I am currently tutoring English language learners on-line (virtually) through Skimatalk.
Here is my story, or should I say stories?! There are two stories of two journeys.
The first story is the journey is of my physical and educational growth. It is similar to others’ stories. I was born in Denver, Colorado at Presbyterian Hospital (there were some complications, but it all worked out!). I had a happy childhood which began in downtown Denver, continued to Fresno, California down to San Diego, and then back to Fresno before coming to Grand Junction, Colorado for my senior year of high school. We had an exchange student from Iran (Lily) live with us that year. I worked on the school newspaper, sang in the choir, acted in a few plays, and was the student president of the AFS club (Intercultural Exchange program). I was taught how to keep score for my brother’s little league (baseball) games, and I got my first “real” job as a waitress at Pizza Hut before starting college as a journalism major at the University of Colorado in Boulder (CU).
Let me stop. I need to get you up to speed on my second story at this point.
Here is my testimony: Going to Christian churches was something I was expected to do as a child. I wasn’t given an option. When I was in junior high it seemed to me that old people were the only ones that actually got excited about “church stuff.” That idea changed however, when my family started going to Fresno First Baptist Church. It was there that I heard high school kids my own age, talking about how they were encountering God! They couldn’t wait to get together to share the ways they saw God changing people’s lives and answering prayers. Although I had gone to church all my life I had never been around high school kids that were “jazzed” (=excited) about God!
These kids invited me and my sister, Melinda to a party. We went because we were new in town and wanted to make friends. It was at this party that I had a personal encounter with God Himself! I was standing in a crowded living room with all these kids from FFBC and I had this uncomfortable feeling come over me. I realized that I was a “pretender.” I was aware that God was saying that I needed to be authentic and that included being honest about my relationship with Him. Right then I made a commitment to follow Jesus with all my “heart, soul, mind, and strength” (Jesus said this was the greatest commandment). It changed my life and I discovered true joy and REAL love.
And that is why this blog includes both my journeys. I believe my “job” is to be authentic, to be honest and real about my experiences, my understandings, my fears and my doubts. This is what being a “witness” means to me.
So story one and story two merge.
My impression of CU was that it was “the Berkeley of the Rockies,” in other words it attracted a lot of students whose first priority was skiing and partying. My lifestyle was very different than that of my classmates and my Alpha Phi sorority sisters! I ended up at Moody Bible Institute, where I met my first husband. We had three children, and then I started freelancing as a photographer, completed my bachelor’s of science in Child Development and eventually went on to get a master’s degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).
After 16 years married to an alcoholic, I moved my children back to Colorado, where we had a support system. I was hired to be the director of a childcare center and later managed a 90 bed assisted living facility. While I was working for the healthcare organization I met my current husband who became my best friend. His love is an expression of the love God has for me and wants for each of us to experience.
If you aren’t sure about the existence or the love of God, keep looking! God WILL make Himself known to you. He loves you completely and will give you the “proof” that you need. Keep your heart and mind open.