“Impossible is an opinion, not a fact”
In March 2001 I was baptized at Second Baptist Church in Auburn, NY. A full water immersion baptism. I sent written invitations to my family and friends, asking them to come to the beginning of my journey with my new life. I gave my testimony in front of the entire congregation. I rehearsed and quoted my favorite verse: 2nd Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” But my new life had begun long before this pivotal moment in my spiritual travels. It began that very first night in 1997 when I was slumped on the floor of my bedroom and praying to someone/something I wasn’t even sure existed. I just didn’t know it then, but my heart was ready. So God sent someone to me, my husband, to help show me the way and help me understand and find my faith in a way that I could/would understand. In the 14 years that Al and I have been married, we’ve grown together in faith, in love and in God’s love. But especially in just this past year (2012).
That’s not to say it’s been an easy road. Life, even with God’s unconditional love and guidance, is not such an easy road to travel. There are always pitfalls, missteps, crises and challenges that you have to muddle through. For me, it’s been that much easier knowing that God has my back at every turn. Knowing that. Again, not a simple or easy concept, like the “trust fall”. And we have had our share of challenges and “trust falls” just this summer to get through.
Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.
Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.
Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.
Painful moments, TRUST GOD.
Every moment, THANK GOD.
My children are not believers, unfortunately. I would love for nothing more than to have them find their way as I did, so their futures will be secure in the knowledge that they will go to Heaven when their lives here are complete. They cannot deny with honesty that I have changed, and changed much for the better since I came to God in 1997. I wonder if they think this happened by osmosis. And others that knew the “before” me, do you think I just woke up and decided one day that I was going to stop swearing like a redneck trucker? Or that I was going to suddenly stop beating on my kid’s behinds with a belt, or whatever else I could get my hands on that worked as well or better? Perhaps I just suddenly ran out of FWB’s (see “Chapter 9: Faith”) that I would go visit at all hours, leaving my children home alone and at risk for my own selfish reasons. And then there was that weekend trip to Florida to be with a “friend” while I left my children with people I barely knew, let alone trusted. But they were okay, really, they were what? 11 and 13 years old? And Karrie was 17?
I’m not saying I’m a model of a good Christian woman. I know I am far from that, but I’m trying. The fact that a person can come from the chaos and irresponsibility that I have come from and turn a life around and begin living the right way ~ the way God intended us to live ~ is a testament to His existence. For whatever reason, He came into my heart for the asking, and made me new. My debts have been paid, my sins forgiven and forgotten ~ and what do I owe? Only faithfulness, devotion and love. What He asks for is not that hard! And for those of you who do not choose to believe, that is your choice. I’d rather believe and be wrong than not believe and be wrong. My way (which is His way) is a win/win situation, and I’m not wrong.
Now? My daughters and I have good relationships. Don’t ask me how they found it in their hearts to forgive me, even when I could not yet forgive myself. Blessing after blessing. My son and I have been estranged for the most part and remain so, despite the fact that it’s very painful and I pray daily about it. I’m sure, in His perfect time, it will be resolved. Al and I are wonderful together. As I’ve said, we’ve had our issues, what couples don’t? But we’re getting through them with God’s help, and the help and guidance of many of our Christian friends.
I had a comment awhile back on one of my chapters from a man who was criticizing what I had written. He seemed to think I was self-involved, self-pitying and that I should (basically) get over myself (not in those exact words). I believe he used the word “whining” or “whiney” at one point. That is the one and only negative feedback I’ve received, and I found it in my Spam box. Go figure. But I have not and will not dismiss the comment this person made because it’s negative, as it has value and merit as all of the positive ones I’ve received. Although, I regret that I did hastily delete the comment before replying to this gentleman and thanking him for his opinion.
So, why did I write all of these chapters and put myself “out there” for all to see? Good question. I was definitely not self-pitying, nor whining. I guess I was trying to make a point by showing how something good can come from something so dreadful, if you just have faith. There are so many women who have been or may still be in a situation(s) such as I have been, and I’m hoping they find their way to this blog and get something positive out of it. If they’re led to a new life through spirituality, that would be my best blessing. But if they simply get out of a domestically violent relationship, or stop taking their frustrations out on their children by abusing them, or just give their child an extra hug and “I love you” today, I would be deliriously happy. It’s as simple as that. I don’t want pity, or praise or condolences or a pat on the back. I want my words, my experiences to find someone and give them inspiration to better their life and those around them. I was able to achieve this through finding my faith and spirituality, and you can too. It only takes a moment and a simple prayer, and to believe that Jesus died for you on the cross.
If you’ve had an abortion, doesn’t matter how long ago, there is help for you. If you drink or do drugs, abuse your kids, allow yourself to be abused in any way (and there are many ways) there is help for you. If you’ve attempted or think you might attempt to end your life (yes, I have *twice*), think again and again! Call someone, call anyone and talk it out ~ and pray, pray very hard. There is help for you, too! You are never alone, even if you don’t believe, God is there with you… for you, in you. Take Him at His Word.
** Aftermath ~ Just a quick note ~ I have found out the BH has passed away, without ever having found me on the street and having to kill me (“Chapter 6: Trading Faces”). As told in Revealed Chapter 10: May You Reach and Find God Before God Reaches and Finds You, BB committed suicide in 2003. Do the math: that’s two out of three “ex’s” who have left this world for the next. That leaves MS, my first husband, alive and well. Hmmmm. Actually, he and I have since become good friends, and I have forgiven all three of my “ex’s” (2 posthumously) for their part(s) in my journey. I guess maybe I should’ve thanked them!
~ Coming Up: A first-hand look inside a 72-hour stay at Hutchings Psych Center after a suicide attempt.
Don’t miss it!