Our Stories

I was married for 21 years and I would go to church every Sunday with my husband. When my Dad died of lung cancer in 2007 my world as I knew it came undone!! Once my Dad was gone I felt like my anchor had been pulled up and my boat was set sailing into what turned out to be troubled waters. I ended up getting divorced. What a shock to my family first and then myself. It was if  I just stopped living and began this spiraling downward destructive coarse in my life!! My Dad was gone and I couldn't see straight or make great choices once I was on my own. I was like the woman at the well with different men what I called relationships but really it wasn't, far from that!! I was looking for someone to make me feel whole again because after losing your anchor (my Dad) life just isn't the same its like a hole in my soul I felt for so long!! Then I met this man who I thought was my soul mate for life but he was far from what I had grown up with!! He took me on great trips around the world I learned to snow ski, hike for hours on end, kayak and drive cross country on my own once a month. After 2 years the relationship came to an abrupt end I had been in the hospital for an anxiety attack and realized this man was not ever going to marry me, it wasn't in his nature. 

I sat at my kitchen table crying, trying to figure out exactly who I was because I couldn't recognize myself at all!! Once I got over the initial hurt that seemed to be deep and the scare of the anxiety attack, I thought I was dying. I prayed really hard and I apologized to the Lord for my sheer selfishness. I asked for his forgiveness so I would never go back and I could move on to what I knew was the only way to be with The Lord!!

I started going to a local church (very small in nature) and they let me lead the music every Sunday. I became their Treasurer and occasionally I would get the question "Is there any chance of your marriage working again?" I would get upset because I had tried to leave the divorce behind me and move along but I still received questions along the way. 

I am so much farther along from that dark place in my life with the help of The Lord!! I am still working everyday to know not to put my trust in people for they will always let you down but I can only depend on The One The Lord!! I now make sure that the Lord is involved in every decision I make and I asked a long time ago for forgiveness for being so selfish that I lost my marriage!! But I believe that we have got to go through the storms in life to be able to be someone who can help someone else!!! We are all in this together and we are given so much. 

To finish I am in a relationship now for the past 4 years We pray together I talk about the Lord everyday and I put the Lord first and then everyone else!!! I am free no more chains bind me! - Debbie J. Ritchey  

Before Jesus I was an atheist, feminist, occultist, hippie living on a commune in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I was living with no moral compass and thought I was “free”. But that “freedom” came with constant nightmares and never any peace. Somehow I knew that “absolute truth” must exist somewhere but I was for sure that it was not in God or religion. So began a long and torturous search for truth and peace and joy. Somehow God found a way to make a scripture come across my path (of course I never read the bible so I have no idea how He did this!!). The scripture was Mark 8:36 “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul”. That scripture rocked my world and got me thinking that I’d better figure out what is Truth and what is not.

Shortly afterward my mother became a born again Catholic and asked me to watch an evangelical T.V. show. I reluctantly agreed. But when I saw the peace and joy on the face of the T.V. host I knew that that was what I was looking for and what I needed. At his invitation I prayed the sinners prayer, not even really knowing what I was doing. But God, in His graciousness, honored that meager prayer. Within a few days I was so “hungry” spiritually and couldn’t wait to get my hands on a bible. I had no direction and no one to lead me, as I lived in a different state from my parents. Once again God graciously disciplied me Himself and led me to various prayer groups and churches. He blessed me with the fullness of His Spirit, gave me the peace and joy I longed for, guided me through many trials of life, and has been completely faithful. That has been over 40 years ago and I have never looked back! No matter what hard things happen in life I always have the knowledge that I am right with God because of Jesus my Savior. He is our Peace and Joy and Salvation! He is Truth! - Jan Antos

Finding freedom in the battle of depression/anxiety. I have battled both for many years. On my most paralyzingly days Christ has given me peace that is impossible to explain. This feeling of peace was not easy to accept, I felt like I didn't deserve it, but EVERY time I cried/screamed/shouted in anger/sat quietly, The Peace of Jesus was there waiting. There are days I still struggle, days I question why me. The unconditional love of Jesus saved me. My relationship with Christ is the ONLY reason I make it through my days. - Kayla R Wiley

My story is that I was in a bad way in my life with having a terrible attitude and turning to alcohol for answer. But we joined Shelby Christian and I gave my life to my Lord and Savior and was baptized and my life has turned around and life is great. And God is great - Alex Weber

My story starts in 2006.I was sitting in front of my Dr. and he said "you have cancer".I was numb I  remember him saying "it is one of the fastest growing kind. You need to have surgery as soon as possible."

I thought "How can this be!" and felt my faith wavering. I got in my car and started praying "Jesus I know you are in control. Please give me strength to get through this time in my life.Help me to tell my children and husband and to be strong when telling them."

I finished and I felt a peace I had not felt before. I knew he would take care of me however this turns out.The Dr.'s removed all of the cancer and I didn't need treatments. It renew my faith more than ever. Life is hard but God is good. 

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your request to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ." Philippians 4: 6,7

Diann Haggard

I grew up in church, active in youth group in my younger years. I was married to a man for 41 years. I was blindsided by the ending of my marriage. I suffered silently as my kids & family never knew. Finally about 15 yrs ago I sought help, first, with my Bible study and then with five trusted girls who prayed with me & still do! I then went to Christian counseling and I continue with that as needed.

I was told I “would never make it on my own!” I am here to tell I have with an awesome God who loves me, protects me & has fought for me as He says in His word He will do - Exodus 14:14.

I engaged myself with believers, stayed in the Word, & devoted my life to prayer and belief He would protect me in all ways. It is not easy; fear sometimes sets in as I cry out loudly to the Lord for help!

I use the gifts He has given me in being an encouragement to others. I prayed as each of my 4 grandchildren were born that I would always be “Jesus with skin on” for them! I know they all love me!

Memorizing scripture has been so good for me! I put up certain meaningful verses different places in my home. To God be all the Glory for He sustains me with His perfect love! - Karen Creque