I grew up in a loving,Christian home(Presbyterian background)and can still remember sitting on my bed as a little girl of 6 years old and praying with my “Mommy” that Jesus would come and live in my heart.  I was told that as a 2.5 yr. old, I could stand in front of the church, at the pulpit, and recite one of my favorite Bible verses,  John 3:16.

My family were regular church attenders, making almost every Sunday except for occasional illnesses, vacations, etc.  I can remember waking up in the a.m. and smelling my Dad’s coffee brewing and he’d be completely dressed, ready to go, already having his morning quiet time!  Yes, lots of childhood memories of mine are tied to Sunday mornings and involve church friends/family.  Shortly after hitting my teenage years, however, the rebellion began.

I was singing special music, attending Senior High youth functions(after all my Mom was the leader!), going on a Missions trip(Guadalajara, Mexico)and yet living a lie.  To my church family, most relatives, acquaintances, etc.  I shone bright on the outside(never let on that things are not as they should be, right?) playing the role of that sweet teenage girl that gives all the families in the hallway a smile, answers all their questions with perfection,…you get the point!  Well, meanwhile, I was rebelling big time against my parents, the faith I supposedly believed in, and when my almost 4 year-long relationship with my highschool boyfriend ended, I thought my whole world was going to fall apart.  I was a mess in more ways than one.

I met my boyfriend, now husband, Steve, just a few years after highschool. I was still attending church somewhat regularly at this time, but still hadn’t changed my hypocritical ways. Just a few weeks after I turned 21, I found out I was expecting.  How was I going to tell my parents the news? How was “perfect” little Amy(my parents knew better, but some of my extended family did not!) going to be received?   This was not what I had “dreamed” for my life…what about that fairytale wedding where my Daddy was to give me away, and being the beautiful bride?  All my dreams seemed to fade in the distance.  Now, my sin and my shame was going to be fully evident and while I knew in my heart, abortion was not an option for me, I knew this was not going to be an easy road.  My parents were obviously disappointed and hurt at first, but it did not take long for them to extend forgiveness and mercy toward both of us.

Natalie is now our beautiful blessing who is almost 10 years old!  Steve and I have been married for almost 10 years as well and have two other precious children, Kylie and Stephen Drew.  My life and our life is far from perfect, and there has been quite a lot of hardships involving my extended family that has affected me/us greatly over the past couple of years;however, God is so GREAT!  He has brought me out of several deep, dark pits over the past 15 years and has always proved his faithfulness in my life, over and over again.

I feel that even though I have been a member of NAC since 2006, there are so many of you that I don’t know yet, and my prayer is that I would come to know each and every member in time, and share in the greatness of our Lord.  I loved the authenticity of NAC from the moment I first walked in, the “realness”, that there was no put ons, we were all just there to worship Jesus!  I love the line in Francesca Battistelli’s song, “Free to Be Me” where she sings, .”…but perfection is my enemy”  I think the average American church has done a disservice, especially to women, in that we haven’t been sharing our scars.  We hide behind them as if that’s the better choice.  I want everyone to know, that “I’ve got a couple dents in my fender…”  but He’s got them covered!  I look forward to getting to know, love and serve my church family!

Amy Perron

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