Testimony Tuesday || Karen K. Prequel

Written by: Karen Keating

My life began with music.  One of my very first memories was my Mother singing The Lord’s Prayer over my sisters and me, every night, once we were in bed. So I guess, even before I knew anything about anything, I was being ‘watched over’.

When Mike and I decided to take on Cascade Inn, and use it as our charter lodging, while still keeping it open to the public, I very often found my stress level out of control; I needed some soothing. That came in the form of long, fast paced, intense “power walks” that became a routine- and they Always rounded around the AG church, which of course, I knew nothing about…other than that it , yes, “IT” (Ha!) kept drawing me back because of …the music.  I would hear ‘someone’ (Heather, naturally!) singing each Sunday morning and I loved it so much that I eventually wandered in to see what was happening inside. But before anything could actually happen on that front, I had my Salvation come through us losing our home (Devastating -I was certain we’d be living out on the streets!!) in Cascade and having NO PLACE to live. I will Never forget though, standing outside on our deck, looking out over the water at Mt. Edgecumbe and just finally, ‘giving it up to Him’; letting go of all my doubt and just Knowing He’d find us …something, somehow.  The Peace that washed over me was indescribable!

Jesus, through one miracle after another, led us to our home that we moved into EXACTLY ONE  day before the day we were going to literally be kicked out of Cascade! Mike had never even seen the place as he’d been sick the entire time I’d been searching. It was unbelievable! The tremendous weight of Not Knowing what was going to happen to us was lifted and I had ‘let go’, putting my complete Trust in Him. I re-committed my life to Him at the wonder of His perfect timing of provision in finding us our home!

That’s when I began my initial talk with Pastor Ryan telling him that my very best friend in the world, that shared my musical history and shared my life as a now long-distance friend, had always ‘had something’, I felt, that I wanted but I didn’t know what it was! Jesus was gently drawing me into a place to know Him, by my love of music, my love of my friend, and an open ear from within His church. It was ... IS my place of ‘sanctuary’.

I felt drawn to be baptized …not ‘sprinkled on’ as I’d once been, eons ago in the Presbyterian church in my college years, but Truly ‘washed and cleansed’. On January 22, 2017 I was Baptized by Pastor Ryan. It was a highly emotional time…I didn’t ‘know’ many church people yet and when I expected something to happen…? Nothing did! I was Wet, Cold, and pleased but somewhat disappointed. I never expected what happened later that night, to happen!

I started this ‘testimony’ with my heart being wrapped in music…ALL my life, music, SINGING, defined me! The simple notes of a harmony done to perfection, just thrilled me inside. I did my fair share in concerts, professional performances, and such, but didn’t even truly comprehend Who I was singing about, when singing something as majestic as ‘Handel’s Messiah’ at Christmas-time!  Eventually, when ‘life’ took over, my singing dwindled..it became …lost. Consequently, my actual ability to sing; my joy, what had been my high point in every day, shut down!

When I relaxed into a hot bath the evening of my baptism, I’d brought my iPad, with music playing , and not one thought of singing along, just …relaxing. But when I did relax, all of the sudden it just burst out of me-SONG…My voice, singing, loudly, up the scale and down, and it was effortless!!! I was so ecstatic I couldn’t contain myself! I KNEW something “spiritual” had happened! I mean, I had my Voice back! I Had to share this and ended up calling Pastor and going on and on and ON, in a message about how I could’ sing again’!!! ..crying and sobbing with absolute Joy! Now I sing to HIM! Such a Blessing!

Gods unbelievable Grace is never to be understood, just accepted. To some, singing isn’t even on their radar..to me? It was …is still…everything! I needed to ‘lose it to find it’…. And give all Glory to Him!

Now in September of 2022, my miracle neck healing occurred! (Previous "Testimony Tuesday" Blog post) God took Years of utter pain and turned it into comfort, cries of ‘Why this agony?’, into a sense of Gratefulness. I was once again Completely and without merit, GIVEN His Grace! HOW do you thank a God of such wonder and compassion?

I have been and AM, blessed, in every day. “Jesus, the one true Gift of a lifetime”.