My Christian Journey began when I was a preschooler. I attended various churches with friends and neighbors. I attended several Vacation Bible schools at various churches, and enjoyed the activities and hearing stories from the Bible. Occasionally my mother would also take me to church at a Lutheran church in Bonners Ferry, Idaho.
During my fourth-grade year, my family moved from Moyie Springs to Bonners Ferry. Our home was a short distance from my elementary school, and within walking distance of the Lutheran Church. When I could, I attended that church. Before I was old enough to walk to church myself, my mother periodically took me to church services and would also attend. Eventually I grew up and walked to church by myself so I frequently attended service. I learned about God and accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior.
I was baptized by sprinkling in the fifth grade, though I didn’t understand what it represented–only that Jesus wanted us to do it. Later I took confirmation classes and got confirmed by confessing that Jesus was my Savior before the church congregation. I also participated in my first communion. I attended the Lutheran church until our family moved to Lewiston, Idaho, my sophomore year.
During my years in Lewiston, church fell by the wayside. My mother also seemed to lose interest. I didn’t make many friends, and the ones I had didn’t attend church. Though my boyfriend told me he had been the President of the youth group at his church, he had fallen away from God. Apparently there was some church split at the church he attended and he quit going. When I met him, he never attended church. Only later on did I find out he had rejected church and God. Also, I didn’t find any church that I knew was similar to the Lutheran church in Bonners Ferry and I felt unsure of attending a new unfamiliar church so I didn’t go.
After my Junior year of high school my family moved to Sandpoint, Idaho. During my Senior year of high school, I tried attending a Lutheran church in Sandpoint. Though my parents had friends in this church who had two sons my age, they never invited me to go with them. When I went on my own, rarely did anyone even greet me–including our friends. I felt as though no one cared whether or not I came to their church. Most of the people attending this church were elderly. After experiencing this a few times, I knew this was not the church for me.
I finally tried a Baptist church and intermittently attended service. Still, I did not feel welcome or loved in this church. Yet I knew they preached God’s word and it blessed and encouraged me.
After high school graduation I moved back to Lewiston and fell away from Church and God again. Though I would occasionally read my Bible when I had quiet time in my bedroom. God’s word encouraged me, lifting me up out of my depression and loneliness. God used those times to draw me close to Him.
I attended Lewis Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho for one year, taking classes in Business. My heart wasn’t really into studying business and I got distracted by my boyfriend. Needless to say, my grades were not very good. After one year of classes, my boyfriend and I got married. We still did not get back into church. We struggled financially for a few years and I signed up for a two-year vocational bookkeeping program at Lewis-Clark State College. I completed all but one class because my parent’s called and wanted to put my husband to work in their office supply business. They wanted to get him trained as an office machine repairman and offered him a higher wage than he was making in a drug and variety store in Lewiston. Therefore we moved back to Sandpoint.
In Sandpoint I tried going back to the churches I previously attended and decided to go to the Baptist church. I also had two sons and then it got really difficult to get organized to go to church. However, I would go when it worked out.
After a few years of training in Sandpoint, my husband was getting good at fixing office machines. Also my parents decided to open a store in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. They sent my sister and my husband to work in this new store. My sister found an apartment in Coeur d’ Alene. My husband commuted about 60 miles, one way, every day. I stayed home and took care of our two sons. After this new store started paying for itself, my husband and I moved to Hayden on a permanent basis. When I lived in Hayden, I would intermittently take the boys and go to Coeur d’ Alene Bible Church.
After nine years in an abusive marriage to an alcoholic, I divorced my husband. The two boys and I moved back to Sandpoint to be near my family. My parents put me to work in their Sandpoint store and the boys and I began a new life. During store deliveries, I met a young pastor at First Christian church in Sandpoint. He showed me the church and we talked a while. I found out this church had beliefs similar to the churches I had attended. The pastor invited the boys and I to church so we went the next Sunday. We regularly attended that church for about five years.
In 1991 I met my present husband, Steve, who attended Sandpoint Christian Center, now called New Life Church. After three years of being friends Steve and I decided to get married. After our marriage in 1994, the boys and I regularly attended Sandpoint Christian Center, now New Life Church.
Steve and I still attend New Life Church. Though we’ve gone through many struggles, we both believe God has us at this church because it is a Holy Spirit filled, nondenominational Pentecostal church. We believe in speaking in tongues and being Baptized by the Holy Spirit for empowerment as witnesses for Jesus Christ. We also believe in the Spiritual gifts given to God’s people as He wills.