I was raised by my parents in Vancouver with my brother and sister. I learned to love cats; we had 5 in our house. I was involved in track , but other than that I was not a coordinated athlete. I participated in girl guides in elementary school and enjoyed that.
Our family was blessed financially due to my dad's hard work. We did not want for food, clothes or transport. Despite this abundance I had a deep sadness and shame in my heart.
My mum was an alcoholic; she drank daily and was more often than not unavailable. My father became a work-aholic and was rarely home. I felt a deep sense of loneliness and sorrow at this circumstance. I felt I always had to work hard, be perfect, and try harder at everything in order to gain my parent's approval and/or to make them happy. Part of me felt I was responsible for the sadness that drove their addictions.
I graduated from high school and earned a B.A. in psychology at UBC. In 1989 I graduated and began to work as a bodily injury claims adjuster. The job was demanding but I enjoyed it. Shortly after I married the man I had been dating; ignoring red flags such as violence and instability. During the marriage he became more controlling and abuse occurred. At the same time I was diagnosed with a chronic illness and had to work only part time at my job.
As my life became narrower and violence occurred in the marriage, finally my husband left and sought a divorce. This was a great time of pain for me. I was afraid and deeply sad. I automatically turned to God in many prayers and began to read the Bible again. I had first come to believe in God at a girl's camp in early elementary school. I remember receiving a Bible when I was in grade 5, and though I did not understand it well, I read it many nights. In high school I participated in a youth group through my local church. However, all of that time, I thought I had to earn God's approval and love; I felt He could not accept me the way I was.
At this time I met a Christian friend at work. He explained to me that the reason I was so sad was that I had sin in my life; the Bible said I was disobeying God and that the price of death would have to be paid for this. My friend also told me that the Bible says that Jesus Christ had died on the cross for my sins and by praying to accept Him into my heart I would be forgiven my sins. I was astounded that there was nothing I could or had to do to earn God's love.
I wept when I found out about the free gift of His grace and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. I prayed and asked Jesus to forgive my sins and to come into my heart. Now I know that my sins are forgiven and that God loves me. Since accepting God into my heart I have felt the burden of perfectionism, sadness, and shame lifting. I have also become more open and loving towards others where I used to be too shy. Most of all I know that since I have accepted Christ into my heart I will have eternal life when I die.