Once broken, lost, hurt and unfulfilled by addictions. Now transformed, pure and made whole by the grace of God.
Who I Was Before Christ:
I was a broken mess before I had a relationship with Christ. I was constantly trying to find love and acceptance in anything or anyone I could. In high school it was drugs, alcohol and men. I found most of my identity in men and was always in a relationship, usually an extremely unhealthy one. In high school I drank daily, smoked pot daily and did any drug that was offered to me. I lived for the thrill of life and found a lot of acceptance and popularity in being the wild one, the extreme partier. Yet, this lifestyle caused a lot of pain in my life; as well, a lot of legal trouble. I got my first underage drinking ticket when I was 15, a DWI at 16, another underage drinking ticket at 17 and somewhere in there I ran away and got in a lot of trouble. I was on probation from the age of 15 to 19 and was nearly put in jail when I was 16. I was so hollow. I had thick skin and a tough heart. I was mean to my family and didn’t really care for them as I should’ve. I thought my mom’s multiple divorces were the root of my issues. I thought my alcoholic grandma was the cause of my drinking. I thought that if there was a God, He would’ve done a better job at loving me and giving me a better family. I was angry and blaming everyone else; this only caused bitterness to enter my life; all the while, I just wanted healing, acceptance and genuine love.
I did: my habits and understanding of God. I moved to college and met genuine Christians. Up until this point, what I knew of God was all I knew of the Catholic Church. I thought God was mean, hypocritical and condemning. I knew I was going to hell. I knew I wasn’t good enough: not good enough for God; not good enough for genuine love. Yet, I started hanging out with these Christians because they were fun to be around, but I was very hostile. I didn’t want their beliefs or God mumbo-jumbo shoved down my throat. I had an extremely hard heart toward God and wasn’t looking to change. A point came when whatever they had [God] I wanted. I was at a church service and answered an alter call to receive Christ. I did that for about a year. I never knew if I was ‘saved’ because nothing instantly changed in my life. Yet the more I went to church, read my Bible and put in the effort to know God, the more change I saw. However, when I moved to the cities for college, I slipped right back into my partying lifestyle, drinking and flippantly dating. My life without God was meaningless again. I hated myself and was really hurt by the men I allowed into my life. I knew I needed to change; I needed God. I found the Rock church. I met the same genuine Christians I had met 2 years earlier, the ones who made Christ attractive. I got back into the routine of church. I stopped smoking. I stopped drinking to get drunk. I got baptized. I read my Bible daily. I listened to any sermon I could get my hands on. The more involved I got with God and the people at the church, the more peace, joy, love, identity and healing flooded my life.
Who I Am Now:
I now understand that what I ‘knew’ was right: I was going to hell; I was not good enough. None of us are. We don’t have to be. God sent His Son Jesus to be ‘Good Enough’ for us. All we have to do is believe in Him. We don’t do anything to deserve it. Because of God’s incredible love for us, we can have 100% confidence we are going to heaven. I am extremely grateful for the purpose and healing God brought to my life: the void I was trying to fill with alcohol and men, God filled; the addictions that I was trying to overcome, God overcame; the love I was desperately searching for is mine in Jesus. God changed my life and mended my relationships with my family; my sister is one of my best friends! He healed the broken pieces in my life and gave me hope that I am worthy of genuine love. What God did in my life is something that I want everyone to have. Preaching about God isn’t easy and it’s not comfortable— I have been made fun of before; yet, what keeps me sharing God with people is the tremendous difference He made in my life, a difference I want everyone to have. If you have ever struggled with addiction, sexual abuse, death or divorce, please contact me. Without pushing God down your throat, I will simply listen to you and care. I’ve been through it and know how difficult it can be. I don’t know you, but I care about you and want the best for you. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Always remember, God loves you.
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