Patsy Niver

I was brought up in a pretty normal two parent household until the age of 13. Although my parents tried to teach us good morals and we went to church from time to time, following God was never made a priority in our house. Through my parents introduction of Christ and occasional church visits, I was fortunate enough to know that God was real, but I never had an intimate relationship with Him. For the most part, I found all of my security and guidance in my parents and when they divorced after 20 years of marriage all of that was ripped away. My father was stationed in another state and I stayed back to be dragged through the divorce roller coaster with my mom. All of her mistrust, insecurities, and emptiness became mine. I filled my void with a lot of poor decisions, one of which resulted in playing house with my high school sweetheart. Three kids later, I was left in the same empty position when I realized that what I made to be my new hope, my kids’ dad, had a drug addiction that took over him. I was left to figure things out for my family. Once again, I felt like a victim. I was a ticking time bomb that was ready to unleash my pain onto anyone that I felt was worthy of it. I was still lost and tried to mirror my relationship with Christ as I did my relationship with all of the people who let me down. When things were good, I loved Him and when things were bad, I blamed Him. I held my security in platforms and the opinions of others.

….but God! Looking back, I realized that He has always been pursuing me. It was me that took His love for granted over and over again. There was never a light switch moment for me, but through my storms and His persistence, I began to know what it felt like to be loved by someone unconditionally, other than my parents. It was through my own storm of raising 3 kids, two of whom have chronic illnesses, without any support from their biological father that I began to discover the love that My Father in heaven had for me. My relationship with my own kids started to parallel my walk with Christ. He was willing to fight for me even more than I was willing to fight for my own kids and that just didn’t even seem to be possible. Like me with my kids, He was willing to see past my flaws and love me enough to continue to nurture me and equip me when everyone else would have given up on me. He loved me so much that He gave me free will to make my own choices. And when I sincerely cried out to Him for help, He was there to turn things around for my good. No matter how unworthy of salvation I thought I was, He always showed me otherwise. The countless answered prayers and the story of the cross sealed it for me. Especially knowing that Christ was willing to die for me to be redeemed and to give me a chance to have the same relationship with My Father that he had. It was time for me to LIVE for The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit that DIED for me.