The Next Rainy Sunday
I was born July 21, 1945, in Vancouver, B.C., and was brought up by a Christian mother who couldn’t read or write. My father was an alcoholic and an abusive husband and father. He was one of my childhood abusers. He abused me sexually, mentally, and physically.
All my childhood, I loved going to church. However, as a little girl I thought I was not clean enough for Jesus to forgive me. You see, as a young child I would make money by touching and kissing men. How could Jesus love me who seemed so unlovable? When I was 12, I met a 15-year-old girl who showed me what I thought was real love. I started sexual activities at a very young age. Male or female, it didn’t matter, as long as I felt loved. Yet I was afraid people might find out about my sexual activities.
I joined a church in 1965 and met a Christian man whom I married in 1969. We had two children together, and while this was great, I often felt something was missing. I forgot about my past and tried to live a Christian life. I was still looking at the women who were attracted to me. (I was attracted to women more than my husband. I never cheated physically – only in my mind. ) In 1973, I had my second child, but then my husband left me for another woman. I was hurt and swore I would never love anyone ever again.
When my oldest child was 10, I moved him to his father’s because his father had a home and a new wife, and could give him the things I could not afford. Their family was more mentally stable. After my husband left, I had started drinking, and when my son left, I began doing drugs as well. Things got so bad that a year and half later I moved my daughter to her father’s as well.
Then I met a woman and fell in love – so I thought. She was an alcoholic, so for the next 14 years we had a very dysfunctional relationship. My girlfriend beat me up several times, but I couldn’t seem to leave because I loved her.
One Sunday morning I went to McDonald’s for breakfast. When I came out, my mother was across the street at her church picnic and she asked me to come over for an ice cream. I joined her and met some of the people she knew. The pastor asked me if I was going to come to church some time soon. I replied, “The next rainy Sunday.”
During the next week while I was walking up on “The Drive” (the centre of Vancouver’s counter-culture commercial strip), I met the pastor again and we stopped and chatted. Then she asked me again when I’d be coming to church. I said the next rainy Sunday, and we laughed and went our separate ways.
The next Saturday night I was out partying. Frankly I was getting sick of the partying and longed for something different, but I didn’t know what. I came home about 3:30 am and went to bed alone. (My girlfriend was away in Edmonton because her mother had died.) About 7:00 am I awoke and heard the rain beating hard at my window. I rolled over but couldn’t fall back to sleep. I went to church that day and have continued until this day. That first rainy day I went to church, I met Jesus.
About a year later my girlfriend and I split up. The more I surrendered to God, the more the things of this world seemed to drop off, including the drugs and alcohol. I started to read my Bible and pray, and I enjoyed going to church. Miraculously, my girlfriend also found Christ and started a new life as well.
For five years I lived a celibate life, but there were still issues to deal with. I knew I needed to surrender more of my life to Christ, but I didn’t know how. Finally, I met a woman who introduced me to a Partners in Hope, a Christian 12-step programme. (It follows the same basic principles as Alcoholics Anonymous, but we name Jesus as our higher power.) This programme taught me how to surrender and deal with the painful parts of my life that I seemed to have buried. I needed to bring some of these hidden things to the surface to be completely healed.
Today I am still working on some of the dysfunctional areas of my life. I know that Jesus is in my life and that he is continuing to heal me in every area of my being.
Now I live in a wonderful, healing relationship as a woman surrendering her life daily to Jesus. The verses that I like and know have help me through many situations are Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with your whole heart and lean not unto your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Lorna McLachlan was promoted to glory on October 22nd, 2009 after a long battle with cancer. Lorna was a member of St. Simon’s Church, North Vancouver, British Columbia. Her life was focused on helping others overcome destructive and addictive lifestyles through her involvement in Partners in Hope. She will be greatly missed by many.
This testimony appears in printed form in the booklet Transformed by an Encounter with Christ: A contribution to the ongoing discussion on same-sex blessings in the Anglican Church of Canada, published in 2006 by the Zacchaeus Fellowship.
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Story © 2004 Lorna McLachlan. All rights reserved. Used by permission.