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Photos left to right:  OLIH Catholic Church Fundraiser, Ad in the Ankeny Living Magazine for April,  Lori (HyVee Floral Ankeny) store manager with Infinite Links.

Roots are deep…

I’ve been a resident in Ankeny, Iowa for over 25 years, and although the town has more than doubled since I moved here, I still have a hard time going somewhere without knowing someone.  Relationships and connecting with people are what keep a community alive and active.  We all have a deep desire to belong to something, to feel needed, and to connect with others in a positive way.

When it came time to set up for the OLIH Catholic Faith and Friendship fundraiser, I have to say that it was bittersweet.  OLIH was our family church for many, many years.  My youngest son was baptized in the church, I sang during vacation bible school, and taught my boy’s religious ed classes.  I was connected to my church deeply, and then everything changed.   Broken in pieces by a divorce, I found myself not fitting into the mold anymore, or so I thought.   I now know that I was withholding forgiveness for myself, but back then was blinded and could not see.  I let my life situation change me in a negative way, and it changed my image of myself along with it.  I left the Catholic Church, and began to slip away into the bottomless pit.  I focused on work, the kids, and trying to survive day to day.  I was lost, and needed to be found again.

Thank goodness for forever friends!  I was at a point where I wanted more meaning in my life, more purpose, more hope, and my dear friend invited me to her church.  She told me my husband and I would love it!  Great music, message, and meaning.  She was right, and I was reconnected again to a new church where I could thrive again, and let go of my old one.  Or so I thought…  You see, the fundraiser reconnected me to my old church, my old memories, and my old pain.  It was a sort of healing that happened for me instead of a fundraiser event. Yes, I’m happy we could raise money to help families in need, but I’m thankful it opened the door to forgiveness, and shut the door to some past hurts.

Jeremiah 33:6  Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth.