It all started with too much alcohol and not enough higher power! I was ten years sober and an active member of a 12-step program when my second child was born. Children.... they sure do have a funny way of changing things..... right?!?!
I found myself with all this parental responsibility and fear.... lots of fear. And suddenly the thought occurred to me.... “What if the God of ‘my own understanding’ wasn't big enough to help me navigate this new world.” The fear and that thought led me to a place I had vowed I'd never go.... church!
I didn't grow up in church, not that my parents were anti-God, they were just more Sunday football and less Sunday Mass. So for me, church was a foreign, scary place filled with Jesus Freaks. And I most certainly didn't want to become one of them.
But.... there was that fear and those thoughts that just wouldn't go away. Which led me on a journey that would change my life forever.
When I first came to Mountain Park, I was an unchurched new mom and was in search of something. But I wasn't sure what it was.
What I first loved is that right away I felt safe... safe in my uncertainty,
in my beliefs and lack of biblical knowledge. What I loved next was that they pulled me right in. Literally! The children's Pastor didn't even know my name but she shook my hand, told me I had a great smile and suggested that I'd be a fabulous Sunday school teacher. A what?!?!? I didn’t even own a Bible. She told me not to worry and said she would give me everything I needed.
That was almost 17 years ago and my church, has walked me through so much: a divorce, two of my children being injured and severely sick. My oldest two children and I were baptized together in the lobby. I met my husband in the cafe and a year later he proposed to me in that same space. We were married there several months later. And I was even on staff for a few years. What I have learned is that "church" is not perfect but that God is. I stay, because it's where my people are. It's my family.
Today I still serve at MPC. I am blessed to lead the Women's HOPE group and volunteer in Student Union. And I can't imagine what my life would have been like if I hadn't come and literally been pulled into a serving role.
To be honest I don't always "feel" like going to church. Growing up, Sundays were for sleeping in and football. But it never fails.... Every time I go, I give a shout out to God for bringing this once unchurched, lost mother of two to a safe yet dangerous place that I now call home!