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My Story - Once Upon A Time Is Now

Anita & Jim Daneker on Honeymoon in Mexico

As I sit here in the silence, in my beautiful & peaceful new home, with nothing but the sound of the pouring rain outside…I can’t help but feel extremely overwhelmed and immensely grateful for all that Jesus has done in my life.

I feel like I’m living a fairy tale. Cinderella perhaps. However, I certainly didn’t have an evil step-mom and step-sisters.

I grew up with a wonderful family, full of lots of love and devotion. But just like Cinderella was robbed of the kind of youth that she should have had…so was I.

I had a loving dad…but one that was absent most of my life. My parents divorced when I was 4 years old…mostly due to dad’s alcoholism. Alcohol is then what drove him to 5 more divorces. He was married a total of 6 times…and was actually divorced when he went to Heaven on February 8, 2009. Dad knew Jesus. And loved Him. He just didn’t know how to accept that freedom that he could have had. At least on Earth. I have no doubt that the moment He reached Heaven… he became free for the very first time in his life. But as you can imagine, through the process of my dad’s life…my view of marriage was crumbling…let alone any desire for it!

Then imagine a young girl…being robbed of her life in yet another way. It seemed to be quite easy for me to hide my feelings. You would look at me and see a bubbly little girl who played well with other kids and excelled in school and sports. But for about 8 years, I hid a very deep & dark secret that I was being sexually abused. Again, healthy views - shattered.

But praise Jesus that He can heal and make new…and that forgiveness is given not only for us to receive, but for us to do unto others. I have forgiven…and God has restored!“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” (Matthew 6:14)

Now, back to Cinderella. One day, a prince came into her life and changed everything. He loved her and pursued her…into a life of “ever after”.

I, now, have been so overwhelmingly blessed with MY prince…Jim Matthew Daneker…who loved me and pursued me until my heart (and my mind) could no longer fight it. Plus, how could I resist his heart-stopping eyes and adorable smile!! :) On January 17, 2015…I married one of God’s greatest gifts to me. Jim’s love and devotion to me is like nothing I’ve ever known on this side of Heaven! I have never felt more safe and protected!

I never knew this could exist. But deep down, I certainly did HOPE that it could. God has proved to me that it DOES.

And – It. Is. Good.

Just as much as the rain pours down outside right now, so can God’s love, mercy, and grace in our lives. Our pasts, our hurts, our failures, our struggles - our sins – are nothing in comparison to what we can have when we put our trust in Jesus and choose to walk in a life devoted to Him. The Bible says in Psalms 103:12 that “as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” And in Jeremiah 29:11-14 it says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity…”.

Jesus loves YOU. He desires to rescue you, heal you, restore you…and move you forward into an amazing season of grace, love, and blessing beyond what you can ever imagine!

Maybe into even a fairy tale.


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Jim's Story
A Testimony of Hope From Grief

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