March 3, 2016
It was a lot of fun to grow up on an old-order Amish farm! Feeding livestock and watching things grow was exciting, and being outdoors was something I enjoyed a lot. Going to church was something I also looked forward to; I always enjoyed seeing friends and having a good time.
Growing up in a family of fourteen had its challenges, and I never really felt a strong connection between myself and my parents. Even though attention was often divided, I still had heart to heart talks with my parents sometimes.
I joined the church when I turned seventeen, as was the normal thing to do in my community. I knew my dad had a problem with immorality at the time (he had been in the Department of Corrections for three counts of child molestation), which really weighed heavily on my mind. Sometimes I talked to mom about my dad’s mistakes, and I also had questions about the church rules, etc.; however, her answers to my questions always revolved around the fact that we did what we did because it's the way we were brought up or because it was worldly to do things otherwise.
After I got married in 2006, my husband and I talked about my dad’s immorality. Later that year, we were shocked as more of my dad’s sins came to light. My husband and I felt it was our duty to report my dad to the county authorities. Of course, because we turned my dad in, we were rejected from all of my family members with the exception of three brothers.
I was no longer able to go home to visit my mom anymore, and I became homesick. Even though this was a trying time for me emotionally, it turned out to be a good thing in the long run, because it caused me to turn to the Bible more.
It was at this time that my husband, Paul, and I also got punished in church for reporting my dad to the authorities. Of course, we did not think that this punishment was biblical. Paul was ready to leave the Amish after being punished by the church, but I felt so alone and forsaken by my parents, and I knew if we left, his parents would ban us as well. I couldn’t handle the thought of more rejection.
Seven to eight years passed, but things didn’t clear up. My husband and I got caught going to a Bible study, and tensions flared once again. We decided to move to Colorado because we thought that the Amish community there would be more balanced. Paul still felt God calling him to leave the Amish, but he continued to wait on me.
We lived in Colorado for eight months, and again, things started showing up in the church that we didn’t believe were biblical. Although the non-biblical actions of our new church were different than the ones we faced before, we were still bothered by them. I started to pray that God would show or tell me the way that was right for our family.
One week, Paul needed to go to Pennsylvania for a business trip, so I was alone with our children. Of course, during the time that my husband was away, the nights were very scary and unnerving. As I laid in bed alone, I was very afraid and heard every little sound. I started praying, and I would keep praying until I fell asleep. Then, when I would wake up, I would pray some more; this was the way that I spent my nights.
One night, as I was praying, God told me that I wasn’t doing what the Bible said to do. I was convicted, because I knew that my husband wanted to leave the Amish, but I wasn’t willing to submit to him. God told me that my heart was not lining up with what the Bible required. I realized that my fear of disobeying parents and the church rules showed that I was caring about obeying man rather than obeying God. After coming to this realization, it wasn’t as hard for me to accept the fact that we would be rejected by our families if we left; it was at this time that we stopped attending the Amish church.
Making the transition from the Amish to the English has had its challenges. With the help of friends like Eli and Leah Lee, Joe and Rachel Schrock, Steven Nash, Samuel and Polly Girod, and many others, it has been a blessing and much easier. Unfortunately, though, we are shunned by our family. They don't even want us to come around for fear that we would defile them. We have been asked not to pull in the driveway to see them, so we have listened and to honor their request, we do not visit them. The shunning is certainly real for us.
The moment I got saved came when Leah and Eli Lee came and spent time with my family and showed me scriptures such as John 3:16 and Luke 19:10. After hearing the gospel, I accepted the fact that I was dirty and in need of Jesus to take me in and purify me. I’m so thankful for the salvation of Jesus Christ! I can’t stop thanking Jesus for hearing me and being patient with me. I also am thankful for my husband who also had patience with me and was willing to stand by my side and wait until God did His work in me.
My future with Paul and my family looks great! Paul and I just celebrated our ten-year anniversary; it felt like a short ten years. During our time of marriage, we have been blessed with seven children: five boys and two girls. As our children grow, it is our desire to feed them with the word of God. We are open and excited to see what God has in store for us in the days to come!
This testimony has been published with permission from the owner.
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