When I became a Christian, at age 19, I was like many people who did not really know God as he is – a loving and gracious father. I accepted the Lord that Sunday in a small Baptist Church in a little town in Pennsylvania and continued to just go to church and listen to the pastor huff and puff without any meaningful deposit of spiritual information for growth.
In my young adulthood I lived my life, independent of a personal relationship with God, but all the while knowing that He was there. Of course, that was for back-up when I found myself in difficult situations. I met and married my husband and we continued to enjoy life as we saw fit and increased our little family. We spent our Sundays having big breakfasts and gathering together in our big bed with kids and newspapers and just enjoying one another.
One day when my husband’s aunt was visiting us while we were at Ft Lee, Virginia, she asked me if I took my children to church? My patent answer to her was no, Sunday was our only day to be together. She pointed her bony little finger at me and said, with much passion, “You had better get those kids in Church!” Those words were like a missile straight to my spirit. Something powerful started stirring within me and my journey began.
At about the same time, my parents had started going to Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship meetings, and it was there at one of the meetings that my father was marvelously saved. My mom was like a mother bird, feeding me each time she received any new revelation about God. God began to rapidly make Himself known to me. I had so many God encounters but being so new to developing a relationship with Him, I was easily discouraged and constantly questioned my salvation. I knew that I needed to study to know what God said in His word about me, not someone else’s interpretation of what God said.
When my family and I moved to Kansas, and then to Oklahoma, it was during the Charismatic Renewal in the mid-70s. It was that point in my life I began to see God in a different way. In the past I did not realize that he loved me, Jan Duval. I certainly did not know that he wanted to talk to me personally! As I studied the scriptures and learned more about Jesus and his relationship with his father and understood that the Father wanted a similar relationship with me, I was over the moon.
When we went to those meetings many people were singled out to hear a special word from the Lord. I was never one of those people, so I started talking to God about what He thought about me. Soon I started sensing words coming up in my heart and somehow God convinced me to write what I ‘heard’. That was the beginning of my journaling journey which led to writing the book, My Father’s Voice.