Come Let us Return
In the summer of 2005, after completing my second contract, I went back to work at the hospital in Miami where I had my first contract. I was living the life of a walking dead person. The only time of day I was “happy” was at the end when I was drinking. I had no friends, I was useless to my children and I just couldn’t see the point of living. Yet through it all, I put on a good game face. Isn’t it amazing how we hide behind disguises so no one could possibly see our pain?
So everyday I went through the motions. I was a bit happy at returning to a place where I knew people. The girl I was friendly with before was still an employee and our relationship seemed to develop into more of a friendship than the first time I was working there. One evening when things were slow, my friend and I were having a conversation and I proceeded to open up to her about my life, my problems, my suicidal thoughts.
My friend asked me if I believed in God and if I was born again. I told her I did believe in God but I didn’t understand the whole born again thing. She then told me how Jesus changed her life. Her story was riveting. I wanted to be saved so badly, from life, from myself. I had no trouble believing in supernatural things and I was certain there was an evil presence in this world. But, I told her I didn’t know how I could possibly believe something I didn’t understand even if I wanted to believe it desperately. She told me I had to believe to understand. She told me to pray to God and ask Him sincerely to show me He is real. She told me that God knows our hearts and knows who is sincerely searching for Him.
I went home from work that night and prayed for the first time in a very long time. I prayed a sincere prayer to God and asked Him to let me know if He was there. Don’t get me wrong, I had prayed to Him in the past when I was in a jam and needed out of the jam, but they were always insincere prayers like, “oh, if you get me out of this God, I’ll never do it again.” I never meant to change before. So when I prayed that night, I was at the end of myself. I couldn’t take one more step in this life without serious help. And finally, I gave up. I told God, if He was there, I couldn’t live one more minute without His help. This was the beginning of an amazing process that changed everything!
I went to work the next day and told my friend I prayed. She was so excited and happy. She invited me to church and I accepted the invitation. I hadn’t been to church for more than weddings or funerals and the occasional Christmas service in years. That Saturday, I went to church with my friend with great anticipation. The service was like no other I had ever attended before and the pastor was awesome. I could feel in my heart things were different, changing. I wasn’t wishing to be dead anymore.
The following week, I had a dream I was standing on the wing of a plane. I was crying and telling God to take care of my children and then I stepped off the wing. I woke up crying and I remember feeling the way I felt 24 years earlier when I woke up feeling as if I had been kissed and somehow I knew it was God all along! I told my friend at work about the dream and she prayed for me and invited me to church again and I said yes again.
The second time I went to church with my friend, I heard God speaking to me through the pastor. It was the most amazing, crazy thing I have ever experienced in my life. I was beginning to realize I could understand things I never understood before. At the end of the service, the pastor asked people to come up to the altar to give their lives to Christ. I sat glued in my seat and my heart began to race. The things he was saying had me in tears. I wanted to be saved so badly and yet I couldn’t imagine why or how God could ever want me back. I had done so many terrible things. I was selfish and mean, a murderer and a whore, tattooed and a bad mother. I literally sat there and could see every evil thing I had done in my life. As I write this I realize my life was flashing before my eyes the way people speak about it when they are faced with death. Then the pastor said the one thing that finally had me convinced and out of my seat and going forward. He said,”I know there is probably someone in here who is wrestling with whether they should be up here. You feel stuck in your seat because there is a battle going on for your soul. Tear free from your seat and come up because Jesus wants to set you free.”
With tears running down my face, crying harder than I had cried in a long time, I went forward with my friend and surrendered my life to Jesus Christ! I became born again!