How God Changed My Life

April 21, 2011
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When I was younger I used to live in this place called New Whiteland, Indiana. When you are so young and you live in a small town the only normal you really know is what is around you all the time. When we lived in Indiana my dad used to go to work and then he would go straight to the bar afterwards and not come home until really late. Sure he had a job and was working and made good money but I was really too young to understand what he was doing every night after work. My dad was an alcoholic and even though I knew I was too young to know what that meant I knew the concept of it and knew that even at a young age I was denying the truth. My mom always talked to us kids about how she wanted to divorce my dad. Even though I was very young I also knew that a divorce meant my parents not being together and as young as I was the last thing I wanted was for my parents to not be together.

I cried and cried and begged my mom not to divorce my dad because the only thing I wanted in the entire world was to have a normal family even though my family was far from normal, but of course I didn’t know what normal was back then. My mom decided to stay with my dad and the alcoholism just got worse and worse. It was like I never saw my dad sober anymore. Then one day my mom told us we were moving to Florida away from all of our friends and family. When I thought of Florida I thought of Mickey Mouse and beaches but that was not what it turned out to be when we moved to Tallahassee. When we first moved here I cried all the time because I had no friends and felt like I was never going to fit in and I just wanted to be back in Indiana.

Now that I am older I realized that moving to Florida was God’s plan for my family and his plan to save my dad and save my mom and I. When we first moved to Florida my dad didn’t have any of his old friends so therefore didn’t go to the bar as much but he was still going every other night and our family still wasn’t perfect.

Life continued to be the same as it was when we lived in Indiana except a little better but it still wasn’t a normal family. A few years later my mom had mentioned that there was a new church she was thinking about going to. Sure we believed in God but we never really went to church. My dad wasn’t a huge church person because when he was younger his dad used to beat him if he didn’t wake up for church on time, and his dad was the pastor at the church he had to go to, so of course I had to go to Sunday school at that church when I was little but we never went as a family and I only went because my Grandparents made me. So, the idea of church was brand new to both me and my mom, as a family at least. I went to the church with her a couple of times and really enjoyed it and she was going every Sunday.

One night I walked into my mom’s room while she was praying. I never really prayed a lot because I wasn’t used to it. I asked my mom what she was praying about. She said she was praying for my dad to get better and stop drinking. This moved me so much to know that my mom felt the same way I did about my dad. After that I started praying all the time for my dad to get better and nothing really changed for a long time.

God definitely works in mysterious ways though… Once I thought there was no hope for my dad everything changed. At the beginning of my sophomore year in high school we moved into a new house that was closer to my school. My dad would smoke in our old house and I hated it more than anything in the world and I always prayed about that too. When we moved my dad decided we would live in a smoke free house. By smoking outside my dad definitely cut down tremendously on smoking, also when we moved my dad would go from going to the bar 3 times a week, to twice a week, and then I realized my dad wasn’t going to the bar at all. Sure he would drink occasionally at my house but only for a sports game or something like that.

I realized God had answered me and my mom’s prayers. After I realized this I got baptized at my church and started going to church and praying more. Then my Junior year I came upon this youth group called Young Life after going there and hearing some of the stories that the leaders have shared I have realized that these leaders have gone through some of the same problems I have and God has helped them through it just as with my family. My dad only drinks occasionally, smokes outside, and my parents have never been happier; When we lived in Indiana I would always wake up in the middle of the night to hear them fighting. I can honestly say I can’t remember the last time my parents have fought and I couldn’t be happier. I finally feel like I have the family I have always dreamed for. We may not be perfect but we are normal in my mind.

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