As a child, my parents left the Catholic church and told me I could choose my religion when I got older. Being a precocious six-year-old, I started on that mission right away by asking friends and neighbors where they went to church. I began exploring various places of worship with different families.
By the time I was seven I was attending an all-black Baptist church out in the countryside with my neighbors from Kenya. I asked Jesus to be my Savior in that wonderful place. When my Kenyan friends moved, I started walking myself to the local Lutheran church.
As I grew, and various crises and traumas occurred in my life, I drifted from God and church. I had a period of return during High School when a friend’s family became like a second home to me. Within those two years, I went to the Presbyterian church at least twice a week and I read the Bible five times through from cover to cover.
In college, I got involved in a sorority. Much excessive drinking and wreckage followed. In my Senior Year, I quit drinking and started seeking God.
My “seeking” brought me through about six years of going to Buddhist Meditation, Native American Sweat Lodges, and New Age gatherings. One day I realized I had not “found” God despite all my fervent searching. I prayed a simple, but surprisingly profound prayer: “God, I want to know the Truth about You even if I don’t like what it is. Please lead me.”
I stood staring at my bookcase. Sitting next to one another were a book on New Age thinking and The Bible. I pondered which to pick up. I opened the Bible. I started reading at Genesis. I was not unfamiliar with God’s Word, yet, this time, it came to life. God answered my prayer.
I returned to God for good. In time, after the honeymoon of my renewed faith faded, doubts about God’s goodness and specific care for me crept into my mind. I had deep questions which plagued me. I wondered how He could send my father (who had passed away when I was 12 years old) to hell. Could I love my father more than God?
I had been beaten as a child. God’s wrath scared me. I could barely open the Old Testament without feeling fear – not respect, but fear that made me retreat from God.
God sent me three mentors in a row to help me through the healing of the places in my heart where wounds kept me from seeing God as He is. As distortions healed over the years, my life with Jesus has been marked by increasing freedom, joy, peace, and purpose.
Now my life’s passion is to help others come through whatever blocks them from greater intimacy and freedom in Him.