When God found me amidst this roller coaster we call life
Guest post by: Kari Touchette
Growing up my family wasn't the type that attended church on a weekly basis. It was very sporadic and inconsistent. But my first encounter with God I was only 5 or 6 years old.
My grandfather Don had just passed away unexpectedly and my family had moved in with my grandma to help out. It was a beautiful day out and for some reason, I was sitting by myself at the end of the sidewalk. Looking up at the trees I asked God "If you are real then show me. Make the wind blow right now." I grinned as I suddenly saw the trees and the leaves move. To an outsider and an unbeliever, this would sound silly and so many explanations would apply. But to a 6-year-old girl, this would stand as a foundation for her in the years to come.
In the coming years, I had always believed in God but there was no foundation for my faith to grow in. Sadly, there was no guidance. We simply read our bibles and stories but that was about it.
In 2007, I was 19, we were uprooted and made a move to Corydon, Indiana. Everything was left behind as we began our new journey. I am the oldest of 4 siblings and my dad had launched an online appliance parts business. All of us worked for the business and had our own roles. My primary duties were customer service and I wasn't half bad at it for a girl with no previous job experience.
A couple of years later I started butting heads with my dad. I still lived at home but I was ready to get out and be my own person. So, my dad helped me get my first apartment and my younger brother Justin moved in with me. We lived in a very nice duplex located at a dead-end and across the street from a church. It was tough because my brother and I fought all the time!
Then, Justin met one of the neighbors who was the Youth Leader at the church and they hit it off. Fine by me, I didn't really care. Until Justin decided to have a youth group at our apartment. I didn't like all of these people in my home and I couldn't stand them! I always dodged them and would dart to my room before anyone could talk to me. It's funny because looking back, the guy that always sat in my office chair turns out to be my husband in the years to come.
One day Justin came home and told me he was going to be baptized. He asked if I would come to support him. I replied absolutely. That Sunday I set foot in the church that would be my forever home for the very first time. We sat in the very front row and watched Justine get baptized. Something made me feel unsettled and I wanted to leave. After Justin was done I left and never wanted to go back. As I walked out the doors the preacher Randy was standing at the door and kinda smiled at me in a confused way as I hurried out the door.
After that, Justin had bugged me to go to church. He said I would like it there. I just didn't know. All of those people and wanting to jab their nose in my business wasn't something I was looking forward to. But I went a couple of times. Sitting in the back and watching the people around me I felt awkward. My brother was still having the youth group at our place and I still avoided them completely until one night a girl named Liz stopped me dead in tracks. This girl would later become my best friend and I, her maid of honor at her wedding. She smiled brightly and said Hi! I'm Liz! I awkwardly said Hi and shook her hand. At this moment everyone in the room was watching us, including the guy sitting in my office chair.
That was the start of it all. That girl who stopped me was the beginning of me joining their group. She would call and follow up if I missed group. To this day I love her for it. She was the final straw. Fast forward a few more years I had started attending church sporadically just as my parents did in the past. I really liked Randy, the preacher, because he didn't bore me. Listening to him made me think about things. But I was a 20 something-year-old who just wanted to fall in love. The teachings of the church didn't line up with what I wanted. So, I struggled with this for years.
I was also with Louis, the guy from the group. I knew after meeting him that he was the one. I fell for him hard and fast. We had started courting but me being strayed I wanted more. After a year and a half, we both cracked and ended up having sex. It was beautiful but wrong. Sadly, it was leading to a demise of our relationship. We both strayed and got lost in it all. Eventually, we broke up and I searched for companionship in all the wrong ways.
I was heartbroken and so lost. Surprisingly, I started going back to church. I would sit in the back crying through the sermons and music. I finally turned and spoke to one of the pastors. We talked about my past and the guilt that I carried with me. A couple of weeks later I was baptized. I felt so much joy and excitement. My slate was clean and it was a fresh start. I smile every time I think about that moment.
There are roller coasters in my life but that is how my story started. That is how God found me. Those little moments, the people that entered, have changed my life in every possible way.
About the author
Kari Touchette is a writer and founder of A Machinist's Wife. Kari and her husband live in Corydon, Indiana where they both work for his company. She enjoys reading, gardening, and cooking. On her blog, she focuses on encouraging women to improve their quality of life through personal development.
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