Theresa KGF

The third eldest of 14 children, my early years in Saskatchewan and then, as a teenager, in the Ottawa Valley was a world of confusion and conflict. Private religious schooling, church on weekdays and every Sunday, grace before every meal – all were important to our deeply religious mother. Our father struggled with manic-depression and alcoholism, mocked Christians as delusional hypocrites, while insisting on perfect outward appearances. I followed rules, trying to please my father with good grades and perfect behavior.

There was no more need for appearances when I left home for university in Ottawa. Because I had never thought for myself I had no inner strength. In the late 60s/early 70s young people were throwing off societal and cultural restraints. I got swept up in the current. Religion and church-going had offered me nothing of value, and Jesus was just a remote historical figure. If there really was a point to life, I was going to have to find answers somewhere else.

By the mercy of God I survived, graduating in ’71 with a degree in journalism. At my first full-time job as a newspaper reporter, I met Lorne, a sports editor re-assigned from Kelowna to Cornwall. He definitely wasn’t my type – he drove a Mustang and I was a VW van person. Two years later, while he worked at the Ottawa Journal and I worked at the competing Ottawa Citizen, we married and moved to Kelowna.

Two daughters were born in the early stress-filled years of our marriage.  Lorne was enticed back to the Ottawa Journal so we crossed the country again, and our son was born two years later. Stresses with his work and both our families moved us to tentatively ask for help from the God we hoped could hear us. One after another, miracles happened and it dawned on us that we weren’t alone in the universe. We looked up, in awe that the same God who hung the stars in the sky, knew about us, and cared.

I opened the first Bible I had ever held and began to read Matthew. At chapter 11, I read Jesus’ invitation: “Come to me, anyone who is weary and overburdened.” That was me. “And I will give you rest.” That was what my soul needed and wanted, and with my acceptance of that invitation, I have never looked back.

We returned to Kelowna, had two more daughters, and raised our five children in the knowledge of the love of Jesus.  It’s a great joy to see our children, their spouses and our 12 grandchildren build their lives on God’s unfailing love.

Friends, teachers and pastors have encouraged and strengthened me in adventures and joys with Jesus that I would not trade for the world. Thirty years after I accepted the greatest invitation from the One who paid all my debt, I am believing, with thanksgiving, for the same rich treasure for my 9 sisters and 4 brothers.

The Word of God has carried us through thick and thin, including at one ‘hopeless’ crisis point, when all fears were washed away by Psalm 121:  “The Lord will keep you from all harm - He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”

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Congrats Theresa

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