Pat Layton Pat Layton Pat Layton: Sweet Tea for Surrendered Sisters
If Not you….Then Who???

25 years ago today a beautiful young woman by the name of Terri Garrett invited a shy, broken hearted, messed-up-life woman like me (actually, it WAS me!) to hear a Bible Study teacher.

 The LAST thing that I thought I wanted in my life was to listen to someone talk about the Bible but I did want what I saw in this woman’s face. She glowed and I wanted some glow. She was happy and peaceful and I wanted some joy and peace. She was confidant in who she was and I wanted some confidence.

Terri had no business cards, no office, no ministry building. She had no published books, no facebook and no blog and no website.

She was just a woman who wanted to share Jesus.

She picked messed up me in her car on Saturday morning, 6/9/84, and took me to a one day ladies event being held at her church.

 The speaker was Beverly Abel and her topic was how God uses anger. 

As far as I knew, I was not angry, but I knew someone who was so I went to see if I could do something to FIX  her!

God captured my heart that day and as I listened to every word as the speaker told my life’s story and all of my secrets, (you know how it feels like that when we sit in front of good preaching). At the close of the day she extended an invitation to ask Jesus into our hearts.

I RAN to the alter to surrender my life to Christ.

On that amazing day, I watched and heard that 50 something teacher unfold the word of God tenderly and delicately like we unfold a blanket from around a newborn. She treasured every word and every detail to the point that I was sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for the next promise.

She had no business cards, no office, no ministry building. She had no published books, no facebook and no blog and no website.

There was a point in the day when she asked us to write down a prayer. She encouraged us to ask God for something BIG and to expect His answer. 

I had lots of BIG things to ask that day (That has not changed in 25 years!). 

I needed to have my marriage restored, my children protected, my entire world put back together. I am certain that I asked for those things but the thing that I KNOW I asked for was this:

“Someday Lord, I want to do what Beverly Abel is doing today. I want to teach your word and I want to partner with you to change women’s lives.” 

It was also on that day that God placed writing on my heart. I had never desired to write before but I left that day with the knowledge in my heart that one day, I would be a writer and a Bible teacher.

I am walking in my "someday".

What about you?

What has God called you to do?

Where has He asked you to go?

Who has He prompted you to tell about His Love? His Mercy? His Plan?

I thank God for Terri Garrett (wherever she is) and Beverly Abel as well as the many mentors who came along beside me after that day and ROCKED my World!!

3I thank my God every time I remember you. 4In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. 

Phil 1:3-6 (NIV)

Happy 25th Birthday to me!! I LOVE being YOUNG!!!




8 Comments:

Blogger Jennifer said...

I LOVE your story! I had a friend tell me to join a bible study, it would change my life she said. Can I tell you I rolled my eyes at her!!! Here I am 8 years later a CHANGED woman! Praise God. Happy 25th, my friend!

See you soon.

Love, Jen

Blogger Melinda said...

And you don't look a day OVER 25 either!

You're welcome! What are girlfriends for? :o)

My thanks go out to those sweet women as well...it's the woman you've become, because of their obedience, that I've come to cherish.

Love you friend!
XO Melinda

Blogger Pat said...

Awww you girls warm my heart!

Blogger Georgia Jan said...

Pat: Happy Anniversary and what a wonderful testimony. I love that you remember the date and the speaker and what you learned - God really made an impression on your heart that day, and from what I can tell about you - you have NEVER gotten over it! AMEN!!!

God bless all the Terri's for their faithfulness to share Jesus and for the women like you - teaching and sharing Jesus every day too.

I thank God for the mentors in my life, and that now I am able to serve as a mentor to some young women because of all that God has taught me in my life.

Thank you for all you do - love your blog!

Jan
Isaiah 58:11

Blogger Pat said...

Jan,
Any friend of Hydrangea (did I spell that right?) and G-Babies is a friend of mine!
Blessings,
pat

Blogger Karla said...

I love this story! It takes me so many places emotionally. I feel excited and hopeful when I read what God has done for you and yet frustrated when I read the question, "what has God called you to do"? It is a question that haunts me when I really think about it.

After reading your post, I realized that I haven't really asked God for anything "big". I think I will start today.

Blogger Pat said...

My sweet friend Karla (who needs a BLOG!!)

God IS DOING BIG things in you right now!

I would love to tell you about a few great books to help you along the discovery journey.

Email me for the titles.

Blogger Amy~Saved by Grace said...

Oh Pat..... It is post like these that spur me on. I let the enemy get me down and make me think I am so far out of my element with Post abortion ministry and All that I want to do with it. But it is what God has called me to and I am post abortive. I want to serve the Lord, see women healed and share my redemption story. Thanks for your post tonight I really needed it. Love Ya Pat.

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