I am overwhelmed with gratitude and love for my God. He saved me! He saved me from the worst enemy I’ve ever had, me! It’s time to revisit where I’ve come from. Many of you know my testimony so I hope you won’t find this post tedious. I’m hoping someone new might stumble upon this blog and find hope. And it’s good to never forget where we come from. Where I’ve come from makes me fall on my face and cry tears of joy and thanksgiving to my Savior!
I grew up going to church. But the Gospel never sank into my heart. I loved God. I loved Jesus. But it was a superficial love because I didn’t know Him. I loved everything He stood for. I loved Him the way people love movie stars or rock stars. When my dad died, that love quickly turned into a stubborn hatred and denial of the One who gave me my life. After this event, I quickly became lost. I did everything that was good in my own sight. I married the wrong person which led to years of abuse. I divorced him which led to years of looking for love in all the wrong places. I thought being loved was a man thinking I was cute enough to sleep with which led to an abortion. Each step I took led me deeper and deeper into darkness. Each thing I tried to pull myself up, drinking, getting tattooed, searching for love, moving to a new place, left me emptier and emptier.
Thirteen years after my dad died, I witnessed something that made me realize, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God is real. I saw a patient come back to life after being legally dead for 30 minutes. Without my understanding, I began to minister to patients that God is real. I never even realized what I was doing. What I fully understood from that moment through the next 13 years was I was going to hell when I died. Oh, by then I was such a bitter, miserable, mean, sarcastic, cynical person I just turned going to hell into a joke. I would literally make jokes about it. It was the only way for me to not completely lose my mind. Deny. Deny. Deny. I broke my relationship with God all those years ago and had no idea how to fix it.
Thirteen years later, I moved to Florida. One year after that I finally hit rock bottom. I was more miserable than anyone I knew. If God hadn’t given me my boys, I would have rolled over and died. I never understood that all the suffering I endured was self inflicted. I spent 26 years projecting my feelings onto other people that I was convinced no one could ever love me or be my friend when all along it was me who could never love me or be my friend. So I withdrew from the land of the living. It was this I’ll break up with them before they get the chance to break up with me mentality that led me to endless sorrow and loneliness (mind you I only understand this now that I know the Lord).
But God! In the parable of the lost sheep, Jesus tells of a shepherd leaving 99 sheep to search for his 1 lost sheep. Upon finding that sheep he gathers all his friends to celebrate finding his sheep. I was that sheep! When I came to the end of myself, God sent a coworker to me to tell me how Jesus changed her life. Ten days later I was born again!
What is my life like now? I’ve known the Lord for 6 years. He healed me from alcoholism and smoking almost immediately after being saved. Once those strong chains were broken, he began to break down the granite wall I had been erecting around my heart for 26 years. It’s been a long, painful process. That wall isn’t completely razed yet, but it’s been pulled down enough now for me to see bright, beautiful, glorious light! I have more hope now than I ever dreamed of before. Little by little the rocks are falling. The bitterness is gone. The anger is gone. The loneliness is gone. The mean, hateful spirit is gone. The self loathing is gone. I look in the mirror and cry tears of joy because I found forgiveness and don’t hate the girl in the mirror anymore! People tell me they like me. Coworkers tell me I am a joy to work with. Surgeons request my help. All these amazing things have nothing to do with what I did to help myself. They are due to a great and awesome God who lifted me up from the pit of hell and put me back in the land of the living! Anything good in me that you see is a gift from God! I will never be able to repay Him or do enough good things for Him to earn that! Salvation is a gift, the most precious gift I have ever received!
I don’t know who you are or where you come from, but if you read this today and say I want what she has, here’s what you do: cry out to God! Confess to Him you are a sinner. Ask Him to forgive you for all the stupid, wrong, messed up things you’ve done throughout your life. Believe in your heart with all sincerity and humility that Jesus Christ died on the cross in your place for your crime, was buried for 3 days, and on the third day rose again to life! Thank God for saving you! Run out right this minute and tell your friends, your family, the dude on the street corner, that Jesus Christ is Lord and He saved you! Then get yourself a Bible, find a Bible believing, Bible teaching church (I recommend Calvary Chapel) and hang on for the best ride of your life! God will change you! He won’t let you stay where you are. He will restore the years you lost to sin. He will fill your heart with so much joy your head will spin!
Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
Romans 6:23 for the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord
Romans 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 10:9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Romans 10:13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.[a]
Romans 8:38-39 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Take a leap of faith! You will never regret it!