After being bullied at the church I grew up at, I never thought I would walk into a church ever again. I wasn’t angry with God, but I never understood what it meant to walk with or to know God. My understanding of church was, I would be talked down to by my peers and I didn’t fit in. This also carried into my daily life because the girl who led the pack who bullied me at church was at my school every day with her boyfriend, who was ready to look down on me any chance he got because she encouraged it. I strayed so far away from God’s house, but He always had his hand on me and would pop into my head.
Quickly after meeting my boyfriend (now my husband), I told him I wouldn’t allow any Bible verses in my house, and I was very clear – we wouldn’t raise our children under anything pertaining to God unless they wanted to learn. He agreed because his family was Jewish and knew very little about Christianity, although his foster family would occasionally take him and his brother to church. Our journey together always seemed to fall perfectly in place. We met in the later part of 2018, began our relationship shortly after, moved in together, bought our first house, took in a second dog, got engaged, then married all within about a year.
We found out I was pregnant a few days before our wedding, and we were beyond excited for this next part of our life together! Unfortunately our first struggle came when we lost our first baby. We were devastated because we were absolutely trying to start a family. We later had 4 more miscarriages, each one just as devastating as the first. So many “what if’s” went through my head. Seeing everyone becoming pregnant destroyed me but I kept on hoping. We started discussing our options on how we could start our family, we went to a fertility specialist and talked with the specialist knowing it was going to be a bit of a wait but at least we were starting the process. Covid came and the specialist’s office closed. We lost hope. We looked into fostering children during that time so we could at least help kids in need of a home! We got interviewed, started completing the steps to become Certified, then got a call that no new foster parents were being accepted because of the virus… we gave up, and it felt like the world was against us. I couldn’t even believe we had pretty much had all our options slashed. I dipped into alcohol and was pretty depressed because at this point I’d had 6 miscarriages.
Only 1 month later we became pregnant again! I woke up from a nightmare and ran downstairs, took a test, and very faintly saw that line. Something in that moment told me, THIS ONE IS GOING TO STICK! NO OPTION FOR FAILURE. Eight months later I gave birth to this beautiful baby girl that we adore with our entire hearts. After finally becoming a mom like I had wanted all along, I slipped hard into postpartum depression and became obsessed with drinking alcohol. If we didn’t have any alcohol I would go into panic mode, I would mix anything I could find. I became extremely suicidal. My husband would have to work hard to take any sharp object away from me. He now was taking care of a newborn and a depressed maniac. I had everything I ever wanted- a house, a husband, 3 dogs, and now this perfect baby I so longed for, yet I was so miserable and would do anything to die because I still wasn’t happy.
During this time, we would find time for me to get out of the house by going 2 streets over to this random massage therapists house so I could get some relaxing time. Little did I know that this sweet lady would become such a beautiful light in our lives. She told me her son was starting a dog poop pick up business, and I happened to have 3 massive dogs that pooped! Her son would come and clean up the yard and we had no idea that he prayed for us to know Jesus. They had to have been praying for months because each time I would get a massage I drew closer to know the sweet therapist. Then she invited us to her church… the place I swore I never would go back to. I blew her off most of the time when she invited us.
We became pregnant again, and I automatically knew he was a boy and that I was being instructed by some voice to name him Elijah Shai. We decided to look up what the meaning of his names meant and discovered Elijah means YAHWEH is MY GOD and Shai means GIFT FROM GOD! I was blown away!
The therapist invited us to the Christmas service, and after finding out what my son’s name meant, I couldn’t fight anymore and WE went to church for the first time in years. I lost it. Something told me, I’m safe. Something told me, “You don’t have to fight anymore, just come to me”. I finally realized this voice guiding me through life was the Holy Spirit and I submitted to Jesus. I gave my entire life to him. He seriously yanked my sad, cold, gross, heart out and exchanged it for this soft and loving heart. He transformed my life. That was just the beginning. I began going to the Real Women group on Wednesday mornings and met some AMAZING women. We have been going to TRINITY CHURCH consistently for several months now and my husband has been serving.
We were baptized on Easter this year. The ladies from my group even threw me a small intimate baby shower! I have never had real friends, I never had people who loved me without me having to perform for them, but now I have SO MANY FRIENDS. The crazy thing is that I don’t have to pretend or have fear of what they will say or think. I can just be myself , continue to grow in my relationship with Jesus, and they love me. God is so good. I will never stop thanking him for all he has done for me. The Holy Spirit guides me all day long and if I don’t hear from Him, I ask for Him speak to me. I read the Bible every day and every day I grow closer to God. He’s always had His hand on me, but finally giving my life to Him has been the most transformative thing in my entire life.
The enemy wanted us to believe that going back to church would only bring more pain, but going to Trinity Church and meeting such amazing people has been an absolute blessing and so healing for us. I thought I’d share my story because we now realize and acknowledge God has done everything in our life to guide us back to Him. Now we only want to be in service to Him and bring others to know Him as well as we do. Our God loves us all so much and there is nothing this world can give us that will be greater than the love He so freely gives. Ask Him to transform your heart today, and today you will have new desires and amazing grace with overwhelming love He brings. All you have to do is talk to Him and find a healthy church that teaches the Bible and has loving people all growing in their relationship with Jesus!