The Liberty Connection

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Schell, Wendy

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February 26, 2000

Dear Friends,

I am  writing to let you know that I will not be attending meetings anymore.  This is a decision that I have been  praying about for three  years.  It is not made lightly, and it has been very difficult.  In leaving, I know  that I am disappointing my family. For that, I  am very sorry.

I am thankful for God in my life.  I remember when He entered my life--I was about nine, and in meeting we sang,  " more   precious  than rubies can be... to sit at the feet of my Master Divine, and hear when  He speaketh to me."  Those beautiful words became a song in my heart, and I felt His  presence   near so often. I trusted Him.  I would put my burdens in His Hands, and I could feel His help and care.

My  grandma was my mentor.  She loved God so much, and would sing hymns every day, with love and  peace and joy.  I appreciated God's Spirit dwelling within  her heart.

I married very  young, to a nonprofessing young man, who  proved to be abusive.  He left  me with an infant daughter after three  years of marriage, so  he could marry someone else.  The workers and friends treated me very well.  Sharon Rostad helped pull me through some very  dark days.  William Lewis  told me that I would be free to remarry, as long as I remarried within  Truth.

When my daughter was four, I met a gentle, dear man at work.  I fell in love with  him.  I knew that I was supposed to marry within.  I could have invited him to meetings, and could have tried to convert  him.....but I didn't.  I tried to run away from God.  I left the meetings.  I didn't open my Bible, I didn't pray, I did things that my conscience told me was wrong..........For that, I am  sorry, and God in His grace has forgiven me.  I married my gentle husband, and he is  the  right one for me.  We   have had almost nine years together, and we love each  other deeply.

Even though I tried to run away from God,   He  never left me.  His still, small voice would speak to me, letting me know He would like to hear from me  in prayer.  He let me know He was waiting for me.  He would put  hymns in my heart and mind.  He was beside me  throughout it all, because I was His child, and He loved me.  So, I finally gave up my rebellion and prayed.  I  went back to meeting, because that is where I always understood God to dwell.

It was  only a few months after I professed again, that  my understanding was turned  upside down. I  was at  Emo convention in Ontario, Canada.  A brother worker stood upon the platform, and told  us about the beginnings of  truth.  I learned that it is only a hundred years old, started by a man through a revelation from God. I felt   physically ill and emotionally  distraught.  I sobbed into my pillow for much of the rest of convention,  praying desperately for  help.

I had never questioned anything about  Truth.  I thought that Jesus began it, and all throughout the ages,  people have been  meeting, just like us.  I felt special.  I was willing to do whatever I was told, because I thought that Truth was perfect, and the  only way to heaven.  I thought that everyone else would lose out.

I prayed earnestly and desperately---daily.  It didn't  take long, and I understood that  Truth  can't be the only way.  God would never  let His way die out. I  came to  understand that Jesus  is the  Way, and the Truth.  I have always known  that God is love, and I  had  tried to live by it, but  the rules  kept bringing me down.  I often felt discouraged, because I  fail Him every single day.  I knew  that if only a small group of professing  people were going to make it to heaven, I would not be included.  Everyone else was doing much better than I was. 

Then I  learned about  grace.  It  finally washed over me, that I will never, ever be worthy of heaven---but that  Jesus gave us the gift of salvation, by  His grace.  Pure  joy has entered my  life.   God has answered my  prayers. I have so much  love for Jesus, and I am so very thankful.  I do not fear to  live my life anymore, because  I don't  worry about each failing that I have.  I pray for  forgiveness,  yes.  God's Spirit has been filling my heart and life, and I am letting Him lead me.

I have cried many tears of joy and love.  God is greater than I ever knew before.  I am a part of a network of Christians  around the world, of many denominations, who love our  Lord.  I live gladly in grace, letting  the Spirit  lead.  The works that come as a fruit in my life are a beautiful blessing, because they are from Him.  They are His  works,  that I have been  privileged to carry out.

I  tried to stay in meetings with this understanding, but it is not working for me.  I am frustrated by the "only way" attitude, and the putting down of "false churches."  I am saddened when I see people valiantly trying to "be good enough,"  because they don't seem to have joy.  I do not think   there is a perfect church.  I think that it is all in our  relationship with  God, and it is very individual.   I  belong to God.   I do not  feel bitter  toward  Truth, and I don't  want to  hurt  those that are there.  I am very sorry for hurting those who  love me, but I must follow God's leading.

It is still the song of my   heart, to sit at the feet of  my Master Divine,  and   hear when  He  speaks to me.

Love in Christ,

Wendy Schell