Finding Peace and Love

Finding Peace and Love Hero Image Finding Peace and Love Hero Image

“For the first time in my life, I felt truly alone and was grieving the loss of motherhood as I knew it. My daughter moved away to college, and I was left in a place of loneliness, despair, and isolation. My home changed from full of laughing girls to a house of deafening silence, and a slow buildup of panic began to overwhelm me.

“Although I had turned away from God during my late teenage years, I began reflecting on my life and looking at it from a spiritual perspective.

“I was a flower child of the ’60s. I saw images of peace, love, and happiness and had an adventurous spirit. I became an independent child in a home with an alcoholic father and a very young mother who was also growing up. As a child, I was sexually abused by a teenage boy in our neighborhood and dealt with feelings of shame that I would not share until decades later.

“I also decided at a very young age to follow Jesus and be baptized. John 3:16 gave me an understanding of the simple message of trusting and believing that Jesus was God’s Son who took my place on the cross.

“In my late teens, I began attending Christian coffee houses with a hippy influence. I was meeting many new people and attended a new church with friends who all had one common goal – to praise and serve God passionately. But my life’s course would soon be changed forever.

“I believed I was strong enough in the Lord to defeat any temptation that Satan put in front of me, but I was not. Satan can make things seem so beautiful, right, and loving. I developed feelings for a female friend who struggled with homosexuality.

“I bought the lie that I was born this way and began to pursue what was pleasing and acceptable to me. My flesh became the loudest voice, drowning out any attempt by God to win me back. This would lead me away from Jesus and His Church, wandering in the wilderness for the next 30 years.

“My twenties were marked by drugs, alcohol, and a tumultuous, abusive relationship with a much older woman. I was so miserable, I even attempted suicide when I thought it was my only way out. I stopped thinking about Jesus over time because it conflicted with the life I was living.

“I later met another woman I would be with for many years. We went on to have two daughters, one through donor insemination and one through adoption. Although I had long left God, I thanked Him for the gifts He had given me. Being a mom caused me to pause and think about Him a little bit more. I attempted to take them to church a few times, but I could never resolve my spiritual life with my lifestyle, so I never took them back.

“When that relationship ended, I found myself in an anxiety-filled emotional crisis. How could I carry a million broken pieces? I tried to hold myself together in attempts to protect the girls’ hearts.

“In a nearby home, the loneliness became very difficult for me. I began drinking to suppress my pain. When that didn’t work, I began cutting myself.

“I thought about God when I was alone, but I thought I was too far, too lost, and too consumed with my pain to look to Him for rescue.

“As time went on and in yet another relationship, I was still attempting to resolve my faith with my lifestyle. Questions consumed me, and I needed answers. I hated myself for causing heartache to another, but decided to end the relationship.

“I still didn’t seek God’s help. I consulted books about the matter, trying to save myself by myself. I was seeking a truth that would ease my guilt, instead of His truth which alone can set me free (John 8:32).
“Throughout it all, God’s masterful plan was unfolding.

“This brings me back to where I began.

“In an empty house, no voices, no distractions, it was just me and God. He reminded me that He’s never left me and that He was willing to take me back, even after 30 years.

“God had so much patience, waiting with steadfast and true love for a sinner like me who had fallen so far. I began to pray and ask God to show me how to get up with all my bruises and brokenness so He could put me back together and make me new again.

“In His perfect timing, multiple people at my new job attended Watermark, I was invited to a Sunday. This became the groundwork for my journey back to God. The Holy Spirit went to work in me through ministries like Equipped Disciple, re:generation, and Courageous Hope. He showed me answers to my questions so I could finally lay my broken heart at His feet and ask for forgiveness.

“Now, years later, He continues to shine His light into my darkness and is smoothing over my rough places as He sanctifies me to be more like His Son. He always wanted me back, regardless of my past, shame, sins, and guilt. He’s wanted to restore me and love me all along!”