I was raised Presbyterian and attended church regularly with my mother and siblings. I was active in the youth group and even became a leader of the youth group when I was in high school. I think that leadership experience prepared me to be the leader I am today.
After marriage and my kids were born, life got too busy for God. We moved to Virginia and never found a church home. My husband was Catholic but didn’t actively practice his religion. We drifted emotionally and philosophically from our faith. But my faith was reinvigorated on the worst night of my life.
It was Thursday in June, when I had worked the night shift, taken a nap, officiated my kids’ swim meet, and then drove overnight to surprise my mother at her vacation home in New York. After a 10-hour drive from our home in Virginia, I arrived around 8:30 a.m., excited to be at my girlhood vacation spot on the beach. Mom was selling the home and this was likely my last time out there. I had taken my son with me, but my daughter had a 4-H horse camp trip planned for the weekend; so she stayed home with her Dad.
My son, mother and I enjoyed the beautiful weather all day and went to the pier for dinner. By 8:00 p.m. I was starting to suffer the effects of sleep deprivation; so we went to bed around nine. My mom woke me up at 11:30 p.m. because a police officer was on the phone. My husband was under arrest for attempted sexual assault of a 13 year-old girl whom he had met online and was planning an encounter with her and my daughter.
My loving husband had been collecting pornography on his computer and had been sexually abusing our daughter for two years. This could not be real. I must be having a nightmare.
I thank the Lord that the 13 year-old girl was really an undercover agent working to stop child sexual abuse. My daughter had been spared the encounter; however, she was at the police station and needed to be picked up. I was 10 hours away.
In that one phone call, my entire reality was turned upside down. My loving husband had been collecting pornography on his computer and had been sexually abusing our daughter for two years. This could not be real. I must be having a nightmare. My husband wouldn’t, couldn’t, do that to his daughter. There was never any abuse in our household, or our family. Words cannot express the disbelief, confusion, anxiety, fear, panic I was feeling. And how was I going to get to my daughter?
I called my friend, who was like an aunt to my daughter. She picked her up from the police station. I was hysterical. I cried, sobbed, felt so surreal. The sleep deprivation probably didn’t help but I couldn’t decipher what was real. I had to get back home, but had only slept two hours in the past two days. I left my son with my Mom, who would drive him back to me in a couple of days, and I headed back to Virginia. I drove overnight in a hysterical state. I sobbed the entire drive. I was truly not in my right mind. Looking back on that night, I know the Lord was with me, co-piloting my car. I had so many thoughts rushing through my mind, I do not recall making the drive.
I arrived home after 9:00 a.m. My daughter had been taken by my friend to a social services appointment, as required, to begin the investigation of my involvement in her abuse. A search warrant had been issued the night before, and my house was in shambles.
The investigation took a couple of weeks. I was questioned numerous times. The social worker had to come into our home on multiple occasions to see the kids in their own environment. I didn’t return to work for six weeks, and began receiving counseling with the kids. I had to figure out the finances, because my husband had done all the bill-paying. I didn’t even know how far in debt we were.
I have never felt so alone, so disoriented, so devastated, so betrayed. By the end of summer, healing had begun. The kids went back to school and I returned to work. Bad news was everywhere. The kids’ friends would call them to look at the current events boards where newspaper articles were posted with their father’s face displayed. The local news had updates on the story every night, and it was always the top story: Nurse and ethicist charged with attempted child sexual abuse.” My boss told me I needed a squeaky-clean moral character to do my job, thus I shouldn’t be doing parts of my job. But I hadn’t done anything wrong. Why was this happening to me?!
I have never felt so alone, so disoriented, so devastated, so betrayed.
I came to realize that Virginia couldn’t be my home any longer. At some point during this time, I began to pray. It began the night of the long drive home, and somewhere along the way I turned back to God. I prayed for help because I didn’t even know what help looked like.
Looking back, once I had turned to God, things started to fall into place. I found a new job in another state that was perfect. I found a house that was perfect, without worrying whether I could afford it. I just knew it would be okay. I got the kids into good new schools, and most importantly, a new church found me.
The Pastor visited us at home. That meant the world to me. He told us about Hi-Club, and it reminded me of the wonderful times I had had in my youth group. At first my daughter resisted joining Hi-Club, but then something happened that I believe was divine intervention. Immediately after learning about Hi-Club, we stopped at a farmhouse to buy fresh eggs. We had never met the farm owners, but that day they were there and in the garage was a mommy cat and her kittens. After what my 14-year-old daughter had just been through, she desperately wanted a kitten. That was the bribe. I told her she could have a kitten if she joined Hi-Club.
I believe that the very worst event in my life was the result of drifting from God, and I firmly believe that after slapping me to get my attention, God has welcomed me back into His loving arms, and blessed me abundantly. I hope to never stray again.
More Faith Stories
There are people who sometimes have a stomachache and think it's cancer, they think it is a terminal illness. Sometimes people think there is no solution, but it is only a stomach discomfort. It's something bad that you ate that upset your stomach. It is that people that are losing their faith. They get concerned about so many things. They wake up and see the car with a flat tire, and it is a bad day.
There are more important things we need to learn. We need to seek the Lord, because time is short, time goes by quickly. I've got three children: my first daughter is 25 years old. My son is 21 and my other daughter is 16. I mean, time goes by fast.
This means this is an opportunity for you to devote your heart to Jesus Christ, so that He can save you, so that He can be your guide, so that He can be your path, so that He can be everything in your life. Listen to this message, share it with your family. If you do not have a family do not think you are alone. God is with you wherever you are. God will be with you come what may.
Now, what happened with COVID two years ago was unbelievable. God put us to the test. Many people died, and that's something that's coming ahead. There will be more illnesses, there will be more regulations. But if we keep our faith in God, if we continue to trust in God, He will give us the peace we need, the peace the world needs.
Sometimes in the community, there are a lot of people who are watching their backs. For their own protection they hire bodyguards that watch over them night and day because they feel insecure. But we have God to protect us. Day after day, God protects us. God takes care of us. God gives us strength.
I strongly encourage you, I dare you to seek the Lord. This Why I Love Jesus ministry goes across the globe spreading the word of God, telling the world Jesus Christ is real, He is not dead.
There have been many stories in this world which were looking forward to changing history, but we have this story of faith that we believe, come what may, the Lord will be with us.
So if you have relatives, share this experience with them: brothers, sisters, parents. If your family has never been in contact with Jesus, now is the time for you to tell them to embrace Him, to embrace God. Tell them about the story in the Bible that says there is a man in hell, being burned there, and he would like to have a chance of getting out of there. But unfortunately, he has already lost the opportunity. In other words, there is no way he could leave hell.
And you who are there watching this testimony, this word of the Lord, this is the opportunity that you get. Maybe we don't wake up tomorrow; we don't know what will happen tomorrow.
This is the moment for you to say, "Lord, forgive me. I have failed a lot; I've failed in several things, but I want You to be my Savior, I want You to be my shield, I want You to be my strength, I want You to be everything in my life."
Make your decision. Sometimes in day-to-day life, we make decisions, many of them, but this is the most important decision you should make in your life. That is to devote your life to Jesus Christ, commend your life to Jesus Christ, so that He can be everything in your life. May He be your peace, your strength.
At times, people have enough money in the bank and think with that they will change the world, think that will be their protection. But money is only an ordinary piece of paper. In the end, the paper will run out, the money will run out, but treasures we did will remain when we're in heaven.
So let's make this an invitation. Let's hope this message will reach someone in need of it. So you who are out there, this message is meant for you.
My stepfather was an alcoholic, and we had a difficult life. But God changed us. When I began going to this church in 2000, God changed me. God changes you, and God wants to do great things with your life.
So, I mean, maybe you are also having a hard time with an alcoholic father, an alcoholic mother. Let me tell you, I had bad thoughts in my head about finishing him, killing him, destroying him, so that it all would end. But when I got to the feet of Jesus, when I started going to church, God made changes in me. God makes changes in you. God changes your mind.
When God entered into my life, and I looked at my stepfather again, I saw him in a different way. I held a grudge inside my heart, but nevertheless, God was working on me. God worked on me and gave me peace. I was smart enough not to commit a crime. God showed me the way I should live.
In addition to being at peace with God, He gives you intelligence. God gives you wisdom to be on the side of right every day in our lives.
So, this is an invitation, whether you're a woman, or man, or youth. Young people sometimes make decisions which scar their lives forever. To put it another way, if you are young, make your decision to accept Jesus: don't wait until tomorrow and say, "No, I'd better wait before accepting Jesus Christ, before accepting God in my heart. I've still got a long way to go. I want to live my life, and I want to do things. When I'm older, I'll see whether I change." But we don't know what happens tomorrow, so you should make up your mind today.
I've had some friends who made their decisions too late. I had a friend who said he was going to drink his life away. He was going to drink, that's what he was going to do. He was going to do drugs, to live a totally careless life. He thought he was being cleverer than God. But he wasn't, nobody is smarter than God. At the end of his life he was going to seek God's forgiveness.
Had God been given the opportunity, He would have forgiven him, He would have indeed. But my friend didn't take the trouble to get to that point. He was doing his drugs, drinking and whatnot. Then he grabbed a gun and shot himself in the head.
I mean, we don't know what was the last moment in his life, whether he asked forgiveness or not. We only had the word he killed himself by putting a bullet in his head. Odds are he didn't have the opportunity of begging God's forgiveness, and he lost his life. Or better expressed, do not let the enemy fool you. The enemy hampers your life.
That means to move on and accept Jesus Christ. He is going to give the answers. He is going to give you the peace you need. That's my testimony, and I know this is on behalf of God, so people would turn to Him.
People get lost, people haven't wanted to recognize their faults. God has a plan for your life. That means if He gave you this plan, accept it, accept it. We have free will, people make their own decisions. God has already chosen some individuals. God has predestined people. Whether you are predestined or exercising your free will, make your decision and follow Jesus Christ.
Your life will change, He is going to transform it, and He is going to help you in every way, be it economic, social, psychological, whatever you need, God is going to help you.
Thank you for your time, thank you for this opportunity that God gave me to share my faith. I come from Houston, Texas, but I've been working here in Delaware, and this is an opportunity God has granted me to share good news and continue to spread good news. We're the ambassadors of the word of God. So thank you for this opportunity, and let's move forward with this testimony which is for the benefit of society.
I remember an incident when the Lord rescued me from a person who intended to do me harm. God’s protection was a miracle in my life!
I wasn’t raised in a church; so I knew nothing about Jesus or God. I did go to Vacation Bible School in the summers and heard and loved the song, “This Little Light of Mine.”
I went into the ocean and was immediately swept off my feet by a riptide. There was nothing in the water for me to float on, and I was running out of energy. I asked God if this was how I was going to die.
My faith grew to have a focus on trusting in God’s word as assurance. To believe his promises are true. We experienced the faithfulness of the God who called us in many, many ways. In addition to joyous times, we faced grief and pain.
A child evangelist came to my church and, while performing some magic trick, made it very clear that Jesus loved us so much that He could take away the guilt I felt from my stubborn, rebellious ways.
In my job as a Maryland State Trooper, I asked God to guide me to those abusing alcohol and drugs. I prayed for guidance and protection for all of them.