A brief history of my life
I was born in Glasgow, in a large Roman Catholic family. My mother died when I was one and a half years old, so I have never really known her. We moved from Glasgow to London, as my father found a job there. During the second worldwar I was, together with many young children, evacuated out of London for safety reasons, taken by our British government and was received by a Welsh family in South Wales, that later adopted me. As a result of this I grew up in South Wales. My fosterfather, a hardworking coalminer died when I was ten years of age. The family hid this from me, afraid perhaps that I would not be able to cope with it at this age. But on the day of the burial I discovered that there was a funeralprocession down the road. The family in Wales experienced difficult financial circumstances and my stepmother wanted me to return to my own family. But once in London, when she was trying to leave me behind, I said: "But Dad told you not to leave me behind here." So, she took me back with her to Wales and my young life went on. But how much people do their best to replace real parents, there is oftentimes something very essential missing, that only a real mother and father can give - and so it was in my case. Later on in life I began to realize that this had caused hurts deep within my young heart. But something wonderful happened to me, that changed my life completely. At fifteen years of age I heard clearly the call to salvation and as a result I gave my life to Jesus; that gave me much new joy and peace. When I married with Teun, then a young Dutch preacher in Wales, life received again an important turning. In 1967 we moved to Holland with our first child, Andrew. Teun was busy preaching and teaching in the Central Pentecostal Bible College and I was at home first with four and then, when we lost our Grace, with three young children, who are now grown up.
An healing experience of the Holy Spirit
In 1994 I received a wonderful healing experience. I was with my friend, Immy Cantadore, in Heidebeek where Bart Doornweerd gave a seminar. During prayer- and ministrytime we saw wonderful operations of the Holy Spirit upon people. Some fell to the ground without hurting themselves and others obviously received blessings that made them extremely happy or gave a wonderful peace. In the beginning we observed all that happened with some reservation, but I kept worshipping the Lord. Suddenly I saw a picture before me of a little girl, with a great white ribbon in her hair and I realized that it had something to do with my youth. When people prayed for me, I fell to the floor and lay there for three quarters of one hour. But there, on the floor, I received one of the most beautiful experiences of my whole life. Lying on the floor I saw myself as that little girl of years ago, with the great white ribbon in my hair I always used to wear. Then I saw the figure of a father, who held his arms wide open. I ren toward him (while lying on the floor....!), he cuddled me and played with me. I felt so calm, so warm (though the room was cold) and full of peace - I cannot describe it. Then I heard the worshipgroup in the room singing these words: "Father, I just want You to hold me in Your arms today. Father, I want You to show me how much You love me in every way..." It was a wonderful blessed, healing and comforting experience, perfectly timed by the Holy Spirit.
In closing... integrating
It took some weeks to evaluate this experience and integrate it in my life. One thing I know and feel now better than ever before: I have a Father in heaven, who loves me more deeply than my earthly father did. I am absolutely certain that such an experience could only be generated by the Holy Spirit. I praise Jesus Christ for His Spirit, who only knows how to heal us in the depth of our heart where hidden hurts and pains can hinder us unconsciously in so many ways.
Tessa, september 1995, revised september 1997
This testimony is also available in the Dutch language: Tessa de Ruiter
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