By Amy Bouvet
The Flame Volunteer Writer
I was raised in a protestant church family. My dad was a hard-working farmer and my mother an educated farm wife. Some Sunday mornings I would ask my dad if we “had” to go to church and he always answered, “No, you GET to go to church”. He did not send his family to church, he ALWAYS took us. We prayed before meals and we prayed at bedtime.
At the age of ten, my world crashed around me when my mother was killed in a freak accident in front of our home at the farm. Instantly insecurity was my new identity; my heart had a huge hole. What kind of God were we worshipping? One who would take our mother? I was the oldest and had two sisters ages seven and three. I continued to attend church but felt no faith, only fear.
Fast forward ten years … I was graduating college and had met the “perfect” guy. He seemed perfect anyway, because he was the first guy that I had dated that my dad approved. We married, had a daughter and divorced seven years later. Tom was my “security” or so I thought. Actually he loved me no matter what I did. Yet the hole in my heart, the insecurity and fear surfaced with a vengeance as soon as we were married. I didn’t know how to be a faith-filled wife. Even though we attended church and maintained successful career paths, we did not have a lifestyle centered on Christ. I might add that Tom is a wonderful man, a great father and one of my best friends today.
Three years after the divorce, I met my soulmate, Terry. We married and I thanked God for bringing me more happiness than I could imagine. I was grateful for my blessings and continued to attend church. I felt that I had been blessed and life was going to be happily ever after. My only connection with Christ was “I went to church,” yet I thought the hole in my heart had been filled.
A few years into my fairy tale life, I got breast cancer. WHAT? I was beyond furious with God. How could he wreck what he had given me? I didn’t have time for this! This led to a mastectomy, chemotherapy and all the horror that accompanies cancer. Unfortunately I still had not “connected” with Jesus Christ.
As if the cancer wasn’t enough to get my attention, six years into my happy marriage, Terry died suddenly of an arterial venal malformation. I remained unable to grieve for months, just frozen in anger and hurt. I turned to recreational drugs to dull the pain. I wasn’t out in the streets; I was a white-collar druggy, always justifying my actions. The evil that came into my heart and soul was unbearable. I still attended church, yet I sat as far away from everyone as possible so the evil wouldn’t leak out of me and spread to someone else. For years I made one bad choice after another, until I was forced to sell my business and my home.
By this time, I begged God to take me from my misery. I was so ashamed of myself that I feared praying, and no one in my family would even speak to me. Finally my dad convinced me to go to inpatient rehab. I couldn’t stand the life I was living and God refused to let me die. Not only did God take me where I needed to go, He totally removed the desire to do drugs from my very soul. Seven years later, I have not once even had the thought of doing drugs again.
“I couldn’t stand the life I was living and God refused to let me die.”
Shortly after I completed rehab, I was introduced to Christ Church by my friends, Todd and Sharon Favre. I am blessed beyond what I deserve. Through Christ Church I have experienced what it feels like to connect with Christ. All glory goes to God, as I now realize He was blessing me from the beginning.
God gave me a super hero dad who was capable of being both a mom and dad. He brought fantastic, loving relationships (friends and family) to comfort me, He cured my cancer, He gave me a compassionate and loving daughter and now grandchildren. He protected me even when I tried to destroy my own life with worldly choices. I can now pray “your will be done” without fear! Praise God.
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