Stories are one of the best ways for helping people find their way back to God. One of the purposes of this website is to share stories. The following story is one of the first of many that will be shared by the community of people who are part of this site. If you would like to also share your story, please use the form at the bottom of the page. Sharing your story will not only help others, but will also help you in your journey back to God. Here is Glenna’s story…
Although, I was raised in a Christian family and my dad was a pastor, I somehow missed the part about God loving me unconditionally. Instead, I understood that it was my job was to live up to a certain standard – obey the do’s and don’t of Scripture and of my parents – and then I would be “ok.” For a number of reasons too lengthy to detail here, I failed miserably at being a “good girl.” As a teenager I decided that I just wasn’t cut out to be a Christian. So from about age 17 to 24, I lived very intentionally, but sadly, far from God. I mainly was trying to find a man who would love me unconditionally, and commit to me for life so that I would feel worthy and finally ok as a person. With my very low self-esteem, you can imagine the men in pain I attracted and hooked up with.
I did make one attempt during that time to come back to God because I knew how messed up my life was. Some family members helped me make what felt like a giant step away from my crazy lifestyle back to Christ. But no one at my church really “got” me, because none of them had been in my shoes. No one knew how to help bring healing to the wounded places in my heart that led to my behavior. Instead, it was still all about “just behave.” But my heart was still longing for love and I wasn’t finding it at church or with my new church family. I continued to fail at living the obedient Christian life. My church actually “disciplined” me and said I could no longer fellowship with them unless I stopped my behavior. I wanted to stop, but I couldn’t.
I turned my back on God and the church once again, and moved even deeper into sin and the most destructive relationship and behavior ever. I got pregnant and had an abortion; this injured my soul so much that I started to cry out for God. My relationship began to deteriorate and I discovered that he was cheating on me. I was so devastated that I again began to cry out to God to help me get out of the relationship before I totally destroyed myself. Somehow God’s grace was at work, and I was able to extricate myself from this very unhealthy relationship. Within a month, my ex was engaged to be married to the woman he was cheating with. I was devastated.
I often try to solve my problems with books, so I went to a bookstore and looked for anything about emotional healing. I found a book by Father John Powell called “Unconditional Love” and realized for the first time in my life that God loved me unconditionally. I breathed deeply of that truth and it found a permanent home in me. That unconditional love changed my life forever, and opened up my heart to the next work that God would do. I found another book titled, “Healing of Memories” and “Healing Life’s Hurts”, both by Matthew Lin and Dennis Lin. I read them both and performed inner healing on myself! Mainly it was all about forgiving myself and the many men who had hurt me through God’s love for me.
The people who knew me before and after this, almost didn’t recognize me! Seriously, I was a completely changed person. I went back to the church that had disciplined me and thanked them. They welcomed me back with open arms and even had a party for me! Several people told me they had prayed for me every day of the 15 months I was gone. I stayed in that church for the next 25 years. We raised our children there and became small group leaders and eventually a staff counselor. God is so amazingly great. As the Bible says, “God restored the years the locusts had stolen.” (Joel 2:25) I am so grateful.
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.