This past weekend at COMMUNITY I heard another amazing story of someone finding their way back to God. I’m convinced that God redeems our pain and uses our stories to help other people find their way back to God. One of the purposes of this website is to share stories. Here is Catherine’s story…
I was born and raised in the Catholic church ~ my parents had me baptized when I was an infant; I made my first communion when I was in elementary school; I attended Catholic school for junior high but when it came time for me to be confirmed in high school, I made the first individual decision concerning my spiritual journey and chose not to go forward with my confirmation. I stopped going to church except for attendance on holidays and set my eyes on the ways of the world. I didn’t know Jesus. I knew very little about the Bible and the little that I knew was scary and sad. I believed that God was angry, vengeful and mean. I didn’t love Him and I didn’t believe that He loved me. I believed that when bad things happened to me it was because He was punishing me for being a bad person but I had no idea what I had to do to be a good person in His eyes. I viewed God from a place of guilt and fear rather than from a place of love and grace. Confused, lonely, exhausted and very angry, I gave up on trying to please God. I decided to focus my time and energy on pleasing myself and spent the next two decades locked in battle with a vicious enemy that almost cost my life and I was miserable every step of the way!
During that time, I became addicted to prescription medication. I suffered a near fatal illness. I lost my law license and a law practice that I had build from the ground up. I miscarried twins. I was married and divorced three times. My driver’s license was revoked. I was forced to file bankruptcy a couple of times. I engaged in illegal and immoral activity. I had very few friends and my family relationships were extremely strained. I spent a great deal of energy trying to make everyone think my life was awesome ~ trying to make the outside look perfect while the inside was a cold, dark, desolate disaster. I was incredibly lost. I was completely alone; I hated myself and attempted to take my own life, convinced that nothing could change me, nothing was ever going to be better or different. I was worthless, hopeless, unlovable and beyond repair. I was never going to be able to please God and I was never going to be able to please myself. My life was filled with darkness and despair and I truly believed I would never be able to find my way back to the light.
But God brought that light to me. He strategically began to place incredible, loving, light filled believers directly in my path. Without even realizing what was happening, I literally woke up one glorious day and found myself surrounded by love, grace, unconditional acceptance and His light! God filled my life with believers who were committed to loving me unconditionally until I was able to love myself. These people included my husband, my stepmom and my Dad. It was like they held hands with God and each other as they formed a circle with me in the middle. They created a space that was safe and loving and showed me God. I don’t know any other way to explain it but God is in each one of them and His love, His grace and His light comes from each of them and flows to me. I have been delivered from that desolate, despair and my life has been transformed through God and He did that for me because He believes I have value and He loves me!!
Today, I have friends, I have close family relationships, I have financial security and I have recovery. I have been given a new life and a second chance that I did not deserve. I am committed to using that gift from God to bring that hope and renewal to others who may be in the same place that I came from ~ I am proof that with God…all things are possible!!
On February 24th a new book, Finding Your Way Back To God by Jon Ferguson and myself will be published. This book will include dozens of inspiring stories of people finding their way back to God. If you would like to pre-order a copy of this book for yourself or a friend, you can click HERE.