I was the second and last child born to young parents who both came from painful and broken family circumstances. My father struggled with adulterous relationships and feelings of inadequacy until he ended his own life, leaving my mother with two young daughters to raise. In her desperation and struggle to provide, she married a man 10 years her senior just two years after my father’s suicide. That relationship has been a difficult and painful one and has divided our family even more. I watched broken people in broken relationships make bad decisions and continued that trend throughout my adolescence and early adulthood.

When I was 24, I married my husband, who also comes from brokenness and abandonment. We decided we were smart and cunning enough to overcome our pasts by being dedicated to our careers and “pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps.” Although publicly we seemed to be overcomers, inwardly and relationally, we were a mess. We were headed to the same fate as most on both sides of our families as we proudly marched toward greater disdain and unhappiness. We put all our hope in the very “smart” plans we made, and when they failed, we blamed each other. We were both ready to throw in the towel to find fulfillment separately without the burden of one another.

We were asked to be godparents to a child of a close friend. Although we had no foundation or understanding of what that meant, in order to preserve our images, we accepted and attended church for the child’s dedication. After the service, I told Doug I had questions and needed more answers about salvation. I was once again convicted and feared my fate.

Soon after, we got a call that my abusive uncle was succumbing to the cancer he had fought for a few years and only had hours to live, so we went to say goodbye. The Lord used the supernatural events that took place in his home that night just before he died to show both me and my husband that God is real and without His love and forgiveness, nothing we do or possess has any value or meaning. I finally realized I could not save myself.

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” - Acts 4:12

The Lord redeemed us and removed all the transgressions against us and put a hunger in us that only He could satisfy. I have been humbled and amazed by the grace and compassion of the Lord. Literally every aspect of life is different than before though there is still abundant growth ahead. I sometimes battle much of my old self, but the Lord’s promises remain true. As I press onward, I know He will finish this good work He has started in me.