My Story: Walking with God
It is with gratitude and love that I recall how my mother helped me develop a strong foundation of worshipping God with a church family in a suburb of Chicago. Although I left that church, and moved to homes in Iowa, Rhode Island, Newfoundland, Arizona and California, I knew I wanted to be a part of a church family wherever I lived. I valued what churches do. Churches put God's words into action.
When I moved to El Cajon from Mesa, AZ in 1984 with my husband, Michael Wallace, and daughter, Wendy, one of our top priorities was to find a church family with whom we could worship God. We were drawn to FPCEC because the minister's messages touched our hearts and challenged us to live our lives according to Christ's teachings. The people were very welcoming and encouraging. We were inspired with the music. It wasn't long, and our family became active in the programs and ministries. I saw that FPCEC values serving it's families, missions and local community.
Reflecting back on my life, I can see how my mother and my church first taught me how I could trust in God's unconditional love and grace. He loved me for who I was. Just like so many , I've faced challenges in my life, but through each, my faith strengthen. Some of the challenges included my father dying suddenly when I was 14. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at 18, and lost the majority of my vision due to a rare eye condition at 19, while studying to be a nurse. My daughter's father and I divorced , but God had a plan, and later I married Michael; however, he died from cancer in 1997. I often said that I felt like I had angels all around me, during that time - and many times since. The angels were the many caring and loving people of FPCEC. Later, once again, God had a plan, and Keith and I married in 1999 . Through these challenges and others, I turned to God in prayer and asked for His guidance, placing my hand in His and asking Him to walk with me. Sometimes I felt like I was on a roller coaster ride, so I needed to hang on tight and trust in Him. His scriptures and the people he placed in my life gave me hope and courage.
I continue to trust in God's love and promises. In Jeremiah 29:11, God says: "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." In Romans 8:28 Paul wrote "All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose." I believe God has a plan for me, and look forward to how I can serve Him more fully. No, I wasn't able to be a nurse, as hoped, but I had a wonderful career with the California Department of Rehabilitation, helping people with disabilities to achieve their goals. Since retiring three years ago, God has blessed me with many new ways to serve him at FPCEC and in the community. All things do work together for good, and every challenge has become a blessing and has made me a stronger person with greater empathy for others.