Saving Grace

My story has a nice, good girl beginning. I grew up in a Christian home, with loving, hard working parents who gave us a strong foundation for this crazy world we live in. I was always looked at as the shy, good girl who always chose to do the right thing. There came a point in my life when I was in my senior year in high school that the church we grew up in was going through a split. The pastors and leaders to whom I looked up to in an almost idolistic way, had completely ripped away that trust as their sins came bursting into light. I realize now, that I was too young to fully comprehend and understand what this all meant. I was beyond hurt, it devistated my world. These were the people that I trusted with my whole heart second to my family. Church was supposed to be my safe place. It turned in to the place I tried to keep away from. I began to distance myself not only from the church building and everyone in it, but slowly and slowly away from my Heavenly Father. Right before I left for college I remember having a very pivital conversation with my mother. I told her flat out that I was tired of being the good girl. I was tired of always doing the right thing. I wanted to make my own mistakes and live my own life. If only I knew at that time how detrimental those words were to become in my life and how I gave satan pretty much an open door. Soon after, I embarked on the college life. On my own, yet by the grace of God and my loving parents tearful prayers, I am alive, I don’t have a criminal record, I didn’t contract an STD, I didn’t have a child out of wedlock, and I didn’t harm others while choosing to drive drunk. Here was the good girl who never had even attempted to say a curse word and who couldn’t lie to save her life, her sweet innocence was lost in the life of partying and chasing after male attention. I found myself feeling as though I was living a double life. I would come home for visits and the potty mouth went away and the urge to drink and party subsided, but as soon as I headed back it was game on. It was a fast and furious, if you will, 3 years. During the summer after my freshman year I found myself in a horrific situation that resulted in me being raped by someone I loved and trusted. This propelled me deeper into the lifestyle I had began and hardened my heart even more. Another safe place in my heart was ripped away and in its place unforgiveness and shame grew. Fast forward through many drunken nights to summer after Junior year. I was on a trip visiting college friends in New York City when I received a phone call that forever changed my life. My father, my rock, my everything was in the hospital. He had suffered a massive heart attack in my mother’s arms on the beach back home while out doing what he loved, surfing. I remember hearing those words, staring up at the city lights and slumping down to the ground, frozen in shock. This. Could. Not. Be. Happening. Two days later I was by his side as he lay there unconscious. I remember holding his big, strong hands that were now weak. I watched his broad chest go up and down only with help from the ventilator. No matter what had gone on in the years prior in all of my stupid doings, he was always there, no judgment, no condemnation, just there loving me (and I am sure praying as hard as he could for me), being a true Godly father. There was only one time that I found myself completely alone with him, I seized the opportunity and prayed there with my daddy by my side, for God to come back into my life. I surrendered it all to Him. It was one of the most amazing, monumental moments of my life. Not only did God instantly take every fleshly desire of the partying lifestyle away, He also completely freed me from the bondage of my rape and I was able to whole heartedly forgive my friend. Only God, Only God. My sweet father went home to be with our Maker and I began my journey with God leading me. That was almost 11 years ago. There have been great trials and great blessings, but God. I married an amazing man of God who shares in my heart for worship and giving. God called us to join the Navy, to leave our comfortable hometown, our like minded friends and family and venture out into the unknown. We have lived in new cities (currently in Hawaii, can’t complain too much), met people who believe differently, our faith has been put to the test during deployments (giving birth to our second daughter via Skype with my husband), times of lonliness and fear, yet through it all He keeps blessing, He keeps pointing, He keeps being God and showing Himself strong, amazing me over and over. I find myself now in the midst of the day to day with a 3 year old and a 1 year old and living life, and just when I think I am good, God has a way of humbling me over and over again. I am so thankful because I want more than anything to need him every single day. I want to be known as someone full of humility and love for others. I want to be a wife who respects, loves and supports her husband. I want to teach my children what is most important in this life and point their hearts to our loving God every single day. I want to give freely what has been so graciously been given to me. I am so extremely thankful for stumbling upon IF:EQUIP and Jennie Allen. I have been so incredibly blessed by the daily devotional studies and Jennie’s books. They have come at a time in my life that I needed it most. God has been working in me and through me as a result and I am hungrier than ever before for God’s word, His truths, His heart. Thank you