At the age of 9 I felt Jesus knocking at my heart while lying in bed looking out at the treetops. I said “YES Jesus, I will follow your lead for my life! Please show me the way!” It hasn’t been easy, but taking everything one day at a time – one moment at a time - God has helped me through some very tumultuous times. I took ownership of my faith formation at an early age. I had to walk to church rain/snow or shine by myself from elementary school on. I find it important to take leadership of the faith formation for my family. Last year I felt communication breaking down within our family and fortunately either Pastor Randy or Diana gave me a resource entitled Faith 5. I decided to implement it and it has worked wonders!

Nearly 17 years ago when I was pregnant with my son – who tried coming 12 weeks early helped me experience the opportunity to break down and accept help from others. I had always been the one doing things for others, so this was a difficult situation for me to accept assistance from others. I had some incredible prayer warriors and church friends living out their faith. A few families took my older daughters for the day to play with their own kids, another family did our laundry, while others prepared meals and brought toys/clothing for the growing girls. Another person even cleaned our house on her only day off from work. It truly was an outpouring of God’s love for our growing family at the time. As a result of this I later became one of the prayer warriors that answered the Upper Room telephone hotline on 9/11. This is why I will help whoever I can that is in need - when possible. I am not a movie person, but I have seen the movie “PAY IT FORWARD” and try to live out the mission to help others.

I have ALWAYS felt at home in church. Church and school were my only “safe places” as a child. God’s unconditional love has seen me through and continues to see me through whatever joys or trials I may face.

I have been blessed with great mentors along the way. A couple of Christian clowns have had a positive impact upon my family’s life. God is good ALL THE TIME! Sometimes we may question him why we have to endure various experiences. My Dad always said they were character building moments. I call them opportunities to deepen my faith. Psalm 25 has given me hope and strength to go on ever since I received my 3rd grade Bible. I read my Bible daily and have a thankful heart for the opportunities God provides.

I believe prayer is the GREATEST thing you can do for another person. Remember THY will NOT MY WILL! A huge struggle for me throughout life. I am standing here now as a result of many prayers from people that I have never met all across the world. God has ALWAYS provided angels here on earth to help me through whatever I have endured. God has ALSO given me great joy! I feel EXTREMELY BLESSED to be where I am today with my wonderful loving husband and 4 beautiful blessings, an energetic puppy and so many different ways to serve the Lord.

I wish I could remember the song I used to listen to all I remember is “grace and forgiveness, mercy and healing…” It spoke volumes to me.

My prayer for each of you is that you may grow with God - as your faith is deepened. Hopefully you can recognize what your story is and share it with another person – whether it be in your own home, in a small group, or church setting. Everyone has their own unique story to share! THANK YOU!