Growing up my family was not very involved in church. I was baptized as an infant in the Lutheran church and I went through the major milestones: first communion, catechism, joining the church. I didn’t enjoy it. At all. My parents thought they were doing the right thing by having me participate in these activities, all the while really the only time they attended church was during one of the aforementioned milestones.
Faith in God was rarely talked about in our home. I knew my parents were believers and I just assumed religion was meant to be a private thing. So I never became interested.
I moved to North Carolina for college and lived your typical party girl lifestyle. God was far from my mind and truthfully I really didn’t want anything to do with Him. I thought He would take away all of my fun.
My whole concept of fun was redefined during my third year of college. In a span of 18 months I became pregnant and gave birth to our first daughter, Shaylie. Married my best friend, Andrew. Became pregnant and gave birth to our second daughter, Nevaeh.
Whew! Now I was having fun!
Life was going well! I had two beautiful little girls, a husband who loved me dearly, a completed education and a great job as a nurse.
In 2007 we had a very early miscarriage. The day after finding out we were pregnant, I miscarried. That took an emotional toll on our family.
However in November 2008 we found out we were expecting again and we were thrilled! I carried this baby for a wonderful 13 weeks before finding out it was an ectopic pregnancy that was (as the MDs told us) quite literally within hours of rupturing and taking not only the life of the baby, but also threatening my life.
Early 2009 is a big blur. The physical pain was nothing compared to the emotional turmoil I was in. My life was the darkest it had ever been. Depression consumed me.
My life was missing something vital. Something that went much deeper than my losses. My husband and children were great, but I needed something more.
I went to Barnes and Noble and bought a Devotional Bible for Moms. I began reading and within a very short time, I knew what was missing. I had missed it all along. I kept falling deeper and deeper into this hole, all the while Jesus was there with his arm outstretched willing and ready to pull me back to Life. I just had to reach for Him.
I remember falling flat on my face and calling out to Him. I poured my heart out. I asked for forgiveness and He came in and put the pieces of my heart back together. He put His arms around me and pulled me up and I will never forget the peace that filled me. A sense that can only come from the true Prince of Peace.
For so long I was trying to fill the God-shaped hole in my life with friends, school, partying and then my husband, children, pregnancies, work and it just wasn’t happening. This hole could be filled by the One and Only.
I began walking with Him that day and was baptized on July 18, 2010. My life completely changed. My outlook, my preferences, my taste in music, my stress level all dramatically changed. I now looked forward to going to church, reading the Bible and learning about my God.
It was about this same time that God called us to homeschool our children. I really felt God compelling me to make some changes in our household. I wanted to share my faith with my daughters. I wanted them to know and love God. I never wanted them to feel the type of emptiness I felt for so long. I wanted to raise them in a Christian home with Godly parents. However, there was one big obstacle in the doorway of our Christian home.
Stay tuned for How Religion Almost Ruined my Marriage- Part Two.
Are you a new believer? What have been your biggest challenges to living your life for Christ?