This I Believe. God answers prayer in his time, not mine. When I was young my father abused me, my mother neglected me and God delivered me. I was baptized Catholic and my father burned my rosary, bible and catechism because he was angry at God. I kept my faith in my heart.
I married my high school sweetheart. We were very young. After we had our first baby I felt the need to find a church to attend. I found a protestant church I could walk to every Sunday with my baby because Ken didn’t believe in going to church and he wouldn’t let me drive the car.
I was reading my bible and one day Ken came in and asked; “What the hell are you reading? What are you, a God damn fanatic?” I seldom raised my voice since he hit me once in anger. This day I did. I told Ken “It’s my right as an American to have freedom of religion. If you don’t like being married to a Christian, that‘s just too bad. You’d better get used to it.” From then on I read my bible whenever I wanted. Ken never said another word.
Ken and I had another son Adam and a daughter Kimberly. We all walked to church every Sunday.
When Kenny Junior was sixteen he was confirmed at church. He wore a white robe and a red carnation. There was a ceremony at church and a cake. The church gave him a Bible and a plague with a cross on it. He was very proud and when we got home he showed them to his dad. Ken, in turn, threw a hammer across the garage and broke a window. He told me to keep that religious crap away from him. I told Kenny Junior not to take it too hard. I explained that Dad doesn’t believe the way we do. I prayed that Ken’s heart would open to the Lord as I often did.
Ken’s attitude about religion changed radically when his father died. His dad was the main reason Ken was so against church. He had always talked about his aunt’s husband leaving her because she was so fanatical about religion. Ken’s father, on his deathbed, told Ken he was sorry for not taking him to church as a child. He said “It wouldn’t have hurt me to go to church.” Ken said “I’ve decided to go to church with you from now on and you can thank my Dad.” Ken’s dad died five days after that.
Ken began to attend church. He was agreeable when the other children were confirmed and he attended the services. It was an answer to a prayer I had said when Kenny Junior was six months old. Prayer keeps me grounded and God lets me forgive.
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