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I was born and raised in the Juniata area of Altoona, PA. My parents married young and by the time I reached 2 they had divorced.  My natural father visited me about 3 or 4 times after he left and I never spoke with him again because my mother asked him not to come around anymore. Sadly my father passed away several years later just days before my 18th birthday. I never got to know him and I lived with a constant void in my life and heart as a result. In fact after my dad left I became very ill and had to be hospitilized for a while. I stopped eating and ceased to thrive. After many tests it was decided that I was grieving the loss of my father.  My mother on the other hand, went on to remarry about a year after she and my dad divorced.  That proved to be a mistake because both my stepfather and my mother were  emotionally and mentally troubled individuals.  As a result I was raised in an abusive home where their was constant fighting, drinking and violence. I learned at a very young age that the people that are supposed to care for you and love you are usually the very ones that hurt you the most. Needless to say my childhood was very tramatic and sad most of the time.

My mother and stepfather didn’t really teach me and my other 4 siblings about the Lord but my mother did send us to Sunday School and Church at times. I learned about “Jesus” and “God the Father” from my Sunday School teachers and the Pastor.  I noticed that some of the people who went to my church were very nice but I couldn’t for the life of me understand why….I guess I just thought that some people were nice and others weren’t. One memory that always stands out to me is the memory of  the small red new testament Bible that I was given in Sunday School class. I was very touched by the fact that these people, whom I barely knew, would give me this little book for my very own. I treasured it and I used to lay across my bed sometimes and just read that little bible. I read about Jesus and about the things He taught. I tried to understand why I couldn’t see Jesus in the house I lived in. The house where I lived was a very fearful and unloving  place a great deal of the time. Eventually after I reached high school  I just stopped going to Church altogether because I decided that those  Bible stories couldn’t be true and it was just a waste of time trying to believe them.

I went on with my life after I graduated from high school and I didn’t give any thought to God. It wasn’t until after I finished college, was married and had 2 children that I began once again to consider God. In 1983 after the birth of my 2nd child,  I began to struggle with bouts of  depression. I felt so overwhelmed and sad and I was unable to help myself. I was working as an Activities Aide in an area nursing home at that time. But the Lord is good and He had placed 2 women in my path at that nursing home who began to talk with me about Jesus and His love for me. I listened to them with my heart and eventually 2 years later did what they suggested. One day in 1985  as I was standing next to my bedroom window I began to cry and I started to pray. At the end of that prayer I asked Jesus to come into my heart and save me. As I finished my prayer I felt the weight of the world lift off my shoulders. Almost immediately I began to experience an unexplainable joy inside. I felt lighthearted and happy. It was wonderful. Over the next few days I began to notice the trees and flowers in a new way. The sky seemed bluer and the air smelled fresher. It was like I had new eyes to see the world, others and myself.

It’s now been 29 years since I recieved Jesus into my heart. I’ve grown in my walk with Him and although it hasn’t always been’s been worth it. Jesus is the most important thing in my life and I love Him with all my heart. My life changed that day in my bedroom many years ago. I no longer struggle with depression and I have a new life. I am much happier and I stand firmly on Jesus Christ the rock of my salvation. He has changed me and is continuing to change me for the good. He also now uses me to help others find their way to Him. Jesus really is the way, the truth and the life. Seek Him out today and you’ll find a new life awaiting you too.