Story #24638

I would like to start my story around the time I left my church back in 2002 for reasons I will explain. I have had a lot of trials in the 22 years since then that will remain between God and I but I will share some of them with you. The only reason I left my church was because I had gone through something horrible in my life and marriage and I was embarrassed and humiliated. At no time did this church or anyone there make me feel that way; I put that onto myself. 

My oldest 3 children were baptized there. The church band even made a special song for my youngest’s Baptism. I have sung songs in front of the congregation not without fear. A gentleman who was a member here was a kind man that took to my husband and became sort of a mentor to him and the church helped us tremendously when my husband broke his back in 2000. My husband and I were married for 10 years in 2003, had three boys ages 2,4,and 6 and he made a decision in 2002 that changed my families life. It was a shock to me, a shock to our family and to anyone that knew him. We separated almost right away and I filed for divorce. That’s when I left the church. In retrospect, I see that as where everything went sideways in my life. My life took a downwards spiral from that point on; partying on the weekends, chasing men, and not being the Mom I should have been for my children. I tried very hard. God blessed me with great opportunities for work to support my children, but that often meant sacrifices on time spent with them and missing things I should have been there for. I have been so overwhelmed at times, and in such a dark place that I didn’t see a way out other than to take my own life. I felt like such a miserable human that I thought my children would be better off without me. I overdosed many times over the years and put my family through Hell. In and through all of this, I was married again for 12 years/together 16 and we had another child together. That relationship was very mentally draining. I won’t go into that relationship, but it was misery and pain the entire time and I was finally able to get out of that in 2019. In all of this, even when I overdosed, even though it sounds strange, I had my faith tugging at my heart strings…keeping me afloat. Screaming for help, “God can you hear me”? I always got this image in my head of the Footprints in the Sand Poem but with one set of footprints. I think that was his way of telling me, “remember, I am carrying you now, it’s okay.” When I would take the pills at nighttime, sometimes I would beg for him to take me this time, but would hear, “I’m not done with you yet”. I thought about taking my own life regularly; depression was dark and so real. I have spent the past 6 years or so in counseling and last year I went through Partial inpatient at Pine Rest. Both have been very beneficial for my Mental Health. I also started keeping a prayer journal, and also a daily journal and praying to God regularly; not just when things were dark. I don’t know why, but things changed for me then. My suicidal ideation is gone, my 4 year relationship with my bf has been restored and is so much richer and lighter than before. I have my oldest son back in my life who had stepped away because of some of my life choices and he and I are doing so good. I just feel like I have been so blessed and I want to go back to my church and worship every Sunday now; I look forward to it every week and I am happy to give back something to help my church continue to grow and give back to the community. It just feels good to have peace in my life, restored Faith in God and now there are 2 footprints in the sand as he walks alongside me. 

In [“Deuteronomy 8:2-3 By means of trials, God seeks to help us see our need and our dependence on Him. We absolutely must learn that life—both physical and spiritual—depends on what God supplies. Our reaction to the trials reveals what is in our heart, that is, what really motivates us. Humiliation proves what is really there. He puts us into distress to make us become aware of our needs. He wants to see whether we will live by faith, depending upon Him to supply those needs. He needs to see whether we will keep His commands, even when a need might be supplied by disobeying them.”]. I should have used that humiliation to see what was “really there” and surround myself with people who loved me and put my Faith in God, but the humiliation I felt did not always bring about good decisions, and it never felt good or right because of that. The only time I have ever felt whole is when I have been surrounded in fellowship and taking time every day to talk with God. 

If you or someone you know is in crisis or experiencing thoughts of self-harm or suicide, please seek immediate help.

988 – Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

1-866-512-4357 – Crisis Helpline, CMH of Ottawa County

616-494-5590 – Children’s Mobile Crisis, Ottawa County (available weekdays 5:00pm-midnight)