt the answer must be in living a simple life. My house was at the bottom of some hills. I often climbed to the top where I could see for miles and miles. Although I always looked forward to climbing to the top of those hills, when I arrived I only felt emptier inside. There was something missing. By others' standards I was "cool and together," but within my own self, I knew better.

One morning, I heard a song on the radio about Jesus. I hadn't thought much about that kind of thing in awhile. That afternoon, two men came to my door and mentioned something about a revival. They asked if they could talk to me and I said, "Sure," (thinking to myself, "I'll rip these guys to shreds"). When they walked in, I noticed that one of them looked remarkably peaceful and satisfied. I wondered, "What does he have?" As they began talking, I came out with my same old questions about Sunday hypocrites and how there could be wars, etc. The one man looked at me and said, "I don't know about that, but have you ever thought about just Jesus?" Hmm . . . Jesus. No, I'd never thought about just Him. I'd thought a lot about religion and the hypocrites, but never just Jesus. Then he told me about how he had met the Lord, and asked me if I would like to pray. I considered and said, "Sure, why not? I've tried everything else. What do I have to lose?" I did believe that there was a God, but I really wasn't so sure that this prayer would do anything. But we prayed and I asked the Lord to cleanse me with His blood and to come into my heart. At that very moment, to my surprise, I met Jesus and He met me. I felt as if tons of guilt and condemnation were lifted off. It was wonderful. It wasn't like a lightning bolt, but I felt so clean and fresh. His presence was so sweet. It was so simple, and it was free. Jesus, as the Spirit, came into me. He was the One I had needed all those years. Jesus--a living, loving, wonderful Person. I was filled up to the brim inside. All the places I had gone to, all the books I had read, and all the people I had met had never caused me to feel like this. The next day, I woke up and thought, "Will it all still be real?" It was. Jesus was right there, bubbling up within me.

Time has passed since then, but my Jesus is even more precious to me today. He's still bubbling up. He's still not a religion. He is a wonderful, living Person. He's just Jesus. "He's altogether lovely, and His love is much better than wine" (Song of Songs 1:2).

Pam Waldrup

 

 
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