I was not raised in a family that went to church.  My dad overindulged in alcohol regularly and mom was always trying to make our family look like we had it together, when it was really falling apart at the seams.  Needless to say, that was a full time job.  I became an angry teen and my dad a horrible, mean drunk. Through most of my life my household was physically violent and the older I got the worse it got.  When I was 18 a friend of the family, who was a Christian, died suddenly in a car wreck. The past year before his death, he had been talking to me about the Lord and he was the only man I had ever known who really had a passion for the Lord and his actions showed that.  He had something different, something real and I wanted it.  When I received the news of his death I accepted the Lord.

My dad quit drinking when I was 18, I moved in with a girlfriend of mine when I was 19, I was barely 20 when I met my husband Brad in 1998, and 3 months after we met we were married. I was a very new Christian and he had been a Christian for a long time and had so much knowledge of the Bible, I was drawn to it and wanted to know more.  Soon after marriage, a lot of stuff started rearing its ugly head.  Brad liked to drink a bit and I was a very rebellious control freak and a fighter.  We went through almost 10 years of ups and downs, on again and off again, with the Lord and each other.  We were such a mess.  But even with all of that going on, the Lord extended so much grace to us.  Every time I repented and reached out to Him, with a humble heart, He was there to welcome me back and showed up mightily in those times.

By 2004 we had been told by 2 different doctors that we wouldn’t be able to have children on our own.  So we prayed and asked the elders of the church, that we were attending at that time, to pray over us, and God heard and answered, my 1st son was born in May of 2005, and my second son in 2008.  It was such a shock that one of the doctors took our file to a yearly conference and was trying to figure out what we did differently, we told him that we had the elders of our church pray over us, and that Christ performed a miracle but they wouldn’t accept that, they were still in search of something “scientific” and of course never found it.

In June of 2006 I was having a yard sale, selling baby stuff; our first miracle baby had just turned 1.  Sue Eutsler stopped by and bought some of my baby stuff, I asked her if she was pregnant, she said no that she and her husband were trying to have a baby and she was buying my baby stuff in faith (a few weeks later they found out that their baby had been conceived right around the time of her purchase at my yard sale).  About a week after we had met, she and her husband stopped by the house one evening and invited me over for tea, well they came in and it was hours before they left.  Brad and Sue’s husband Rick just hit it off, and so did Sue and I.  We talked about the Lord a lot, and just enjoyed each other’s fellowship.  So we started spending a lot more time together, we were having Bible study at our house on Thursdays and they started attending and they had church at their house on Sundays and we started attending that.  It was going well, until Rick started preaching the truth at our Thursday night Bible studies, the word of God (King James Version), in context and with all political correctness excluded.  The others that attended our bible studies were offended by this and division started.  Brad and I were drawn to the truth, but were still walking hand in hand in our own pride and self righteousness, so when it came down to it we denied the truth and turned from Christ and the ministry.  Well here is where it gets interesting.   The next 8 months of our life were hell and our world fell apart.  Our Bible study fellowship fell apart and we lost all of our friends, and now weren’t attending fellowship anywhere.   Brad was back to drinking a lot and we fought all of the time and I was more rebellious, angry and bitter than ever, it was awful, then I found out I was pregnant.  So now I am married to a man I can’t stand, with a 2 yr old and a baby on the way and our relationship was getting more physically violent, I had even gone to see a divorce attorney.  Then one night the volcano erupted.  Brad got arrested for hitting me and was in jail.  I bailed him out after 2 days because I didn’t want him to get fired and lose his job, and the judge really had it out for him and wanted him to do a month in jail.  The county had put a restraining order against him and he couldn’t come near the house or me for 30 days.  I had no clue whether we would stay together or not. He got out of jail but nobody would take him in.  As a last resort I called Rick and Sue Eutsler and asked them if Brad could stay with them until he could work out some different arrangements.  Rick met with Brad and took him in, Brad told me that he had committed to staying in the ministry for a year, and that he desperately needed accountability (So did I, I just didn’t know it yet).  He repented to the Lord and anybody he had wronged in the process.  I was very angry about his decision to stay in the ministry.   How dare he make a decision like that without speaking to me!   Well I decided to stay in the marriage, and committed only to the next year with my husband and with my husband came the ministry.  Somewhere deep beneath the pride, bitterness, and self righteousness, there was the tiniest bit of hope still there, I remember silently praying, Lord, if you hear me, your word says you can fix this, if it’s going to get fixed it’s only going to be done by you, this is the last shot.  I remember sitting on my front porch, realizing what a merciful thing the Lord had done, to allow our world to fall apart and for us to see that we needed him, and I did see that we desperately needed him.

Well He showed up, and over the next year my husband was being transformed right before my very eyes, God was moving mountains in him and I have to say it was impressive, I was witnessing God move mightily. Still seeing all of this, in my rebellion I still wasn’t really convinced that I wanted to be there and when the year went by that I had committed to, I was faced with a decision, whether to stay or go.  My husband was very different and I was at a crossroad and had to make a decision, to move forward in the Lord, and throw the pride out the door and be freed from all of my anger and bitterness, or walk away and keep all my comfortable misery without God or my family.  I chose to stay and repented to the Lord, my husband and to the people in the ministry.  And after a year of my nasty attitudes they ALL took me back with open arms.

Praise God!  His grace was sufficient for me!   I stand in Awe of what the Lord has done in our life, I am far from perfect in the Lord, and am only at the beginning, but I can say that I have more peace and joy in my life now than I have ever had, and it is all because of Jesus Christ!  It was only when I gave up trying to fix my husband and myself and surrendered to Jesus Christ, and started submitting myself to him and my husband that any change started happening.  I tried to fix myself for 20 years and got nowhere, actually made it worse, trying to make my flesh holy and presentable to the Lord, when it CAN’T BE!  He died for me because my flesh is corrupt and can’t be made holy, that is precisely why I need Him!  To actually accept that He died for me when I was at my worst; but to accept that meant having to let go of my pride and admit that I DO NOT have it all together, quite the opposite, that I am a sinner saved only by the grace of Jesus Christ, and still knowing that I am a sinner, walking in faith, having a hope that He is able to complete what He has started in me and my family.  The definition of Faith being “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11; 1).   And in a few years with the Lord, and being in this ministry, the Lord has turned my life around.  I have a family in Christ who loves me in spite of myself; my husband and I are learning how to walk out our life, Gods way, through His word. I am learning how to submit to my husband, to be a servant who wants to learn how to walk in “esteeming others as better than myself” (because it definitely DOES NOT come naturally to me).   Learning to stand on the rock (Jesus Christ) and not be moved.  I am learning that God loves even me, that He is bigger than me and any of my circumstances.  That ALL things are possible through Christ, that God truly is light and in him is no darkness.   That God IS LOVE.

If you are reading this, then there is probably a little hope left in you too.  God came down here in the flesh to be beaten, mocked, spit on and nailed to a cross and die, for OUR sin, and before He died He said “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23; 34).  That’s what love looks like! Jesus Christ, God in the flesh.  He loved us when we were at our worst.  His blood was shed for YOU, and His grace is sufficient for even you!  He is real; cry out to Him today, He WILL hear you!