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This Is My Story: Mary Haley

The neighbor had seen him run the same stop sign many times. One evening as usual the farmer was drunk and as usual he ran the stop sign, but this time there was a car approaching with a mother, a father, and two young children inside. I am that mother, and this is my story of how God led me to Himself.

I thank the Lord for the many blessings in my life. I was born on April 1, 1926 along with my twin brother John. I also have two sisters still living and another brother that has already passed. We had a good life growing up in Ohio, but we also had some hard times during the Depression.

When I was young, my father moved us around a lot, farming different areas. I had five unmarried aunts; the three that had jobs saw that my siblings and I all had clothes to wear. They would also see that we got to Sunday school and church every week. This is when I first read John 3:16: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Later when I was a teenager, my mother played the piano and organ at the Blanchard church; we would walk there each week. I was young when I married. My husband and I went to a little church over by Forest once in awhile. We had two boys; Johnny was my first born, and Donnie came along a year and a half later.

Then the accident happened. We were taking a ride one Wednesday evening near Riley Creek Church and a farmer was driving down the road and ran a stop sign. He had been drinking and ran into us. My husband, Bob, went through the window and was killed instantly. Two-year-old Johnny was standing between us and hit the dash. His chest was crushed, and he died the next morning. I was holding Donnie who was six months old. He had broken his leg and was placed in traction at Bluffton Hospital. My head was cut, and I spent a few days in the hospital as well. I went to Bob and Johnny’s funeral in the ambulance.

We had never heard about salvation…

But then God led us to a church that preached the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ. After my husband’s death, I got a job as a secretary in Findlay at Buyer’s Group where he had worked. I met Dean there. He was a farmer living in McComb, and he would come in to purchase things for his farm. We were married in 1951. We attended church over at Benton Ridge, but later we were invited to Calvary Baptist Church in Findlay. Calvary is where we heard about salvation, about the Lord Jesus who had died for our sins. Dean and I both asked Jesus to be our Savior in 1963. This was the best decision we ever made. We never missed a Sunday after that. Why does Jesus need to be everyone’s Savior? This poem sums up man’s need.

“The sinful flesh in which we dwell
Makes living righteously
Impossible without the Lord
Who died to set us free.”

Romans 3:23 says that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Since we are all sinners, we deserve eternal death in hell, “for the wages of sin is death.”(1)   But if we accept His “gift of eternal life”(2) we can go to heaven.

There is nothing we can do to deserve heaven on our own. Heaven is a gift, and gifts are not earned. We just need to believe by faith that He died on the cross for our sins and rose again from the dead. Then we need to admit that we are sinners, repent and ask the Lord to forgive us, and be willing to surrender our lives to Him. It is that simple. Romans 10:9-13 says that “if you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and will believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. . . . For whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

We still had some hard times. We lost our last son; he was stillborn, but we know that he is up in Heaven with Johnny and the Lord. Then Dean went home to be with the Lord in 1984. I’m sure he would have liked to have seen all of his grandchildren. I have sixteen grandchildren and eight great grand children. I pray they will always want to follow the Lord and bring their families up to serve the Lord.

When I was young, I read John 3:16. I knew that Jesus had died, but I had not made the connection of how it applied to me. Have you made the connection? If you want to ask Jesus to be your Savior, I pray this will be the time; and I know that many will be rejoicing with you.

1Romans 6:23
2Romans 6:23

To hear two audio interviews with Mary Haley, please click on the players below.

First Audio Interview with Mary Haley

Second Audio Interview with Mary Haley

To read Mary’s story in tract form, click here. Haley.tract

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