He never gives up on us
by diane bryant
I was raised up in a church where God was reverend but not taught to be our friend. As I grew into my teen years, which were very rough for me, I had the chance of involvement as a teacher in VBS to low-income housing children. I absolutely loved it. But unfortunately, due to abuse by my father, my (I thought at the time) highschool boyfriend, a cousin and a next door neighbor, I finally convinced myself that God was a man, and therefore, couldnt love someone like me. I married at 19 to my best friend, and sweetheart. But I became wild, irresponsible, angry, bitter, etc. Eventually I just quit going to church. My husband worked nights for 10-11 first years of our marriage, so I got tired of taking my children to church by myself. My daddy died 9 years ago. Even though he was the abuser, I loved him on one side of the coin and hated him on the other. After he died, I had to help my mother cope with his death, and she and I have never been close. 3 years after he died, I just didnt feel right inside. I knew I had to deal with the anger and the outrages I was constantly having. I finally went to see a dr. I had seen probably 15 years ago. I was diagnosed with Bi-polar depression disease (and yes it's a disease), as well as ADHD (so that's why I cant comprehend what I'm reading). After seeing him for about 2 years, he told me I was getting much better. He was going on a mission trip for his church at which time I told him I wanted to try to get back into church. But that I was not the type to just go set on a pew, sing, have Lord's supper and go home. I told him something was still missing inside. He invited me to a new church that had just started called Grace Community Church. Ironically, they were meeting in the building of the church where I grew up in. The building had been sold to another religious organization who was renting it out to Grace Comm. Church. My husband said he would go with me. They had 2 pastors. The first Sunday we listened to the first pastor. Now being the loud mouth decision making one of us, I usually said we're going to join this church (in the past). But this time, when we got in the car, I asked my husband where he wanted to try, next week. He said he would like to hear the next pastor. When we went back the next week, my fate was sealed. I loved the pastor, and the way the people made you feel at home, and made you feel comfortable. We continued to go and then a few months later they had a class about the church and you were able to join as a member if you liked; which we did. They had community groups, a community operation serve, and so many missions to get involved in. I was baptized 3 years ago this month. Shortly after starting, I was asked to be a greeter (probably because I like talking to people so much). Today, I am now the greeter coordinator on the launch team of the 2nd campus they opened this year. My love for our Father has become extremely strong. God has taken me up my (jacob's ladder) one step at a time. I blamed myself for years and years for the abuse by others. Isn't God amazing!!! After stating in my girls community group, that I was having a hard time forgiving myself, and some other people, Ameerah post a devotional about forgiveness; one of the most strongest, devotionals I've ever read. Afterwards, I posted on FaceBook a question of what forgiveness means to you. I got a response from my supposedly, atheist son-in-law. It was beautiful. God is leading him back, through me. Now I just want to tell everybody, how much God means to me, and can mean to you too.