About Anne

It’s occurred to me over the years that “Tell me your story” can mean many things.  Some people want the story of my home and family.  Others want to know how I came to be a musician.  Sometimes they only want to know what I’ve been doing the past 20 years as a wife and mother.

This is one story, the story of God and myself.  It’s not meant to be a whole story of my life.  But you may find a part of your own life in here.

From my childhood I was taught to believe in God, and I had the basic child’s understanding:  if you are bad, God will punish you.  But although we had the appearance of good churchgoers, at home I was picking up some other ideas.  God was not the kind of thing you trusted completely.  He had His place, but don’t depend on just that.  And when it came to the strict rules of the Catholic Church, one should also think for oneself.  Some of those rules were manmade and shifted over the years.

But I believed, and when I was 13 I attended classes taught by a priest who presented an ugly and frightening view of God.  His message was basically about the sins that, if unconfessed, would send us to hell.  I was shocked as the  picture arose before me of God looking for ways to send me to hell.  I really thought this was what God was doing, and I, at cross-purposes from Him, was hoping to be clean enough for heaven.  Maybe.  If I hit it just right.

But there still must be a God who cares in some way.  In the movie The Seventh Seal, one character remarks that if there is no God, life is an outrageous horror.  And I could see that, especially when my brother-in-law, who was my hero, died in a car accident and the outrageous horror came perilously close to my own life.

When I was about 17 I started attending the Episcopal church in town.  There was something about the minister’s sermons, as if he knew the God he spoke of, as if you could come close to God.  I couldn’t quite figure it out.  But as I was starving, I came back, sitting in the back trying to be unnoticed as the renegade Catholic among them.  One day the minister said to me, “You are always welcome at Christ Church.”  He never knew how that helped me to feel accepted and keep coming.

At that time, I hadn’t had a positive view of myself in years, but it was driven into the ground when my mother told me (who knows why) that I was an unintended pregnancy.  I was not wanted then.  Was I not wanted now?  Why was I here at all?

After church one Sunday a woman asked me if I knew Jesus and I said something vague about trying to know Him.  She got me to stay for coffee hour, and to my great embarrassment took me by the hand and explained to me that I could ask God to be the Lord of my life.  I had never heard such an idea.  As soon as I could after I got home, I knelt in my bedroom and told God this is what I wanted.  I had felt pushed away from Him for years.  I could take no more.  But then – there was Jesus to deal with.  Having been in public schools, I had encountered  teachers’ opinions that all the Bible was just stories.  I told God that I didn’t know about this Jesus rising from the dead stuff, but I was so desperate, I would be willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.

Somehow I knew this changed things.  I wish someone had told me then that I had passed from death to life, that now I could never be plucked out of His hand, and that this was the beginning of a life based on love, not fear.  About 30 days later I met up with a very lively on-fire Bible study.  There I saw people whose prayers didn’t hit the ceiling, and I soon realized that Jesus was very much all the Bible said He was and He was moving in these people’s lives.

I want to emphasize that I truly was born again.  I could feel that I had a spiritual self that had awakened that I’d never had before.  But I didn’t always exemplify the change inside.  The early lessons I’d learned of fear, hopelessness and severe depression left their mark.  Worst of all, the idea that God was not totally trustworthy caused me to make some major decisions on my own that went on to be major mistakes.  Looking back, I cringe.

But God’s forgiveness covers those mistakes, and I keep learning to trust God and let Him be, completely, the Lord of my life.  A life lived for God and with God is a never ending story of learning and healing.  At the beginning I promised you a story, but not an ending.  There is no end.  The miracle goes on…..