My name is Mary Mitchell Goban. I was raised here in Tallahassee, Florida and at age eleven I received Christ and was baptized, and became a member at a local church here in Tallahassee.
I was raised in a home where prayer went forth every day. My parents were still living but it was my grandparents who were the backbone of the family and they carried us to and from church. That’s how I got my start in the church. But along the way as you grow older you grow apart from what you’ve been taught because you begin to encounter other people with other beliefs. And so it was with myself. I listened to friends and kind of got off track and got onto the broad, beaten road and it was the wrong road.
For years I was doing things that caused me to backslide. And when I was apart from my family and everything was awry in my life, about the age of twenty-one, I realized I had hit rock bottom. Not that I did anything that was so bad but I had cut God out of my life. I didn’t feel that anointing that I felt when I was in the home of my grandparents or in the city of Tallahassee. And there comes a time that we become prodigals and that’s where I was.
And one day while walking to the store to buy something to eat with only maybe a dollar and forty-seven cents. Of course it was at night, it was in a large city, I could hear footsteps coming up behind me and I became very fearful. I kept praying and I said “God, all I need You to do right now is to walk with me.” And suddenly, those footsteps came around beside of me, and it was a man and he walked ahead of me. I don’t even know where he got to when we got to where I had to turn off. I don’t know if it was an angel that was sent, but I know that God was working in my behalf.
And time moved on while still there in the big city. I did some things that I was not very pleased with within myself. It caused me to pray more and to long for the rearing of that time when I was being raised by my grandparents. And I moved back to Tallahassee.
I had to go back and depend upon what I learned growing up. And that was; God is a provider, He will take care of His own, He will not let me cry and then die. And I kept thinking within myself; “God I don’t know how much more of this I am going to take.” I kept thinking that there had to be a better way, and if it wasn’t a better way I just needed to die.
The Lord began to move in my life again. And at that time I received a calling in my life. It was there when I was thirteen years old, the voice of the Lord spoke to me and said that “I am making you strong for others.” That same voice came back again. The Lord spoke to me again; He said “I’ve made you strong for others.” And when He said that I said “God prepare me a way, and I’ll do what You want me to do.”
And in my coming out of my mess, many of us need to understand that God doesn’t just bring you out to bring you out. But, He brings you out so that you bring others out. I’ve tried to talk to young people, everywhere I go, about the goodness of God. And what God would do if we will just turn to Him and allow Him to plan our lives and not plan our lives ourselves.
I feel that my life has been shaped to the point to wherein the only thing that I care to know is Jesus Christ. Knowing Christ and wanting to live a godly life has brought me to a place to where I feel that I have a foundation for godly success. There are a lot of things going on in our world today but I’ve learned how to depend solely on God, and He brings me through every time.