this is my story....

I grew up in the church [baptist] and many of our family members have (and still do) serve in various capacities in the ministry. My family plays such an important role in my path to salvation, because I have always known that God placed me in this family on purpose. I was adopted as a toddler, the second of what would grow to be many children adopted over three generations.

 I accepted Christ as my personal savior at the age of 10. As a child and teenager my faith grew and I spent much time studying the Bible. As a teenager my faith was tested as my brother battled and eventually lost his life to leukemia. Devastating as this was, his life and testimony only strengthened my faith.

Doug & Jana
Doug & Jana at Easter 1969
PawPaw & girls
My dad & daughters at Easter 1991
As a young adult I strayed from church - I wanted to do my own thing. It was never an out right rebellion, but a gradual slipping that landed me at the bottom of a pit.

If breaking commandments had been an Olympic sport, I would have earned a gold medal. My bad decisions and poor choices often landed me in places where I did not want to be. Two failed marriages, both abusive, and two sweet babies later, God reached down and pulled me up out of my mess.

I attempted off and on but never could quite recapture the zeal I had in my teenage years for God, his word and the church. I remarried, gained a son and spent the next fifteen years living the average "moral Christian" life. Meaning, I really didn't do anything bad, but I really didn't have a relationship with God. I went to church off and on, I logged a ton of charity hours and donated money to many organizations.

Then in 2004 everything changed... our family was on top of the world with great careers, good money, a new mcmansion, invitations to all the 'right' gatherings and the birth of our first grand-baby. We had everything that was worldly important. But in a split second it all imploded and everything that had seemed important in one moment lay in rubble the next.

My daughter had been sexually abused... by her (step) father.

The drama - years of drama - that ensued at that moment could never be fully explained. The details are not important, really. But what is important, is God.

God - again - reached down and picked up this rebellious child of his and delivered me to safe ground, delivered my children to safe ground, and repaired and restored our broken hearts and broken lives.
Daughter's Graduation 2008

"And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king's counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men.
The hair of their heads was not singed, their cloaks were not harmed,
and no smell of fire had come upon them"

Daniel 3:27 

One of my favorite scriptures is Daniel 3:27... King Nebuchadnezzar had thrown Daniel's friends in the fire, and
  • God went into the fire with them,
  • God protected them in the midst of the flames,
  • God delivered them from the firey furnace, and
  • God removed any trace of evidence they had ever been in the fire... "and they didn't smell of smoke."  
And that is what God did for my family!

I could recount many moments of God's intervention and presence in my life during that time, like him clearly telling me I had to forgive the man who hurt my daughter. [that telling is for another time]

But he also told me to go tell everyone.  My family's ordeal had brought me to my knees and back to the feet of Jesus.  And our relationship was restored and grew into something I had never experienced as a teen.   
Then in 2011 God moved me to a new church home, brought a wonderful godly man into my life [Marty Spicer], and called us to serve the Kingdom.  That is when Sweet To The Soul began.

God took the worst thing that happened to my family, rescued and repaired us, and turned it into a testimony and a ministry.

He can do the same for you friend!

Blessings Soul Friends,
Marty and Jana Spicer
Our first Christmas 2011