imageI was never raised in church. As a kid I went to church sometimes with my cousins and I liked the kids’ bible study and asked my parents about going to church. My dad wanted me to wait until I was old enough to make my own choice. He was forced to go to church as a kid by someone who wasn’t living a life of a christian.

As I got older, getting up early for church was the last thing I wanted to do. I believed in God, yet so does the devil. What I didn’t like was people shoving religion down my throat. I sought out the wrong kind of attention from men. I got pregnant with my oldest daughter when I was 21. I got married to her dad when she was 2 and we had another daughter. After 5 years of dealing with his drug addiction we divorced. He didn’t remain in my girl’s life and I have raised them on my own.

I have had many failed relationships, many hard ships and poor choices over the years. I remarried in 2009. After one year, that marriage ended because I had an affair. It was at this point in my life I admitted to myself and others, I had been molested by an uncle and a neighbor over a period of several years in my life. I realized the effects this had on my life and what I had let it do to me and my relationships. I worked really hard on “me” personally. Finally I came to be a better place within myself than one I have been in for a long time, but there was something still missing. Then in 2012 my sister, Tonya, invited us to “Back to Church Sunday” at her Church. We went for 2 reasons, first because my youngest daughter Kassidy had always been curious about God and asked me questions about Him that I could never answer for her. So she was excited about going to church. The second reason I went was for my sister, to make her happy and do something for her, since she has always done so much for us. After that Sunday we went back a few Sundays here and there, mostly because of Kassidy’s urging.

Kassidy got saved and joined the youth group. Every time we attended church I would feel God working on my heart, but I never would raise my hand or walk to the alter to say I wanted to be saved. Then when I was attending a counseling session with the Pastor, over some struggles Kassidy was having, it was there that he asked me if I wanted to surrender my life God and be saved. So Yes I did accept Jesus as my personal Savior. I shortly following that decision I go baptized. Since then, I attend my Church regularly. Not because I have to, but because I want to. I enjoy listening to the praise team sing, I enjoy hearing the sermon my Pastor has to share with the church. The church has become my family.

I particularly love one of our mottos “No perfect people allowed.” I pray everyday; I have a relationship with God. I truly believe that God has a plan for us all. As I share my story it has been a few days ago that I have learned my dad has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. My first words to him were, when are you coming to church, when are you getting saved?

As I look back over the last year I see how God has worked in my life, I see that He used my sister and my daughter to get me to come to church, and because of that I was saved. God knew what was coming in my life and how I was going to need him, and a strong faith to get through what was to come. At the 2013 Back to church Sunday, the anniversary of the day my sister first invited us to come to church; I walk in the door and saw my parents standing there with my sister. God brought us all there to my Church. I have come to realize that through God I will get through what lies ahead. I Love my relationship with Jesus and I love my Church.

Kelly Pfender
Evansville, IN

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