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 Category:  Biographical Non-Fiction
  Posted: August 31, 2020      Views: 29

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I recently moved from Las Cruces, New Mexico to live in Glendale Arizona. I live with my daughter and son-in-law. Since I have vision and health issues, I need to be with family since I can no longer drive.
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My approved testimony I did for Christian Women's Clubs..
"Final Chapter" by patcelaw

My Christian Women's Club Approved Testimony
There was a baby boy twin,
Who would look at his mommy and grin,
As his sisters bottle he'd steal,
Then give out a big squeal,
As the battle with mommy he'd win.
-Patricia Lawrence

As you heard in the introduction I like to write poetry. I also am a twin. The limerick you just heard was one of the stories about my days in the same crib with my twin brother, Patrick. Even though there were 10 children in our family, there were never any two of us closer than Patrick and me. Whenever we would ask for a treat, a cookie or such both off us would always asked for something for our twin. Our mother had lots of fun with us as she would dress us alike.  People were always interested in the twins. I wish I could tell you how many times I asked  if my twin and I were identical. Being a boy and girl it always amused me as how people would think we could be identical. Patrick was always there as my protector when we grew up.  I am 15 minutes older than Patrick. As a matter of fact we have a running joke about our birth order. He tells me he was a gentleman as he let ladies go first. But I tell him if he were a gentleman he would have opened the door.

My first 11 years of life were spent on an eighty acre farm just south of Sedalia, Missouri. I walked 2 ½ miles to and from school each day in all kinds of weather. I went to school my first eight grades in a one room schoolhouse with all eight grades in the same room, with one teacher.

In my early schooling I enjoyed reading 'A Child's Garden Of Verses' by Robert Louis Stevenson. Since as a child I had lots of earaches and sprained ankles, I spent many hours in bed. 'The Land Of Counterpane' was one of the poems in the 'Child's Garden of Verses' and I could very much identify with the poem. I don't remember all of the poem, but the first few lines were as follows.
When I was sick and lay in bed,
I had three pillows at my head,
And all my toys about me lay,
To keep me happy all the day.
Just for fun one time I entered a limerick contest and won second
place. This is that limerick.
There was a young man named Dave,
Who said he was so incredibly brave,
That off a cliff he could fall,
Into a puddle quite small,
And now he lies dead in his grave.

Speaking of falling, I am sure if I ask each of you if you have ever fallen, all of you would say you have fallen at some time in your life.

I have fallen many times and these falls have left a deep impression, on my life. The first of these fall was when I was about 6 years old,  I went to my cousins house. Thinking I would learn to roller skate.I put on her skates and when I got to my feet, I promptly fell. My impression was if it hurts this badly to skate, I didn't want to learn, so I took the skates off and never again tried to roller skate.

My next fall which left a lasting impression was when my younger brother and I went out to climb trees. We each took a pocket full of rocks, and climbed up into the two mulberry trees beside our gravel driveway. When at a height of about 18 feet we began to throw rocks at each other. I had managed to avoid several rocks, then when not expecting one I lost my balance. I fell the 18 feet to the gravel driveway. I landed flat on my stomach with my elbows hitting the ground first. My elbows looked as though they had been through a meat grinder, the wind had been knocked out of me, but I was able to walk away without a broken bone.

Early one morning one of our cows had calved, and I wanted to see the newborn. My father had told me not to come to the field where the cow and calf were, because the cow would be very protective of her young. Disobeying I head straight toward the pasture. The cow saw me coming and started toward me. Knowing I would be seriously hurt if I ran, my father yelled for me to fall face down on the ground. Deciding to obey for a change, I fell face down on the cool, dewy grass. Just as I had fallen the cow ran right over me missing me, and I escaped serious injury as all four hooves missed me by only inches.

I fell into snow banks to make snow angels. I would make snow angels on the way to school in the morning, and many times in the afternoon when I came home from school the angel would be just as it had been in the morning, except it might have a few animal or bird tracks through it.

I fell many times when I would berunning as I would sprain my ankles. I fell in and out of love many times as a teenager.

One time I fell headlong down a flight of brick steps at our public library. My legs were terribly skinned and my ego was severely bruised for quite some time.

One year I went to church many times. I heard the word of God.  I heard of His love. I memorized scriptures. All of this I did wasn't to learn about God, it was to earn a trip to the St. Louis zoo. I knew I needed God but once again I was to fall. I  fell for the lie that I had been so bad, God wouldn't want me or love me. I fell for this lie because this was what my mother was saying to me. She would say these things more by her actions toward me than with her words. The love I did receive from my mother was a very conditional love. If I was good, it seemed she loved me but when I was bad she didn't seem to love me at all.  My mother knew many of the bad things I was doing, yet she never sat me down and talked to me about those things.  Since my mom and dad had divorced when I was 15, I received little correction from my mother. I was confused about the love of my parents, but I was more confused about the love of God.

Upon graduation from high school, desperately searching for someone to hold me accountable for my actions, I joined the Women's Army Corps. I really liked military life as I was held accountable. I had to follow rules. Rules which had been spelled out for me, not at all like at home where I was not instructed what was right and wrong. I was a good WAC and received high marks for my discipline, and was well like by my superiors. Eight weeks into basis training we had a date night. I went on a double date with a soldier who was based on the same base. I don't recall much about the evening as I was given a drink that was loaded something and soon I became totally inebriated and don' even know how or when I returned to the barracks.
Three weeks later while standing in line for inspection, I passed out. I was taken to the base infirmary for an examination.

The doctor said to me, "Private Mahnken, because of your symptoms I would say you are pregnant."
I replied, " I can't be, I haven't done anything."
"Still we need to do a pregnancy test," he answered.
The test was done and several days later the result came back and I was indeed pregnant.

When I was discharged from the army, I went back home, where I was assured I would receive her help in dealing with the pregnancy.

After many hours of heated discussion I decided I would give birth I went to a loving home for unwed mothers. Because of the
difficulties I was having with my family at the time, I decided, the best thing for me to do was to give up my baby for adoption.

While I was at the home for unwed mothers I began to see for the first time what the love of God was all about. I saw God's love in the workers there. The other girls in the home and I, were never condemned by those workers for what we had done, we were loved.

While I awaited the birth of my baby, I took part in the chapel services and in a Bible study in the book of Acts. In the Bible study I began to see God does love all of us. He loved Paul even though he had persecuted the church. I had never persecuted the church , so I felt there might be hope for me. I was beginning to understand that God did love me. I read in the Bible where it says,  'For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son to die on the cross for my sins. John 3:16

But again in my life, I was about to fall but this time it would be good for me. Eight months after I had given up my son for adoption, I moved to California where I met my wonderful husband.  After 3 weeks of dating I could see he was falling in love with me.  I knew I must tell him about the son I had given up.

After I told him this he immediately took me home. I was sure I would never see him again.  However, the next morning he called me and asked if he could
come to see me. I told him he could come see me. He took me to a lovely spot in the mountains and parked the car under a huge
pine tree. He turned to me and said something I will never forget and will cherish all my life.
He said, "Pat, I don't care where you have been or what you have done, what is important to me is, what you can mean to me now and in my future. With what he had just told me I again caught a glimpse of what the love of God would be like. I saw in Wayne an unconditional love. Later I was to understand
God's love for us is unconditional. One week later Wayne asked me to marry him. We were married 3 months later.

I knew I needed to have the love of God in my life, because in the Bible it says, 'all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.'  I knew I was a sinner. My dilemma, I could not see I could ever become good enough for God to love and accept me.

After Wayne and I were married we went to church each week. The pastor would invite us to ask Jesus to come into our life as we sang 'Just as I am'. Finally I realized I needed to come to Jesus just like I was and He would make me into what He wanted me to be. So, I gave my life to Jesus that very day, March 15th 1959. As I walked out of the church that day I felt a peace I had never before experienced, because I now knew I had been adopted into a new family. I was now a child of God and a part of His loving family
My life was so sin-wrecked,
Until touched by the Master Architect.
He picked up every broken part,
And put in me a brand new heart.
He molded me with gentle hands,
Even in times of reprimands.
And each day He is working still,
To help me do the Father's will.
So now I can hold my head erect,
For I was touched by the Master Architect.
-Patricia Lawrence

Since then my life has not always been free of trouble, but I have had Jesus to help me through the trying times.

A few years ago I had an accident in which I had 7 broken ribs and two large lacerations on my scalp. Seven weeks after the accident I worked a little harder that day than I should have. That night being overly tired, when I went to bed, I cried and begged Jesus to take me home to be with Him, He impressed on my thoughts that He was all I needed and as He gave me this poem.
I Am Enough
When it seems I want to quit,
Because things are tough,
The Savior gently says to me,
"My child I am enough.
I am enough my child,
To take you through this test,
And later you will understand,
It was really for your best.
So my child, do not quit,
When things do get tough,
As you will always find,
Indeed I am enough."
- Patricia Lawrence

Within the first 15 months of marriage I had 3 miscarriages. We had wanted to start our family soon, because of the 13 year difference in our ages. I struggled with the thought I would not be able to have children because I had given up my son for adoption. After 23 months of marriage, I gave birth on Christmas Day 1960 to the first of our 3 beautiful daughters, Penny.

I stayed at home with our children and enjoyed very much being a mother. I enjoyed when Penny our oldest came in and asked, " mommy can I have a slice of toats?"
I said, "No, Penny, it is toast."
Again she said, "can I have a slice of toats?"
Once again I reminded her it was toast.
Finally in frustration she said, "Oh, mommy can I have a slice of cooked bread?"

I enjoyed it when Pam our second awoke us at 2:30 A.M. on Christmas morning and I saw the sheer delight on her face as she saw for the first time the new, special doll house we had given her.

I enjoyed it when I saw Patty our youngest go to the apricot tree one hot summer day. She backed up to the tree and rubbed her back up and down to take care of the itch she had from a heat rash. I laughed so hard as she reminded me of a baby bear as she slowly moved up and down.

I cherished each moment as a mother and was determined to love my children without putting conditions on my love.

Yet in all the years of raising our daughters, I still had a very empty spot in my heart, as I longed for the son I had given up for adoption.

One and one-half years before I decided to search for that son, I wrote the following poem.
I went through the labor,
But never held him in my arms,
As I gave him for adoption,
So others saw his childhood charms.
But it has always been my prayer,
That all these years he did know,
It was because I loved him,
That I had to let him go.
He has a special mother,
To care for him I'm sure,
And the love she has for him,
Is one that will endure.
Though I never held him,
Or saw his boyish smile,
I have always loved him,
And hope to see him in a while.
In a while in Heaven,
Just through the pearly gates,
When we are together,
Where our loving Savior waits.
-Patricia Lawrence

After a 31/2 year search, on the night before Mother's day 1993 I was able to locate and talk to my son, Bob for the first time. He is a very nice man who is the loving father of two beautiful daughters Megan and Andrea. (In November of 2001 his wife Patty lost her life due to cancer)

I was able to locate him by getting his phone number from an information operator. He told me later that he had only had his phone number listed as an adult, just 3 months before I was able to locate him.

Just meeting Bob, and knowing he is such a wonderful guy has filled that empty spot in my heart. God indeed is good.

Gods' word states, Christ died for our sins, was buried and was raised from the dead three days later. Jesus still lives today, and wants to have a loving relationship with us. He wants to be our friend.

You too, can have Jesus in your life, to be there for you to comfort, guide, protect and to enourage you as you face times of trouble. Best of all, Jesus will never leave you or forsake you, just as He has been there for me. The Bible says, when mother and father forsake you, Jesus will pick you up.

Because I know Him as my Savior, I am happy for the times I fell, as He has shown me His unconditional love, and that I will never walk through a trial alone, for you see my best friend Jesus is always there with me.
Then I would pray with the attendees at the meeting, as I would lead them in a prayer to accept Jesus.

I believe God wants to use my testimony, a more complete testimony for His glory and that it will be a testimony that will speak to the hearts of many and there will be many who would come to faith in Jesus Christ.
Patricia Lawrence

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