Archive for the ‘Elnora at fifteen’ Category

Elnora at age fifteen

Elnora at fifteen (a sophomore in high school)
I went from town to town spreading my thoughts on purity. I changed many lives. Some young people had never had a sexual experience and some had already experimented with sex. Those who had previously experimented promised to never do it again until marriage. Whenever the tour took us to Lemon’s hometown, I always had an excuse not to go. Eventually, Pastor Goldman asked me why I was selective in the cities and towns I chose to speak in. I knew at that point, everybody was on to me. What could I do? I was not fooling anybody but myself. At that point I knew I had to ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. Yes, I went to church. Yes, I went out on dates. Yes, in every way; in all appearances I had it all going on. My teachers, my parents, my classmates all knew me as a good girl, as good girls were known in 1958.
That night after Pastor Goldman asked why I chose some towns where I would speak and some I would avoid, I had no choice but to make a decision. I had to be all in or all out. It didn’t make any sense at the time, to waste my life waiting for Lemon to change his wild ways. In my belief, Lemon had forgotten about me and the best thing for me to do was forget about him. I felt what I should do was fall in love with someone else. That was easier said than done. I traveled all over the state but I didn’t meet anyone quite like Lemon Pettaway.
Finally, one Sunday, Pastor Dykes made an alter call. I went down as the choir softly sang “I Surrender All’. All to Jesus I surrender, all to Him I freely give; I will ever love and trust Him, In His presence daily live. All to Jesus I surrender, Humbly at His feet I bow; Worldly pleasures all forsaken Take me Jesus, take me now. All to Jesus I surrender, make me, Savior, wholly Thine; Let me feel the Holy Spirit Truly know that Though art mine. All to Jesus I surrender, Lord, I give myself to Thee; Fill me with thy love and power, Let thy blessing fall on me. I Surrender all, I surrender all. All to Thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all.
While I was at the alter the the second stanza of the third verse resonated deep in my thoughts. “Let me feel thy the holy Spirit-Truly know that Thou art mine”. I realized what I needed was the Holy spirit living in me. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, the blessed Trinity was what I needed. How could I invite the Holy Spirit to come live in me? I had asked Jesus to live in my heart. I said I wanted my life to be more like Jesus. That is exactly what he gave me. Jesus was misunderstood. So was I. Momma told me to be careful what you ask for when you pray. You might just get it and what you have asked for may not be what you want. When the Lord answers your prayer it may come as a shock.
The Holy Spirit orders your steps. I wanted to do the right thing but sometimes it was impossible to keep my big mouth shut. I had become Peggy. I ran off at the mouth all at the wrong times. If I saw something I saw was not right, I told all concerned. I don’t think this is right. Sometimes I even told my teachers and others in authority. I had a big mouth and everybody knew it. Sometimes when some of the shy kids had something done to them that was not right, everybody told them to tell Elnora. She is not afraid of the anybody.
Maybe that is why I was chosen to go on tour. I could stand up to the worst of the worst without fear. Maybe I was just a big bully. Counseling, directing, recommending, guiding, instructing, warning, informing, instructing and making aware was all just a ploy.
Many young people felt to live a spirit feel life was for the older generation. They felt like it would stop them from having fun. I was told by many a young person, they were too young to live the kind of life we preached. I asked have you ever listened to one of our presentations. Usually the answer was no. They had not listened nor did they want to listen. With a little urging and persuasion they learned they could still have fun and be a Christian.