God was not a part of my life growing up. We never spoke of God at home, and I had no idea what God was supposed to be like. Instead, my mother focused on her high expectations for my behavior and accomplishments, often saying I wasn’t smart enough to get a good job.
That just made me more determined to succeed. I had a heart for helping others and worked with children with disabilities through the Red Cross in my home state. I remember teaching one girl who used a wheelchair how to walk, supported by the water in a swimming pool. She was thrilled, and said she wished she could take the pool to church, so that she could attend her sister’s wedding without using her wheelchair.
When I got a job at the Academy of Medicine in my home state, I knew there must be something more for my life than “not being smart enough.” I saw how people with serious health issues needed information and went for funding to create a Consumer Health Library.
Then, a feeling came over me. “I have a heart for people and have so much more to give,” I felt.
Later, my husband and I moved to central Delaware, in fact, right next door to a lovely Christian couple who were about my age. I was struck by her love and openness, and in particular, how she accepted me at face-value. I began attending their church, and one Sunday I was listening to the Pastor’s sermon – I don’t even remember what he was saying – when a feeling came over me. “I have a heart for people and have so much more to give,” I felt. I could see the people I’d helped over the years and the positive responses from them.
When I retired from the Academy of Medicine, they renamed the Consumer Health Library for me. I was almost speechless, and my husband wept.
Soon after that, I suffered a severe stroke and could not speak. It was like every wire in my brain had short-circuited. One evening a man from church delivered supper to us. That’s when I knew that after all the people I had helped, God was now taking care of me. On my recent trip to the midwest for a family reunion, my sister reaffirmed God’s love and caring for me. When I got off of the airplane she said, “You always do for others. It’s your time for others to do for you.”
What a joy and a blessing that was.
More Faith Stories
I’d been drinking all day long and pulled out into the path of an oncoming vehicle with a with a woman and all of her children packed into this car. They T-boned me and at that moment everything went blank.
One Sunday the music director said the handbell choir needed more members. I thought, “No, I wasn’t ready to get involved.” At the end of the service I found myself volunteering for bell choir!
One Sunday afternoon I was sitting drunk in a bar, and I’m looking around. The only ones in the bar were the bartender, some shady looking guy in the corner, my ex-boyfriend’s mom, and me. I heard this voice in my head say, “What am I doing here?”
This past year I found a black dot on my thumbnail that looked like a pencil point. Nothing much to it. Then it became an abrasion at the end of my nail. My doctor referred me to an orthopedic surgeon who found it to be malignant skin cancer.
At that point I said, “I can’t do this myself. It’s in your hands, God.” That part I remember clearly. It turns out that it was really, really was up to Him (and a good surgeon).
So when drugs and alcohol came around, it was easy for me to say “yes,” because I didn’t have anything in me saying “no” anymore. As I got more involved with drugs, I got into more crime. I started committing violent crimes, selling drugs, abusing drugs ended up back up in prison.