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 In A Dark Place

I was in a dark place, hanging out with the wrong sort of people. I lived with alcoholism in my family growing up and used drugs and alcohol from age 13 to escape from my unhappiness. My friends didn’t believe in God and though my grandparents took me to church when I was little, I was angry with all Christians based on my own experiences.  I had convinced myself there wasn’t a God because of where I was in life. 

 When I was sixteen, I met my future husband.  I really liked him, but his mother wasn’t happy about me dating her son.  She disapproved of my type.  Many times, she tried to get me to go to church with her and for 5 years I said no. Finally, I went along just to please her and shut her up. We attended one church, but I saw the evil eyes judging my piercings, tattoos, and unhealthy appearance. The next church she dragged me to was Crossroad Lutheran on Fleming Island. I felt out of place just stepping into church but here I was welcomed immediately.  The people were friendly. and when Pastor wanted to get to know my husband, he took us out to lunch. I was really surprised how he reached out to us. I can’t honestly say what his next sermon was about, but it seemed to speak directly to me touching my heart. Something in me changed.  I felt curious if God could really love me knowing how I had been living. I needed to hear more about this unconditional love.   

After about five months I talked to Pastor about being baptized. It was time to hit a reset button on life and with help, I got off the drugs & alcohol, was baptized, and hosted a small group study. Later, when asked to teach a children’s Sunday school class, I said “No way do I feel qualified to teach!” but I took over that class and learned as I taught others that God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.

 Yes, I’ve had setbacks like postpartum depression after my second child, but prayer, counseling and faith got me through. I was so grateful to God that I considered get into the ministry. Pastor introduced me to Emanuel Academy where I received a scholarship for a five-year program. and this month starts my third year of seminary. All of this is possible because of my husband, mother-in-law, and sister’s support in helping with my 2 & 4 year old children. It hasn’t been easy, but I understand now that anything truly worth having is worth the hard work. I’m excited to give back for the Grace I have received from God.  

If you are hoping for a positive change in your life, I encourage you try Crossroad Lutheran, Fleming Island. You’ll never know what God has in store for you unless you take the first step and look for Him.