As a child I was raised Catholic and have always believed in God. At times, I would question if he loved me or if I had done something so wrong that he would never love me. As a child, between the ages of 6-13, I was molested and raped by 5 different men (one being my real father). My mother knew about my father but she never confronted him. We were in a small town and most of the town knew but nobody did anything. It was like the town kept the secret for it was never talked about in the open. At times, I prayed that God would take me home to be with him, but that was not his plan. When I was 16 my father passed away, without my getting to say the things I felt like I needed to say. Throughout the years, my mother was verbally and emotionally abusive. At 18, I married an abusive husband, as the cycle would have it. I felt lost and abandoned by God throughout my marriage (10 years). When I left him, I lost physical custody of my 3 children based on financial issues (this was extremely hard). In seeking counseling through the church, I asked the Priest how God could love me when I didn’t even love myself. My prayers were consistently asking for help. Searching for the love that I never had felt in my life, I married a second time. My second husband proceeded to sexually abuse my middle child. He was punished through the system. I stood beside my daughter throughout the whole ordeal. After my 2nd divorce I left the Catholic Church because I did not understand why my whole life I had to battle so many battles. I felt as though God was punishing me. In 2003, while leading a non Christian life, I met a man whose family was very Christian. He was not a Christian at the time but, after long talks with his mother, I was drawn back to church. For 5 years, I have tried walking the walk but I usually take a different path when things go wrong. I often feel like I run from God, don’t understand why. Since 2004, I have lost my home, my youngest child (who went to live with her father), friends (ones who led the party life), my job, all my possessions. Yet, since May 2009, I feel like I have everything. When I lost my job in May, I put my trust in God and prayed that I would get to know him and trust him as my all in all. No matter what, my time with God each and every morning brings joy to my life. There are times doubt will start to creep into my mind because I am alone in the physical sense. (I am single and most of my Christian friends have families). When things are going wrong or I haven’t talked to anyone in days, my thoughts start to move to the dark side. That is when my prayers, devotional readings and your program help me to stay focused on God. Sometimes I ask God what he wants me to do with my life because most of the time I am by myself…if I was to die in my room, nobody would know for a long time. Being that I was a teacher and love to work with children, it was in my heart to continue with teaching. However, after many interviews, I am starting to see that God wants me to work in another area. I am so thankful for knowing God like never before. Yet, there are times when fear comes along but I can’t run from God this time. I have tried but he's not letting go of the grip he has on my heart. I am scared of the future (no money, no job and bills). My heart is yearning to know more about Christ and I am falling more and more in love with him each day. My prayers are not pity parties; they are of thanks and of praise. God has answered many prayers over the past 4 months and it has been hard to share out of wanting this very special relationship with Christ. I now know that I need to be obedient in sharing God’s love and his message of hope to others. There once was a time, I would say, I made it through everything all alone…no one to support me. However, if God had not been by my side, I would not have made it.
In sharing my story with you, my heart is filled with a peace because I know that God loves me and through every storm he has given me a lighthouse to guide me back to his love. His blessings on my life are not the tangible items but the love that he has given me.
If you, too, have been saved through the storm, you can share your story with others and help to build them up in the faith.