My name is Heidi.
When I think of “my story” it’s almost like I’m talking about someone else, the Lord has brought such a thorough and complete healing in my life. I love the song, “This is amazing grace,” it’s a perfect description of what the Lord has done for me, turning my chaos back into order.
I grew up in a loving, but strict Christian home; we were a well-respected family in a small town, and while outwardly our family looked to be ideal, the reality was there was much dysfunction. My parents finally divorced when I was 21, that was what I remember as the the first big upset in my young adult life.
Following college, I moved out with friends, enjoying my new found “freedom” it wasn’t long before I was compromising the beliefs that framed my upbringing. It seemed for me the first place I always made concessions was in my relationships. Living with my boyfriend, at the age of 23 I found myself pregnant. We married, and the problems in our already unhealthy relationship quickly escalated to a toxic level and by the time my daughter was just over a year old, I was in the middle of a divorce.
I was determined to “do better,” and for a while I did. I got a new job, bought my first house and while being a single mom was hard I loved my daughter, Emily, like crazy! But I was so afraid of being alone, sexual sin had led to a distorted self- worth and once again I found myself in an unhealthy relationship. Four more years passed with little or no thought of serving the Lord. Somehow, the sin didn’t seem so bad anymore…
Finally one Sunday I found myself in a Methodist church, I can’t tell you a single thing about the service that morning except that I just sat there with tears streaming down my face the whole time, the conviction of the Holy Spirit was so strong. I wanted so desperately to come back to the Lord, but like many women in wrong relationships, I was afraid of being rejected. Then in a turn of events, one weekend the relationship ended abruptly. I learned later my mom and grandma were praying for me with great intensity.
I was 28 years old, depressed, alone again, afraid and doing my best to support my young daughter. I continued to struggle. More poor decisions had left me bankrupt and I lost most of our possessions when I came home and found they were foreclosing on the house and we had been locked out. My life was a broken mess.
It was shortly after this time that the friendship with my now husband, Dean began to change. We both were believers and we both had come from failed relationships and really wanted to keep Christ center in whatever direction he took us, but neither one of us were really sold out for the Lord.
We dated almost a year before we were married and while we were “trying” we weren’t really living in God’s grace. We lived in a very small town, with even smaller churches and our worldly friendships were appealing, we were losing ground in our walk with the Lord. We were struggling with past baggage, divorce settlements, custody battles and trying to learn how to be a blended family. It was a very trying couple of years. I remember having a conversation with Dean during which we both felt like the Lord was warning us to either make Him Lord or the outcome would be less than desirable. We didn’t see it as a threat we knew it was the firm hand of a loving Father. Shortly after, we ended up at James River Assembly, at the time that was an hour and a fifteen minute drive for us each way to church, but we knew that was right where God wanted us. Again, I found myself in a service convicted by the Holy Spirit, tears flowing…
This time I truly repented, that was over 8 years ago, and while there may continue to be on going consequence for my sin and poor decisions, it was during the next couple of years the Lord truly began restoring all that the enemy took from me…..
Last month I celebrated my 40th birthday and our 10 year wedding anniversary. God is so good! He has given me a Godly husband who leads our family, cherishes me, guards our marriage and loves my daughter as one of his own. He has brought an amazing unity to our family. When Jesus is the head of your household, there is no such thing as a blended family, we are simply HIS. He has given me back a relationship with my parents. He has healed my mind and emotions. He removed the guilt and shame. He has taken every area of lack in my life and turned it to surplus! This is amazing grace!!!!