My name is Juliana (Juli) Kardash. I was not raised in a religious home. Since my mother was Jewish and my father was Protestant, my mother always said that we would decide what we wanted to believe when we grew up. I always thought it would just come to me as an adult. I wanted to go to church but just didn’t know how. My daughter started going to HDC church with her fiancé. She invited me to go a few times. I knew I needed to make a commitment to start coming on my own for myself but just didn’t. There were a lot of bad things that happened in my family’s life during this time, my husband got hurt at work, I lost my teaching contract, we had identity theft and eventually lost our house because I could only find work making minimum wage, teaching contracts were very few. For each job I applied for, there were 200 other teachers applying as well. We were at a low point, it was very dark and I was at a low point. We struggled as a few years went by and we were visiting my daughter and now her husband on Camp Pendleton for the weekend. She invited us to her church. On our way home, my son asked me if we could start going to church ourselves. It was funny because I had been thinking the same thing too. I agreed and the next weekend we came to services at HDC. I was nervous. I stood there as the music played and began to cry. I cried as I felt such relief that I was finally “here.” I cried through the whole service. I felt silly afterwards but my heart felt so much lighter. This was what I was looking for. This is what was missing from our lives. This happened for about the first six months that I came to services. I would say the ABC’s with Pastor Tom each weekend. I took communion. Our life started to change. I found another job. It is the perfect job and I am so blessed. Then my son asked me about baptism and had I thought about it. I know I cry every time I watch the people get baptized because I am so happy for them. I feel this is the next step in my walk with Jesus. I want to share with my family and friends how God has lifted me and carried my burdens. He has blessed me many times over and again. He has a plan for me and I now know that He will bring me through any storm, no matter how dark it may seem, He will carry me through.