Stories of Grace-Marie Hitchcock-Irschik

I am writing a book entitled “Stories of Grace”. It will be filled with stories of God’s grace in Christ Jesus. It is a precious thing to be saved. Having the grace of God in Christ Jesus is the greatest gift ever given. I invite you to go to the link below and share your story of how you came to know Him, or share a story of how the power of grace has affected your life or the life of someone you know. We are looking for 50 stories of grace to be shared in a book entitled….Stories of Grace.

Marie Hitchcock-Irschik

The following is her story, in her words.
I was born into an average home in Toronto with a very beautiful mother and a strikingly handsome father. Mom stayed at home, while my father worked as an actor in the theatre. My sister Kathleen is 9 years older, and my brother Joseph is 4 years younger.

Toronto was also the city where my maternal grandfather, a postal worker was brutally murdered, on July 14, 1946 and tossed into a ditch, left to die 40 hours later. Although I never knew a mother’s love, affection, or touch in my 16 years with her, I respected her in a strange sort of way. I was clearly an unwanted child.

Dad left when I was about 4 years old to eventually marry a woman from the theatre. How it came about I do not know, but shortly afterwards we were moved to Nilestown, not far from London, to spend the next 11 fearful, abhorrent years with a step-father.

My earliest memories of that place are a two storey, older house with knee-high grass, and no indoor facilities. An old dilapidated lean-to type garage housed the out-house that would soon become a very real place of fear and dread for me. Memories of ; alcoholic adults engaging in sexual immoralities, regular house fights, smashing beer bottles whizzing overhead, and then being taken from our beds into the night to begin a hitchhiking venture, in order to escape, and finally arrive at a women’s shelter, mission services, or some unknown’s apartment, have left their scars.

Scenes of routine sexual assault still haunt me, that began at age 5 by my step-father.
Joseph, my brother listened, and at times saw enough to produce anger and rage over not being able to protect his sister, that to this day remains unsettled. In my step-father’s perverted thinking, a night spent with mom, Joseph and I sitting outdoors, on lawn chairs, while he held a gun on us for the night, was but one of his corrupt tactics to prove he was morally debased. Hunger, humiliation, embarrassment, and guilt were my closest companions.

In my confusion about adults, life and trust, God sent little things my way, in order to tell me that there is more to life, there is a God that does care and will intervene, if I could only trust.

A little United Church in our community was where God led me to be a part of the Nativity play one Christmas. It was there that I memorized;
“For unto you is born this day in the City of David, a Savior which is Christ the Lord”
Luke 2:11

My maternal grandmother, came to live with us, and what she saw and heard frightened her also. She would sit and have little chats with me, and sometimes we would go to the Catholic Church on special occasions together. It was there that I realized a man cannot forgive my sins that are against God.
“…who can forgive sins, but God only.”Mark 2:7 My step-father had a born again, Bible believing, praying mother that had proven the reality in knowing God. In trying to appease their conscience, after the night before, mom and my step-father would listen to a TV or radio evangelist, and bit by bit, God was planting seeds in this heart of mine.

I was married at the age of 18, and 10 months later became a mom. I was overjoyed and loved to mother a child of my own. I needed a place to invest love that I had never known.

My husband of 36 years now, was an alcoholic. We married, and because his family seemed to give the stability I longed for, I was a happy person…most times.

We would have 4 children of our own, and eventually also take on the care of two of my sisters children; one for 6 months and one for 3 years. At the close of 3 years, one of the social workers asked if we would consider becoming foster parents. I told her that I didn’t know what that was about, and she explained it to me. Twenty-five years later we would have fostered over 100 kids that I could name and remember. From those kids, we would adopt 4 special-needs kids. I loved the work, and I was respected in the system for the work that I did with the kids and the families, but it took its toll on me. In some ways working through the kids problems, with their various supports, helped me to begin the healing process from my own past. I found it very therapeutic.

Unfortunately there were problems in our marriage and house parties were common place. I did drink occasionally, but I preferred the feeling that goes with smoking pot. I would smoke it openly, and even purchase it and hide it in a tea-pot for those times that I needed something to get me over a bad day.

Adultery would be one of the many sins that I had to come face to face with. When confronted with this, I was overwhelmed so much by the thought of my sin, my unfitness to be someone’s wife, or a child’s mother, that I decided to leave, and walk out into the unknown. My husband then came behind me in the car coaxing me to return home. I did so knowing that my mother-in-law was at the house, and would hopefully disown me, thereby justifying my reason to leave. She didn’t disown me, and that was more than I could stand. Why would I be forgiven?? It made no sense at all to me.

How Deep the Fathers Love

How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

On April 19,1988 I trusted Christ as my personal Savior, after much opposition from evil forces, and while the Ultimate Samaritan has poured in oil and wine to heal those wounds, yet scars remain.

Three years ago I was operated on for a partially ruptured brain aneurysm as well as an artery repair deep in my brain. I have still got 2 more aneurysm’s in my brain that are monitored by MRI”s every 2 years. I know that God has given me a second chance at life and I intend to live it to His honor and glory!

I graduated from gr. 12 last year and this year I am graduating from 2 years at college as a “Certified Teacher’s Assistant”

God is able to make something good of something bad!

“And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.”
Jeremiah 18:4

Categories: Forgiveness, future, God, Grace, Love, Marriage, Repentance, Stories of Grace, Thankful, Troubles

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4 replies

  1. Bro. Darrell what comes to my mind is this song: He is the Potter, I am the clay; All because Jesus didn’t throw the clay away……..Over and over in Love He made me into the vessel of love he created…..A vessel of honor I am today; Just because Jesus didn’t throw the clay away……Blessings

  2. Hey Darrell! Just read Maria’s remarkable testimony. What an incredible inspiration she is! Our God is so good! He delivers us up when we claim Him in our lives! Sending her peace and healing and hoping her medical difficulties have subsided. For all His glory and praise, sister Maria–bless you! Amen!

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