The Testimony of Diane Paone
Hi. My name is Diane Paone. I was born in Oneonta, New York. I would like to say that I grew up there, but I can’t. We moved around a lot. From state to state. I don’t really know why, I guess my father wasn’t satisfied staying in one area for very long. My father was a very abusive man. He abused me physically, emotionally, and sexually. The abuse started when I was about 12 years old and continued till, I was 16.
I started going to church on a church bus when I was young. I really enjoyed going and learning about God. I learned Bible verses and songs about Jesus which stayed with me. Then we moved again, and I didn’t go back to church for a while.
When I was a teenager, I was invited to a youth activity at a nearby church. I started going to that church for a while. Even though I heard about Jesus and salvation, I only had a head knowledge, not a personal relationship with Him.
Things were bad at home. My mother passed away when I was 15. I stayed with my father for about another year before I ran away from home. I went to live with my sister in Florida. Things were a lot better for me there. I graduated from high school with a GED.
I started going to church again and eventually went to Trinity Baptist College in Jacksonville, Florida. I met my first husband there. We were married a year after we met. Unfortunately, he was abusive as well. We had two beautiful children together. I left him when my youngest was two years old. I came back to PA to be near my family. My ex-husband and I were going through a custody battle. He kept my children when they went to Florida to visit him. I went through a lot trying to get them back, but God was gracious and worked things out for me.
By this time, I had met and married my second husband, John. He was and is a wonderful man. He has stuck by me though everything. I struggled with anxiety and depression, being hospitalized multiple times. The depression was so bad that I tried to commit suicide a couple of times. The doctors tried shock therapy and medication to help me. I was in counseling as well. Finally, between counseling and a good combination of meds, I was feeling better.
My husband and I were going to a church (which is where I met him) and we were serving in the church, but I still wasn’t saved. I thought I was, but it was still only a head knowledge of salvation.
In 2010 my daughter, Jennifer, died of a drug overdose. I was crushed. She left behind a 4-year-old son. My heart was broken. At this time my son was dealing with a drug addiction as well. He took some of my ex-husband’s medication when we were in Florida for my daughters’ funeral and we had a very hard time waking him up.
My nerves were shot. I couldn’t take much more! I just couldn’t lose another child. Thankfully, my son went through rehab and got the help he needed.
After all of this, I became discouraged. I quit going to church. Ten years went by, and I finally decided to go back to church. Things were different at the church I had previously attended so I didn’t go back to that church. A friend of mine referred me to Scranton Revival Baptist Church where I attend now. After hearing the word of God preached with an emphasis on salvation, I became convicted of my sin and accepted Christ as my personal Savior.
As I look back on my life, I can see God’s love, mercy, and grace at work. He has helped me to forgive my father and healed me of my depression. I am off my meds now and doing great without them. I have also written a book of memoirs about my life called, “Where There is Faith There is Hope”. My son and his wife have three beautiful children. He is doing very well. God has blessed me so much! I am so thankful that he didn’t give up on me! He is always working in my life to bring me to where I am today. Praise God!