So yesterday at church I was very touched. It brought a lot of reflection on myself and some things I am dealing with presently and things I’ve dealt with in my colorful past. I don’t know why I am writing this at this time but it is just in me and it will not leave! So here we go….
My name is Anna I am 33 years old, I am new to Living Grace, but not new to church or to the building known as Living Grace at this moment. Lets talk a little about background. I was born and raised in San Jose, Ca. I was raised in a Christian church, ( Cathedral of Faith) which I considered home for a very long time, but ran away from at times too! I was determined to learn all the bible verses from Sunday school first, and sing in Choir, and participate in plays, which seemed only natural since my parents were so involved with prison ministries, bible studies, my mom part of the band on stage. Every thing always seemed picture perfect, but we knew the truth. Little by little my parents lost focus on God’s love which they had taught us so much about, soon the serpents of domestic violence, anger, depression, addiction, adultery, suicide attempts had taken over the house, and as a child I didn’t quite understand that God loved me if he could let all this happen. And since my parents no longer went to church or prayed neither did I. Teenage years hit parents divorced, addiction of a parent grew, , peer pressure, curiosity of the unknown, still feeling alone, so alone I decided I was going to have a boyfriend. That boyfriend became abusive both emotionally and physically but with all the other turmoil in my life it seemed only natural to hold on and maybe things would change. The only things that had changed was I had become at mom at the age of 18. As I feared doing anything to upset this person in my life that I loved and wanted love in return, still blaming God for everything. By 19 I had tried different drugs and as the abuse continued I became addicted to numbing the pain of life. Sept 2001 I finally left I moved into my own apartment, ending up with a roommate that had the same addiction as me, and continued using thinking it was OK because I was what others considered functional. I payed bills and worked, and just lived life like it was normal. January 1, 2002 my daughters father had committed suicide in front of me in my apartment, he took a 22 and put it to my head after crying about how our daughter would resent him for killing me he told me I would feel every ounce of pain he felt when I took my daughter away from him, and shot himself. This really took me for a bad turn, I became even more addicted and running further and further from eve and everyone. I spent a lot of time with others running from the reality of life, and doing things I was doing. In 2003 my grandma asked to go to church with her, it was the same building here on Terminal but known as abundant life, I didn’t want to go but I wanted to make her happy. As I was there a lady pulled me in the walkway and said God loves you, he knows you are angry with him but has never left you! Naturally being that I had lost all faith I was thinking you don’t know me, or what I’ve been thru let go of me, he doesn’t love me, how could he. But just cried and let her finish talking and left there knowing that I needed change, but didn’t want it, and didn’t want to fail because I was not ready, I met David in this year. In Dec 2004 I was walking out the door of our home to go party for a relatives birthday, same game same scene, my daughter, already 4 years old, asked me where I was going? I told her I will be back tonight, she reminded me that I always say that and don’t come back for two days and what if I left like her dad left and never come back? The addict in me kissed her and walked out headed to the bus, and as I got on the bus I couldn’t stop crying, I went to the trolley, and when I entered the trolley it was like I was blinded to the destination and did not hear the announcement, still stuck in the words of my daughter, at some point I finally look up and realize I was on the wrong side of town only to find my self at the exit in front of my old church, the place I grew up , the place I was introduced to my Father , my protector my God. The ugliness in me said ehhh just keep going, but I didn’t. I got off the trolley, still troubled about my daughters words, walked to the church in search for someone to talk to, as I enter the church I here yelling, I walking and there was the youth group performing a drama about life, suicide, drugs, fornication, abuse, it seemed it was about everything that had ever gone wrong in my life. I sat there watching them and I cried and cried and cried. Only to go up for alter call and prayer. This lady named Cathy came up and said, I don’t know why God led me to me you, but I feel I need to pray for you what is it you need prayer for, I replied I am tired of running and I am an addict I am a mother….. I need help I’m so tired of this life. After prayer she told me why God sent her to me, she was apart of Celebrate Recovery and was willing to help me, I started attending and had this fire for Gods love, I felt renewed, at some point I ended up having to go to a jail for ten days for not doing weekend work that I was assigned to, but I was OK with it. I seen it as God needed me there for some reason, and I found that reason as I continued in the addiction meetings and told others my story, only to see a few of those girls in church a few months later. Again at some point I lost my way, I battled with an addict that I had twins with and that he continued the life I ran from. I battled it the wrong way, with fists instead of prayer…… Here we are 2015 and we found a new home! The home we have found together is Living Grace, we love being there and are ready for Gods miracles…. I witnessed my first miracle…. Which is David wanting to go to church and wanting to learn more about Gods Love! I am happy we finally attended together, and now instead of me pushing him to go to church, sometimes hes rushing me to get ready….. God is good all the time!