(Update: Sorry it took so long to post this. I took the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) this past Saturday, September 26 so I was sort of busy and also, this was probably the hardest post for me to write to date.)
So, this will probably be the second hardest of these three posts to write.
Mainly because this is where I hit rock bottom…. 2004 was probably the worse year of my life.
Within 3 months of breaking up with Mike, another guy, S, from my “past” finds me. S and I were also friends when I was in high school. He also dated a friend of mine. He never liked W. (Gee… there was a recurring theme there huh? Ahh… lust is blind…)
S was also going through a bad break up and we found in each other comfort for a little while. But I was so desperate for a relationship at that point that I pushed him away.
I pushed a lot of people away in the first year after the break up with Mike. And although Mike and I tried to keep in touch during the first 6 months after we broke up, I just couldn’t do it. So I was feeling pretty alone and lonely at this point.
At the end of December of 2004, I left working my management job at the mall and went to work for a camera repair company that my sister worked for. I worked my butt off and averaged about 50 hours a week once I was completely trained and eventually was promoted to a supervisor position.
I also started hanging out with people from work going to clubs and bars.
I just needed to not feel anything.
So, I started drinking, too. Not heavily but enough.
This was Spring 2005.
I remember one Saturday in May or June of 2005 when I didn’t go into work and was just hanging out with my sister and we got to talking about M. M and I didn’t exactly part on good terms. And I had found out he was now married with a little girl. (It’s amazing what you can find out about someone who is no longer in your life.) During this conversation, the phone rang and lo and behold, it was M.
He wanted to see me. He was at his mom’s house. Did I remember how to get there? Of course I did. How could I forget? I jumped in the shower threw on clean clothes and was out the door in 30 minutes flat.
As soon as I got to his mom’s house, it was as if nothing had changed. We were back to the way things were before Mike and before he was married… except that he was now a father and he was still married.
That summer we spent as much time together as we could. We didn’t live far from each other and he worked close to my house, so he would stop by my house in the morning before work to talk or he would leave me notes on my car. We would talk on the phone when we could but once we went for 2 weeks with out speaking. Everything was in secret.
When I finally heard from him again, he informed me that he was being deployed with his Army reserve unit for the next year and we couldn’t have contact while he was gone.
My heart was broken once again but this time was slightly different.
I started to rethink what my life was all about after one more night out with friends from work where I drank more than usual and I came on to one of the guys from work. Boy was I a mess!
It was then that I felt, I heard, God calling to me. He was saying, “My daughter, it’s time. Come home. You’ve been gone long enough.”
So I went back to my old Catholic church the following Sunday.
And for the next few Sundays after that. Every week the pews were filled and every week I felt just like a number. No one greeted me. I could slip in and out without anyone even noticing. I was beginning to wonder if this was all there was to God. It wasn’t inviting and I didn’t feel comfortable there.
(Before I continue, I must say this. This post is not to bash Catholics. In my experience, the Catholic church was not welcoming. This is not everyone’s experience, I know. For some people, going to a church like mine is too personal for them. I say, as long as you except Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior and have a relationship with Him, it doesn’t necessarily matter where you worship.)
So, I asked S where he went to church. I was praying that wherever it was, it wasn’t like my old church. I needed to know that God cared. I needed to know that God was really there. I needed to see it in human form because I hadn’t seen it yet. This was in the beginning of September, 2005.
I didn’t make it to Christ Life Fellowship until October 3, 2005.
That was the day that changed my life.
I walked in and felt calm, peaceful and like I just walked in to my home. Almost immediately I was greeted by members of the church. I also found that one of the girls who I went to school with went to that church with her family. Her uncle is the pastor there.
Within the first month, my pastor preached a salvation message, which he rarely does, and I gave my heart to the Lord. I didn’t change overnight and I was tested within the first year many times about my faith in God and who I was in Him. In the past 4 years I have been tested many times over and every time I ask myself if this life, this walk is worth it.
And every time I answer, “Yes.”
I would not change my journey up to this point. All the heartache, pain and depression – I wouldn’t give all the up for the world if it meant that I would be where I am today. I am a Daughter of Zion, a co-heir with Christ. I have a wonderfully large church family that I wouldn’t trade for anything. No matter where I go in this life. If I don’t stay in Massachusetts, if God calls me to live somewhere else, Christ Life Fellowship is my home.