Faith Journey

Reluctant Believer: How Church Became My Safe Haven

My Unexpected Journey to Faith

Deb Palmer
Published in
7 min readJun 8, 2024


Stained glass church window with open bible in center
Photo by author — Yakima Vineyard Church Window

Shopping for a church

No thank you, God, I don’t need Your help, just browsing.

That was my attitude walking through the doors of the Yakima Vineyard Church. Had someone told me 23 years later, I’d refer to this 110-year-old building as the place that holds my second family —

I would have laughed —

Then ran.

The idea to give God a shot came from sitting around the tables in Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) meetings. Getting sober is tough — staying that way?

A real challenge.

At least it was for me. In the beginning, knowing I was not alone because I hung out with others in recovery was enough. Then, just like with drinking, I needed more.

For many of us, sobriety comes with a cold-water-in-the-face surprise —

The world still spins the same in sobriety.

The people you’ve harmed are still upset, in pain, and resentful. The things you drank to forget still exist. For example, you can’t go to a collection agency expecting they’ll forgive your debts because you did the right thing by getting sober…



Deb Palmer

Author & Freelance Storyteller — Sweeping humor and gut-wrenching truth from under the rug —