Administrative Assistant I - Cynthia Esmond
Cynthia Esmond, Administrative Assistant I
I was born in Illinois to a nominally Christian mother and agnostic father. My maternal grandparents, however, were Christians and took my sister and I to Sunday school until we moved to Texas in the 4th grade. In the 6th grade, my sister and I decided to walk to a nearby church where we attended regularly and participated in the youth group. I was baptized on schedule at 12. I understood I had to rely on Jesus but still had to be good enough to deserve it. This left me with no eternal security. In high school, my Sunday school teacher taught you could lose your salvation through impure actions OR thoughts. I felt doomed…I could control my actions, but how could I control my thoughts?!
My parents had divorced and my mother married another agnostic. As I began college, I was depressed and completely gave up on church. I knew I was lost and could do nothing about it. I started dating an agnostic and within 6 months was married with a baby on the way. It was an unhappy marriage from the beginning. My husband abused alcohol and was occasionally violent and unfaithful. He believed that the purpose in life was just to avoid unhappiness. I had thought I would experience happiness once he finished school and we were financially stable, but I became even more depressed and suicidal. I was put in a psychiatrist’s care for 3 years, after which I filed for divorce and became a single mother with 2 young sons.
Months later I ran into someone I had dated in high school. Steve had never married and we quickly grew close again. We married and within 2 years he adopted my two sons…but things were far from perfect. We began having serious financial problems; we fought constantly and even split up for a short time. When we got back together we decided to “try” church, watched Christian TV and attended evangelism crusades.
After visiting several churches, one of Steve’s colleagues invited us to attend a Bible church. Steve renewed his faith in Christ. Our sons believed on Christ for their salvation and were baptized, but it took me many months to believe I could even be saved by God’s grace. I could hardly believe such a thing existed! Ephesians 2:8-9 became a precious and mind-boggling promise. The third verse of the hymn “Amazing Love” became very real to me as well as the third verse of “Trust & Obey.”
I know God protected me until my eyes opened at the age of 32. God allowed me to see coincidences as opportunities. During the last 30 years we adopted another son, hosted missionaries on furlough, attended and led Bible studies, helped with retreats, and led others to Christ. Our pastor’s wife once told me I was very “teachable” and willing to jump in and serve where I saw a need. I couldn’t have been given a greater encouragement. Changing service from a duty to a pleasure was a great blessing from my God. I really had become a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), and I realize more each day how often God continually forgives and loves me, patiently molding me into His image. The trials of life fade in comparison to His salvation. Sharing the Gospel has become a great and joyful privilege (Romans 1:16).