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I was raised to believe in Jesus and sang in the children’s choir, attending Sunday School every week, until seventh grade – when, for some reason, my parents thought religion should be our decision to make.  So, wayward I went.

At 16, I was pregnant.  Back in 1976, it was a very scary thing to tell your parents – so my sister brought me to New York City and I had an abortion. I had gone into the church and asked forgiveness on Holy Thursday before it was done – and now some 40 years later I know I’m forgiven, but it’s been a long hard journey.

I got pregnant again at 19.  This time got married and had our daughter.  It was a very rocky time; neither of us were ready.  There was domestic abuse, often.  I know what it’s like to be thrown down the stairs and kicked in stomach.  To my horrible disgrace, I had another abortion.  I had absolutely no self esteem by this point – but it was still the wrong decision to make.

“I told my children I was a terrible sinner and I couldn’t go to heaven –

 but that it was okay, I understood why.”

A year later we had our son.  In spite of the constant heartache and pain, the abuse became less frequent – only three or four times in a year. When I tried to get help from my family, they were of the opinion that things would calm down as we got older. So we continued on.

I had signed papers stating we would raise the children to be Catholic – in order to get the Priest to come to our wedding. So I did.  I brought them to church every week even thought I always felt unwanted there. But I wanted my children to know Jesus. My biggest regret is that through all the years is that I told my children I was a terrible sinner and I couldn’t go to heaven – but that it was okay, I understood why. I would always talk with Jesus and sing to him on my way to work and such, but I couldn’t understand how he could forgive me.  So I would say, “it’s okay I can’t come, but I’ll be praising you from hell.”

When the kids were in high school, I stopped the abuse. I called the police and got an order of protection.  We ended up going to a Christian counselor – and stayed together as we grew.

It was then that reading the Bible became my quest.  My daughter was now a single mother and when I wasn’t working I was watching her daughter so she could work. So, I would read at the playground and everywhere we went.

One morning while walking in the park, I had an encounter with Jesus.  His light shined down and he was there, I know it! And it was then that I knew I was forgiven.  I  started to go to church again and was baptized in 2012.  I’ve been studying the word ever since and cannot begin to tell in words the difference that knowing Jesus has made in my life.

“I had an encounter with Jesus, his light shined down

and he was there I know it, and then I knew I was forgiven.”

I want to be able to open the doors of the church to those who have lived through so much they are afraid to come in.  I want to someday have a small group for sinners like me to be able to come to Jesus.  I want to point them in his direction.  I have been in many dark places but can honestly say that Jesus was with me through it all.

This is my story of redemption.  All praise and glory are my Lord’s, Jesus Christ ,my magnificent Savior.

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