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Hi, I’m Racheal, and I’d like to share with you how God greatly affected my life! When I was first asked to write this so many memories of things I’ve walked thru with the Lord since I’ve come to know him excited my heart! When he called me out of darkness was only the beginning! It has gotten richer and fuller since. My walk with My Lord is like a beautiful masterpiece that is developing over time, a little bit each day.

My parents married young, at the age of 18, and they went to live on a marine base in South Carolina. With the pressures of life on their back and no knowledge of the Lord they looked for answers with in the world, and it left them, as it does everyone sad, lonely and a mess. So by age 2 my newborn sister and I, went to live with my mom’s parents, in Sheffield lake, Ohio. While my parents were divorcing and figuring out their next move. My dad came back to Ohio to get us, and my grandparents let them have me, but not my sister. So I bounced around growing up from mom to dad.My 8th grade year my dad had become badly addicted to drugs. More back and forth to different family and friends, in my sophomore year I met my now husband Mike, at South High School. Coming from Sheffield Lake suburbia small town to East Cleveland was quite a change. I am a very social person and it didn’t take me long to find some friends. My 11th grade summer I moved with my dad to Sheffield Lake. Thinking I was leaving Mike behind, but he moved into the apartment complex right across the street with a friend of his. After some time, we broke up and he moved back to Cleveland. About a month passed and I found out I was pregnant. I called Mike, we got backed together and I moved in with him and his family. Neither of us graduated. Mike got a job and partied quite a bit. We went thru so much together and tried to be grownups and be good parents to Brandon, but we were lost. We loved each other so much but, it was like no matter how hard we tried we were just going in circles. We had MANY break ups.

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When Brandon was almost 3, I left and moved in with another guy, tried to raise Brandon there and be a family, but ended up lonely. He wasn’t trying to take care of a stay at home mom. So I needed to get a job, believing him that I could make a lot of money I worked for an internet company then a strip club, while my son stayed with Mike’s mom. It felt like I was away from him for so long. I would see him pretty regularly, I only lived 2 streets away. So after about 2 months of that I met someone at the club I worked at. Thinking I had found the answer to all my financial desires and stability for my son and I. Brandon and I moved to Euclid to be with Chris, the man I met at the club. So, I quit working at the club and got a job at Drug mart near where we lived. We got married and had a son. Little by little I was stripped from my family and anyone I associated with. His Father was very controlling. Chris worked for his dad so he controlled our money and our vehicles. About a year after we were married I had my 2nd abortion, the first one was about 2 years after Brandon was born. I became very addicted to marijuana, coke, and drinking. My desire to be a mom had diminished. I hadn’t seen Mike in about 2 ½ years at this point. My dad wrote to me from prison and told me he had changed his life. I went to visit my dad once he was out, and he told me he heard God speak to him and how he was learning about him. I thought he was crazy! So my little brother Steven came to visit me one weekend, he was about 12, he was questioning me about why I was keeping Brandon from mike and he told me that he knew where mike’s family had moved to. At this point I was getting so sick of my life everything had no real joy in it I had no one that I really loved or trusted in my life. I had grown to hate the man I was married to for all the control he let his dad have in our lives and he was never home, always working, so I was always alone with the kids. In my mind I was morally bound to this marriage because, I married him and said I would never divorce once I married. So, at this point I started to have a hunger in my heart for spiritual things, and reading. I would pray every night and tell God I wasn’t going to break any commandments the next day, and I would talk to him about how I was feeling. Then my dad came to pick my brother up and told me he knew how I felt about divorce but that I needed to pray about my marriage and ask God what to do, and he gave me this book called Enjoying Where You Are On The Way To Where You Are Going by Joyce Meyers. So, I had been high on meth for 3 days and couldn’t sleep so I as I was in bed I started reading this book. I don’t remember it saying anything about the Lord in there. The only thing I remember it saying is, ‘Life is like a train ride and the main stops along the way are things like getting married, having a baby- It’s the ride to those places we need to enjoy and if we don’t something is wrong!’ I remember thinking something is definitely wrong! So I started to pray and tell God how I was messing up the life of my kids, and I couldn’t change and if he wanted me to change he would have to do it! I was a sobbing mess. The next day I woke up, the sun was beaming in my windows and my aunt called I answered the phone and she said, “What are you doing today?” I said, “I am leaving my husband!” She said, “WHAT? I’m on my way to come and get you!” I called Chris to tell him I was leaving, and his dad wouldn’t let him leave the job site to come home or talk to me on the phone.

Even though I was going to stay with my aunt for a little while I knew it wouldn’t last and I needed somewhere for me and my two boys to stay. I felt like I had tired my family out with all my drama that I couldn’t call them and ask if we could go there and the only person I could think to call was Mike’s mom, Vickie. So I called 411 and her information came up right away, when she answered the phone and I told her who I was all she could do was scream! She said, “We have been praying so long and hard for you!” So my Aunt Nora came and picked us up, we went to a fair and Vickie, her husband Dave and their daughter Ali, met us there. The boys and I stayed there so that I could get a job and catch a bus to get back and forth. The kind of funny thing was that I didn’t even really think about Mike. I had heard through some friends he was a mess, and the last they saw him he looked homeless. So my plan was to get a job and get on my feet with my two boys. Well I asked Vickie that night if she even knew where Mike was, and she told me that he was in Missouri, in a program called Teen Challenge. I asked her what that was and she told me it was a rehabilitation program and that Mike was doing great! She showed me some pictures of him, I couldn’t even believe it, he looked so different, so clean, so attractive. In a different kind of way, he was beautiful, he was changed! So, the next day Chris called and wanted to see Domonic, well I had felt so bad for keeping Brandon from Mike for all those years that I didn’t want to do that to Chris I felt like it was wrong and I didn’t want to keep him from his dad. So I wrote up a paper saying Chris would bring Domonic back on Monday and we went to the bank and had it notarized. I was thinking this way he couldn’t keep him. Well before Monday I got a letter in the mail from his lawyer with a restraining order and divorce papers. By the time I went to court the judge told me that they did not want to disrupt the child from the home he was in. I would have to prove Chris unfit in order to get Domonic back, and at this time Chris lived with his parents with Domonic. This all happened at the end of August.

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October 1st Mike came home for a 10-day visit. He got to walk Brandon to his 1st day of kindergarten things were exciting God was on the move but it wasn’t a “and they lived happily ever after” yet. Mike was telling me God hates divorce, and that he wasn’t sure me leaving was what God wanted. So at the time my heart wanted to be with Mike and start over fresh with Jesus! It was such a wonderful thing that was happening, I was getting a perfect happy family, what I had always wanted! Well, Mike went back to Missouri and I proceeded to work and save. I finally got my own place, all by Gods mercy and grace! So I would walk Brandon to school every day and catch the bus and go to work. Mike would write me and encourage me about the Lord! I didn’t quit smoking and partying after I surrendered to the Lord and asked him to change me. It was a bit of a process. God would never let me enjoy it. Finally, I got rid of all my paraphernalia. I went to the bar a couple times and drank and because I was so vulnerable and lonely I was desperate and made a fool of myself, dancing and asking guy for their numbers. I am so thankful it never went farther than that, I would feel heartbroken the next day knowing I disobeyed the Lord. So thankful that I was surrounded by a great church of people who loved me and walked very close to me, to teach me the word and take me under their wing. So, eventually I grew out of my desire for partying and drinking because it wasn’t fun anymore. The Bible says sin is fun for a season. Then I got to see it with eyes of truth for what it really is, and no longer had a desire for it. Mike kept telling me about this divorce that was being finalized, and again how God hated divorce. So I went to a woman councilor at our church and told her about my situation. Chris still did want to be with me from what I could tell, and I loved the way my heart was feeling toward Mike but wanted what God had for me and feared what I would face if I didn’t do what I knew God wanted me to do, and I wasn’t even completely sure what that was. So she told me that now that I was saved things were different and I should tell Chris if he still wanted to be with me and get remarried we would need to get council with my pastor and stay celibate till marriage and do things right this time. So, I told Chris that. His response was you want me to not have sex with you till I remarry you. You’re out of your mind you and your God can go somewhere. I must admit I was glad that was his response!

I told Mike and we both finally felt free from it! We were talking marriage and starting over. Mike had a strong conviction that we should trust the Lord with how many kids we had, he said, “We trust him with our money and that he’ll provide for us, why can’t we trust him with creating life!” So I thought here we go on our way to a picture perfect life again! So Mike came home on Christmas day for good! He moved in with some Christian roommates and got a job with the guy who owned the place. It was exciting, things were going great, then he went out one night, drinking! I couldn’t believe it! Brandon’s Sunday school teacher kept telling me this verse before Mike even came home, He who has begun a good work in you will not complete it till the day of Jesus Christ! I didn’t fully understand it then, but God had only begun his work in us! So we got married at the court house, and continued on with life and was expecting our first daughter Mady. So Mike was working out his addictions with God, God was also working on my heart at the same time. I couldn’t understand how he was still struggling with this, now that we were saved. Little did I know, God needed to show me who I was outside of Christ! So in 2008 we had 5 kids Brandon, age 9, Domonic, (on the weekends), age 5, Mady, age 2, Benny, age 1, and Brayden, age newborn. Mike was drinking more regularly. Temptation came my way in a very lonely time, and I gave in to it! As dark and deep of a time that was in our marriage, God was so near to us! He met us both! He restored our marriage and through council and Bible study and a lot of talking we overcame it and, I can truly say he has forgiven me, and I have truly forgiven him! The Lord then blessed us with a sweet daughter, she was like salve to a wound! We named her Lillian Grace, Lillian for “The Lily of The Valley” (a name of Jesus) and Grace, because that’s what she was to us, when we deserved punishment! I can say today we have a great friendship and those struggles, only by the grace of God are no longer tempting us! We were all born with a sinful nature, some to drink or drug some to attention from guys! The things our flesh are drawn to are almost innumerable, and we don’t get to pick what they are. I want to share with you that life is hard and without the Lord, it’s a race to misery and ultimately to hell. I felt like I was living hell on earth before I met the Lord, after I asked him to be MY Lord there was hope that I was going to make it thru, and a way I could be free from these bondages and grow to be more like Christ and closer to him! Which is more to my benefit than to his, I think! Thank you for taking the time to read HIS story in my life!

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If you have any questions or need to talk you can find me on Facebook at: Mikeand Racheal wolf or shoot me an email at: mikewolf8179@gmail.com!

For more awesome stories of God’s redeeming, healing, and restoring power check out these other #WOWWednesday Women!

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