Glimpses of Growth in a Child of God
by Anna Kroeker
Bang! Crunch! Then my consciousness went blank. Next thing I knew I was sitting in someone else's car looking at my car as you see it in the picture. I asked, "What happened?"
"You hit the windshield," was the reply. Then I blacked out again. The next thing I knew I was sitting on a chair facing a doctor who had just finished stitching up my knee. I had no pain at this point but when I was asked to move from one gurney to another I couldn't because of the pain.
After almost a month in the hospital and spending another month and a half with family and friends, I experienced the love of many people.
In 1973, when I was involved in this car accident, I began to realize that demonstrating God's love to others is very important. I asked the Lord to help me learn to love people as He does. I still have much to learn in this area.
One morning, when I was five or six, while my mother was making pancakes, I heard her tell my older sisters that if they would ask Jesus into their heart they would be happier.
Anna (on right) and her sister washing eggs
I was considered too young to understand, but I wanted to be happier, so that night I knelt by my bedside and asked Jesus to come into my heart, and forgive my sins. The Lord responded by giving me His peace and joy. I have never doubted that that was the moment of the beginning of my salvation though I have not always been on the upward climb in my Christian walk.
I was born, the fourth of fourteen, in 1939, to Peter and Maria Wiens, in a tiny farm house, by today's standards, four miles from a small hamlet called Glenbush, Saskatchewan.
In 1952 when I was in grade six, I was hoping to be on the school ball team, but my parents did not want us to play on competitive teams because we might get hurt, and wouldn't be able to do the work at home which needed to be done from day to day. This time I was planning to disobey.
About that time, on the way home from school, with a horse blind in one eye hitched to our buggy, a fellow student rode by, on a bicycle, near our horse and spooked him. The horse jumped to the side and took off. The shafts came out of the harness, dug into the ground and flipped the buggy. I landed on the ground and the buggy wheel came down on my ribs.
A kind neighbor working on his field near by, saw what happened, stopped his tractor, came with his car and gave us all a ride home. My mom was there by herself because my dad was in the hospital in Saskatoon at this time. Our neighbor then took all who thought they might be hurt to Rabbit Lake to see the doctor.
I ended up having to stay in the hospital with three broken ribs and a punctured lung. This gave me time to think. It does not pay to disobey your parents even if you don't agree with them in their decisions.
Anna, here with the girls (centre, with floral dress) was baptized with 17 others
At the age of twelve I obeyed the Lord's prompting to be baptized, and joined the local church that I was attending with my family. Though I have moved from one town to another over the years and have attended churches of other denominations, I have always kept my membership with the Mennonite Brethren denomination. I have been nurtured in my spiritual life by all churches that preach the Word of God.
When Bible study and prayer are lacking, the joy of the Lord fades away and things seems to turn out wrong because I then start to do things in my own strength and in my own way. But I am thankful for a faithful, merciful and loving God, a Bible teaching church, Christian friends, family and life's experiences which one way or another always wake me up to my dependence upon God.
Bethany Bible Institute was a place where I became more familiar with my Bible. It prepared me for the following years when I attended Teachers College and University. I have had the privilege of teaching in secular public schools as well as Sunday School, Bible Clubs, DVBS, etc. These have been times which have helped me study God's Word, and I often learned more than my students.
One night, during my teaching years at Pierceland, I was driving a friend's car on our way home to Saskatoon, when suddenly we came upon someone lying in our lane who had been hit by an on-coming vehicle. It being dark and driving with the headlights on dim, I didn't see him soon enough to avoid hitting him, so I tried to straddle him but inadvertently drove over both ends of his body.
My passengers had not seen him at all. I stopped the car and said, "I just drove over someone." So the owner of the car got out to look. He came back and said that we would go back to the nearest town and report it to the police. Which we did. He drove the rest of the way to Saskatoon.
That night I asked the Lord to help me sleep, and He, in His love and mercy, did that for me then, as well as in the future. God is Good. I did not tell anyone at home what had happened and they didn't ask.
One day the next week a policeman came to the school where I was teaching and asked how I was coping. I said that I was fine.
He said that there was nothing I could have done differently in that situation. This was a comfort to me.
In 1975 I married my faithful, considerate, kind, and loving husband, Ken Kroeker. God gave us three children to nurture for Him. God has been very present in rearing our children. At present they are all married and involved in Christian service. We have also been blessed with seven wonderful grandchildren.
Difficult times in my life have always been stepping stones in my Christian walk.
In 1961, the Lord took home my Dad through a dynamite explosion, and in 1979 He took home my youngest brother through an electrical accident. These were times when the Lord reassured me that He is always there for me.
I have learned that God answers prayers but also wants us to be thankful for the answers he gives whether it is yes or no. Often it is not in the way we expect but if we are attentive and open to his leading we will sense the answer when it comes. I am thankful that the Lord does not always answer what I am asking but that He knows and gives what is best for me because He loves me.
Today I am thankful that God is patient with me, and that His unconditional mercy and love will always be there for me. May God ever help me to be willing to learn from Him, and help me become more like Him day by day.
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