Posted by Dory @ Lucky Dorito on Monday, July 26th, 2010
I spent the first quarter of my life lost.
We didn’t grow up in church but as a teen, I attended with different friends. I’d sit there at times and wonder who the preacher was talking to…. surely not ME. I didn’t even belong there! (or so I thought) I tried to stay under the radar, so no one would ask me questions. I had never owned, much less read, any of the bible. I didn’t know anything about it. I was so lost. And sadly…. I probably didn’t even realize it.
I married Suki’s dad at the ripe old age of 19 and we spent the first 3 years of married life living in Naples, Italy, where he was stationed. I was young, I was pregnant, and I was all alone. No family other than my new husband. I felt such an intense longing for “something” to fill a void in me but I thought it was homesickness. I thought it was discontentment. I thought it was hormonal.
I made friends with other military wives and in time, was invited to attend church with them. My husband didn’t want to go…. and more importantly, he didn’t want ME to go. He was so adamant about it – he made sure to tell me that those weren’t my people. I wasn’t one of them. Turns out, he didn’t want me to meet new people and not need him as my sole source of contact with the world. Sometimes, I’d go anyway…. and just like in high school, I’d sit there and feel like I didn’t belong. I wasn’t one of “them”. I wasn’t a good person. I didn’t belong with the “good” people.
I felt like it was a very exclusive club and I wasn’t a member. I didn’t dress right, I didn’t talk right, I certainly didn’t act right…. I didn’t belong. And yet…. I felt like the Lord was calling me to Him. Like a whisper in the back of my mind, I knew He was there. I could feel Him and yet, I fought it hard because He surely didn’t want me. Surely.
Flash forward about six years, when that sad marriage had run its course and I’d returned back to the States as a divorced mom. In time, I reconnected with the love of my life, Mr. Lucky, whom I’d dated briefly before I’d married Suki’s dad.
Mr. Lucky was raised in church and had a solid foundation in Christianity. I began to attend church with him and his family. I felt comfortable in asking questions for the first time in my life. Mr. Lucky was patient with me, explaining things as he understood them. I even talked with the pastor, one on one, over the coming weeks and months. Believe me, nothing happened fast. I continued to fight and resist because I’d spent so many years allowing myself to be told I was unworthy and not good enough….it was so hard for me to believe there was any redeeming qualities in me that the Lord would want. It makes me cringe now, with what I know at this point, to think that I doubted Him…. thinking He was surely mistaken in calling me. Ha.
I remember sitting in church with my MIL (who was not my mil at the time, but my boyfriends’ mom) and bawling the whole time…. I had been fighting the Spirit for months and months. He was there, time after time, filling my heart with His love and salvation…. and I was scared. I knew I was at my breaking point. I knew I was ready to accept Him into my heart.
During that service, I realized my sweet (yet-to-be) MIL was crying too. With me. For me. I took her hand and squeezed it. And I walked up front and prayed the prayer that changed my life.
I was 25 years old.
I was finally in His fold.