I'm Sandy and this is my story.
Raised as good Catholic – meaning I went to church occasionally on Sunday but always on Easter and Christmas, attended CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) during my teens. I always believed in God but by high school was questioning why I had to tell my sins to a priest; why couldn’t I tell them directly to God. The church did not encourage us to do this or to read the Bible ourselves but to accept without question what they taught. Getting no real answers or guidance, I drifted away from church.
I was always a rebel, but within the constraints of the norms I grew up with. You didn’t go live on your own; you went to college or got married, so in 1972, at age 23, I married my high school boyfriend. We had been going together since 1966 and everyone expected us to marry; except me.
I knew I didn’t want to marry then, but I didn’t know how to get out of it. So, I married with the thought
that within a few years I could get divorced.
Before, and during my marriage, the world was a huge attraction to me. Unsatisfied with my life and unhappy, I started looking for what would make me happy. So I began to look for that happiness in different things and different people. In 1975 I was hired by American Airlines as a flight attendant. This was just what I thought I needed. It was the first time in my life that I felt in control of my life, traveling and being away from home a lot. This, of course, spelled the end of my marriage.
So I entered a whole new lifestyle. I tried this; I tried that. Eventually even all these new things and people did not stop my unhappiness. There was a popular song titled “Is That All There Is.” That summed up my life. So I started searching…even trying Reincarnation because it said there was something else after this life, but I found that was just a lie.
Finally on a layover in St. Louis I saw a preacher on tv named Rex Humbard. His message was “try God.”
And that was the beginning of my search for God.
During this time, God in His mercy towards all of us, brought my now husband into my life. Neither one of us was living for God at that time, but we sure enjoyed each other. In1980 we moved to New Hampshire to live the “simple life” – building our dream home on 30 acres, farming our land, and going to church. All this time, God was pulling Bill, my husband, to Him and one day at the community church we were attending, the pastor gave an altar call and Bill responded.
He told me later that it was a struggle for him because he didn’t know how I was going to take his decision to surrender to Jesus. I was ok with his decision but not sure about myself and, as silly as it sounds, not long after I was sitting at home and one of our cats did something that made me mad…later looking at her I said “I forgive you” and it hit me that was what God was saying to me. No lightning bolts, but just a quiet assurance. With that came our desire to be married in God's sight, so in 1981 we married. Soon after I quit flying.
Not long after we married my doctor told me I was pregnant – we were not planning on a family but talked about it and were excited. Soon though, I miscarried. We had liked the idea of a child, so instead of trying again, we decided to adopt, making the decision to go with the State adoption process, but found they weren’t taking any new applicants, so we waited for over a year, calling each month to see if the applications had opened. Finally, we were told that the State still was closed but a woman was leaving them to open her own private adoption agency. We immediately called and found we were the second applicants on her list; in line for what we thought we wanted…a female toddler. During this waiting period, off we went for a week vacation to visit friends in New Zealand. Little did we know that on the day we left New Zealand for home, our soon to be son was born.
As soon as we got home, we called the agency. She told us that there was a new born boy available for a family. Even though we were second on her list, she thought we were more suited for this baby due to being more mature and being able to take on medical bills. She told us he was Filipino, born to a mother working for a wealthy family in the next town who told her she couldn’t keep her baby AND her job. The agency told us they were picking up the baby
directly from the hospital and we could come and see him at the agency and after we saw him we could decide if we wanted him or not. Of course, there was no question…he was ours. So at six days old, Adam came home with us and we became a family. He is now 39 years old with a family of his own.
Accepting Christ and seeing him move in our lives did not immediately make me all He wanted me to be. Over the years, especially through the difficult times, He was using everything to teach and mold me. And He still is. As I get older, I grow more aware of Him and the life after this one…and the hope it gives me; that as difficult as this life might be at times, there is a life without any more pain or tears.
I have to remember each day to keep my eyes on Him and not the world around me. I have learned to “cease striving and know that He is God” (Psalm 47:10)