Mary Weems

What was life like before you met Jesus?

I have known Jesus in my heart since a very young age. My self-talk was always to Him. Although I eventually left the Catholic church, being raised Catholic, I feel I gained an appreciation for the mystery of faith and a spirituality that has always been with me. As I got older, however, “life” got in the way. Too many distractions, and my priorities were more concerned with the day-to-day; Raising a family, work, financial challenges, etc. Mark and I joined the Presbyterian church when we were married. A wonderful pastor inspired us with his preaching. After he retired, we moved to another Presbyterian church, where, unfortunately, we had some bad and hurtful experiences. We were then without a church home for several years. Although I still felt connected to Christ, I wasn’t practicing my faith and did not have community. I knew I was missing this part of my life. I have always been a control person. Growing up in a dysfunctional family and an only child, I felt I had to be. So, controlling my life was how I dealt with day-to-day challenges. As a teenager experiencing my parents’ divorce, I felt helpless and out of control of my emotions at that time, but I was unable to surrender out of fear. And again, as I felt close to Jesus, I still had to be in control, even when it was impossible. This was a barrier to surrendering totally to Him.

How did you meet Jesus?

Our son introduced us to non-denominational churches and I opened myself to a different style of worship. When a friend introduced us to Veritas, I felt like I was being fed the gospel for the first time. I have a vision of Jesus Christ that never leaves me. I was near death by drowning when I was 1 ½ years old. Since I was so young, I don’t have the actual memory, but my vision is of seeing Jesus in a glowing bright white robe with many children surrounding him. His arms were stretched out to me, and I wanted His embrace. I was going towards him but never got there. I feel that I met Jesus then. Even with this vision, I have had trouble surrendering. I can often be like Martha in Luke 10: 38-42 “As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Our son introduced us to non-denominational churches and I opened myself to a different style of worship. When a friend introduced us to Veritas, I felt like I was being fed the gospel for the first time. I have a vision of Jesus Christ that never leaves me. I was near death by drowning when I was 1 ½ years old. Since I was so young, I don’t have the actual memory, but my vision is of seeing Jesus in a glowing bright white robe with many children surrounding him. His arms were stretched out to me, and I wanted His embrace. I was going towards him but never got there. I feel that I met Jesus then. Even with this vision, I have had trouble surrendering. I can often be like Martha in Luke 10: 38-42 “As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

More recent life experiences have led me to Him in worship and prayer. I have seen the many ways He has always been with me. And these experiences, although difficult, have strengthened my belief and allowed me to try to let go and give them to God. To trust. Going through some significant hardships and challenges in the past few years has actually been a blessing as I’ve had to turn to prayer and surrender these feelings of fear and anxiety to Him, and therefore, I’ve come to know Jesus in a much deeper way.

“Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 18:3)

“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Eph. 4: 4-6)

After being saved by Jesus, what is your life like now?

I feel I have been saved many times. From the womb of my birthmother, who chose to give me life, to my near drowning. But those were being physically saved. I now believe that I died with Christ on the cross, and through his defeat of death and rising from the dead, I know I am forgiven of my sins, and I will be with Him in eternal life. Halleluiah! I know that we must die to ourselves and walk in humility. “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Col. 3:12)

I am overwhelmed by knowing that Jesus died and rose for me, a sinner, so that I may have eternal life! I will proclaim my faith publicly now so that through my story and baptism, I may give others hope to encounter Jesus.

“Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.” (John 3:5)

“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” (Matt. 16: 25)

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Eph. 2: 8-9)

“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 6: 22-23)

I will need the community of believers to keep me grounded in faith and remind me of His amazing grace. I pray: Jesus, I surrender myself to you. Take care of everything!