When I was a young teen, I was reintroduced to God in a new way by my Aunt (who was raising me at the time). She taught me about unconditional love, the love God has for us even when we don’t love ourselves. At the time, I was at Catholic Church where you had to take classes to get baptized. To me it was the ultimate closeness and I wanted to be close to God and receive this unconditional love. So I took the classes for about 3 or 4 months. Then the week before baptism, I was told I couldn’t get baptized because my parents weren’t Catholic. I was devastated, but I still continued to go to church to be involved.
When I became a young adult, I had a baby out of wedlock and then my second one a few years later. But when I brought my kids to church the older women would make subtle remarks that really hurt me since I already felt I didn’t belong. So when I became pregnant again, I didn’t tell anyone, yet I was eventually confronted about having babies out of wedlock and being in sin. After this conversation I decided that maybe I didn’t deserve God’s love so I stopped going to church. After that I always felt unworthy of love from anyone . . . especially God.
After a decade of separation, I was on this road of destruction and feelings of unworthiness and I wanted off. I prayed, but didn’t feel He was listening. But then, I realized that God was speaking to me through my children. They were in a summer camp provided by Excel Church and kept asking if we could attend service there. But I was afraid of rejection and thought that I was shielding them from the hurt I had experienced. I overcame my fear and brought my kiddos to Excel Church in 2013 . . . and God showed me that I was home safe, loved and belong.
We have been planted in Excel Church ever since, even through the relocation to Akron. We have been baptized and I’ve grown into the woman God always wanted me to be. God has given me a purpose, happiness and the unconditional love I always desired, and in the last thirty days even blessed me with a new job and a new car. I now know who I am in God and have committed to use all my God-given talents and gifts His Glory. I am blessed and favored by his grace and I am destined to excel.