As a single mother at 16 I had been expelled from school and was living on welfare, food stamps, and Medicaid. I had no driver’s license and my apartment was infested with roaches. There was no hope for tomorrow, there was no use even dreaming, nothing would ever be different. I was destined to be nothing more than another statistic, another high school drop out, teen mom living below poverty level.
I was raised in a church and was, by the world’s standards, a pretty moral person. Even though I was living with my boyfriend, I didn’t use recreational drugs, didn’t smoke and rarely drank, and I didn’t cheat people and treated most people with respect. I was drowning and needed a savior.
By the time I was 21 I was married with 3 children and still had no job. My husband was a truck driver and gone most of the week. We were living up by Chicago when a gang member got my husband confused with a drug dealer and pointed a gun at his chest. We moved back home to Evansville that very weekend.
Within a few weeks of being home, my husband’s aunt invited him to go with her to Bethel Pentecostal Church. I remember telling him that he could go if he wanted to but I wanted no part of it. He went to church for a few months without me but never stopped asking if I would go with him sometime, so I caved in and went.
I remember the feeling of comfort, the feeling of finally being home after a long journey. That was 23 years ago. A feeling I had never felt before, even in the church I had been going to since birth.
Since giving my life over to the one, true God, my life has never been the same. I raised all 3 of my children in this church and my husband and I are still together (27 years now). My two surviving children met their spouses in church and are now even raising my 4 grandchildren in this beautiful life. This church is my home, these people my family.
I have been a part of some very mighty moves of God. I have seen lives changed alcoholics and drug addicts delivered never to even have an urge to reuse. I felt my daughter’s high fever leave her body right under my touch. I have seen miraculous healings and even been miraculously healed.
In August of 2014 I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer. By October it had metastasized to my liver, both lungs, and even lymph nodes. The doctors told me I would not live long enough to see Christmas of 2014. After God’s people gathered to pray, on December 23 of the same year I was declared cancer free. My cancer even metastasized to my brain. But even though I underwent chemotherapy, 2 rounds of radiation, and 2 brain surgeries, my medical team is calling it a “miracle of God”. They were simply giving me palliative care, which is only supposed to be used for hospice and to make people comfortable in their deaths. I have stage 4b cancer, yet the doctors cannot find any cancer cells and have declared me to be cancer-free. Only by the Grace of God, even my medical team calls it a “miracle from God”.
Even when I had to bury one of my sons in April, 2015, God was there! I understand that “life” happens to all of us from cancers, and other illnesses, addictions, and unfortunately, death. But through all of the storms of “life”, God is always a constant! Bethel is a place where God dwells. He moves in every service! I would never want to go to a church again where I may never feel the Lord. I would never want to go through “life” without Him!