Not long after my mom and dad divorced, my mom met someone else. He seemed to be what she was looking for in a husband. He seemed to like my sister and I pretty well. He got me a used go-kart, so I immediately thought he was great. I had longed for security for so long and now it seemed possible.
I remember the night when he and my mom told my sister and I that they were going to be married. We were very happy. At one point, I said, "Now I can call you dad". He looked at me and said, "no, just call me Sam" (not his real name~I just made that name up in fairness to him). I am not at all sure why, but something in my heart broke when he said that. I REALLY wanted a dad that loved me and cared for me. I thought he could be that person, but I was wrong.
In fairness to "Sam", I have to say that our lives did improve. He worked hard to provide for us, but he was emotionally distant. He couldn't fill the void that was left by my father. He did not physically abuse my mom. He did, however, abuse her emotionally. Nothing she did was ever good enough, but she got used to it and life kept passing by.
My sister and I were able to attend a Christian school, which was good for the most part. All throughout my teenage years, I was spiritually confused. The school we attended taught hyper-Calvinism, but I had no clue what that was. One chapel service, the pastor told the students, "Salvation is like a bus that holds thirty people. There are fifty people who want to get on the bus, but only thirty are chosen and have seats." After asking God to save me a million times, I finally decided to just live how I wanted to live. If I was chosen, it would not matter. If I was not, I couldn't do anything about it anyway.
The story is so long that I am omitting a lot of information. God led my mom and "Sam" to leave the church/school that was teaching the false doctrine. I went to another Christan school where I met a teacher that showed me the right way of salvation. I received Christ as my Saviour when I was sixteen.
God worked it out for me to attend a Christian college. I was thrilled. I was majoring in Nursing. I got to hear preaching every day. Life seemed good, but I got into trouble. This is where the story gets complicated. I would like to tell you what happened, but I will not because Christians don't forgive. I ended up "lost" in life for awhile. I moved to South Carolina with some great family members and it was there that I received the training I needed to work as a Nurses' Assistant. It was definitely not a glamorous job, but I liked helping people who could not help themselves. I only stayed in South Carolina for a few months, then I moved back home and began working at a hospital.
After working for a year, I talked "Sam" into helping me go back to college. I felt like things were getting better and God was opening doors for me to serve Him. I had redeemed myself, so to speak. I thought that life was going good, but little did I know that everything would come to an abrupt and frightening end.