Today’s post is the first in a series of personal testimonies from people who attend journeychurch. if you’d like to submit your story, please contact Pastor Allen at Allenr72900@aol.com
Hello. My name is April and I am a believer in Jesus Christ. I struggle with my past and having unforgiveness for my Father. That is what I would have said a month ago. The portion of my recovery that I am about to share with you focuses on something I have carried with me for over 20 years. My mother and father were divorced before I was even two years old. My brother Evert and I were primarily raised by our mother Faye and our Grandparents. We occasionally went to see our Dad, Wendel, on the weekends and for longer periods during the summer. My dad lived with his mom, our Grandma Estelle, so he never really had to take a whole lot of responsibility on for us when we were in his care. My Dad was an alcoholic by every definition of the word. He was a womanizer and just generally not a good role model. I don’t remember a whole lot about my childhood with him. I have seen pictures and that is pretty much how I remember it. Skip ahead to current times. I have been through the God centered recovery program Celebrate Recovery about a year ago and I am now a 12 steps study CR leader. I feel like God has really brought me a long way from the bad decision making and partying girl from several years ago. I was very reckless in my youth and teen years. Without a proper male role model to look up to I got caught up in some pretty bad situations. God has brought me through drug abuse, alcohol abuse, abusive relationships and just really destructive behavior. Once I started going through CR God started allowing me to see that I needed to forgive EVERYONE in my past to move forward with my salvation. I was able to forgive everyone but my Dad Wendel. I refused to forgive him because he hurt me and I wanted him to hurt too. What God was about to show me was that hurting people, hurt people. I have struggled for the past year with forgiving my Dad more than ever before. Just my Dad, no one else! And a week ago God finally said to me, as I was driving home from my Mom’s house, NOW. I was thinking that I could ignore him like every other person that tried to get me to reconcile with my Dad. This was not an option. I wanted to just keep going straight on that road back home to MB and without hesitation I turned right and headed toward my Dad’s house. What am I doing??? That is all I could think, but God was in control at this point and he was not showing me mercy. See God knew that I was ready. He knew it was time for me to move forward. The next thing I remember is standing at the door to my Dad’s house and walking through it was like losing 100 lbs. My Dad is very sick right now because about a month ago he was diagnosed with cancer in his mouth and jaw. God knew I was concerned for my Dad and put me in the right place at the right time. As I sat there in the dimly lit room there was another visitor there from the local church. We all joined hands and prayed. PRAYED!! I have never prayed with my Dad! I have never even been to church with my Dad! God healed my heart in one swift move. Forgiveness washed over me and I knew God was in the room with us. I got news the next day that my Dad had given his heart to the Lord when the pastor of that church and several men from the congregation came to see him after the Sunday service that morning. What?! God is so AWESOME! I knew that some amazing healing was about to take place in both our lives. I have never felt so free in all my life. That was only a week ago and I have literally told every single person I come in contact with about what God is doing for me and that when he promises you something he delivers. God promised me he would heal the cancer that my Dad has too. I know that he has a long road to recovery ahead of him and I am just glad that I get to help him. I want to also add that without a strong inner group of family and friends I could not have done this. God puts people in your life for a reason! Don’t take them for granted. There are lots of twist, turns, bumps and detours on the Journey of life, but with a good map(Bible) and a great tour guide(Jesus) it is well worth it.
Special Thanks: Members of Journey Church and Cornerstone Church of God.
The Rogers Families
The Nobles Family
My Mom, Faye
My Brother, Evert
***These people never gave up on me.***
My sweet husband Travis for putting up with me.
And last but certainly not least the person that planted the Jesus seed in my heart and encouraged it to grow. One of the best friends I will ever have in this Journey, Amy Rogers. If not for God placing her in my path I would have never made it this far.