I retired one and a half years after working as a Personal Support Worker for thirty years. Upon retiring, I decided to use my time volunteering as well as working five days a week feeding a woman with Alzheimer’s her supper.
I never really considered where God would like me to spend my time.
Recently, I felt that God has been asking me to trust Him—step out of the boat, take a risk, and walk on the water with Him.
He has taken me out of my comfort zone and continues to lead me.
This is my testimony:
I was raised in a Christian home and I always considered my father and grandfather as very wise men because they lived their faith.
As children, my sister and I were taught about Jesus at home in our family devotions. We were taught about Jesus and how he wanted us to live. For example, my father’s words often told us that two wrongs never make a right and getting even with someone was never our right. God dealt with that job for “vengeance is mine” saith the Lord. (Romans 12:19)
I was confirmed in the Lutheran faith and attended a confirmad’s retreat in Angola New York. While there for a week we were taught to meditate on God’s word. I have been searching for God throughout my life and I thought that if I worked in the ministry I could be closer to him and serve him. I attended Concordia Lutheran College in Ann Arbour, Michigan with the intentions of becoming a parochial school teacher. After three months, I returned home having failed the Political Science Course. I either repeated the course or pursued another vocation – social work – which didn’t interest me at that time.
I returned home and started work in a department store.
Five days after my twentieth birthday, I married my boyfriend. He was from Chesley and pursuing a tool and die trade with my father’s company, The Kitchener Spring.
We were married for eighteen years and had three children: Christel, Jeremy, and Amy.
I was a stay-at-home mom, and interested in raising my own children. My children and I attended the Lutheran Church and Sunday School regularly.
My husband was an absentee father. He became a workaholic, and alcohol and drug abuse became a large part of his life. He was just too busy earning money to spend time with a wife and family. He was repeating generational abuse and lived in denial that his life could change.
I felt trapped in my marriage and finally found that I could function more on my own when I got my first job after nine years at home.
I could no longer trust my husband and I realized that my marriage was in trouble. After some counselling and much soul-searching, I discovered that I had become a co-dependent. I cried out to God in desperation and I soon realized that the only person I could change was me. My husband had hardened his heart. He said that I needed to accept him as he was, that he didn’t need anyone’s help, and had no intention of changing.
At this time, the Holy Spirit enabled me to forgive the hurt that my husband had inflicted on me and my children. It was definitely a process, but one that helped me to heal and move forward with my life.
As a single parent, I wondered how we would manage financially, because on many occasions my husband was delinquent with support payments. Every time I thought we wouldn’t have the money to pay a bill, God came through for us and the exact amount we needed would show up in the mail from an unknown source. During this time I knew that I needed my Lord and Saviour and he was the only one I could trust.
I was often lonely and I was seeking friends that knew the Lord.
I became a member of the ACTS group, Adult Christians Together Sharing. All the members were single and we shared a common bond.
We were a group of singles who had been hurt in various relationships. We also had a personal relationship with God and were in various stages of grief as well as healing. We studied God’s word together and enjoyed social activities as well.
At one Christmas dinner, silver boxes were handed out with a person’s name attached. We were to pray for that person. Well, the one I received had the name Paul Dietz attached. We became good friends and were later married for seventeen years. We had a good marriage as God was the head of our home. We were married in June and in September, God had called me to a new vocation. I became a PSW and worked in three different nursing homes. God gave me a heart for the elderly and I continue to enjoy spending time among them in various activities.
As a blended family, we had our ups and downs, but as Christians we apologized when we spoke out of turn, and we learned to forgive and respect one another.
God called Paul home on his seventy-third birthday, and many of our friends from ACTS were present at his funeral as he was the first to be called home.
As a widow, I continued to attend HMC and every week as Pastor Jason spoke, I felt that God had a message for me.
God had also been calling me to obey, and I was baptized in the river in Hanover by Pastor Lyndsay.
For the past several years, I have been attending the Bible Study on Spiritual Disciplines. It wasn’t until sometime after reading the third book in this series that I was able to surrender completely to God. I am no longer in control and God and I are journeying together.
It has been seventeen years since my children lost their father at forty-eight years of age.
My family is the first generation to deal with mental illness without the use of alcohol and drugs to cloud the issues.
All my children and grandchildren acknowledge that God is real and does exists. We are all at different stages in our faith and I pray that God continues to lead us.
I’m sure that most of you are aware that I suffered from a broken hip. I have now received the second total hip replacement.
Throughout this experience God has been with me. As I lay on my back totally helpless on an x-ray table, I experienced the worst pain in my life. While I lay there I thought how could Jesus willingly endure the pain of the cross? That kind of pain I still can’t imagine. God’s presence in that room is what got me through that x-ray. A few minutes after the x-ray as I was out in the hall waiting for a CT scan, I realized that all the pain had disappeared.
Max Lucado, in speaking about prayer, tells us:
God is more moved by our hurt than our eloquence. The power of prayer is in the one who hears it, not the one who says it.
Our prayers do make a difference!
I would like to thank all of you who prayed for me during this time. Your visits, phone calls, and cards were much appreciated as I was bedridden for nine days. Thank you, also, to those who cooked the meals and those who delivered them to our home.
I’ve been dearly loved and blessed by all of you.