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I don't really know where to start  when it comes to my
journey to God. I know that it was a long hard road, mostly
because I wouldn't pay attention. I came from a family that
believed in Jesus, but there was no formal religious training.
We just went to whatever church caught our fancy, and then
infrequently. My dad belonged to The New Apostolic Church, so
we went there on occasion. But he always said that the Salvation
Army did more for him then any other organization
during WWII. Mom was raised Catholic, sort of.

Anyway, when I was 8 years old my parents divorced.
Needless to say I was devastated. My world had
collapsed and my sense of safety and security was gone.
Oh Mom and Dad both loved my sister and brother
and me unconditionally, but things were not as they
should be. Mom remarried when I was 9 and then the long
hard road started. I was sexually molested from the time
I was 9 until I was 14 years old. I will not go into detail,
Suffice it to say that I came to really dislike my step dad.
I never told anyone, it wasn't talked about then, and no one
ever knew. At the same time Mom had two more children,
both boys. My big brother was in the Air Force and faraway.
He was my  hero and my protector, but I couldn't tell him either.
My older sister and I were not close at that time, there
was 6 years difference in our ages and we were like oil and
water.  And I sure as heck wasn't telling my dad or mom.
How could I break up the family and put my little brothers
through that pain?

Well, I began to eat and eat to protect myself and for
comfort. I was totally afraid of men and even boys
my own age. Oh I had crushes, just like all the girls, but
wanted only a friendship if the truth be known. I literally got
nauseous when kissed.

Years went by and I went to nursing school. I will guarantee
you that in 1975 I was the only virgin in the class. I
decided I was a freak and decided to do something about it.
Well, I went really crazy and even dabbled with marijuana.
By this time I knew I was not a nice person. So I grabbed
the first man that showed interest in me.  We moved in
together and lived together for 8 years exactly. Eight years
of living Hell. Now I was not only a victim of childhood
molestation, but now I was a victim of Domestic Violence.
I was hit and punched and kicked and dragged by my hair.
Usually because the house wasn't clean enough, the dinner
wasn't good enough/hot enough/on time. He woke me up
at 2 AM to fix him food when he came in from drinking
and hit me if I complained. Of course he didn't work, I did.
He laid around all day. When he did do seasonal work, all of
his money went to what he wanted to do, not to bills. He
also took alot of my money.  If I didn't believe it before he
helped convince me I was ugly and worthless, and no one would
want me.  You guessed it, I wasn't about to tell anyone
about this abuse either. I think my sister had an idea, but
we still weren't close at this time.

In 1986, my big brother, my hero was diagnosed with
stomach cancer. You can read about him here . I flew
to Texas with my  mom to be with him when he had surgery.
It was then that he told me about Jesus and the true plan of
salvation. Well I wanted to believe it so I told myself that
I did. However in hindsight, I think it was just to please
my brother. This event however gave me the courage to
leave. I told him one night when he came home, that if
he wanted to live his life in the gutter that was fine, but I
wasn't going there with him. I left the next day.
Surprisingly, unlike many that escape this situation, he
never bothered me again. My guardian angel maybe?

I married the most wonderful man on December 19,1987.
He is kind and gentle and wonderful! He is not a believer.
My brother died 6/26/88.

My sister had 2 daughters and now she was having a third.
I watched so closely, so very vigilantly with all of the girls
to see that their "grandpa" didn't do to them what he did
to me. But in 1995, my sisters youngest, told her mom that
he had indeed molested her! My world fell apart! How could
I have not seen? How could I not protect this precious little
five year old? The night I found out I was desolate. My
husband didn't want me to go to work, he knew I was in no
psychological shape to do the job. But I insisted.

I had every intention of killing myself that night. I work
the 11-7 shift. No traffic. Icy roads. I had the tree picked out.
I was almost there. I was aiming at that tree. I was crying out
to God with all of my soul "Why? Why? How could you
let something like this happen? Do you exist? Are you
there? Or are you just another fairy tale to make kids
feel good? Show yourself you coward! Show me that you
exist! That you know and care what the hell happens to
me or anyone else! Do you love ME?" By this time I was
screaming and crying. I truly was hysterical.

I cannot explain it. But a peace "that passes all understanding"
came over me. I felt overwhelming love and forgiveness and
acceptance. I knew that I would cause much pain if I did this
I turned around and went home. I never told anyone how close
I came to dying that night.

It was at this time that I started to go to a church that my
nephew had been wanting me to attend.
On March 31, 1996 I received the gift of the Holy Ghost
and was Baptized in Jesus name.