Those of you who know me know I have lived a pretty rough life. My parents divorced when I was around 9 years old. My mother found a boyfriend that would soon change our lives forever. I lived with my mom and grew up in an environment of alcohol, drugs and abuse. My relationship with both of my parents was ripped away in the midst of all of this. My father wasn’t really around until he was forced to be when my mom went to jail. My brother and I were forced to grow up at a very young age. We were one of those families you see in movies. The families you call “broken.” We were definately in pieces.
Because of the abuse I grew up with and the broken relationships in my past I was always longing for a person to fill the void. That made it easy to jump into a relationship my senior year in High School. This was a relationship that lasted 3 years and turned highly toxic, extremely fast. It was a completely dishonoring relationship to the Lord. I fell hard for this guy and soon my heart beated for only him. When we started fighting and he started threatening and controlling my every move, I was already in too deep. It took 2 1/2 years after things went sour to finally have the strength to leave. It was after another one of our terrifying fights. He pushed me up against the arm of the couch and forced me to the ground. He was furiously screaming at me calling me all kinds of names and raised his hand to hit me but aimed for the floor instead. I saw that as my chance to get away so I kicked him off of me and ran upstairs. I passed his 2 year old son who had woken up and crawled out of his pack and play to see what the noise was. He was crying and looked terrified. As I was running up the stairs the man I had loved for years had caught up and was clawing at my feet barely missing me. I made it to the bedroom and barely got the door locked in time. I hid in the closet crying and praying he would calm down as he banged on the door over and over again. I don’t know what he would have done to me had he gotten in. I was done. But you see, it wasn’t the first time a fight like that had happened. But it was the first time a child was involved. I loved his son and I couldn’t let that happen again. I know the pain it brings to a person who grew up surrounded by abuse. I was not a believer at this time but I thought I was a “good enough” person to go to heaven. I prayed for nights that God would help me find a way out of that relationship. And He graciously did when I didn’t deserve anything from Him.
Unfortunately, I decided to jump into another sinful relationship just months later. Once again trying to fill the void that only God can satisfy I fell hard. Little did I know, God was going to use that boy to draw me to himself. About 6 months into the relationship, the guy I was dating had a dream that he was left behind when Jesus came back. It really shook him. He woke up yelling and crying. That was the first of 3 similar dreams he had. He started reading his bible and going to church but would always fall back into drinking and cheating on me. I thought I was good enough on my own and didn’t need a savior. This boyfriend(I don’t wanna put names to be respectful), started threatening to break up with me unless I stopped partying and living in sin. So for him, I started going to church and acting like a “Christian.” It wasn’t good enough for him. He broke up with me. I felt like I had no one to turn to and that’s exactly how God wanted me to feel. People were my idols. I put them above God. In those first couple of days after the break up I cried out to God asking him to save me and “praying the prayer.” That’s what I had seen in church. I thought, you just pray a prayer and you’re good. Nothing changed in those days. But just a day later God showed me my sinful, deadly state. He opened my eyes to my pride, hate, lust, lying and so much more. I had basically given him the finger with the way I lived my life. He breathed life into my lungs and I used it to curse him. God also showed me the love He has for me. He sent Jesus, His son to die for those sins I committed. I could be free. I just had to repent and turn away from those sins. God was merciful and granted me that repentance that night. He replaced my heart of stone with a new heart of flesh. One that is now alive to Him. One that wants to obey His word. And I am so unbelievably thankful.
Things haven’t been easy since God saved me. I have lost the man I thought I was going to marry, been so broke I didn’t know how I was going to pay rent, lost many people I thought were my friends. But the difference is now I have a joy and a peace about everything. Those things show me that God is my ultimate provider, protecter and Father. I feel so blessed that He chooses to save such broken people like me for His glory. It’s nothing I have done to earn it. I was completely against Him. If the Lord removed His grace from me at any moment I would be right back to drinking and jumping from guy to guy. That is how I know it’s authentic. Because the changes in my life could NEVER come from me. It is a complete work of God, my Father.
So there I was walking through life thinking I was good enough on my own and that I loved God. I was so decieved. It’s terrifying to think of how close I was to hell. Ultimately I deserve that, but because of Jesus’ righteousness alone I am free. Thank you lord!
“And you were dead in
the trespasses and sins in which you once
walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of
the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all
once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the
body and the
mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in
mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were
dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have
been saved—and raised us up
with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so
that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in
kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you
have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of
God, not a result of
works, so that no one may boast. For we are his
workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared
beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:1-10