1983 - 1993.......1994-95.......1996-98.......1999-2000.......2002-NOW
However, I was sexually molested by several male babysitters. Forced to do things I did not understand nor liked. I learned to stay close to home. I learned to cry as silently as I could so mom or dad would not ask me what was wrong and I would not have to lie. But, GOD turned it all to GOLD!! \o/\o/\o/\o/
Confused and guilt-ridden,
I turnt to the Lord. He became my best friend! I
met God in a personal way even before I could read the Bible!
\o/\o/\o/\o/\o/\o/\o/ A very special, personal relationship
developed! I would sit in the middle of
bed at night, cry silently, and the Holy Spirit would visit my room;
back then, to me, it was just "God," the friend who
tought me how to overcome the "big" people
in my life who hurt me.
One day, my mom and I went to a small locally owned store right down the road. It was called White's Grocer or something close to that. They had a meat counter in the back and that is where my mom went---to buy meat for that night's supper at Mam-maw and Papas. Well, I stayed up front at the toy rack and turned it around and around to see each and every toy. While doing this, a really old man walked up to me. He looked me right in my eyes...I remember he was bent over so far he was as short as I was!!! He touched the back of my left hand and he said, "Just remember, He will always Love you and He will always be there!"
After my experiences in the Bahamas, I blew the man off as another one of those "weirdos." I told my mom who got a bit upset and looked for him. She said she just wanted to "see" who he was. But she never did find him in the store. We left. I never thought about it for years and years.
A Young Lady
1983 - I lost contact with God. I married a man who claimed to be saved, but did not practice his faith. We were married and divorced by 1987. The drinking and all the bad habits that go with it tore at our marriage and we grew very much apart. I withdrew from the marriage in 1987, filing for divorce. He and I did not bicker and fight and betray each other during this process. We were both peaceable and kind, considering each other. Our child, a son named Christopher, remained with me. He was only 2 years old.
1987 - 1991 - During this time of my life, I began to abuse alcohol, marijuana, and picked up the nasty habit of smoking cigarettes. My life was anything "but" Christian-like. I even lived with a man for 4 or so years. I was ashamed of my life style and this shame kept me from attending church when my heart longed to go.
I did attend the local Jr College at this time and graduated with Honors, Secretary of Phi Theta Kappa PTK and a Grade Point Average of 3.7. It was the only area of my life I was handling ok. I did not feel like a good person or mom or sister or friend, daughter...
1992 - at the age of 29, I was sitting on the Boardwalk on Pensacola Beach staring out over the bay and reflecting. I had found a guy who I thought was really great but soon after we got to know each other he began to abuse me. I found myself suffering from regular physical, emotional and mental abuse. Beaten so bad a few times my loved ones did not recognize me. Talked down so bad I no longer thought I was worth it. My heart was aching; my spiritual life null. I had drifted away from my heavenly Father; I was told constantly that I was not loved by Him or others in my family. I drifted even more. Dropping entirely out of church.
As I sat there on that pier, dangling my feet over the water and starring into the blue bay, a woman tapped me on my shoulder and said, "I passed by here a moment ago and a heavy burden for you was layed on my heart. God has something for me to say to you and I know if I do not, God will be displeased. He wants me to tell you, 'just remember He will always love you and HeI will always be here!'" I froze.
Reality drifted back slowly; my jaw dropped. As I stood there, the memory of a withdrawn 9 year, a country store and an old man rushed back in! I felt weak; I wanted to drop and weep. She walked away...never said another word...I muttered, "Thank you" as she turned. I sat back down on the pier and cryed and cryed and cryed veery quietly. I promised God right then and there that I was going to get back in His will. I needed for Him to show me where to begin because I was sooo lost in sin!!!!
RENEWAL: What God Asked
Me to Do to Prove my Sincerity and Love
As time went by, I had resolved
myself to be "married" to God. I just knew that I was never
going to get married again and that I would be a single mother always,
but I would always have God and my little boy. I was content and
knew it. I was ok with whatever came my way.
End of 1993 - I met my dear, wonderful husband. It was so unexpected. I had thought so much of him all along. One morning after church worship ended, as I was walking back up the aisle to go to the car (this is the 7-thousand-members church I spoke to you about, Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola) anyway, as I was walking back up the aisle, I seen the two guys I thought the most of. One coming my way by way of the balcony and the other from the right side of the church. We were all three headed for the same r.I jokingly, and I do mean jokingly, asked God to let me bump into the one I would marry! Then, I said to God, "No, I know that I will never be married to anyone but will live a life of dedication to You, God!" and I smiled, continued my slow trek towards the rear doors -- Content to belong to Him.
By the time I reached the double doors, I had forgotten about the "joke" I had made to God. I looked up and low and behold, I bumped into a man named Carl. He was one of the guys I had been referring to in my "joke." I was so surprised that I looked back down real quick to the ground, ignored his hello, and zipped off to my car dragging my then 9 year old son with me. When I got into the driver's seat, my legs were weak and my heart was racing and I was literally scared. I "fussed" with God, sadly enough. I reminded Him that I was only joking. I finally blew it off and decided it was just a "coincidence." God has a sense of humor, eh?!!
When I put a request in at Sunday School Class that I needed help with my washing machine, Carl was the only one that responded. Our Sunday School class was like that. We stuck together. Doing for each other what another cannot do for themselves.
Carl came the next day to work on the washer. While there, he discovered other things he could fix and began working on them one by one. We talked a lot, getting to know each other. Every evening when he got off work, he would come to mine and Chris' home to have dinner. He had custody of his little girl, then 5, Carla and was not big on cooking. I certainly did not mind cooking as I was quite talented in that and I knew that he and that little girl needed good, healthy, hot meals. It seemed perfect! We were really beginning to like each other and it wasn't taking long for either of us to feel spiritually and emotionally attached.
January, 1994 - After only two weeks Carl asked me to marry him. To know God's will, I prayed and prayed and prayed about marrying Carl and all I could hear was good. Nothing that ever came thru was negative. I could feel God's "blessing" in my soul! So, I married him. We got married the next day. It was a Friday and we had a very short honeymoon weekend. Both our children were gone for the weekend.
I was told by several
doctors in 1990 that I would probably never be able to carry
another child due
to physical abuse, stress, and other "female" problems that
had ran out of control. So, when I answered my husband's proposal,
felt I had to tell him this just in case this would be an issue. He
said he did not care. He said that God would bless us with children
if He seen it in His will to.
1996 - With time the feeling of belonging to the church ceased to exist. A spiritual battle began. Maybe it was spiritual jealousy? Only God knows. The Banner Ministry began at this time, but I was informed that it would not be financially supported by the church. When this happened, I was devastated, but looking back, I see God knew what He was doing! \o/
Our family began to meet with much criticism. It existed in the Youth Group, the Sunday School and teachers, between some adults and certain families. The church began to feel anything BUT spiritual. There was even a Deacon well-known for his racist remarks!
1997 - A New Christian package was worked up for each child that prayed the prayer of salvation at our church. The new Christian children met with me one-on-one whether in my home, their home or at church for a 6 week series on "Now That I'm A Christian." This guide is to help children understand what they have done. The pastor supported all these efforts but there were people in the church who did not seem to. The Discipleship Class was criticized because "no one comes," I was told, "Only one child here or there." I explained, " that was the way it was suppose to be, 'one-on-one.'" I do not know how much that explanation helped, but I was becoming painfully aware of how everything my family and I did was "not quite right."
The phone ministry was never set up for fear of launching another "ministry" just to hear it torn down overwhelmed us. We failed to start it. :(
- I signed up to teach VBS in the last year we attended, but was not
given a class to teach. I was told it was because I had not signed
but, indeed, I HAD. Something fishy was going on. Too many adults were
doing "their" will and not God's. At least that is how I seen it.
End of 1998 - I began to hurt far too much. I was pregnant with mine and Carl's 4th child. Due to such a negative atmosphere, neither of us wanted to share this. The "don't you know what caused that" joke had been repeated too often as was other remarks. Afraid of more criticism, we just withdrew from being open. Too discouraged to even wade through it all, we prayed.
The Final Blow
Aparently the neighbor or someone elses had seen fit to lie about the confrontation because the story I got was so twisted. She was just another part of a spiritual battle the enemy waged within and without and used this church as a battleground. I fear it continues today. :(
Anyway, all the rest of the accusations were false, misleadings, lies, who knows? Every word could have been proven wrong IF I had been given the chance or even questioned about it, but I was not given that. I was railroaded. My husband felt that way, too.
Church services were being missed by many and regularly. The church was falling apart spiritually and had been for some time. It was really no big surprise to me that all this happened.
1999 - I remain to this day at a loss for words about why I was really asked to step down or even why they did it the way they did - alleviating any chance for me to defend or even correct anything. But, that is the story behind the hurt. We left in January a very wounded family.
As for the accusations, God said He would take care of it. I rest in the peace that He knows the truth. Through the years, it has become easier and easier. I fight the urge to obsess these situations because I care what others think, but more and more I learn it is only important what God or Jesus thinks.
Our First Son: CW
2000 - We successfully found a new church. The then pastor LOVED the Banner Ministry and blessed the idea of their being in the 2001 Christmas Parade televised by WEAR TV5. My family was adopted as the "banner coordinators" and each child thoroughly loved the church! Even my oldest loved to go. This was a first for him, because he did not feel"accepted" at the other church.
THE BANNER STORY _1996 - NOW - click link to read this story
2002 - Our current ministries are managing an email ministry of prayer requests for prayer warriors, Coordinators for The Traveling Banner Ministry, at our Church, with our family (raising the wonderful children God has blessed us with and being the supporting wife, undergirding my husband, that God has called me to be,) mentoring a few "friends," and witnessing.
By the end of 2002, however, my husband, through prayer, moved our family to a local church about 2 miles away. The pastor there is the pastor who led him to Christ when my husband was 19 years old. He's a Dynamic Preacher! This new church is Beulah Baptist Church and I hope to be able to serve the Lord with all my heart once again - confident, strong, assured, un-derailed!
By the end of 2003, My husband and I are preparing the church bulletin for our church every Sunday and laying plans for an AWESOME website for our church! My daugher, Carla, and I sang with the choir for the special Christmas program on Dec 14, 2003 and thoroughly enjoyed it! My husband and I are keeping our Sunday School class records. The church grew from 23 members 18 months ago to right at 150 members today!!! HOW AWESOME IS GOD!!?? \o/ Our Sunday School class alone has increased two-fold in the past 2 months! \o/ We are so excited to be a part of such a warm, spirit-filled church! Yes! Yes! Yes! Thank you, God!
A few of the members from the "other" church showed up at this church once or twice, but have returned only a few times since. Neither I nor my husband have said anything (except to the pastor) about their roles in the spiritual destruction of our my family. We just keep praying that God will keep "any & all" ill-willed and/or ill-meaning persons out. The church has such a SUPER sweet spirit, no strife, no "clicks," no slander, no back stabbing. And, of course, Carl and I do not intend to contribute to any of it if it were to start.
We look forward to seeing what God will do and we look forward to continuing to help build up our new church body! \o/\o/\o/ THANK YOU JESUS, FOR VICTORY OVER SATAN!
Ministry and Foster Family in 2004
The church, the First Southern Baptist Church of Morenci, AZ will be taking care of us while there; we will be shown around Arizona by a member of the Church, Ms. Griffin, who also will be housing us in her fifth wheel. I will write about the trip once we have returned to Pensacola and will post some pictures! Check back in August!
I love each and every one of you! My prayer for everyone is that he or she will develop a deeper, stronger, closer relationship with our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ and be dedicated, true, faithful, blessed, filled, forgiven, merciful and more!! \o/\o/ God is truly alive!!
MAY YOU VENTURE
TO THE DEEP END AND SWIM WITH OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR, BROTHER & KING,
JESUS CHRIST! \o/
May God bless you richly,