Who is mattfivefour?


Well-Known Member
I just read your testimony and wow. It brought so many tears to my eyes. It confirms what God says about Lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths. I just read this today and see this in your story. Many times things don't make sense but if he stick close to God he will one day make sense of it all and guide us through it.

I love how honest you were about all the ugly because you know it glorifies God all the more. Hallelujah that we are all new creatures in Jesus Christ!!

Spiritual Armor

Ready to Go Home ^_^
I know your wife must be so happy now that she is with Jesus. I don’t know how she dealt with so much heartache through her young years. I’m so glad that you both got saved and here I thought all these years you were a Pastor. Your testimony could be an entire mini series. Wow! Thanks for sharing :hug

Not Afraid

@mattfivefour thank you for taking the time to write so eloquently your testimony. A testimony is a gift from God, but usually it doesn’t feel like it while we are living it, huh? Our church talks a lot about ‘messes to miracles’- one of God’s specialties!

Eric Nicholas

Well-Known Member
Mattfivefour: My Testimony - Part 2

(continue from part 1)

One day in my room I was reading in Matthew 5 and saw the verses that said, “if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent.” (Matthew 5:23-26) I immediately understood that I had to make things right where I could. I was so filled with fear over this, but I knew I had to try.

I attempted to talk to my wife but she would not, could not, hear me. Although my daughter already knew my testimony to this point and knew that I was saved, I phoned her and said I needed to meet with her, that I needed to tell her something. She said that she would meet me with her husband and her pastor. I agreed. And in front of them all I confessed my cruelty and my failure as a father and asked her to forgive me. In a beautiful moment amidst a great outpouring of tears we were finally truly reconciled.

I next phoned my son in the US, confessed my cruelty and harshness toward him, and begged his forgiveness as well. He said, “Dad, I forgave you before you asked.” He then wanted to hear my testimony. It left him in tears and he told me, “Dad, you have no idea how long I have been praying for you!” Then my daughter-in-law got on the phone and wanted to hear my testimony, too. She also wound up in tears. Between the three of us I think we shed enough tears that day to float a ship!

But there was one more big moment to come.

One early Tuesday morning during our church’s weekly time of men’s silent prayer, I was sitting in a pew quietly worshiping God in my heart. The prayer of my heart had been for Him to reveal to my wife that I was truly His so that she would know. And every time I wanted to go to her and tell her, He said, “No. I will justify you and bring forth your judgment, your righteousness as the noonday.” So as I was sitting quietly worshiping, He spoke to me and said, “If I never return Charlotte to you, will you still love and serve me?”

This was a hard thing. I tried to talk around it every way I could … but I finally said, “You know, Lord. I will serve you whether you return her to me or not.” And I set my heart to prepare that perhaps she might finally divorce me. But that was not God’s plan. She had said I would be her husband as long as we lived, and she did not fail from that vow. As I realized later, God has something very different in mind.

I got offered a much better job in Windsor, Ontario and she agreed I should accept and we would move together. We hired a real estate agent and had him begin seeking out houses to our specification, in advance of a house-hunting trip paid for by my new employer. This was in late April 2007. We were still living apart and she was still thinking I was doing awful things to her.

Then on the evening of May 2nd I phoned my daughter to ask if she had heard from her mother since Charlotte had been supposed to call me that afternoon and had not; nor was she answering her phone or the door. My son-in-law answered and started talking about Charlotte in hospital. I said, “What???” He did not know that I did not know. And he immediately told me that early that morning Charlotte had had a major heart attack and was in the coronary acute care unit.

I immediately rushed to the hospital but she was sedated and they told me I could not see her then, but to call the next day. The next day she called me early in the morning and asked me to bring her something, so I did. She seemed in remarkably good shape for having had a heart attack. She was up and walking around, though clearly very weak. For that day and the following four I did not leave her side, staying long after visiting hours were over. Even though weak, she was witnessing to patients and staff and praying for those who requested it.

This was one of the most wonderful times we had ever spent together since the time in 1973 when she got saved and three days later I asked Jesus into my heart. We held hands, hugged, kissed, had a blessed time. That Sunday night, May 6, she was in the patients’ common room watching TV. Nobody else was in the room except me and our daughter. Jack Van Impe was on TV talking about the Rapture. Charlotte began crying, turned to our daughter and said, “Oh Melissa. You have no idea. Time is so short.”

The next day my wife was scheduled to be Medevac’ed to Calgary, about 150 miles away in order to have an angiogram to see why she had had the heart attack. She wanted me to fly with her but there was another patient slated to go with her and so they would not let me fly with them. We spoke in the morning and I assured her that I would be waiting for her. I drove up the 2-1/2 hours to Calgary the next morning and was waiting in the hospital ward when they wheeled her in. But now things were not the same. She was agitated and she was expressing anger toward me.

While waiting for the angiogram she told me she was angry with God. She said, “I told Him, ‘I am angry with You! Why did you leave me here? Why did You not take me? I don’t want to live any more. I want to go home with You.’” God heard her. And in His great and abundant mercy He answered.

The angiogram showed an 80% blockage of one of the three major arteries from her heart. They performed an immediate angioplasty, inserting a wire stent into the artery to hold it open. The operation involves slitting the skin of the inner thigh, puncturing the artery, inserting a catheter and feeding it up through the artery to the heart. My wife did not tolerate this well. She had suffered a lot of pain in her life and this was just one bit too much.

Back in recovery she wanted the catheter out. They told her they had to do it slowly or in stages or she would bleed to death from the punctured artery. She said she didn’t care, she did not want to live, anyway. She attempted to get up and remove the catheter. They restrained her. She became very loud and panic-filled and began to struggle with them. I tried to calm her, but then her pain caused her frustration to turn to anger and she rounded on me. She began making such a fuss in front of all of the other patients and staff that, in embarrassment, I left the recovery room and went into the hallway. She began crying out piteously, at the top of her voice, “Adrian! Adrian! Please help me!” But I couldn’t. They were trying to help her and she could not see that.

Finally she stopped crying out and I started to re-enter the room. I saw a huge crowd of staff around her bed and one of them seeing me, came running over and said they had a problem and I had to go wait in the waiting room. As I sat there I saw a crash cart go by and a stream of medical personnel. Finally an RN came in and explained to me that while they were dealing with my wife she suddenly went limp and stopped breathing. They had been performing CPR on her but she has not responded. They were prepping the Cardiac Emergency OR but were just waiting for a patient currently under surgery there to be finished.

Half an hour later I saw the stretcher rushed down the hallway outside the waiting room, with a whole bunch of medical staff around it, one of them up on top, astride Charlotte’s chest, still performing CPR.

The RN came in to tell me that Charlotte was now going to the OR and they would let me know how things were going. A while later a social worker came in to see me. She let me call use a hospital phone to call long distance to my son Mark and his wife in Warren, Michigan and Melissa and her husband in Medicine Hat, Alberta to tell them what had happened and to get them to pray.

About four or five hours later (around 11:30) a doctor came in from the Cardiac ICU to say the operation was over. He explained that when a person has a heart attack, the heart muscle turns to mush at the point of the attack and it takes time to form scar tissue. In the meantime it is very weak. He said what happened was that as Charlotte exerted herself against the attempts of the staff to restrain her, her heart muscle had ruptured, splitting her heart wide open at the back. That is why she suddenly collapsed. He said they had opened her chest, discovered the problem and had repaired it, getting her heart beating again … but not very well. He said we were across the first hurdle. But a lot remained.

The social worker returned and again allowed me to use the phone to pass this information on to our children. I told them to keep praying, but that , while she was not out of the woods yet, she had crossed the first bridge.

At midnight the surgeon himself came in. He looked grim and although he told me the same mechanics of the situation as the recovery room resident he had a quite different message. He said, “Mr. Bateman, your wife is not going to make it. In fact I do not think she will make it through the night.” I argues with him, telling him that she had made it through the operation and her heart was beating again. He told me that her heart was in fibrillation, that machines were keeping her going and that even if she were to survive, the hour or more without a beating heart, CPR notwithstanding, her brain would be severely damaged, she would likely be a vegetable. Clinging to a straw I said, "But she could make it." He replied, "In 25 years I have never seen a person in this condition ever make it. From my experience she will not see the morning."

I cannot recall feeling pain. I was too numb. I was devastated to the degree I could no longer feel. I phoned Melissa but after my first phone call she and her youngest son had gone to Wal-Mart to pick up some things they needed. I gave the word to Scott and told him they should get up here asap. He said as soon as she returned they would hit the road. I also called my son and in tears he began to pray, telling me, “Don’t worry, Dad. God has everything under control. He has prepared me for this”

The social worker found out I was a Christian and arranged for a Baptist chaplain (I am not Baptist but he was the only one available … and I was most appreciative of his attendance.)

I was ushered in to the Cardiac ICU and there was Charlotte, unconscious, with tubes stuck in her everywhere and machines keeping her going. Above her head were the heart monitor displays. The staff was incredible, tending to her like a baby, making sure she was comfortable though she was unconscious. God bless them!

For the next two hours I sat there holding one hand, stroking her arm, talking to her. I told her “Honey, if you want to go Home , then go with my blessing. I love you and Jesus is waiting for you if you want. But if you want to stay here, then don’t give up. You’ve been a fighter all your life. Keep fighting. All the staff are here helping you and they will help you make it through.”

The chaplain showed up and between us we prayed for her, we talked to her, we sang her favourite hymn “Alone in the Garden”. In all of this she remained inert, machines continuing to keep the air moving in and out of her lungs and the blood moving through her despite her fibrillating heart.

About quarter after two—as I was telling her again that I loved her, that if she wanted to stay and fight everybody would move heaven and earth to help her, but if she wanted to go home, it was alright—she suddenly gave me hand a squeeze. And, no I was not imagining it: she firmly gave my hand a squeeze. She must have been saying goodbye— five minutes later she was dead. I was in shock ... and denial. But then a peace came over me. Now she was safe with Jesus. And now knew the truth about me. God indeed had justified me, and brought forth my righteousness as the noonday. In His light she could now see perfectly. I knew she now knew that I was His, that I had not been harming her, and that I truly did love her, as she had loved me all those 41 years and 2 months (to the very day) we had been married

My daughter, son-in-law, and eldest grandson arrived an hour later. As they got off the elevator, I met them. My daughter asked, How is mom?" “She couldn’t wait," I replied. "She’s gone home.”

In the hour following her death, the staff cleaned Charlotte up so well that when Melissa , Scott and Adam went in with me to see her body she looked like she was merely sleeping, with no sign of the tubes or machines or anything else. God made sure that she was still in a bed in the CICU when they arrived, not down in the morgue. Another patient was in Cardiac surgery and needed the bed. But God ensured that the patient’s surgery took much longer than expected and so he (she?) did not arrive down in the CICU until after we had left and Charlotte’s body was being taken to the morgue. God is soooooooo good!

And God had one more surprise for us. On our way back to Medicine Hat, Scott told us that earlier in the evening, before any of this was known, while Melissa was out at Wal-Mart and he was alone at their home, he had a vision. In it God told him He had a message for the family that he was to pass on. The message was “Charlotte says she is sorry. She didn’t want to hurt any of you. But she couldn’t stay any more. She had to go home.” This was at least 2 hours before Charlotte actually died. And there was something in the vision about Charlotte that Scott had never known, something about her that happened years before he ever met her, something tht let us know this was not his imagination— he really had seen a vision.

Oh I wish I could tell you of all the miracles God did surrounding her death, funeral and burial. I mean they were supernatural. God looked after every detail, met every need, allowed my son and his family to return to Canada to attend his mother’s funeral…even though US regulations state that leaving the US for ANY reason would invalidate his American citizenship process (God moved miraculously to ensure it didn’t), and—most important of all—many, many people got to hear the gospel.

I could write a book on everything that happened, but I will conclude with two things.

While waiting for the funeral, I was talking on the phone with my son. We were worshiping the Lord. Then he put me on hold to pick up another call. While I was waiting, God spoke to me: “Count the days.” Count the days? What did that mean?

“Count the days.” And I understood to count the days from her heart attack to her death. Almost to the minute, they were five. Five days from heart attack to death. And then God brought to my mind the knowledge I had that five is the number of His grace and mercy. He wanted me to realize that those wonderful days we had just before the end were a gift from Him. He gave us those days together out of His grace and His mercy. Man, I shouted! And when Mark got back on the phone we were both shouting!

Hallelujah! What a wonderful, wonderful God!

But then He said to me, do not mourn. Charlotte is home with Me where she wants to be, and where one day you will be also. Her work is over. Yours is about to begin. I have brought down the curtain on that part of your life. Now do not look back, but walk ahead.

I did not understand what he meant by my “work”, but then that is not my problem, that is not my job. My job is to obey Him in everything. Or, at least, it is to DESIRE to obey Him at all times and that requires keeping the channels open between me and Him. Daily I am to take up my Cross which means daily I need to remember that I am dead to my self but alive unto Him, that I am dead to my own wants, wishes, and ways and that I henceforth now live ONLY to serve Him.

And as I falteringly try to do that, I am beginning to understand what, perhaps, might be my “work”, that which he has placed me on earth to do … just as He has placed each one of YOU with a specific thing to do.

He has continued to bless me with a good job and has given me a second Christian wife to love and be loved by. And He is continuing to lead me into a deeper relationship with Him.

Anyway, I pray that this has not been too tedious a read. I have not tried to polish it: I want the Holy Spirit to be evident not any cleverness of words.

To God be all the glory! He took this Jacob and formed him into Israel. And He will keep forming until the day He takes me home!



Having posted this, I then went to read the rest of the boards. I came across Kiefer's daily scripture. Today's is this:

That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. (Ephesians 1:12)

I pray that each and every one of us is indeed to the praise of His glory!


This post is now almost five years old and God has done a lot in my life since then. As is plain from my concluding paragraphs above, at the time of this writing I had very little idea of what God was preparing me for. I know that many of you have known for a few years now that He called me into full time ministry. Oh what an exciting journey that has been ... one which further glorifies God and one which I will share with you all in the very near future.
Oh, Adrian... :cry


Well-Known Member
Wow, Adrian, what a dramatic testimony. God is clearly the Hero of your story, and He obviously has much more in store for you. Isn't it wonderful that we serve a God of second chances, and that He has new mercies every morning! Thank you for sharing your testimony.