SO… I feel like whenever I write that is my leading word. My lack of comfort and confidence brings me there. Anyway, I have been struggling with what to write here- what people would want to read, what would get the most views and the most likes, how to get the prettiest pictures and the wittiest lines. After not much consideration at all I’ve decided to throw all those thoughts and questions of myself into the depths of the sea. To trust God and share my heart, to be faithful and see what He does with it. Because when I get back to the basics everything I have and everything I am is because of Him. I thought I would share a little bit about my story to here for people who may not know it. Because after all it is a God story and it’s mine to share. Beautiful and flawed but covered in His love and grace.
“You stepped into time
You laid down Your life to save us
You took all our shame
On the cross it was laid
And now You’re taking us higher
We go from glory to glory to glory
We’ll never be the same; we’ll never be the same
We go from glory to glory to glory
We’re forever changed, forever changed”
Much like the song He has taken all my shame so I can bare all in front of you without fear and I am proclaiming His glory today!
So here it is…
I started using drugs when I was 15 and quickly spiraled out of control becoming a meth addict, heroin addict, everything addict in no time at all. I continued using drugs – struggling to quit for many years with attempts at rehab that would fail on my own strength.
Earlier in my addiction when things got quite bad I remember sitting in the bathroom of a run down house- dirt covering the floors, food piled in the sinks, grime covering the mirrors. As I sat on the edge of this moldy bathtub, blood soaked arms from failed attempts at IV drug use I gazed in the dirty mirror unable to recognize the person I had become. Thinking this is not what I am meant for, wondering what my family was doing and feeling so lost and unworthy of life. That was a moment when I decided mentally that there was no future for me beyond these walls – these dirty and dark metaphorical walls I had placed around myself. I was destined to be this way as long as my life was to continue.
I walked that path of destruction for many more years, walking with murders, thieves and drug dealers- and I was one in the same.
Always wandering and never belonging, searching and longing for anything that could take the pain and fill the hole. In those years the pain and darkness only grew, abortion, a serious miscarriage which only deepened my self hatred, loss of relationships, witch craft, continued wreak less behaviors putting my life and the life of others at risk. But to be honest I didn’t care I wanted to die.
The light of glory…
In August of 2010 I was arrested, I was pulled over off of Chinden Blvd by a detective that had been following me and other “friends” at the time taking down our crew one by one. In the dry-sweltering summer heat I remember slowly taking pulls off what I knew would be my last cigarette for a while- deep inside longing for relief from this life. After searching the car and finding drug paraphernalia that I quickly claimed as my own I was arrested and put in the back of the cop car. As I glanced up at the signage for the business it was labeled “Freedom Car Lot” (this car lot is no longer existing but I am reminded of this moment every Sunday when I pull into Vineyard Church where I attend because Freedom Car Lot was directly in front of the Vineyard—God is good) and I knew right at that second that this was it. The break I had been waiting for and I prayed for the first time in a long time… “God please save me from this I’ll do whatever it takes”. I was prepared for the rough terrain ahead, I had been dope sick before, I had started over again many times, lost everything I had to gain it back and loose it again. But this time was different I felt the chains being loosed and was ready for the bondage to be lost. I didn’t care enough for the people I had quickly claimed as my “family” or the drugs that ruled over my life.
I won’t lie the first couple days in jail were not easy- for my family or me. I was mean and irrational but they didn’t give in to my pleas for release. And for that I am eternally grateful. I started reading the Bible while I was in jail- none of it made sense but I thought if I just continue reading maybe something would click. After a few months of being in jail and completing a class I was bonded out. My dad allowed me to move into his home and although I felt like a immigrant moving into a foreign land they all welcomed me back into their lives after I had caused so much heart ache and pain for them – my first glimpse at what I now know as grace. I sat every morning at my dads’ kitchen table drinking coffee with him and seeking the Lord – doing devotionals and reading my Bible even though it seemed to be in a far off language. I quickly realized that I had no life skills and needed to be able to gain them to be successful at this life. I am so thankful for my family during this time because they were all I had, old friends I had to cut off and old behaviors I had to quit. It was definitely a hard transition but was made easier by them.
I decided that to be independent and gain the life that I knew I had ahead I needed to learn about life and deepen my relationship with Jesus. I knew I needed to keep knocking in a deeper way and he would answer. I decided to go into a transitional living situation where there was support and constant learning about the Word and the love of Jesus. Through that time there were victories and struggles as I learned who I was and who I was not.
After 18 months there I was able to complete the program and become a house manager. I had blossomed in my community and God had completely transformed my heart, mind and spirit. I met my husband who has a story much like mine and we were married shortly after. Our lives have been changed and redeemed through Christ alone.
We’re forever changed.
And all the glory is to Him, ALL THE GLORY.
Out of the dust he created something beautiful- that’s the work of the King of Kings. Taking our filthy rags and making them clean, evidence of a life changed.
I write all this in hopes that it will reach someone out there who is struggling – God wants you to know Him. He longs for you. He wants to restore you in this life and has made you for deep relationship with Him here and for eternity in the next.
“I will show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out- plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on my, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed. God’s Decree. Ill turn things around for you.” – Jeremiah 29:11-13 (MSG)
This scripture is one of my life verses that my mom had been speaking over my life continually all through my struggle. God is faithful – He has taken care of me and continues to. Not that I am without fault because I am flawed but I am seen as spotless and beautiful in His sight. Tough times come and sometimes the waves seem to crash down on us hard but when we keep our eyes focused on the Author and Perfector of our lives we have hope. So have hope dear one, lean in and trust in something greater than yourself because there is a great future ahead for you if you choose it.