In my last post on this series I gave you a brief breakdown of how I KNOW that God can do ALL things.
I will share my testimony with you once again. Obviously, it will not be completed until I return to my heavenly home. Ponder my Diminishing Shadows…
I was born in Orange California in 1958. When I was 1 ½ years old my biological mother took my grandfather’s car and abandoned my dad, 2 half-brothers and I. She had an affair with a friend of my dad’s and moved to Illinois. After six weeks or so my dad and grandpa went to bring the car back. Dad took my brothers to their grandma’s house and proceeded to get sole custody of me; very rare for the courts to award custody to the father in 1960. For approximately four years dad raised me on his own with the help of my grandma and aunt. In 1964 he married the woman I call mom, and I gained a mother and brother.
For many years I knew something was different but couldn’t put my hand on what it was. When I was twelve I was caught shoplifting at our city mall. I was not arrested, but my dad was furious. My mom was much more gracious.
On my thirteenth birthday my childhood best friend and I spent the night with my paternal (biological) grandparents. I asked my grandma if mom was in fact my biological mother. Grandma told me to talk to my dad. I told her I was asking her because I knew she wouldn’t lie to me. So I found out the truth. When my mom found out that my grandma told me the truth she banned me from seeing my grandma until I was eighteen. Our next door neighbors arranged for my grandma and I to meet at a shopping mall in Costa Mesa. I was elated. Dad knew that I was meeting her and never said a word to my mom. She did find out later, when I was seventeen and they almost divorced over it.
On February 20, 1973, when I was fourteen, a friend in Jr High invited me to go to church with her. We watched a movie entitled “A Thief in the Night.” To this day I love the song, “I Wish We’d All Been Ready.” Afterwards, Billy Graham gave the invitation to accept Jesus in my heart and I responded. The following evening my brother joined us and also gave his life to Jesus.
I counseled teenage new believers whenever Billy was in town. He was an amazing man, so loving and gentle spirited. I also became active in our church choir. Our choir, Presbyterian Youth Chorale traveled every summer to sing for various churches across the United States. My new best friend and I had Bible studies in the hay loft above her family’s garage. We named are secret meeting place “Bethel,” which means “House of God.”
That same year I ended up in the ER for severe stomach pain. The doctors told my dad that I had gonorrhea. He told them he would bet his life I didn’t. After evaluating me and taking x-rays, the doctor told him that I had endometriosis and needed to go to a gynecologist. So I did, and was told I could never have babies. I was devastated, as I had baby sat since I was nine, and loved children. After graduating from High School and attending one year of junior college, I became pregnant. I was engaged to the father of the baby and my dad told him that he would marry me. Against my beliefs, I got an abortion. A couple weeks afterwards when I used the bathroom a little limb came out of me. Instead of getting help I turned to drugs.
I started working for a floor covering company and ended up having an affair with my boss. He was married with three beautiful daughters and one on the way at the time. Even worse, we discussed having an affair. He eventually divorced his wife and we were married after living together for over two years. By now I had an addiction to cocaine and overdosed on my birthday in 1984. We both quit drugs and became involved in ministry at Calvary. My dad never accepted him. Then, two years later I had another affair, and after marriage counselling we my husband and I decided to separate. I am thankful that he has forgiven me, to this day we are friends.
I met a man in 1987, and began dating him. I became pregnant again, not knowing who the father was, my husband or boyfriend. After talking to them both about the situation, I chose to keep the baby and be a single mom. The baby belonged to my boyfriend.
In 1991, my half-sister was murdered in Nevada and when I came home after her funeral, I again became pregnant with a girl. Her father wanted me to abort, but this time I refused and chose to keep her. My son’s dad said he would adopt her, that way she and our son would both have a dad who loved them, and the same last name. Eight and one half months later my son and I were in a car accident only one block from our home. The police offered to take me to the hospital, but I chose not to go as I felt her moving and had a doctor’s appointment the next morning. When my doctor examined me, there was no heart beat from my baby. Labor was induced and five hours later Alexandra was still born. The placenta was lodged in my left rib cage and I had emergency surgery, and given a couple units of blood. By this time, I was attending Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa again and Pastor Carl led the funeral service. I have never gotten over this completely. The loss of a child is difficult to accept. I take comfort, however, in knowing that she is in heaven and has never had to encounter the horrific things this world avails.
Angry at God, I again backslid, this time I did even stronger drugs and led a very promiscuous lifestyle. This led to me getting date raped three months after the loss of my daughter and again had an abortion, even though it was against my beliefs. I tried to justify it with the fact that I was raped.
Later that year I began dating a man and it lasted four years. In 1996, I again became pregnant and made the decision to abort. After the fact, I found out that my boyfriend would have married me and wanted the baby.
In 1997, I rededicated my life to the Lord and my son was saved the following weekend. God is so good. We were baptized together by Pastor Chuck Smith at Pirates Cove, San Clemente. Papa Chuck told me that this time I was going to serve my Lord. This is a day I will never forget as my son and I were baptized together at the same time. It was awesome! We went on a retreat shortly thereafter and were baptized in the Holy Spirit. Hallelujah! I now began counseling new believers every Sunday and Monday evening at Calvary and annually at the Harvest Crusades in Anaheim. My precious son hung out with the Christian artists that led worship on these occasions and became really close to most of them…Phil Keaggy, Crystal Lewis, The Kry, OC Supertones, Dennis Agajanian, Two or More, and DC Talk. I met my second husband while counseling. Unbeknownst to me he and my son had been hanging out for six months while I was counseling. We were married exactly one year to the day from my son’s and my baptisms. After only a year we were having problems; My husband at the time was very controlling and I was a strong-willed woman. February 2000, I had a nervous breakdown at work and was placed in a state mental facility for 2 weeks, from my recollection. When I came home I began cutting myself by slashing my wrists. My husband would not let me see any of my family or talk to them, and would tie me to my son’s bed with neckties while waiting for the police to arrive. In July the same year we moved to Indiana and things just got worse. My husband would not hold a job and was verbally and mentally abusing me to the point of my continued self-mutilating, and several attempts at suicide. I was placed in the mental unit at our hospital several times because of this. My doctor did not trust my husband, and honored my wishes to keep him away from me while I was hospitalized. At this time, I was on 17 different medications and was hardly able to function. At night, my husband would whisper in my ear that if I ever left him he would find and kill me. But God was still in control, and I met my best friend who is still my spiritual sister. She has had cancer in several parts of her body for 16 years and has a Soon after moving to North Salem, IN in 2001, I began a youth ministry, “Solid Rock.” The board gave us a generous budget for our teens. In 2003, I finally quit cutting myself and attempting suicide.
In 2004, my dad became sick with lung cancer while my mom was living in Memphis with her sister for close to eleven years. That summer when my son went to visit his dad in California, they stopped by to check on my dad and called to inform me of my dad’s illness. I called my mom who told me he was fine. Prior to this, I had two pulmonary embolisms, blood clots in my lungs, had carpal tunnel surgery and also had my ankle rebuilt after several sprains. That November, one week after my ankle surgery, my mom called and informed me that my dad was dying, and my son and I had a plane ticket waiting for us at Indianapolis International Airport that was to leave the very next morning. A couple days later dad was sent home with a diagnosis of six months to live. Five days later he died, while my son was headed back home to Indiana. After attending my dad’s funeral, I also flew home to Indiana.
I started attending Lakeview Christian Church in Indianapolis, an AG affiliate, I was teaching second grade Sunday school and counseling teens. My husband began having an affair with my coworker, and I took the opportunity to file for divorce. My amazing son and his best friend came and moved me back to California in 2009. I rented a house from a lady over the phone, little did I know how important she would become to my life. We are still very close, and she now lives in Kentucky.
I found out in 2011 that I was the victim of identity theft and the culprit was my ex-husband. My cousin passed in 2011 with complications from colon cancer. Praise God that my spiritual sister led him to the Lord.
In 2013 I was living with my mom when Irvine PD informed me that my now ex-husband was in town. His name showed up because he received a traffic citation. My brother chose to believe rumors about me imposed by another family member, and on Christmas Eve my brother and sister-in-law evicted me from my mother’s home while she was in the hospital. I moved in with my son and daughter-in-law for a couple of months. They had just married that August. God gave me Psalm 42:8 for comfort:
The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime,
And in the night His song shall be with me —
A prayer to the God of my life.
In February 2014, I moved to Missouri to start over. My son and daughter-in law, along with my spiritual sister were the only ones who knew where I was. In October 2014, I married my soul mate and best friend. The following Spring, 2015, I received a phone call from my mom and she and my brother and sister in law apologized with tears for what they did to me. God always has a way of making things right. It has taken me all this time to truly forgive my ex-husband. Only because God made it possible for me to do so. I can honestly say that if I were to see him again, I would thank him as I have never been happier or closer to God. My son and daughter-in-law visited us Christmas, 2015, for the duration of four days. Upon returning to California, my son expressed, “Mom you left everything behind and God has blessed you tenfold.” No words have ever been truer from his precious mouth.
Despite my efforts to be rebellious, God has always been there, placing amazing people in my path. He has given my husband and I this ministry to reach out to others who need Him.
So, it is true, with God ALL things are possible! I am living proof.
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God bless you.