Mark A.

Mark A.

from KS
Story #188
As a young child, I attended Catholic school and church. Then, one day, all of that stopped. I found out later that my Mom and Dad had been excommunicated from the church because Dad had married a divorced woman and that was against the rules. During my teenage and young adult years, I found it easy to find the wrong friends. I drank and partied and that took all of my time. When I was 20, I thought it was about time for me to get married, but I didn't have a clue about responsibility or what it meant to be a husband. I continued to party while I was married and that didn't work. The marriage lasted for 4 years and I have two sons that I haven't seen now for 30 years.

I moved away to start a new life, but nothing happened. Nothing changed. I couldn't get ahead. My mind said to make money and my body said to buy booze. Then one day, I met a wonderful woman who turned my life upside down.

The day Judy and I met, I think we both knew that we loved each other. After just 10 months we were married. For 27 years, I can say she has been the best friend that I’ve ever known in my life. We were inseparable. Judy had a silent and patient strength about her. I will never be able to repay the patience she had with me.

About 14 years ago, we were visiting a church in Wichita, KS. That morning I heard a powerful message about Jesus dying for my sins and giving me everlasting life if I would accept Him as my Savior. I was convicted to act on this. I prayed to accept Jesus. At the time, I didn't realize anything was happening to me other than my commitment to try to be a better person. Judy started working on me right away. She showed me how Christ was a part of everything in my life. I didn't think my successful back surgery had anything to do with my Lord. I never gave Him credit for any of the new opportunities I had at work. I didn't see His hand at work as I re-established communication with my parents and got close to them. Judy pointed these things out to me and helped me to see how God was blessing me each and every day. Even when my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, I prayed and God answered. She went through major reconstructive breast surgery with flying colors. But it got even better.

A little over eight years ago, my wife's sister invited us to a new church. I started listening to the messages and I became convicted again to deepen my relationship. I was baptized and that day I felt like God's Holy Spirit entered my heart. After that, I started reading my Bible each and every day. I have grown in the Lord so much and I now realize everything that I have is because of His love for me. God has blessed me with so many things as I write this today.

It has been ten months since my wife Judy passed away from bone cancer. It was something that she fought bravely, but in the end, it took her life. I was able to stay beside her and care for her. Since her passing, I have been lonely and am having to learn how to live my life without her. But even now, I still find the love of Christ in my life. He has been able to get me through all of the hard times because I know where I am going and because of the wonderful gift He has given to me.