A Story of Hope
by Jeanne Olsen
Part 2 of our Stories of Love, Hope and Healing focuses on hope. This is Rowan Conley’s story.
Rowan Conley grew up in a Christian family in Colorado. Through her teen years she became extremely rebellious and turned away from her faith in God and the church. At the age of 18 she found herself pregnant and due to family expectations, she was married and raising a family by 19. She moved to Kenosha shortly after her first marriage and subsequently was divorced within a few years.
After that marriage failed, Rowan’s life fell apart, becoming a vicious cycle of feeling ashamed of a bad decision, concluding that she was unworthy of something better, and ending up back in another sinful situation. Mike Conley, whom she had known since high school, was her savior in many ways, and her marriage to him, one year before she started coming to Light of Christ, was a turning point in her life.
When she began attending Light of Christ, she was–for the first time since childhood–open to God and willing to listen to His voice. She knew she carried a burden of shame that He wanted to heal. She constantly felt ashamed of herself and it was a battle not to constantly be concerned with whether others were judging her also.
God used Father Eirik’s sermons and pastoral visits to plant words of hope and encouragement in her heart. He said clearly that shame was evil and that it didn’t come from God. Rowan began to have hope that she could put her past completely behind her. She had received God’s forgiveness, but she was finally able to let go of her shame. She began making good decisions and experienced no desire to return to sinful ways.
Rowan grew up in an Episcopal church, so for her, at Light of Christ there was a familiarity and a sense of returning to a place that she once knew. “What Light of Christ has done for me,” says Rowan, “is to return me to the faith of my childhood, before sin and shame took away who I was.”
Praise God for His hope and healing!
Have you experienced Christ’s love, hope or healing at Light of Christ? Would you be willing to share your story? Contact Lisa Traylor or Jeanne Olsen.
July 31, 2017
May 17, 2016
March 09, 2016