An Ex Wretch Saved By Amazing Grace

I grew up in Savannah, Georgia, home of dripping moss, hot pink azaleas and awesome seafood.

I was born into a world of women with 3 younger sisters, a Mom and a girl dog named Missy. I had a Dad hidden in the house somewhere but he never held a majority vote in the hormone jungle of our home.

Somewhere back in my early adult years I found my way through the maze of what terrible wrongs had caused me to become what I had become and who seemed to be best to blame and shame for every wrong choice of my youth.

Praise God, I have been healed of that need. I have now learned that “All have sinned and fall short of God’s Glory”.

Now, all I need to say is LOTS OF WRONG CHOICES WERE MADE in those days and all of them were mine!!

I started an “adult” life at the young age of 16 when I became a wife of my High School sweetheart. He had lots of influence on the choices that I made, the one and only GOOD one was to become a Mom at 18. Unfortunately, he did not want to remain a husband and took off to the opposite ocean coast before our son made a transition from bottle to cup. My little boy and I were left to the rescue of my dear parents who having had only girls were quick to lay claim on me and my son.

Unfortunately, my bad choices went on and on and on until I hit what I thought would be the bottom of a pit when I chose to have an abortion to cover my immoral lifestyle.

Little did I know at the time that the enemy of life was quite capable of taking me even deeper into the dark bottomless pit that I was in.

From age 23 to 30, I gave him party time over my life until one dark night my Saviour, who not only knew His way around that part of the earth but was not afraid to go there, called my name loud an clear.

I recognized His voice from my childhood days of Sunday School, Vacation Bible school and Church on Easter Sunday and Christmas Eve.

His sweet embrace overwhelmed my darkness, my broken life and my heart.
I crumbled into His protection that very night and have never looked back down.

My actual Born Again experience happened at a church woman’s retreat on 6/9/84, when a beautiful woman saw my lost self hiding out in the Sunday School wing with my 2 sons, petrified to enter the “BIG CHURCH” and invited me to join her at the event.

After hearing the clear truth of the gospel and for the first time understanding my need to respond to what Christ had done for me, I went running, actually barreling, to the alter.

I surrendered my heart to Christ that day and have been caught up in the power of His love every since.

I had always heard the saying that God uses donkeys and I am living proof of that. He dropped me into full time ministry before I barely knew the books of the Bible.

This walk of our salvation is an amazing journey, a kaleidoscope of change and transformation that is beyond description and ever unfolding.


My love affair with Jesus has embraced my life for over 24 years and continues to blow me away every day! God captured the heart of my dear husband and both of our sons within the first year of my surrender. A few years later, he blessed our family with a miracle daughter (a whole story of it’s own) who prayed to receive Christ when she was 7 years old.

Our children are all grown now. Both sons are married and filling our home with grands that I lovingly refer to as my “G’s”. Our daughter is enjoying the free ride of college with a Daddy on her little finger!

Every single member of the Layton family knows Jesus Christ as Lord and lives for Him. Praise God!!

We live a full and blessed life just like the one promised in John 10:10.

On a Personal Note:

I love the beach, the mountains and any vacation that ends up at a B&B or a place that has “and Spa” in the title!

I love being with people who are passionate for God and being a part of anything that God is doing..especially something NEW!

I LOVE God’s Word and never, never tire of mining its treasures.

My ministry passion is WOMEN!! Imagine that!!

Since the day that I was led to the foot of the Cross by one woman, I have known that God called me to give my life FULLY to offering redemption and restoration to other women who need the rescue that I needed.

It is my belief that I will enter my Kingdom Inheritance doing that very thing.

I love to have my entire family together, anytime, anyplace.
It is a rare but precious treasure.

I love to watch my sons be Daddy’s and any precious moments that I can be a blessing to my 2 beautiful Daughters in Love.

I love to wake up with G’s in my house.

I love to read, work in my garden, rock in my rocking chair on my font porch with my honey.

I love fresh flowers in small vases all over my house.
I love holiday decorating and entertaining in my home.

My favorite self indulgence is getting pedicures and shopping with my daughter and last but not least…

White Chocolate Mocha at Starbucks.

(Maybe there are a FEW more but I highly doubt anyone but me is reading at this point :0)….

In His Grip!!

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  1. I’m trying to figure out why you have no comments her, whew! Tears are rolling and I’m praising God for your testimony and your Bible Study, ‘Surrendering the Secret’, for such a time as this.

    God Bless you and I look forward to helping spread the Word.

  2. Thank you Tammy,
    Not only that you took the time to READ this mini novel ( I do sometimes get a bit carried away with words!) but to add a kind comment.
    I am honored!!

  3. Oh Pat, this is such a beautiful read. God has done great things for you, and my heart is filled with joy!

    I could relate to so many items on your list of things you love especially “being with people who are passionate for God and being a part of anything that God is doing..especially something NEW!”

    May your love affair with Jesus continue to grow. You are a blessing!

  4. Dear Pat, I was looking for a word of encouragement and yours is a beautiful blog that I am so glad I stumbled across, I will be checking back for updates!
    Elaine in Missouri

  5. First of all, thank you for visiting Heart Choices. I love to meet new blogging friends. As I read this “About You” page, I felt drawn in and want to get to know you better. You write about the choices you made; some good and some not so good and the influences that impacted your choices. Well, that’s what I love to write about.

    I have a different story and yet some similarities. But I also love the Lord and desire to serve Him and bring glory to His name. It’s funny but I jot down notes for upcoming blog posts when they come to my mind and the word “discipline” kept coming to me the past few days. I haven’t read your post fully but I noticed you wrote about discipline. I also read Foster’s book.

    I hope to get to know you better over time. I’ll be back.

  6. This is beautiful! As a pastors wife of a new work. I find myself getting discouraged at times with how little people interest people have in the things of God. Your testimony is an encouraging reminder of why we are here & a help to keep searching for those who are looking for Jesus& connecting them to each other.
    Thank you. Could I ask you to pray for me? I am giving my first "talk" at a church other than my own for mothers day this May. Needless to say (but I will) I am very nervous.

  7. Read to the very end and loved it. I never tire of hearing stories of redemption, Pat. NEVER.

    Thanks so much for your visit to Pollywog Creek. I LOVED your comment to my “ding, ding…” post about offering our schedules to God and then He “TAKES IT”.

    Your blog and home are beautiful…your ministry to women must be amazing, and who knows, maybe our paths will cross in ministry some day here in our land of sunshine.

    I hope you will return to Pollywog Creek again…I know I’ll be back for more sweet tea!

    (By the way, most of my friends call me Pat, too…there’s a story about why I use Patricia and some of it is here.)

  8. Pat, I love your blog. As I read, it reminded me of Psalm 45:1 “My heart is astir with a good theme; I address my verses to the King; My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.” (NASB) How He uses you everyday in so many ways. You are such a poured out lover of Jesus. I continually give thanks for you and I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the (experiential) true knowledge of Him. (Ephesians 1:17). Loved being with you earlier today!

  9. What a beautiful testimony. I think your topic is so important! We all need our Savior’s healing hand in our lives. Thank you for sharing your personal experience and conversion.

  10. Your testimony is something that I will cherish forever … and proudly share with others as they walk through the hills and valleys of life! You're an amazing woman with an even more amazing story! God knew what He was doing when He put you through each and every step of your life and I praise Him for it because I never would've met you otherwise! God is so good ALL the time!!! <><

  11. Love your website, Pat. What a joy to see how far the Lord has brought you since those early days of the ministry on North Dale Mabry Highway. :o) God is so faithful to pour His love, mercy, grace and blessings on us as we put our trust and faith in Him.

    Love you,

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