TESTIMONIES

Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story...

Triumph Amidst A Broken Family

There was no possible way that I could prepare myself for this. Many times before this I had shamefully wished it to happen. How stupid of me for that thought to ever cross the threshold of my mind? In my anger I wanted everything to stop. The world to just stop and just give me a break. What I craved was peace, harmony and for us to be complete. They don’t teach you how to cope with this at school. They don’t give you a handbook on how to take on a role like this. School doesn’t tell you what to do when your parents are going through a divorce. You just go through it.

You know those adverts you watch on television, the ones where your eyes are graced with this idyllic view of the perfect family, the perfect holiday with everyone in harmony with each other – the ones where ‘perfection’ is metaphorically slammed onto their foreheads. I used to want that. I guess in some ways I still do but that is exactly what it is – “ideal”. No family is like that. No family is perfect 100% of the time.

There is no easier way to put this other than – divorce sucks. It really does. I think it’s more the sense of lack of control that you have as a child. Floods and floods of thoughts fill our heads as children of the divorced that go a little something like: was it our fault? What could we have done to prevent this? Why is this happening to us and when will this all be over?

The whole framework of the family unit becomes utterly destroyed. It falls out of reach from your fingertips and shatters into a million heartbroken pieces that may or may not take you a few years to gather up again. Divorce is that knife in your back that you don’t expect and boy, does it hurt. It hurts a lot. More hurt, pain and unanswered questions pile on top of each other and most of the time, we don’t know what to do with it.

I was around 17 or 18 when my parents separated, my mother moved out of the house in pure defiance and of not being able to cope anymore. In a way, it was almost retiring from many years of hurt in a brave and courageous defeat. We all knew that it was for the best but that doesn’t mean it makes the whole ordeal any easier. For a while I felt like my mother had gone missing from my life, although she wasn’t far away I missed not having her around the house.

Gradually as the years rolled on I held on to so much anger inside of me towards both of my parents. I would find myself pressured to take sides, I would hear insults thrown and pasts being brought up. I remember coming to a place of just sitting in front of the Lord and just weeping. I remember being at such a loss for words that I didn’t even have any thoughts. I remember going through a time of numbness and hopelessness and of unhealthy mind-sets where I would never see an end to this turmoil of my family being ripped apart. I grew angry and moody and my whole being was shaken from doubting who I am in Christ to letting my studies fall rapidly to the wayside.

What lay before me was the shattered expectations of what we dream of families to be like and there was nothing I could do.
I was affected by this whole process more so looking back than I ever realised when I was going through it. No child ever wants to hear one parent undermine the other when they are not around. It’s almost as if suddenly these people that you trusted in to have it all together when you were little suddenly show their vulnerable sides and you just want to shout through your tears “YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO HAVE IT ALL TOGETHER!” What lay before me was the shattered expectations of what we dream of families to be like and there was nothing I could do.

However there was someone that would hold me together when my world was doing the opposite. The hatred that I felt did not last long, let me tell you. I had an incredible support system throughout all of this that God raised up to help me.

Most importantly God held my hand throughout the whole process. The relationship that I maintained with God enabled me to be there for my little brother, who took the transition much harder than I did.

he-heals-verseAfter countless nights of crying to the Lord behind closed doors He was strengthening me. I may not have all the answers as to why my family had to go through this, maybe one day I will find out. All I know is that from those times of hardship God turned into good, to the good of all His people and I can safely sit here and say that my relationships with both of my parents and my brother has never been stronger.

Yes, at times I do wish that we were all together again but then I remember what it was like when we were all together – the fights, the struggles and I look back and think no, those moments aren’t worth going back to whether you could have prevented some things or not. I am getting closer and closer to my parents everyday despite being away at University. I look back and I realise how much time I wasted holding onto hatred in my heart that wasn’t good for my soul.

When I let the Lord into my heart and I mean really let the Lord into my heart – He replaced all of it with love. A love that expands towards my parents every day, accepts their differences, their quirks, their annoying ways and loves and embraces them for who they are, who the Lord is moulding them to be and trusting in Jesus to determine my moves.

If divorce has taught me anything, it is to remind myself:

  1. The Lord is my strength
  2. I must trust in Him
  3. I cannot waste my time in anger
  4. I must love always

If your parents are going through a divorce right now I want to pray God’s healing and restoration into your life. You may not see the clearer picture at this moment but trust me He sees it and one day you’re going to find out. But in the meantime every day you have until then holds a choice – you can choose whether you want to serve Him and His kingdom or you can choose whether you want to serve the Kingdom of darkness.

Remember that divorce is not your fault even if your parents have said that to your face before, regardless, they are lies and you must speak Jesus’ name over the power of those words that they may have no effect on you. Our Father is the only one who on this earth and far beyond it will be there for you constantly especially when your parents, siblings, friends or boyfriends can’t – what a marvelous relationship to invest your precious time in. Keep on keeping on and let the Lord carve you into the beautiful masterpiece He has been working on since before the world began.

“Lord, deliver me from this hurt and this pain that I am suffering from right now. I speak the blood and the precious name of Jesus over my situation Father and I declare Your goodness and Your will over my life today. Grant me peace, joy and comfort amidst the storm that I may rest in Your love for all of eternity. Keep my eyes fixed on You always that I may constantly be reminded of your presence in my life. I know that You know the bigger picture Lord and I am filled with faith and trust in who exactly You say You are and I hold onto Your promises for You are the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords that holds my very being and looks after my fragile heart. You grant me strength for all the days of my life and I know Lord that You are good, You are wonderful. My soul will trust in your persistent and everlasting love.”

Amen

photo credit: Lotus Carroll
Linking up with: Monday Musings

Complete Surrender

I can’t remember a day where I didn’t know who Jesus was.

I prayed “the prayer” kneeling down on the rock hearth of our fireplace when I was six years old, and I know the Lord honored that prayer, but let’s be real, here. The impetus was the argument I had with my older sister not thirty minutes prior about the status of Jesus occupying space in my heart. She said no, I said yes, and as all of us with siblings know, I would rather have died a thousand deaths than admit she was right. So I thought I better just make really sure she wasn’t right.

Up to the age of thirteen or thereabouts, I understood Christianity as a ticket to Heaven and church as the place where all my best friends were. I’m ashamed to say that our primary accomplishment was tormenting the adults who so graciously served us in the children’s ministry. There are a few out there who deserve some sort of medal. (Dr. J, I’m looking at you.) Until one night, perched on the edge of my mother’s bed, in a moment where the Kingdom of Heaven opened up a door in the suburbs of Atlanta.

In reading the Word, about the Word, the alchemy of Christ on the cross changed the composition of my heart. In that moment, I began to want more, to know more.

High school was rough.

For the better part of two years, I hid in the library. For thirty precious minutes in the midst of my day I would tarry there with the piles of books. It was a brief respite from the torture of eighth and ninth grade, the years when I would step off the bus in tears, unable to navigate the halls without torment, to sit through a class without snickers. I hovered there, peeking into the unchanging lives of beloved characters. Virtual friends before there was such a thing, whose existence was wholly unaffected by my scabby knees, tomboy looks and utter social ineptness. I was lonely in the stacks, but I was safe.

But then-in my quest to know more, to want more of this Christ-in my junior year, I discovered, truly, the redemption of the gospel and the freedom of being His creation, of being known, and loved. I knew then that when my value comes from being a daughter of the King, I would never be alone.

It would be easy to stop here, to give you a picture of my life now, a snapshot of my handsome Soldier Husband and our three wild and beautiful children. To talk about being hashtag blessed. Too easy, in fact, and a big fat lie. Because our road to redemption and the cross doesn’t end in this lifetime, friends. My story doesn’t stop when I sought out a true relationship with the Savior.

See, I exist in a small slice of the world that lives in relative ease and comfort. At age 25, I was married, pregnant, healthy, and impossibly wealthy compared to 99% of the world’s population. I was {am} privileged beyond compare with things I did nothing to earn. And unknown to me, I had, slowly over time, put my faith in the security all of those things could offer. I was untouched by true loss and grief, and all the brokenness the world could bring.

The end of 2005 and 2006 would be the year of my breaking.

In November of 2005, while my Husband was on his first tour in Iraq, I miscarried our first child in a particularly traumatic fashion, undergoing emergency surgery while he was half a world away. I was grieving, but receiving tremendous amounts of grace that kept me from being bitter, or afraid. I did, however, inform the Lord in no uncertain terms that while He took my child, under no circumstances could he take my Husband, a helicopter pilot in the midst of a war. And then. THEN. On January 7, 2006 my best friend, also a helicopter pilot, was killed in a helicopter crash in Iraq.

I was swallowed up by fear. It consumed me, saturating every thought, every step, every conversation.
I was swallowed up by fear. It consumed me, saturating every thought, every step, every conversation. It was irrational but so real, so present, directing me at every turn. Taken moment by moment, the events of the previous three months had been survivable: I ran towards the Lord each time, availing myself of the grace so freely given. But with one phone call, I was undone, those moments stacked upon each other into a weight I truly believed I could not bear.

The moment of my final surrender started with a vague feeling of unrest. The kind you get when you think you left the door unlocked, or the water running, or the stove on. Husband’s unit was currently forbidden from the communal phone bank for abusing the time limits and we hadn’t talked in two weeks.

come-to-me-verse3I was spiraling downward quickly, as I began to obsess about the potential dangers Husband was facing right that very second. It was the middle of the night, I was alone, and so very afraid. Leaky, silent tears were rolling down my cheeks as I faced down my fear, mentally, physically, and spiritually empty.

At 2 am, shaking and sobbing, I grabbed my phone and called my mom. And somewhere, between the tears, and the comfort from my mama, and the grace overflowed from the Words of Truth, in the depths of the deepest well…I saw the brightest stars.

I didn’t have to bear the weight.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls”
Matthew 11:27-29, ESV

surrenderFor the first time in my life, I truly surrendered.

I relinquished my deal. In that moment, I knew, unequivocally, that He could take my child, He could take my best friend, He could take the Husband, and I would live. And eventually, live well. But I could not take another breath without Him moving the air in and out of my lungs. I would not survive without Him. I said He could have Husband and I meant it.

From that moment, forward, I was mending.  Slowly, mind you, but I was rebuilding on a foundation that cannot be moved.

“For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken”
Psalm 62:1, ESV

(You can read the whole story of our First Year on my blog, www.allthegracebetween.com).

My story is divided into the before and after, the demarcation line being this middle of the night cry from the depths of my shattered heart. True, our redemption stories keep coming, and that was not the first time I suffered the loss of a child, or said goodbye to the handsome Soldier Husband when he went to war. But friends? He alone is my Rock and my salvation. And, always, always, there is hope.

“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in Him’”

Lamentations 3:21-24, ESV

There is joy in the morning.

With love,
Molly Huggins.

Megan’s Story – God’s Unfailing Love

I was raised in a good, Christian home with loving parents, sisters and a very close extended family. While they weren’t perfect, my parents did the best they could to raise me with a love of God and a good sense of right and wrong. At the age of 7, I gave my heart to Jesus and was baptized.

Honestly, I’m still not sure exactly where I began to wander off His path for me.

I grew up going to church, was baptized in elementary school, and really did love The Lord with all my heart.

At some point, that love became overshadowed by legalism and condemnation.

I believe it was a combination of several factors, but somehow my understanding of The Lord became more about fear and the quest to be the “perfect Christian” than it was about developing a deeper relationship with Him.

The problem with perfectionism is that “perfect” is not actually obtainable. At best, we can achieve the illusion of perfection for a brief period of time. But, inevitably, we will always come up short in the end.

It was a gradual process, but looking back, I can clearly remember a time in my life when I loved going to church and had a heart filled with the Holy Spirit, and then a time when I was so afraid of committing the wrong sin and angering God that I set myself up for a life away from Him.

My fear was not a healthy, biblical fear. My fear was of punishment and blame. I was afraid to make one mistake or risk losing my salvation entirely.

By the beginning of high school, it felt like I was living in a bubble. I tried desperately to make connections with other people, but something was always standing in the way. I had people who I considered my friends, and I had people in my life that I genuinely cared about, but I did not feel as though anyone genuinely cared about me.

The people I chose to surround myself with were as lost and broken as I was; yet I was depending on them for healing, understanding, and assurance of my salvation.

In middle school and high school, I began to despise all girls.

I still had my close group of girl friends, but I honestly did not like any of them.

Our group was full of malicious gossip, slander, envy and a bitterness that infected our very souls. Being out of the situation and looking back, I don’t believe any one of those girls had a wicked heart on her own. But, when we came together as a group, Satan had absolutely no trouble convincing us to tear one another down.

Even though I continued to consider these girls my best friends, I began to search outside the group for affirmation and affection. I repeatedly turned to the arms of boys through high school and college.

As I continued to date boys who made it clear they considered me of little worth or value, I reached a point where I saw myself the same way.

At the time, I felt the lie reinforced by every significant relationship in my life.

My sin was detestable.

I was detestable.

The combination of incredibly low self-worth and the absence of any positive influence in my life led to a string of unfulfilling, ultimately detrimental relationships and a heart which I attempted to bury from God’s reach. I hated myself, and was convinced that He must hate me as well.

My solution was to try and hide in my sin and my shame. I felt helpless to break free of my sin, and therefore made the same mistakes over and over again. After years of consistently choosing to love the people of the world above the Creator of the world, I fell into the same habits as those who are of the world.

I was angry, bitter, resentful, and dead in my sin.

Night after night, I would cry myself to sleep and pray for death. While I never questioned the existence of God, I truly believed I had lost my place in God’s kingdom. Salvation as I understood it had to be earned, and I would never be good and pure enough to earn it back.

Because I felt so dirty and unlovable, I avoided church. I would still attend with my family, and would pray on occasion. I would pray for others, but felt like I was unworthy of prayers for myself. By the time I got to college, I had stopped going to church altogether.

That which had turned to rubble and dust over the years, He began to piece back together.
But, through it all, God was constantly rebuilding my heart. That which had turned to rubble and dust over the years, He began to piece back together.

My sophomore year in college, He began to systematically remove every external influence from my life.

Every friend I had in college began to fall away. Every guy I had a relationship with was removed from my life. I was isolated in the desert. Abandoned and alone in Lubbock, Texas until finally, I was brought back to the One who would never abandon or forsake me.

That still small voice in my heart convinced me to wake up early one Sunday morning and go to church. There, sitting in the back row, I was scrolling through Facebook on my phone, looking at pictures of a party I missed the night before. Just as I was asking myself what had possessed me to skip a party in favor of getting up early to go to church, the small blonde in front of me turned around, stuck her hand in my face, and exclaimed, “Hi! I’m Michelle!”

Shocked that someone had actually noticed me, I offered her an unsure handshake and silently hoped she would just walk away.

Instead, she invited me to sit with her through the service. I followed her from my seat in the very back of the church to the front of the sanctuary where she led me to a chair in the middle of the third row. I was fully intending to offer a quick “Thanks for letting me sit with you, BYE!” and make my exit the second the lights came back on.

Michelle was a bit too quick for me and, when church was over, she invited me to get coffee with her later in the week. I gave her my phone number, never expecting to hear from her again. Of course, she texted me the next day and set a date and time to get together.

unfailing loveWhile we were having coffee, she managed to break down a little piece of the wall I had built up around my heart. As we were leaving, I accepted her invitation to join her bible study group.

Through the friendship of this one, brave, loving girl, I was drawn back into a relationship with The Lord.

The process was slow and incredibly painful at times, but it was so worth it in every way.

One by one, The Lord placed good, godly people in my life. It was over a year before I had any male friends again. I believe this was by design so I would have a heart softened towards women and free of the one idol I had clung to so tightly for so many years.

Now, I feel free. I know I am free.

After almost ten years of living in a prison of my own heart and mind, it is a truly incredible feeling to wake up every day knowing that I am not alone. Knowing that I am loved.

I am so incredibly grateful. His Word assures me that Christ alone is perfect, but that I am loved anyway. My salvation is secure through His sacrifice and His unfailing love – not by any effort or avoidance of sin on my part.

Times are not always good, and I know there will be many trials in my life, but I am secure in the knowledge that His plans are always good.

That He can use even my sin for His good.

That He is good.

Linking up with: Wise Woman, Coffee and Conversation, Coffee for your heart

photo credit: Sean MacEntee via Flickr, cc
refiner’s fire
Chad’s Testimony

What it’s like to go through the refiner’s fire

I participated in my first communion at a Catholic church while in third grade. It was the same church where I had been baptized as an infant, though I was taking the class later than most kids. I was therefore the oldest in my class. My family had a tight financial condition and even finding acceptable clothes to wear was a challenge. My mother, probably at the insistence of her parents, was determined to get me to this supposed important occasion. The whole thing was very forced and rigid and it turned me off to religion in general for long after that season of life concluded.

I seriously felt as though I didn’t belong. Even now, some thirty years later, the first communion class picture still hangs in the hallway of that church and I am easy to spot. I’m the only one wearing a blue shirt as the rest in the group is fully adorned in white from their waists up. Apparently my family missed that memo.

Following receipt of my first communion, mom told me she had done her job and it was not her place to make me get confirmed. The choice, she said, was up to me of whether I wanted to go to church any longer or not. Other than for a wedding or funeral, I didn’t step foot in a church again until after my senior year of high school.

Looking back, I now realize that was a period of time in which my family home environment was starting to crumble into shambles and would have significant consequences and blessings – yes blessings – on the remainder of my life. I’ve come to truly understand something very important.

Life is ordered the way it is for a purpose.

I call that period of my life – between third and 12th grade – my “under the sun years” because I really lived it without regard to God or even a genuine acknowledgement of God’s existence. My parents would go through a series of separations and then divorce three years after the aforementioned class completed. Dad would battle alcoholism and self-worth issues. Mom’s health issues continued a downward direction and eventually crippled her self-worth and ability to work. My older brother would bury himself in his work to be outside the home and away from family as much as possible.

Money would grow tighter – putting us below the poverty level and ensuring I would feel even more outcast from my peers at school and in virtually every other setting. I took on a paper route, the proceeds of which would be used to buy many meals and allow me to pay for at least some of the material pleasures I saw my friends receiving from their parents.

As my senior year of high school approached, I observed my circle of friends becoming more distant. At the same time, I battled with my own personal issues of self-worth and anxiety over the future. I fell into a difficult depression and found myself going absolutely nowhere and had no idea how to steer it onto a more hopeful track.

Then God told me it was time to wake up.

During the middle of a CAT scan, I opened my eyes as I was surrounded by a group of doctors and family members. They all quickly shouted for me to not move. I have been “asleep” for a couple days following a severe head injury that probably should have killed me. I closed my eyes and listened to the machine make its noises and do its thing as I tried to figure out just what the heck was going on and how I got there!

I was released from the hospital a week or two later and began the long road to recovery. I had missed the final weeks of my last high school summer vacation and would be beginning my senior year with a massive gash on my forehead and a misbalanced hairline where my head had been shaved so a probe could be inserted in my head to monitor the swelling and pressure as I was treated in the hospital. The feelings of being distant from my peers were even more pronounced as all this happened.

Just why complete strangers would pray for me and why they believed it mattered continued to itch at my healing brain.
I coped with it the best I could, but also felt an overwhelming tug. I couldn’t reconcile with the fact that I was still alive and I found it more than peculiar when people told me they and their churches were praying for me. Just why complete strangers would pray for me and why they believed it mattered continued to itch at my healing brain.

Approximately six months later, as I was half way through my senior year and just starting to feel a semblance of normalcy in my life, a friend lost his life following an automobile accident. Feelings of despair and hopelessness resumed.

Two of my other friends began attending church with our fallen friend’s mother. They invited me to join them, but I declined, feeling it was a waste of time and I had no place being there. Church just wasn’t for me.

I went on to graduate and started making plans for college in the fall. It was largely the state of my family condition that enabled me to receive the level of assistance I did and – for once – all the years of feeling like an outsider resulted in me being able to leave the nest and join a new social group where we were theoretically all on equal footing.

Just before that would happen, though, I became a Christian at a lakeside while surrounded by a group of friends and acquaintances who showed me what it meant to live with a perspective “under heaven” rather than “under the sun” as I had for so long.

For first time I actually felt like I belonged somewhere.

Chad's testimonyOver the years that have followed, I’ve gone from a tepid newbie Christian who thought he could approach Christ “on my own terms” to one who is realizing how the many happenings of his life has been providentially patterned by the master potter. I am continually being sculpted by the will of His hand and trying to do my best to partner with God so the chiseling, chipping and etching is less painful and more impactful to God’s big kingdom.

Part of this process involved the attainment of a lifelong dream when I saw my first book published at age 31. At that moment, I had experienced a life that had achieved all my foolish dreams; of receiving a college degree, of getting married and starting a family that is totally unlike the one I had been raised in, and seeing a book I had written published and on the shelves at a book store. All of this, I came to realize, happened while “living under heaven” after I had accepted Christ into my life and it was through his grace that I received these blessings.

It was this realization that left me pondering the question, if God has been so gracious to allow me to achieve my dreams, what have I done in return? The answer was “mostly nothing.” Sure, I was a good guy and tried to do right whenever I could. But I really had done nothing for His kingdom. So I examined my life from the perspective of asking how I had been prepared and what God wants from me.

I came to realize that God has made me a writer. It is the one constant pattern throughout my whole life where I felt I belonged, where I naturally excelled, where what I was doing was what I loved to do. It was then that I understood that God wants me to be a writer for His glory. So I dedicated myself to being just that with the establishment of my blog, 1Glories.com, and all the work that stems from it. Over the last several months, God has convinced me that I am not just to write stories, but to help others realize and understand God’s refining work in their lives as well.

You see, we are all works in progress, guided by the hand of God. We are all being prepared for moments that are yet to come. Helping others to see and experience that providentially willed growth is a blessing. Many times, in sharing my own experiences, others start to recognize, understand and align their life purpose with that of God’s will. Other times, readers will share their experiences or observations to help me see with a clearer perspective as well.

Either way, the community at 1Glories is a blessing where, we are all refining life, on purpose. I invite you to join me in the journey.

Linking up with Monday Musings

addiction
Delivered

In the spring of 1985, I found myself at the doorstep of moms’ house. She was expecting me but unprepared for the shock of her life. I had called to inform her that I was coming back home. I hopped into my car and drove the four and half hour trip. I was a physical wreck for it took every bit of strength I could muster up to complete the journey. I had the shakes and a severe hangover from the previous night. I cannot remember the last time I had taken a sober breath.

I pulled into the childhood driveway, threw the transmission into park, and walked up to the front door. With my right hand, I reached for the doorknob, twisted it and walk through the threshold. She embraced with a loving hug followed by sobbing. The tears falling down the cheeks of her face were not joyful but terror. She did not recognize her youngest son because she remembered her boy being full of life. Bewilderment radiated through her expression, and she was devastated. I was one hundred and ten pounds and the skin on my face was sunken inward giving the appearance of a sick and frail young man. I was speechless, hopeless and desperate.

I was only away from home for three years. I never thought it would end up like this. I was full of ambition ready to take life by the horns. I had visions of prestige by planning to make a name for myself. I had a lot of good intentions. These should have been achievable goals, but the demons inside myself stripped away anything worthwhile.

alcohol1I had reached that point where alcohol had its way with me. I could not stop this insidious reoccurring nightmare because everything I tried to stop drinking drove me deeper into the black hole of powerlessness. Bottle after bottle, time and again, I would repeat the same mistakes always expecting a different result. Instead, I was faced with the fact of being an alcoholic. I had turned into the one thing I despised and a spitting image of dad.

I was baffled, ashamed and did not know where to turn. My parents agreed to provide me a place to stay under the agreement of seeking help. I was willing and took them up on their offer. Mom knew of a counselor who specialized in alcoholic addiction. So I contacted him. After the first face to face session with Mr. Barfield and just before leaving his office he handed me a flyer with a list of twelve-step programs. He highly suggested I start attending meetings.

I decided to choose one and did not know what to expect from the twelve-step program. I was scared. I cannot recall the topic at my first meeting. I continued attending and began to identify with the medical description of alcoholism. The way they laid it out made perfect sense because for the first time concerning my drunkenness there was a logical explanation. It spoke volumes, and as I looked back at the past, there was concrete evidence staring me in the eyes.

Then came their hook, line and sinker that would be the only solution to my predicament. God! That presented me with a significant stumbling block because I was agnostic. There could be no God in this world riddled with evilness. I was highly offended by their seemingly shallow outlook. How could God do anything for me?

Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed;
Save me, and I shall be saved,
For You are my praise.

Jeremiah 17:14

Well, they said to me, just hang in there a little longer. Don’t give up before the miracle happens was a frequent slogan. Things did change. God began to work on me, and I gradually found faith. As a result of seeking God, a transformation began taking root, and I learned a lot about how He works. I came to understand that through trusting Him everything will be taken care regardless of the current situation.

The power I received from His strength allowed me to make amends for my wrong doings as well as healing my heart. Even though, I found the effect of God I failed to maintain it and became complacent. I was content with the way my spiritual life was and started to slack off in my devotion. I did not realize the danger this type of view would bring. This blindness cost me dearly and after eighteen years of sobriety I got drunk.

I remember the moment I started using alcohol again was not wise. Everything God had done for me was tossed aside because I decided to get drunk. The insanity of alcoholism returned with a fury taking my places of degradation. I was in the grip of wickedness unlike any I had known. I was dying a slow and miserable death.

God did not give up on me and continued calling me back. I finally heard Him after eight years of misery.

For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11

He opened His arms, and I embraced Him. God picked up where He had left off and quickly showed me the light at the end of the tunnel. As I walked down God’s tunnel, He delivered me to His Son Jesus Christ and into salvation. I now know the Light at the end of God’s tunnel is Heaven.