So today I have the priviledge of sharing with you Gina's story in her own words:
On March 4, 2011, I found out my father died. I learned of it in an e-mail, about a week after his death. I got the news in such an impersonal way because my father left when I was three years old. I don't even remember the day he left. My sister was seven and my mom was six months pregnant with my brother. My mom is from Australia. So she was left devastated, in America, with two young children and a baby on the way, with no family around to help. I only saw my father a couple times after that. He moved to Japan and I never saw him or heard from him again.
I have spent most of my life trying to convince myself that I was ok with it. As I got older, I just tried to think of him as a stranger... basically because he was a stranger to me. That helped me let go of the hurt of not being wanted by him.
I often wondered how I would feel if I got word that he had died. I could not have prepared myself for the emotional upheaval that e-mail would cause. As I read the words, I sat there shaking and sobbing for a father I barely knew. He's gone now and I will never know him. It hurts. But I know I have a Heavenly Father and He will never leave or forsake me.
"...you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15
Here is my journey to my Abba, Father…
Six years later, everything changed! Bill got out of the Navy and we were living in Richmond, VA. He traveled a lot with his new job and on one particular night, I was at home and Bill was in a hotel room in North Carolina. Without knowing it, we both happened to tune in to a Billy Graham Crusade on TV. I had no idea who Billy Graham was. I had never even heard of him before that. But while we watched that night, in two different states, unaware that the other was watching, God began convicting both of us. When we talked on the phone the next day, and realized what had happened, we decided we needed to find a church. I don’t think we quite knew what was taking place at that time, but we know now. It was The Holy Spirit at work. My older sister, who had been living for the Lord for several years at that point, sent me a Bible in the mail. And that February of 1997, Bill and I surrendered our lives to the Lord! God saved us and changed us! He forgave all our sins! We were new people!