The following testimony is of a very special lady and dear friend of mine. If you have read my semi-autobiographical book A Spiritual Quest, (click here for sample chapters), you may be familiar with one of the most significant and key characters in it, named ‘Faith’.
Her real name is of-course Freda and she has been my beloved friend since just before my conversion from Spiritualism to Christianity, way back in 1996. As you’ll know from my book, Freda is a unique lady & someone who has truly meant the world to me. I thank God for her. The Lord has gave her a very special gift of faith that is so utterly infectious.
Freda has been almost like a spiritual mother to me, since my conversion. She is someone who has prayed for me, even during the night watches. Someone who never gave up on me, during my wilderness years in the desert … and haven’t we all passed through some of those?! Someone, I’ve admired and someone who has never failed to inspire me. Someone who has encouraged me, through thick and thin. She was there for me on the very night of my conversion in Stirling and later, at my water baptism in Cumbernauld. She was there for me when my mother killed herself. She even stayed over night at my home, the day of my Mum’s funeral. She held my hand, when fear and grief engulfed me. And she showed me the love of Jesus. And she prayed for me.
If you are a Facebook friend of mine, you’ll have viewed my 2009 (private photos) on Facebook, including photos of us together when I did my very first TV interview with the late beloved Doug Harris, back in March 2009. Freda had kindly traveled with me to the London studio and back home to Scotland.
Over the past 18 years, I’ve spent hours listening to Freda, as she has told me amazing and miraculous accounts of what she has saw our lovely Lord Jesus do. Before YouTube and Facebook were even existent, I used to say to her, ‘That’s amazing! That should be written in a book!’ Perhaps one day, all of her testimonies shall indeed be recorded in a book.
But in the mean time, it is, such a great honour and with much love in my heart, that I now feature this dear woman’s faith story below. I find it interesting that she signed her testimony with ‘big hugs.’ If you remember my book, in it, I wrote how she was a special lady whose hugs are unique, anointed and carry the love of God with them!
I love you Freda. I thank you and I honour you. I praise God, for allowing me to meet you and that our faith journeys brought us together. I look forward to spending eternity with you, praising our wonderful Saviour and watching the butterflies.
The testimony of Freda Quinn.
Luke 12:31 “Seek first the Kingdom of God … ”
These words were written on posters which were on the walls of the factory in a small town in Scotland where I was employed. The owner had opened a Bible study at lunchtime and I decided to attend as I was having marriage problems at that time and thought that this would help.
The meeting started with a reading from Matt. 12. In verse 49 it spoke of Jesus having brothers and sisters. I was so upset at this revelation that I stood up and said “Don’t you know that Mary is the Blessed Virgin and as such she could not have any more children?”
The man who was leading the meeting, was from a church in a nearby town and he kindly gave me a Bible and suggested I should read it for myself. I thanked him but decided that I would ask Sister Ann (not her real name), from the local Convent what her views were regarding this. She advised me to read from Genesis to Revelation and not be afraid to read The Word of God.
I did not realise at the time that this would take me two years. During the course of these two years my marriage was healed and I continued to attend daily Mass, trying to be a dutiful daughter to my mother, a good wife and a loving mum to my four children.
Although I enjoyed reading the Bible I really didn’t understand fully what it meant and looked upon it as a good story book. At my husbands request I put the Bible aside for a time. Soon after this I realised that I had lost the desire to pray with rosary beads as I had done since childhood and decided to bin them.
Shortly after this a man, who was the caretaker of a local Parish Church, was digging in the grounds and lo and behold what did he dig up?? YES, ROSARY BEADS!!!!! He kindly gave these to one of my daughters to pass on to me. Well, the only way I can express what I felt is FEAR with a capital F. I was afraid I was offending God by getting rid of them. What was God trying to tell me? I decided that as I didn’t need them I would bin them also, taking the risk of offending God.
As time passed, I felt that there was something missing in my life and I was aware of a heaviness and of being in a dark place. It was as if I had a battle going on in my mind and I didn’t know how to cope with it. One lovely June day the sun was shining and I decided to leave the “dark place” and go for a walk up the glen. As I passed the houses on the way, a woman that I knew from the playgroup called to me to ask where I was going and decided that she would come with me.
While waiting for her I noticed that she had a Bible sitting on her table. When I asked her about this she told me that she was a charismatic Catholic, a term I had never heard before and when I asked her what that meant she suggested that she would get some charismatic friends of hers to come along and they would explain more about it while having fellowship up the glen.
During our time together they sang nice choruses and spoke about JESUS which seemed wonderful to me and they invited me to attend a meeting with them in a nearby town that week. I accepted their invitation gratefully. As we were preparing to make our way home one of the ladies said that she felt led to tell me that demons must flee at the name of Jesus and although I did not fully understand why she had said this to me, I believed it.
I was soon to realise exactly why I had been given this word because that very night I was awakened in bed and saw what looked like a giant frog-like creature covering the whole of my bedroom wall. I jumped up and called out “Satan, you go in the name of Jesus and I will never be frightened of you again”. This was especially meaningful to me as I had endured nightmares since the age of six, as a result of being sexually abused by my step-grandfather on a regular basis.
After attending a few of the charismatic meetings I still did not feel fulfilled. When I mentioned this to the ladies they suggested that I should attend confession with a charismatic Priest in Glasgow. A few of us went but as there were so many waiting we had to come home without having been seen.
Later that week, I was invited to a meeting in the home of a married couple who were members of a local Pentecostal Church. I was introduced to another Pentecostal woman and later in the evening was led to the Lord by two of them. I knew that I had repented and asked Jesus into my heart but apart from that I felt no different … until I went home! That night I lifted the Bible and it suddenly came alive to me. How had this happened? I had spent two years reading “this book” and never understood that God speaks to you through “His Word”. Praise God. Soon afterwards I was baptised in the Holy Spirit and spoke in another language, which was unknown to me, but recognised by another woman in the group.
A few nights later I awoke and sat up in my bed. Suddenly the whole window wall seemed to disappear. I was afraid and instinctively closed my eyes and lifted my hands, which then felt heavy – as if they were carrying something. A voice softly said “Open your eyes”. When I opened them I saw before me a huge wooden Cross … EMPTY!!!
The next morning I went to Mass and I looked up at the Crucifix. I was perplexed as the vision I had the night before clearly showed an empty Cross. My Jesus was no longer on the cross and His suffering was finished! He is alive and seated in Heaven with His Father!
Immediately Isa. 52:14 was brought to mind. This passage describes how His face was so disfigured He seemed hardly human, and from His appearance one would scarcely know He was a man. With my mind I could not equate the picture portrayed in this scripture of the immense pain and suffering that Jesus endured, so that the world would have a Saviour, with the perfect image portrayed on the Crucifix on the wall before me. I didn’t want to look at it anymore as it made me feel very sad and I wondered “God, where do I go from here?”
Shortly after this, friends came to visit from England and expressed a wish to visit the Grotto in another nearby town. My husband and I took them there and, as we stood admiring the statue of Mary, I looked down and noticed there was a broken pipe carrying fresh spring water. I felt thirsty so I took a drink. We prayed a little before taking then on to visit some other friends and then going home ourselves.
On entering our home I heard a still small voice whispering “Open My Word” so I went into my bedroom, lifted my Bible which fell open at Jer. 2:13. I proceeded to read this passage and was shocked at what I saw there!! It said, “For My People have done two evil things: they have abandoned Me – The Fountain of Living Water and the have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all.” I was shocked to read this but The Lord continued to lead me through the following scriptures :
Jer. 2:20 says, “On every hill and under every green tree you have prostituted yourselves by bowing down to idols.”
Jer. 2:27 says, “To an idol chiselled from a block of stone they say “You are my mother”.
Jer. 3:2 says, “Look at the shrines on every hilltop. Is there any place you have not defiled?”
Jer. 3:23 says, “Our worship of idols on the hills and our religious orgies on the mountains are a delusion. Only in the Lord our God will Israel ever find salvation.”
Jer.7:18 says, “Watch how the children gather wood and the fathers build sacrificial fires, see how the women knead dough and make cakes to offer to the Queen of Heaven and they pour liquid offerings to their other idol gods. Am I the one they are hurting? Most of all they hurt themselves to their shame.”
After years of venerating Mary as the Queen of Heaven I now realised that Mary, the mother of Jesus, would certainly not want to be identified with The Queen of Heaven, as described in the Bible.
Further to the above revelation, I got in touch with one of the charismatic group of ladies already mentioned and was asked to meet with them in one of their houses. I tried to explain my feelings about what had happened hoping that they could help me to understand these differences in doctrine but instead I was told to stick to the New Testament and not to worry about the Old Testament books as I would only get mixed up.
I was then taken upstairs to a room which had a very large statue of Mary housed in a glass dome and was asked “What would you do with this? My quick reply was “I would throw it away; after all it’s only chalk!!” I was speedily removed and found myself back in the living room. No reference was ever made to this conversation again. However, I knew that they cared about me and were concerned that I was going the wrong way. This led to them giving me a Sacred Heart picture and other religious artefacts and telling me that I should pray to the Saints. After the ladies left I did my usual thing and paid a visit to the bin (one of many visits).
As time passed and I read more of the Bible I realised that I wanted water baptism but knew that this would not be possible if I was still a member of the Catholic Church. In order to do the right thing I made an appointment with my parish Priest to discuss this. Unfortunately he could not understand my desire to learn more and grow in my new-found faith in Jesus. This left me with no alternative but to take my name off the Church roll.
Even after I had done this I still had a fear of judgement coming upon me because I was not receiving The Host which is a very big part of the tradition of the Catholic Church. I had been told by one of my charismatic friends that I needed to take the Sacrament of the Eucharist every day so one evening during a quiet time with the Lord, I told Him that I was worried about missing communion, not realising that other churches have communion too.
Shortly after this, I had a vision that as I was lifting my hands in prayer, I felt a wafer, (the Host) in my fingers. I took this as a sign from God that I should be receiving the Sacrament of the Eucharist. As I opened my mouth to receive it, The Word that came to mind was, “Anything you eat passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer.” (Matthew 15:17) I knew at that moment that God was telling me that it was not what I put into my body that transforms me but the work of the Holy Spirit that makes me more like Jesus and accepted by God the Father. Praise God!! I WAS FREE AT LAST!!!
For some time after this I visited various Churches both in and out of the area and met many lovely godly people and for this I will be eternally grateful. During my search I have been known to be a bit extreme in my worship, and for this I make no apology. This freedom comes from the joy of being able to praise my God without the shackles of religion.
I trust you have been blessed by my testimony.
FREDA FREE (Big Hugs).