|Posted: Post subject: My Journey and My Conversion ...
|I started out when I was about 3 or 4 years old, being taken, I think to a Presbyterian church. When I was 8, a Baptist church bus was stopped at the corner where our house was and asked me (or I asked them) about going to their church. I asked my parents and the next Sunday, I began attending the Baptist church. I grew with that church and not too long after I began attending, my whole family started going as well. The year I turned 16, my family fell apart ... literally! My parents were separated, I got married and left home and my life began a new path. Over the course of the next 40 years, I explored various avenues of Faith and also some avenues pretty much against most Faiths. I divorced and re-married, more than once or twice ....
I went to my aunt's church several times, more for her, than for myself. I liked the people, but, I always felt uncomfortable, as it was what some call a "Holy-Roller" church. I also attended a Nazarene, which was much like the church I grew up in. Somewhere in my 30's I believe, I began studying the Bible with a group called, "The Bible Students". It turned out that they had broken off from the Jehova Witnesses. Again, I liked them and their teachings and understandings were closer yet than anything previously, to answering questions that I had and didn't know how to ask.
I eventually did end up studying with the Winesses .. twice, actually, but, though I could see and hear truth there, I still came away, un- fullfilled. There was still something lacking that left an emptiness in me.
In the meantime, about 12 years ago, my oldest daughter (whom I unfortunately did not raise), found her way to the Mormon church!
Of course, she tried to convert Mother, but, "Mother", thought they were Amish or Minninites, or Pageans and wanted nothing to do with "that" church! At that time I was attending the Unity church in Warren, Michigan, which was operated as a Unity church with the 12 Step principals, of which I knew quite a bit about, because by this time, I was a recovering alcoholic.
However, due to my son being in a very serious car accident which nearly cost him his life, I moved north to be near him after his 2nd brain surgery! For some reason, I did not attend the Unity church there, even though there was one only 14 miles away. In fact, I didn't attend any church at all, after attending the Unity church previously for over 10 years! I believe I had come to the fork in the road, but, the signposts had no names on them and so, I waited.
I waited until the spring of 2003. At this time I had had custody of my 14 y'o GrandDaughter for 12 years. Also at this point, she was very defiant, to the point I felt she was almost incorrigable! This was sporatic, but, enough so, that I was considering locating a bootcamp for her (seriously), or else a foster home. But, I decided to give it one last shot and sent her to spend a few weeks with her aunt ... her "Mormon" aunt! (I was desparate!) LOL When approaching my daughter about picking her up early, as we had already had plans for her to spend a couple of weeks there later in the summer, my daughter brought up the fact that she would have to attend church with them, because they surely couldn't leave her home alone, of course ... so, begrudgingly, I gave in! Anything to get some peace and get her away from me, if only temporarily. So, they picked her up and took her home with them.
The problem with this was, that we were also in the process of moving and that left me to finish packing a 3-bedroom home and garage, by myself in less than a week! Did I cut off my nose to spite my face? LOL Maybe, but, I think most things were going according to Father's wishes! My daughter, knowing the terrible burden I was under (Iwas also in a weakened condition after having had several physical challenges in the previous couple of years, including breast cancer). So, she called me and asked if I would like for her to contact her church to help me move ... uh-huh ... see where I am going with this now? That was the other thing ... my finances were dwindling quickly and I needed a truck to move with, or so I thought! So, I gave in and let her call her church! I think in AA, this is the point where" we admit we are powerless ..." This was the day before I was "supposed" to be moved out of the house. Let me fill in a couple of blanks here. I was moving, because for 3 1/2 years, the landlord was suppose to have made certain repairs, which still were not accomplished and I was tired of everything falling apart and not getting repaired. I loved the house and thought that by threatening to move, he would make the neccesary repairs. Nope! So, okay, I found a house to rent and loved the fact that it was on a lake! The problem was, the guy living in it, refused to move out! I had been waiting on him for 3 weeks and he still wasn't moving and I really felt torn up, because, he was also dying from diabetes! Okay, so, here I am, have to be moved out the end of the next day and no money (well, hardly any), no help, no truck, I neded a miracle!
My miracle came in the form of 8 vehicles ... a truck with lawn equipment trailers, trucks, vans, cars and I think, half of the church of Big Rapids, Michigan! Oh, and did I say that I still had a lot of packing left to do? Well, let me tell you, this was the fastest, hardest-working, cheerful, loving and kindest group of people I had EVER met in my life! And yes, they did have me packed and moved out by the end of that day! Not only that, they fed me lunch, they took me for ice cream, and then THANKED ME for letting them help me!!! Come on now, this couldn't be real! Okay, well, our belongings had gone into a storage unit and I moved in with my son and his wife temporarily, until I could locate another place. After 2 or 3 days at my son's the magnitude of "my miracle" really hit me and I called my daughter, again, and told her yes to a question recently (at that time) asked ... could she have the missionaries come and give me instruction classes. So, I met with the Missionary Sisers from the Mt Pleasant, Michigan ward and the rest is as they say, "history" ... I was Baptised WITH my Grand-Daughter on August 10th of 2003! Oh, but, that was AFTER, I fianlly was able to quit smoking(in a week), after at least 20 attempts over 35+ years! We were confirmed the following week and now, on Decmber 7th, I will be recieving my Endowments.
Oh, and for the records, I am now a member of the Big Rapids, Michigan branch.
Ã¢Â€ÂœCarry each other's burdens,
and in this way you will fulfill
the law of Christ.Ã¢Â€Â- Galatians 6:2
The Butterfly Children
"They need our help!"
"We were not sent by Father in Heaven just to be born.
We were sent to endure and return to Him with honor."
Ã¢Â€Â”Elder Robert D. Hales
Ensign, May 1998, 76
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
Love & Blessings,
Dee Rettig ~ Big Rapids, Mi ~