Photo submitted by: Darlene Meyer
Sarah Valdes shares her personal testimony.
Because of my children’s school, I am now a Seventh-day Adventist.
I was born and raised in Georgia in a loving home. Shortly after graduating from high school, I married Angelo. Although we were very young, everyone who knew us thought we were “meant to be.” A few years passed, and we started a family. We named our firstborn son, Ayden. Our whole family was quite overjoyed. A year and a half later, we welcomed another beautiful boy, Alex.
It was the spring of 2005, just a few weeks after Alex’s birth, when my husband died in a tragic car accident. Words cannot fully express the devastation that was experienced through this loss. Yet, simultaneously, a tremendous amount of peace surrounded our family during that time. I now see that was God’s grace covering us, strengthening and uplifting our hearts.
With the help of my extended family, I was able to continue as a stay-at-home mother. In the fall of 2007, we left Florida to begin a new life in Tennessee. After eight years of homeschooling, our family desired a change. God led me to the Maryville Adventist School.
The first time I walked through the school door in the spring of 2016, I knew this was where God wanted my son, Ayden, to be, but I struggled with uncertainty. Before I left that day, the teacher, Darlene Allen, prayed with me. I could not have fully anticipated the impact attending this school would have for our whole family.
Shortly after that first visit to the school, and upon Darlene’s invitation, my sons and I visited the Maryville Adventist Church. I already considered myself a Christian, and even thought I understood some biblical truths like the Sabbath. The sermon that day struck a chord with me unlike anything I’d heard, and I left with clarity and a new seed of conviction.
By late summer, my sons and I became regular attenders. I spent the next several months studying the Bible in greater depth than I ever had in my life, learning scriptural truths. I experienced a spiritual transformation. I realized that although I’d known God, I’d yet to fully comprehend who Jesus is as my Savior. With God’s leading, on the snowy day of January 7, 2017, I was baptized.
It is my privilege to be part of the Maryville Church. I’ve seen the love of Christ through so many. I marvel at how God brought us here.
Georgia-Cumberland | March 2017