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How My Mother Changed Our Community

Updated on September 20, 2015


So it all started in the year 2001, when my father and mother had a Evangelical Church in California, and they were called to minister to families in Arkansas. The church in California had over 300 members and was thriving, yet like most thing all good things come to an end.

When they got called to minister and start another church across the country; their immediate response was to visit first. I remember coming to Arkansas as a child and thinking, "where are we? Why did we come here?" As a kid most of the times you don't ask why, you just follow and do what you are told.

Once we visited Arkansas, we met with some families and most of them all said the same remarks. "It's a great place to visit!" "The scenery is phenomenal" "You will love it here!" A couple months went by and our visit turned into a nesting zone; my parents started to look for places to live.

As for the most part, leaving California was the best decision I never made. I now feel blessed to know that my parents knew what they were doing. Unfortunately, not everything that seems great actually stays great.


Three months after we moved to Arkansas, my parents divorced each other, but kept in contact to settle the property that was left in California. After everything was all said and done, my mother kept more than half and my father kept about 40 percent. Even though my mom struggled for three years, she finally got done with the paperwork and was a single mother of four girls. This caused a lot of tension in my home. During those three years my mother had to pay the mortgage on the house in California, and the rent here in Arkansas. She always tells me only God could do such a miracle.

Through out my teenage years I grew closer and closer to my sisters, until they start to go out with friends and boyfriends. It was a childhood that most kids now face. Divorce when I was growing up, wasn't common. I remember asking and trying to find other kids that would understand but was left alone to the unknown. I never asked anyone but would always see both parents in my friends home. This changed my perspective in marriage and made me realize there was still hope.

Being a child of divorced parents either does one of two things to you. You either grow up constantly analyzing your relationship and not understand what a marriage is, or you see the potential in what a marriage can do in your life. I believe in the beginning I was the first kind. I would date nonchalantly and not care who it was. Deep down I wanted to discover for myself why this happened to my parents, and how I could fix it. After giving up and not putting an unnecessary burden on myself, I began to take relationships seriously.

New Kind Of Men

So when I met my husband I never expected to marry him. We were friends for about a year and would constantly be seeing other people, but were not dating anyone. My mother always taught us to value ourselves and know our worth. I never would show interest in any guys, until it was my second year of college. Something about my friend I just couldn't explain. I felt this peace that I had never felt with anyone else. I didn't feel like I had to impress him. I just felt protected and secure. It was a feeling I had never experienced in a relationship.

Men are suppose to give women security. Of course, with working moms and working dads it seems as though instead of working as a team they compete with each other, which I never could understand.

After seeing all the suffering, anxiety, and pain my mom went through I knew I didn't want to be alone. i know for a fact that I wanted to keep a man that would stick with me for the long run. Shortly after my friend decided to pursue me we became boyfriend and girlfriend; the rest is history.

Finding Healing

Coming out clean on the other side

The most important part of growing up as a preachers kid was knowing the Bible. I remember listening sermon after, sermon, after sermon of so many different topics. Even though my parents didn't get their happily ever after I truly believe that it was all in God's plan. I never doubt not even for a moment that he wasn't in the mix. This just goes to show that even from ashes something can be reborn, renewed, and re-polished to bright like never before.

Now there are seven churches planted, which grew out of the one church we came here to establish. Our job is never ending but our Helper is never failing. We praise and thank God for always being there to carry us through the tough times.

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    • Aysleth Zeledon profile image

      Aysleth Zeledon 2 years ago from Russellville, Arkansas

      Thanks Mel. I have been married for 4 years. We seem to get better at it as tbe time passes.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      Strong mothers are role models for a lot of us. I too grew up in a divorced home. There is always competition in marriage, working or non-working parents alike, and it takes maturity, and sometimes submission, to make it work. I have been married going on 25 years now, and it wasn't easy. Great hub!