His Words Had an Eternal Impact on My Life – Rev. Billy Graham – Gone Home

I never met him, but his words had an eternal impact on my life.

When I was a very young girl, my mom had a Billy Graham Crusade playing on the black-and-white television in our living room while she sewed at the kitchen table.

Something about Rev. Graham’s voice drew my attention to his words. Maybe it was the confidence. Maybe it was the authority. Surely, it was the work of the Holy Spirit, as my heavenly Father used Rev. Graham’s message to draw me to His Son, Jesus, and thus, to Himself.

When Rev. Graham gave the altar call to come forward and accept Jesus Christ, I took him up on the opportunity. I walked forward in front of our living room TV and asked Jesus to forgive me all my sins. I believed He died in my place on the cross and rose again, so that I, too, could have eternal life.

Before I even learned to read, I entered into a relationship with Jesus Christ, and it’s made all the difference.

It didn’t make me perfect, or sinless, or saintly. It made me free. It made me whole in all the ways that wholeness matters. It made me salt, light, warrior, and kingdom-builder. It made me a child of the Most High King.

Since that day, I have always belonged to a family. Since that day, I am ever turning from my small story and entering a greater story. Since that day, I have lived knowing I am loved.

The little girl who heard a sermon by a great preacher wouldn’t even hear the word evangelical for another twenty-some years. She knew nothing of politics, Southern Baptists, or crusades. But, because of Rev. Graham, she knew that Jesus would receive her just as she was and never abandon her from that day forward.

It was the tradition at our local church not to baptize children until the age of twelve. I began petitioning the deacons yearly for permission to be baptized almost as soon as I could write. I asked. I pleaded. I even wrote letters about how much I loved Jesus and understood the meaning of baptism. The finally relented and allowed me to be baptized when I was eleven. The hymn I requested for that day in the pond behind our church was “Just As I Am.”

Billy Graham once said, “‘Someday you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it. I shall be more alive than I am now. I will just have changed my address. I will have gone into the presence of God.’”

Today, He has gone home, on to greater adventures with God than we can ever imagine on this outpost of glory. And those of us who remain will carry on.

You see, there was a time for one man whose words reached millions. We are entering a different time. Now, it is a time for each of those millions to reach one or two.

We don’t need another Billy Graham, or there would be one. We need every voice that was touched by his to speak the name of Jesus to another – just as we are.

Thank you, Rev. Graham, for speaking light into a dark world. That light reached a living room in Hope Valley, Rhode Island, and now my soul will shine forever.

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10 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Theresa Ostberg says:

    He was used mightily by God.

    How many people came to know God or grew deeper in their relationship with Jesus because Billy Graham was willing to go where God led him and faithful to walk in God’s calling upon his life?

    We probably could never count the number of people his fervent preaching touched.

    His faithfulness and commitment to God bettered our world one life at a time.

    This is a humble, saved servant who called many to Jesus Christ so they could be saved from sin.

    He did not sugar coat his words. He did not soften what he said to please man. His solitary goal was evident. His goal was clearly to please God by following wherever God led him.

    He is more free now than before.

  2. Lynn Wallen says:

    What a great testimony. Thanks for sharing that, Lori.

  3. Carole says:

    Amen…nothing more to be added!

  4. Doris says:

    I, too, was brought to Christ through listening to one of Mr. Graham’s messages on TV ~ at the age of 27. What a difference Christ Jesus has made in my life & the life of our family. Just think, Mr. Graham is now beholding the Lord Jesus Christ. To God be the glory.

  5. Paul Taylor says:

    Well said and well done Billy Graham.

  6. Nona says:

    Lori, this is so beautiful! The words of love!
    Billy Graham once said, “‘Someday you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it. I shall be more alive than I am now. I will just have changed my address. I will have gone into the presence of God.’”

    Amen.

  7. Oh, Lori! Our blog posts this week are similar. I, too, share about hearing Billy Graham speak on the television, but my experience was a little different. It was such a blessing to read about your salvation! Thanks for sharing it with us.

  8. Dorothy Hill says:

    What a wonderful post. My eyes are filled with tears. Thank you for sharing this.

  9. Jan Clough says:

    In 1984 l went to a Billy Graham outreach at Liverpool football ground ( UK ) and heard the gospel preached for the first time, even though l had attended church till l was 15yrs old. I went forward to receive Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour not really fully understanding what l had done, however after continuing my search and attending a friends bible study, l committed my life fully and was baptised on 21st October 1986, l was 36 yrs old. This was to be the most joyest night of my life when all fear, pain, unforgiveness and past hurts flooded out and the amazing joy, peace and love of Jesus came flooding in. What a Saviour and what an obedient servant Billy Graham was. He deserves his place in heaven and l look forward to meeting him and thanking him for being part of my wonderful spiritual journey.

  10. Sam says:

    Even before I was a Christian, I knew the name Billy Graham and so many people have told me they have come to Christ through him.
    Lovely writing xx