My Testimony

My dad is a pastor which makes me an infamous PK or pastor's kid made famous by movies like Footloose and A Walk to Remember.  Now I might not have been as wild as Ariel Moore or as docile as Jamie Sullivan, but I did have a wild streak and a high school sweetheart.  I grew up in church; literally in the church building spending my summers as a little kid raiding the kitchen for Little Debbie snacks, pretending to teach school in the Sunday school rooms and eating the elbow macaroni meant for crafts.  My brother and I spent a lot of time with my dad at the church and in the homes of several older ladies of the different congregations.  I went on home communions, nursing home visits and everything in between.  Weddings and funerals were a part of life and I got to be a part of the ministry.  When it snowed we walked to the church and shoveled the parking lot.  At Thanksgiving time I helped my dad prepare 10 or more turkeys for a church dinner.  And so it went as a PK, but it wasn't that simple, because you see I had a mom who wasn't around much and when she was life was hard.  She suffered from mental health issues ranging from depression to what we would later learn to be Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID).  Normal would never be a word I would use to describe my growing up years, but I have always had Christ.  Through the teaching and witness of my dad and others in the church my faith grew and grew and truly was what sustained me.  Even when nothing seemed to be consistent, God stood firm never changing and always faithful to His promises.

But He said to me,
 "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." 
 Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, 
so that Christ's power may reside in me.  
2Corinthians 12:9

Over the years we moved a lot, each time I remember secretly hoping for a chance to start over, but scared at the same time.  Maybe this time I wouldn't be the fat kid.  Maybe at this school making friends wouldn't be so hard.  And the last move leading into my junior year of high school I thought my life was over leaving behind a boyfriend, friends, track and cheerleading teams, but also the baggage of a life that didn't totally honor God.  Being a big fish in a little pond has always been my preference, but that isn't what I got.  Home was still a mess, however I did get to start my first real job and it was right alongside my dad!  He served as Director of the Lutheran Mission in Cambridge, MD and I was well.........the janitor.  As it turns out he was able to expand my duties and I got to help with sorting clothes, stocking the food pantry and waiting on customers.  Thrift shops are an indulgence of mine that I am not ashamed. To have the chance to work at one that also shared the love of Jesus and helped those in need was super cool!

Now before my short story gets too long let me introduce the new leading man in our story, my husband Chris whom I met at the new school and was lucky enough to date.  He must have hit his head or something because he was crazy enough to want to marry me, warts, scars and battle wounds.  He accepted it all, all of me, every broken part, even the Jesus girl in me.  He didn't get it yet, but he loved me!

With marriage and a new career as a Marine we were now faced with a whole new set of circumstances to trust God and to see his working in our lives.  This time was different though.  Never before had I needed to find my own church, but we had a lot of things to be new at like being married, looking for work, how to spend money and how to be grown-ups.  God used that time in Hawaii.....Oh did I forget to mention that was where Chris was sent for his first duty station?  It wasn't exactly paradise at first.  I felt very lost there and very much alone.  I had gone from being a daughter to the wife of a Marine all in the same year I graduated high school in, and then moved to an island in the middle of the Pacific. 

In those 4 years, at the church God eventually led us to our eyes were opened to a totally different way of doing church.  Small group ministry was the method by which almost all of the work of the church was done.  Most members were involved in a weekly small group.  They got together in peoples homes to eat, fellowship and share in the Word.  Prayer supported this whole endeavor and accountability to each other made growing my faith a team effort.  I was no longer alone.  I began to grow in my confidence of who God made me and my husband began to attend church with me and he was even coming to small group.  It was here that we witnessed the life changing power of God's word.  With the support of leaders in our church and our small group Chris accepted Christ and was baptized.   

We are back in the Mainland now, with 4 kids and ever changing circumstances.  VA has been our home for almost 10 years, certainly a record for this PK!  I have no idea what the next few years will hold.  I don't even know what the next month will bring, but small group is on the horizon again for our new church and I can't wait to see how God uses that in the next chapter of my story.

The years after we left Hawaii were filled with many trials.  I suffered miscarriages,  Chris was traveling more than he was home and I lost my mom.  In all of this one thing has remained, God's steadfast love for me.  From the time I was a little kid, to the lost young women in Hawaii, to the scared new mom in VA, God has been faithful to me.

Because of the Lord's faithful love we do not perish, 
for His mercies never end. 
 They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!  
I say:  The Lord is my portion, 
therefore I will put my hope in Him. 
 Lamentations 3:22-24

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