Celeste Shive

With A Shout, I Replied, “Heaven”!

I was basically raised in church. My first time in church was when I was two weeks old–the same day my dad announced his call to preach. From that day on, I was brought to church and exposed to the Gospel. Hearing about salvation was almost inevitable, but understanding it was a different story. I guess I started realizing I was under conviction at around 9-years old, but serious praying didn’t kick in until about 10 and a half. Revival after revival, Sunday after Sunday, I would go to the altar with unbelief in my heart and mind. Ultimately, I would get up with nothing but a handful of Kleenex that wiped tears that were in vain.
At the age of 12, my best friend, Ginger McClain, was praying during a revival when she came up with a shout, telling that she had been saved. Well, instantly, I was jealous! We had always done things together, and now she had something I didn’t have. This just wouldn’t do. I began to, once again, try it on my own.
Then, in the fall of ’84, my sister’s fiance was killed in a motorcycle accident. That accident woke me up! It made me realize how fast life can flash by. On the morning of September 23, 1984, the Spirit was so strong, you could feel it when you walked in the door of the church. The songs were sung, the sermon was preached and, I guess you could say, the stage was set. The sinners went to the altar with strong conviction, but not me. I just wasn’t going to do it. I was going to let my stubbornness show. Then, Ginger started walking towards me. I said to myself, “If she’ll just come to me, I’ll go!” Well, she didn’t even get all of her words out before I took off for the altar. I hadn’t been praying long at all until I just couldn’t pray anymore. The burden was gone. “So, what do I do now?” I said to myself. I then proceeded to get up without a word and head to the restroom. After a few minutes, I returned to my seat upstairs. I hadn’t been seated long until my dad came to me and hugged me. I then told him I felt different. He said, “What do you mean?” I told him, “I think I got saved!” He then asked the infamous question, “If you died today, where would you go?” With a shout, I replied, “Heaven!” After just a few minutes, people began to pop up like popcorn, it seemed, telling about being saved. There were five saved that day and I will never forget it as long as I live!