By Jim Cross
Amber’s journey to a changed life began in November 2013 when she first attended the Prairie Lakes Church Grinnell Campus.
Following the death of her mother, a teenaged Amber walked away from her faith. “I tried to return a few times over the years, but it never felt like a good fit,” said Amber.
However, things were different when she started attending PLC. “Immediately, I felt a connection. I felt welcomed. I started to feel a sense of belonging,” she said. “I did, however, question myself as to why I didn’t fully believe I had stepped over the Faith Line – I felt I never had.”
As Amber continued her faith journey, she discovered her husband was having an affair. “My world was crushed,” said Amber. “I had been a stay-at-home mother for 6 ½ years, with very little income and no college education.”
The stress became unbearable. A serious argument ensued, resulting in domestic assault charges against Amber, along with a no-contact order. She found herself without a home, living with her aunt and away from her daughter.
Amber was served with divorce papers, discovered she was pregnant and suffered a miscarriage shortly thereafter. “It was the final blow. We had spent the past year battling infertility,” said Amber. “I felt I was losing everything.”
Amber began speaking with Pastor Phil about her struggles. “Anytime bad things had happened in the past, I always blamed God,” said Amber. “Why me? I decided I needed change. Through the support of PLC members and Pastor Phil, I began trusting the Lord.
“I certainly didn’t feel strong at all,” she said. “Through prayer, I asked God where I was to be and what I should do. I always believed ‘Don’t give up, don’t let go.’”
At the end of July, Amber accepted a plea deal of simple misdemeanor assault. The no contact-order was dropped, and she returned home. Trusting the Lord’s plans, Amber continued to pray for her family, especially her husband, as well as for personal strength and patience. A few weeks later, Amber was baptized. “I was overwhelmed with emotion in realizing what the Lord was doing for me,” said Amber.
Amber and her husband began communicating, taking time for each other and the divorce was dismissed. “I fully believe the Lord has held us in His arms,” said Amber. “He has graced our marriage, and with Him as our guide, we can make this marriage all He created it to be.”
Amber said many times, during this past year, the sermons have spoken to her. “The marriage series Keep Your Vow came right as I was served divorce papers,” said Amber. “I held tight to the information and teaching during those services.
“PLC has truly changed my life,” said Amber. “Without this church and the people in it, I honestly don’t know how I could have made it through these struggles.”