“Will there be one more?” the preacher asked.
She sat in a pew near the back wringing her hands. Grabbing the pew in front of her, she stood up.
“Go ahead sister. Share your testimony,” the preacher said.
“My name is Tina,” She took a deep breath before continuing. “I have sat in this same spot for the past four months, getting up the courage to speak. You all have been kind to me, so I feel safe here.
It is hard for me to say what I am about to say. I am a recovering alcoholic. My parents were alcoholics, too. They fought all the time. They would leave me at home alone for days at a time when they were on a bender. I was finally taken from them and sent to live with my aunt.
I thought that I had outrun my past, but it was waiting for me in the shadows. I met a man when I was eighteen. We fell in love and got married, even though my aunt warned me not to rush into anything. We had two children very quickly. It became apparent that we weren’t ready for the pressures of marriage and parenthood.” Her voice began to break up as tears filled her eyes.
“I began- we both began to drink as a way of escape. One night, my husband came home in a drunken rage and started to hit me. Drunk myself, I grabbed my purse and ran in the girls’ bedroom. I lowered them out the window and climbed out behind them. I told them to get in the backseat and I slid behind the wheel.”
Her voice grew louder with each sob. “I just wanted to get out of that house! I didn’t see the truck or the red light. When I realized what was happening, I tried to brake, but it was too late! I heard my babies scream! And then…nothing.
When I woke up in the hospital the next day, they told me that my babies were gone. I….I….I had killed my baby girls! Oh God! It was all my fault!” She dropped to her knees. “Please forgive me God! I didn’t mean to hurt them. Ask them to forgive me!”
Several of the church women and the pastor ran to where she had fallen. They laid hands on her and began to pray. Her sobs were coming so fast now that she could hardly catch her breath. After about fifteen minutes, she stood up.
“I was found guilty of driving while intoxicated and two counts of involuntary manslaughter. I spent four years in a women’s correctional facility and two more in a rehabilitation center. I’ve never told anyone about this. I have carried this pain around for the past fifteen years. When I found this church, I felt that I could let it go. Do you think God will forgive me?” Tina asked the preacher, as she wiped tears from her face.
“Yes Tina,” he replied softly. “If we turn our lives over to Him, He promised to forgive us of all our sins.”
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9(KJV)
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