Jennifer’s Story | Florida

On August 15th, 1993, I woke up fatherless. My dad died of liver failure during the night. My 8 year-old self was relived. It was a horrible thought for a little girl, but a dead dad was better than a drunk one. Over the coming months, I lost my mom to depression. She retreated to sleep, to alcohol, to pot, to anything but the reality of her 3 young children.  
As the oldest, I took up the responsibilities no one else seemed to want. I made sure my siblings got ready, ate breakfast, and caught the bus, I cleaned up the house after school, filled out all of the school paperwork, helped with homework, and held them when they cried. Above all I had to keep it together, had to stay strong for them.     
One summer at a VBS, I accepted Christ as my savior, but it wasn’t until I was a teenager that I understood what God wanted to be in my life. I started attending a local church and started to learn about my Father. I didn’t have to do it all alone, to worry, to work, to sorrow alone. I could lay my burdens at His feet, and He could hold me when I cried. He became my wisdom, my provider, my protector, all of the things my earthly parents should have been but weren’t.      
My pastor became my example. Other men in my church made up the difference fixing my car or paying for me to go to church camp. And when it came time to make my own family, I chose a man just like my pastor. (Though I didn’t realize it at the time) And when my now husband asked me to marry him, I told him he had to ask my Father for permission.     
I am now a Pastor’s wife with 4 wonderful children of my own, great in-laws, and a loving church family. Did you know He setteth the solitary in families? But there are still scars, fears, a distance, a difficulty here and there. Healing may take a lifetime, but I can trust my Father will be with me through it all.
-Jennifer in Florida
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