My Path To Redemption – A Testimony Of A Woman Lost And Broken
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships,in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
My whole life Jesus has been dropping seeds along the way, but I haven’t always been eager to water those seeds and allow them to grow into something beautiful and amazing. In fact, there were many times I just kicked them up and spit on them.
My parents weren’t religious at all. I don’t ever remember a bible in our home or my family even saying the blessing before meals. My mother’s half-sister on the other hand, she was a devote Catholic who attended church every Sunday, tithed above and beyond the 10% requirement, served in the women’s choir and also served, helping out the Catholic Nuns anyway she could. But she did not believe, nor did she teach that Jesus was the only way to heaven.
Although my parents weren’t religious at all, they had no problem with allowing my Aunt to take me to church on Sunday, sign me up for Sunday school and later at the age of seven, I was baptized and went on to enroll in CCD classes. I received my Penance at the age of eight and the May before my ninth birthday I received my First Holy Communion.
The year I turned 13 years old, my parent’s marriage ended and I ended my relationship with the Catholic church. My boyfriend (who is now my husband) and I had gone to church one Christmas at the Retreat House my Aunt was helping with. The Priest had called on my husband to answer a question pertaining to Christ’s birth. I about fell out of the pew when my atheist boyfriend answered the question perfectly. I remember making fun of him about that for a long time.
By the time I was 23 years old, married and expecting my second child, my life was headed into a life or death situation. I had a friend from high school stop by the house one evening and she was telling me all about Jesus and how to be saved. I mocked her and laughed at her. I had been raised in the Catholic church, but I didn’t believe that heaven or God or Jesus even existed.
A few months later, my sister-in-law called gushing about being saved and having the love and mercy of Jesus Christ upon her. I scoffed once again, but I could feel my heart being pulled. A few Sundays later, my 7 month pregnant self, and my family marched into church for the first time in over five years. We chose a Non-Denominational Assembly of God. I had been so convicted that I got up in the middle of the Pastor’s sermon, grabbed my son and walked out with tears streaming down my face.
That Monday, I called the Pastor, and I told him that I wanted that peace, that joy, that mercy and the love that everyone claimed Jesus was offering up for free. So, I prayed that sinner’s prayer with Pastor Crosby and waited. I would spend hours pouring over the Word of God, searching for what He was saying to me. But, my ears were closed up and my heart was made hard. My family through the years would go through a revolving door of going to church, reading the Bible, and doing family Bible study. I heard the message, but I just didn’t accept it.
I had felt no miraculous change. My life was exactly the same as it had been before I prayed the sinner’s prayer with Pastor Crosby. My marriage was still rocky, my relationship with my mother was still shaky. I didn’t talk to my father, and my relationship with my brother was strained. I had lost a set of twins that were taken to heaven just 23 weeks into my pregnancy. I had a friend who I worked with that tried to help me, but my heart was hard. My marriage looked like it would end, and then my mother passed unexpectantly on the same date as Matthew and Sarah’s passing, just three years later.
Feeling lost and broken, we moved our family to North Carolina in hopes of finding some way to fill the void in our lives. We would then spend some time in Utah with my brother and his wife before returning to Pennsylvania. I was pregnant with my fifth child when I began homeschooling my second and third children. We began attending church again, this time the Pastor being our first Pastor’s son. My husband, still not a believer attended an Iron Man Conference with the men from church. It was at that conference that my non-believing husband had given his heart to Christ.
Those events are what sparked the biggest spiritual battle of our lives.
Five years after my mother’s death I found myself in the deepest, darkest pit of suffering that one could find themselves in.
I would spend the next five years of my life in psychiatrist’s and therapist’s office. Taking medications that would make me worse and make me sleep 18 plus hours a day. I became addicted to those medications, allowing them to take over my life, to make me emotionally numb and create division in all of my relationships. My marriage had fallen apart, my relationship with my children was a disaster. I had no friends and I was running away from God as fast I could.
Even when I found myself living in Utah for the second time with my family, attending another church, crying through every service, hearing the message, the words God was speaking to MY heart, and pleading for peace, I just didn’t believe. I couldn’t capture the feeling of hope everyone talked about. I wanted Him to save me and all I was experiencing was suffering. I cried out, I begged, I wept, I bargained, and then I denied. There was just no way there was a God, because if there was, He would have saved me like the Pastor said He would.
In 2016, I finally gave up fighting. I stopped the medications and started the long process of rebuilding my marriage, and my relationship with my children. I gave it all over to God and I got out of His way so He could clean up the mess I had created. Once I did that, He began to open doors and bless me and my family in ways that none of us ever thought were possible.
He picked us up from where we were and relocated us right smack in the middle of a community of believers who spend their lives pouring the love and compassion of Christ out on their entire community. He has filled my cabinets when they were empty, clothed my children, provided my husband the opportunity to work for a Christian company, doing what he loves to do. God has opened doors that I was sure would be shut forever and He has provided an opportunity for me to see, feel and know His grace and love. It was God who restored my marriage. It was God that has helped me to find joy in being a mother again. It was God who unified what had been divided and it was God who delivered me from my numbness.
We found an amazing home-church, a community of some of the most Godly men and women we have ever met. We have rededicated our lives to Christ and we aren’t just believers anymore, we are followers!
He gave me the peace I pleaded for. He has unified my marriage and my family. He has provided for us when there was no way anyone could have known of our situation. I prayed for clarity and He provided clarity. I prayed for His Hand to direct my paths and He has been directing my paths ever since.
I look back and it is clear that my entire life, Jesus has been there, in every step I have taken. It was just up to me to grab His hand and let Him rescue me from the darkest pit I have ever found myself in. Jesus provided me the peace I begged for, when I reached out for Him and He saved me.