I came to Oaks seeking Parenting classes for me and my son’s father in June of 2008.
I called the Oaks to see if they had parenting classes. Even though they had no classes scheduled at that time, they were so willing to help they scheduled a class just for us.
I was at the Oaks for the infant CPR class with my baby’s father and while waiting for him to arrive, typically late as most men are, I began talking with two fun ladies in the lobby. Jill, who as most of you know works at the Oaks, and Pam, a volunteer at the Oaks. Jill and Pam were talking about the class starting that night. I asked “what kind of class”? “Bible study” they said, I said I had been thinking I would kind of like to do that but I didn’t know where to go.
I just had a “feeling” that I should go. I learned later that this was the Holy Spirit nudging me. The Holy Spirit brought me there looking for something. I was nervous, what could I expect from a group of women studying the Bible? Were they “Holy Rollers”? I found women just like me. I wasn’t judged there. We all had life issues and past mistakes that were huge for us. The thing I learned about the teacher was that this was a woman who LOVED GOD. I had never met anyone who talked about God and how much he loved us. She didn’t tell us about a God who judged us. We were taught not to fear God, but to let him love us.
The women who were there were like me! We all had issues in their life that seemed like a roadblock to moving forward and changing. The class at the Oaks emphasized a love for God and openness to discuss and ask questions. We asked how to understand and find the books in the bible, how God could forgive us for what we had done, how God could possibly love us.
It was through God’s Word that I learned I wasn’t alone …ever. In Joshua 1:5 He says “I will never leave you nor forsake you”. Just as God was with Joshua, he is with me as I face new challenges, because the Holy Spirit lives within me. That was the coolest thing ever. For a lot of my life, I felt no one understood me. There were things I couldn’t tell people. I felt so alone. I realized God was always there, and he knew all my thoughts, and I didn’t have to explain myself to him.
The most important day for me was the day I accepted Christ into my life and accepted Him as my Savior. It was a flood of emotions. My group was studying the Fruit of the Spirit, we were talking about peace. The teacher told us God gives as incredible peace if we know him. I heard the promise of the peace of God and that it would guard my heart and mind. I remember reading Phil 4:6 & 7 “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” It is one of his greatest promises that I had ever heard of and I wanted it so badly. I worried about everything. I felt like everything was up to me. I carried my problems and everyone else’s problems on my shoulders.
I gave it all to God. I felt peaceful, I felt a feeling I have never felt in my entire life! I will always remember making a commitment that day to Jesus as my Savior. I know he died on the cross and I know He has forgiven all my sins. I have the promise of everlasting life and the Holy Spirit who lives within me.
Before that commitment, I was full of worry and anger; I was selfish, unforgiving, and sinning all the time. I was drinking, and in bad relationships. I had no hope for anything better. Now, I feel love for God and for people that I never thought I could feel love for. I am able to forgive others and myself. I am God centered not self centered. I am full of hope and I trust God to guide and show me his will. God is changing my life. God has given me courage to make changes and to move forward in my life. I was encouraged to develop a life plan to be on my own with my two kids in my own apartment. I am taking steps to better my life through some STNA job training which I will complete and graduate from tomorrow. My next step is to find a job as a nursing assistant. It is difficult, but, I trust God to be with me.
Thank you God, for placing people in my path who showed me your light and helped me to know you. I praise God and thank him for being my Shepherd and coming to find me when I was lost. As it says in John 9:25 I was blind and now I see. I was walking around in darkness and now there is a light on my path.