Dale Waldner

 

I was born and raised in a Hutterite colony in Manitoba.  I grew up in a Christian community going to church every day and living a Christian life.  I left the colony when I was 21 with a goal in mind to travel and explore the world.  I moved to Lloydminster for work in November of 2011.  I had no friends nor did I know anyone here.  So if you can imagine growing up in a sheltered community, where I had to abide by the rules of the colony my whole life to now being set in a booming oil city, no shortage of work and money, and on my own, it didn’t take long for the partying lifestyle that I let myself be drawn to, to attract those kinds of people into my life.

A few short years later my life had spun into a vicious cycle of making money and drinking and partying it away.  A weekend after weekend it was the same thing with the same people.  I had done no traveling or saved any money to travel.  The Christian values and teachings that had learned growing up had all but gone out the window and my life was on a downward spiral.

Losing my drivers license was the lowest point of my life.  I always assumed that getting charged with a DUI was something that happened to other people, not me.  My class 1 license was my livelihood and oil prices had just crashed six months before. By typical standards, my boss had every reason to fire me.  But he realized I had a problem before I did.  It wasn’t until taking a DWI (Driving Without Impairment) course to reinstate my license that after completing a questionnaire on alcoholism that my eyes were opening to this destructive addiction and how it had taken hold of my life.

After some a few months of trying to change my life around and get cleaned up on my own, my friend Glenn randomly texted me one Saturday night at 11:45 and asked me if I wanted to go to church tomorrow.  That really caught me off guard but I said yes right away.  For the next 2 Sundays, we drove around to different churches attending the different services.  The last one we attended was the Potters House.  The day I stepped through the doors I knew that this church was where God set my feet.  The love that received from the congregation and the conviction I felt in my heart was nothing short of a God moment in my life.  The next service I answered the altar call and gave my life to the Lord.  It was a dramatic change that took place in my life over the next couple months.  I overcame the addiction of alcohol, cigarettes, and other drugs and began to focus my life of self-development and not self-destruction.

This new relationship with Jesus was something I had never experienced before.  Instead of just knowing about Jesus, I got to have a personal relationship with Him and to feel the guidance of the Holy Spirit leading me along in life.  The peace and the joy-filled life that comes along with it when we abide in His teachings, loving others by adding value to their lives and feeling that desire to share my testimony and lead others to Christ, are some of the ways how my faith has changed my walk through life.

I’ll never forget that day when I was working with my boss and he asked me about this trip to Chilliwack B.C. that I had coming up and if I was going for vacation.  I told him that no, it wasn’t a vacation but that I’m being sponsored by my pastor to go to our semi-annual church conference.  He then asked me how long I’ve been attending this church now and I said it’s been five months since I’ve been really committing my life to the ministry.  “Well,” he said.  “The only reason I’m asking is that I’ve noticed since you’ve been going; you just; seem happier.”  That moment sparked such a fire of hope in my heart knowing that it was our actions and not so much the words we speak that speaks so much louder than words ever can.

I feel hope and excitement as I work my way to fulfill the calling God has placed in my heart to pursue the ministry.  I’ve never had a more rewarding life than leading others to the Lord.  He is ever chipping away the rough edges of my life and He can do the same for you if you’ll let Him. Everything that I currently have going for me in life, my call to ministry, being blessed at work, the positive and goal oriented people surrounding me, a godly woman to build a future with, is directly related to the decision to give my life over to the Lord.  God bless you all and thank you for reading my story.

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