My Story - Denise Peterson
We all have had times in our lives that we have felt the presence of God, I feel it’s His way of reminding us He is in charge, not us. Sometimes it’s a happy time, most of the time it is a difficult time. I would like to share one of my times, which was when I was 21 years old. I was baptized at VELC and brought up attending church here my whole life. When I became a teen, as with many my age, I filled my life with things other than God, for me it was my job. I found I worked on Sunday’s and for about 3 years didn’t attend church on any regular basis.
It was February of 1983 and I received a phone call about 11:00 pm that there had been an incident at the Pizza Hut that I was the assistant manager at. Without going into all the details of how that evening played out there had been a robbery. The robber was an employee that had been let go for a company violation. He had drank a bottle of Yukon Jack earlier that night, needed money for school, and decided to rob the restaurant. He came to the door, the assistant manager on duty let him in and he shot and killed her, right at the door. We don’t know why she let him in, we were in the middle of a snow storm and can only guess that maybe he asked her for some kind of help. He proceeded to rob and badly pistol whip 3 other employees because his guns jammed when he tried to shoot them.
As I was at the funeral for this young 20 year old girl named Michelle I found myself asking God so many questions. Of course, why??? I had been scheduled to work the shift she worked that night but she had asked me to switch with her. I had made the schedule for the restaurant and all the people involved were there because I had scheduled them. As you can imagine I was feeling so many things all at the same time. I was asking God why He could let something like this happen. I don’t know if it was something the Priest said, or if it was something God said to me, but I realized bad things happen, and that God is the rock that we hold on to. It was a very difficult time for a young person to understand, and it shook me. Or should I say God shook me. He didn’t make it happen but He was there to love and help me.
I think of Michelle often. It’s been 30 years since that life changing event happened. As with all of us I have had other events that have brought me and reminded me, who is at the center of this life and the next. It is God. I would invite you to take a look at my favorite Bible passage, Psalm 121, it begins with......I lift my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
This Psalm has given me strength so many times as my life has unfolded.
Via de Christo (Way of Christ)
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