I fell in love with Jesus when I was a small child. I was raised in a loving, Christian home wth Christian values. I was baptized when I was 9 years old.
Before high school, we moved and my family stopped going to church on a regular basis. I changed high schools 6 times. I finally gave up on school. I quit and never finished. In the past, on applications for jobs, I would lie about completing high school. Anytime a promotion would be offered, I would turn it down if further education was required. I wold like to thank Faith Farm for giving me the opportunity to prepare for and take the GED test.
I was married very young and had 3 children. I raised my kids in a state of reckless chaos much of the time. Drugs and alcohol were part of my life, both recreationally and because of medical issues. I don’t know how to explain that my children still love me and want the best for me after everything I’ve done, except to say that God is a merciful God.
For years before I came to Faith Farm, I knew I needed God’s help but I didn’t ask. I experienced several life-changing losses in the midst of, and mostly due to, my addictions. I was running from life and all the shame and pain I had caused my family.
I remember one Sunday going to the altar and crying out to God. I told Him to take my life. I was not surrendering to God. I was giving up on life. I remember a woman praying with me. I went back to my seat; and a minute later, a man from our church named Peter sat next to me. After a conversation with Peter, I started going to an Overcomers group that he conducted at our church. I was going to the meetings at church and AA meetings, but I was still drinking, and I baker-acted myself twice (committed to a mental health treatment facility for evaluation).
Peter’s wife, Lana, gave me information about Faith Farm. I called and spoke to a woman, whom I now know as Sister Paula. She said there was no room, but that she would put me on the waiting list. I hung up, went to the liquor store, and got a bottle.
On September 14th, Sister Paula called and told me there was an opening. Then, I was undecided! She said, “You need to make a decision and call by tomorrow, or I’ll have to give the bed to someone who needs it.” The next day was my birthday, and we all know what I wanted to do for my birthday. I begged her not to give that bed away. “I’ll call you tomorrow,” I said.
I was faced with the answer to my prayer, and I was so uncomfortable. I didn’t know what to do. To say I was less than grateful at first would be an understatement. However, after being faced with “straighten up or go home,” I knew I had to stay. I also knew that I wanted my boyfriend to be a part of my recovery because he was my friend and my encourager. I got into a bit of trouble and that earned me a trip to the Director’s office. I was so ashamed of myself. Sister Ann said, “If he loves you so much, tell him to prove it. If he loves you, ask him to marry you! If he doesn’t, you’ll know where you stand. If he does, we can have the wedding here.”
I walked out of the office faced with the fact that I had to ask my boyfriend to marry me and take a chance on hm saying no. I was scared. Do you know how slow the mail is when you are waiting for the answer to an important question?
It was a “Big Sale” Saturday. I was working in the clothing room and Sister Paula asked me to come with her. I thought I was in trouble. She told me to sit on the golf cart. She got on, and she took my hand and said, “Tony told me to tell you yes, yes, yes!”
We got married in the church November 23rd. Pastor Jim and Sister Debbie counseled us, and then Pastor Jim conducted the service. My son, Zack, gave me away and my daughter, Lisa, stood up with me.
Every day got a little bit easier. Big things would come up, changes would happen. I was riding the wings of the Holy Spirit. Everything that came against me, and there were many, I gave to God. But, each time it got easier. I am excited about my future, but I have no preconceived notions that the next part of my life’s journey will be easy. In fact, God promises that trials will come; but He will never leave me or forsake me, if I seek Him. Whatever is in my future, I pray I will always do it unto the glory of God.