A few weeks ago my MOPS (Mother of Preschoolers) group leader asked me if I would be willing to share my testimonial with the group at a steering committee meeting. A testimonial? It is something I have asked myself many times, but I have never sat down and really wrote mine. No one has ever asked me. In my belief, everything happens for a reason. The sheer fact that Michelle asked me to share mine, meant it is time for me to write mine. I have been very blessed to know God’s loves my entire life, what is a testimonial when that is the case? I sat down at my laptop to find out. What happened next was astounding. I just started typing. The words and sentences came with such ease. It was definitely a God thing. All of a sudden I was done. I read it with disbelief of what I wrote. It was so honest and something I had never thought about. I only corrected two words in the entire two pages. I want to share my testimonial with my kids. God willingly, they will always know of God’s love, and hopefully they will be blessed to find a partner who makes that love more visible every day.
“When Michelle asked me to give my testimony, I didn’t really know where to begin. I have had a very blessed life. Blessed with faith, blessed with incredible love, blessed with amazing people and blessed with heartbreak. Yes, blessed with heartbreak. It is through the trials in my life that I have learned to really trust in God and His plan.
As a child, we were surrounded with the knowledge of God and His love for us. We grew up as strong Catholics, went to church every Sunday, religion studies once a week and talked about God often. I sang in children’s choir and later youth choir. We had religious role models in our parents and both sets of Grandparents. My brother, sister and I grew up knowing we were loved. We didn’t always have a lot of money, but more love than you could dream for. My parents were and still are incredibly supportive. My mom always sat back and let me be me. She would only interject her concerns if a choice was becoming unhealthy or could lead to becoming unhealthy. Even then, she had a way of making it seem like it was your choice…magical. I went through all the sacraments with my family’s support. I even fought to be the first girl alter server in Minnesota. My parents stood with me and supported my endeavor. When I was a Freshman in high school, I was finally old enough to go on the church youth trip to the Boundary Waters. It is a remote national park reserve that boarders Minnesota and Canada. It is breathtaking and you can’t help but feel close to God there. That was the first time I had been truly surrounded by so many young believers. It was the most amazing time of my life. Until my first date with my husband.
I have heard of seeing God’s love in people, and I have many times in my life. But never like this. It wasn’t even something we spoke about, but when I am with to my husband I feel closer to God. The love we have and the path God used to bring us to each other was remarkable. It brought a new kind of faith to me, and completely changed the way I live my life.
Looking back on it, like most teenagers, there were many paths I took. I feel I tried to walk the path I thought God put out for me, but sometimes life happened and I’d come to a fork in the road. Some were growing experiences and one particular relationship left me quite broken mentally and once physically. I finally came out of it a strong more independent young women, but it impacted my trust in people particularly boys/men. When Brad came into my life, I wasn’t looking for someone. My senior year was wrapping up and I was getting excited for college. God had actually put Brad and I on the same path twice in our earlier years, but looking back I know it was his timing that brought us together this time. Brad had dealt with a lot more hardship in his life than most, or at least more than the people I had known. Looking at him and talking with him, you would never know. When God finally gave me the chance to get to know him, on that first date, there was an instant mutual love and respect. I feel those chance meetings we had were God’s way to let us see one another and be ready for what was to come. The greatest love He can bestow on two people. All our trials and journeys thus far were just God’s way of bringing us together. The first person I could pour my soul to and be the total honest me with no walls or masks…or humor. Knowing how important Brad’s mom was to him, I feel God was even great enough to let it happen early enough in our lives that I had an opportunity to meet and fall in love with Brad’s mom before her passing.
When I said earlier that Brad’s love changed the way I live my life, I truly mean it. Everything good and bad in my life is a blessing. It leads us to the path that God has planned for us. I don’t know if I would have realized that at such a young age, if not for the love God gave Brad and I. Had Brad’s mom not been too sick to care for Brad and he had not moved to live with his dad in Minnesota, our paths may never had crossed. Had I not given a piece of my heart to the wrong person once, I would not have known to hang on to it so tight and save it for true knee buckling love.
This way of thinking. The way God has presented it to me has since helped me through everything. The good times and even some heart break. Lose of babies, lose of loved ones, any kind of struggle. I know and trust prayer. I pray through it and get strength from God and knowing that somewhere down the road I will see what His plan is. I take great comfort in that, even when the sky’s are grey. I live my life like an open book. Always willing to share my trials and triumphs, knowing God gave them to me for a reason. Whether it is to be empathetic to someone’s situation or just a shoulder to cry on. It is the journey He has taken me on thus far and through it all He has been amazing!”