THE EMMAUS WALK PRESENTS:

"Stopped Dead But Made Alive," Naomi's Testimony

Excerpt from "Invitation--Billy Graham and the Lives God Touched,"

Stories of Real People Transformed by God,

by Basyle and Aram Tchividjian, Grandsons of Billy Graham

Naomi had been zipping through life, gathering momentum but going nowhere. She knew something was wrong. At first she couldn't put a finger on the problem--a numbness within that she couldn't quite reach. What was going on? Did other people feel like this too? What did they do about it?

In 1976, Naomi had just moved to Wyoming with a new baby but no husband. "I had lost and alone,a nd it was Christmas Eve. My friend and her parents wanted me to to go to a Christmas Eve service, but I told them I'd rather stay home." Soon after everyone left, Naomi found herself pacing back and forth in fgront of the television, not really paying attention to what was on.

As she paced, the sound of singing coming from the television caught Naomi's attention. She lurched to a standstill midstep. A Billy Graham crusade was being televised, and like millions of others, Naomi was about to discover relief for the numbness that characterized her life. "I stopped and listened as the choir sang. My hardened heart seemed to soften a little. I was tired, so I put my baby in the crib in the next room and went back to finish watching the crusade. I hardly remember what was said, but as I walked into my bedroom later, I felt as though God was there. The only place His presence couldn't be felt was inside me. Inside I felt a void, an emptiness I couldn't describe."

Pointing to her heart, a gesture that no one but God could see, Naomi acknowledged His presence in the room. "Whatever is out there?" she said. "I want it in here." She laid her hand over her heart. "Immediately God filled me with His Spirit, and I felt peace."

Many years later, that God-given serenity is still with Naomi. "To this day, I attribute my salvation directly to the ministry of Billy Graham. God's presence in the crusade that Christmas Eve stopped me dead in my tracks." Because of that unexpected moment, Naomi's life was pointed in a new direction.

Think about it, on Christmas Eve particularly, an unspeakably wondrous Gift of saving love and forgiveness and PEACE flooded Naomi my cousin's empty, troubled, pain-filled but numb heart. If YOU haven't yet received that Gift, you can right now, just ask for it as a child as Naomi did, and it is Yours forever! That Gift is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ, God's Gift to you.--Ed.

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