My Journey1

“Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter.”

Isaac Walton

Thank you for joining me as I share my life, and my journey with Jesus Christ with you. As I travel through life, there will be many experiences, both good and bad. Some of them are about my personal journey prior to accepting Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. Yet God created me, knew me and led me down the path to the place where I chose to ask for His forgiveness, receive His free gift of salvation, and invite Him into my heart.

Psalm 139 tells me God saw my substance before I was born, and my days were fashioned for me even before I was born. Because God created me, I am fearfully and wonderfully made (and so are you). God knit me together in my mother’s womb. God has searched me and known me, even knowing my thoughts and the words I am going to speak before I say them.

My personal testimony began with my birth in a small rural hospital in Bonners Ferry, Idaho. My parents, married just over a year, lived in a small village named Moyie Springs, which was about 10 miles north of Bonners Ferry, which is located in the northern Panhandle region of Idaho. Movie Springs was nestled between mountains of evergreen trees, and in places, overlooked the Moyie Canyon. At the bottom of the canyon, the Moyie river rushed by on its destination.

Moyie Springs, as I remember from my preschool years, consisted of one cafe with a bar in the back, a U. S. Post Office, a small community church, and a small store with an ajoining gas station.  Our immediate needs, for the most part, could be met in the small village but for major shopping and services we drove to Bonner Ferry. Moyie consisted mostly of lumberjack and their families.

My parents both worked diligently, putting in long days to provide for our family. My father started out as a logger, later worked as a loan officer for a bank, and eventually owned and operated an office supply business. My mother worked several bookkeeping jobs over the years and eventually ended up doing bookkeeping for the family business. Both of my parents also worked diligently at taking care of our family of four.

Most of my preschool, elementary and high school education came from Bonners Ferry schools. I learned a great deal and made a few friends but I didn’t go around with the popular crowd because I didn’t fit in. They were somewhat into wild beer parties and wild behavior. Though I desired to be accepted by the popular people, I didn’t want to get involved with their under-age drinking parties or their wild behavior. I was pretty content with having a small group of friends who shared my values.

In the middle of my sophomore year I moved to Lewiston, Idaho, where our family lived for about 18 months. In Lewiston, I met the man who would become my first husband and the father of my two sons. We met in a Chemistry class. My girl friend and I worked at a lab table across from my future boyfriend and one of his friends. We worked together on experiments and had a lot of laughs.

I remember one experiment in which we made substances in test tubes become like fire extinguishers, and put a cork in the end. Then we inserted a glass tube, shaped similar to a straw, into the cork. When you turned the test tube upside down, the substances would mix and shoot out of the glass straw. All four of us ended up with the mixture on us and our clothes and we were literally having a blast.

On the last day of school, the man I would eventually marry asked me if he could drive me home. I accepted his invitation and we talked as he drove me home. After that we dated throughout the summer after my sophomore year and through my Junior year of high school. During this time my boyfriend would periodically go to beer parties on the weekends. My boyfriend and some of his friends would drink until they were plastered. They seemed to think it was “cool” but I didn’t.

As an ignorant teenager, I didn’t know about alcoholism; nor did I know these beer parties were the beginning of an addiction to alcohol that would eventually destroy our relationship, our marriage, our family and even our health. I did not know the addiction would result in me having to endure six hopeless years of mental, verbal and even physical abuse. Yet because I loved this young man, was ignorant about alcohol addiction,  and wanted to believe I could change him, I continued in the relationship until part way through my Senior year of high school.

Meanwhile my father transferred back to Sandpoint, Idaho, as an Assistant Manager for the bank so we could help take care of our ailing grandparents. I finished my Senior year of school, graduating from Sandpoint High School with a class of students, most of whom I never really knew.

After graduation I returned to Lewiston and stayed a short time with friends of my parents. I got a work study position as a statistical typist and typed up sets of library cards for the Lewis-Clark State College Library. I enrolled in college and took one year of general business classes. However, I was distracted by my friends and a lack of interest in the classes.

After completion of that year of school, my boyfriend and I got married. We had our wedding in a Lutheran church in Bonners Ferry. After our honeymoon, we lived in an apartment in Lewiston for about 30 months. My husband worked at a local drug and variety store, and I enrolled in an 2 year vocational program called “General Bookkeeping .” I completed all but one of the classes in 18 months and worked as a typist in a college work-study position. I typed purchase orders and bids for the vocational school’s purchasing agent. After two years my husband and I realized he was going to have to change jobs because we couldn’t meet our living expenses with our current income.

During this time, my parents purchased a local office supply store. The store was growing, and my parents needed to find another office machine repairman. Since my husband knew a lot about mechanics and he was extremely intellectual, my parents offered to move us back to Sandpoint and pay him while he worked and trained under the guidance of their technician. Since this was an offer to learn a good-paying vocation in an area he loved and get an increase in pay, we decided to make the move. In 1978, we packed up our belongings and moved into a single-wide mobile home that we purchased and set up on my parent’s property.