I may have victory in Christ, but I still deal with leftovers from the dark days. Anybody out there know what I’m talking about?

Before I invited Christ into my life, I was all alone in my world of darkness. Years of battling depression and drinking to the point to where I couldn’t feel anything caused me to want to be alone all the time—just me and the bottle…my god at the time. My thought back then was it was a good way out so I wouldn’t have to pretend to be happy or I wouldn’t have to explain why I so sad all the time.

I enjoyed being alone (so I thought). I alienated myself from everyone more and more as time went on. Yes, it was a lonely life, but I just couldn’t get myself out of the pit. It doesn’t help that I am an introvert, an extremely shy one. I had very low self-esteem. So drinking wasn’t just good for numbing the pain, it was also my liquid courage. It helped me to be comfortable around people. It helped me to be comfortable in my own skin. It made me funny. I turned into a ham for a while before the sadness got unbearable. I thought the only way to survive this world was to do it alone because nobody understood how messed up I was inside. I know now it was the enemy that had me believing that. He’s a good liar. He likes when we listen to him. He kept me in chains feeding me all kinds of lies and he gave me temporary peace through the alcohol. He was happy that I was dying a slow and painful death.

Thank God those days are over. I thank the Lord for victory and for breaking those chains and setting me free. But, now that I have this wonderful victory, I’m finding that I’m still dealing with what I call “leftovers” from the years of alienation. My life choices caused me to be a loner and it’s difficult to change that, I still sort of enjoy being alone but I think too much can be unhealthy. I can see that it’s going to take a bit of time to overcome.

I have many wonderful men and women of God in my life now. God has blessed me with wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ. I’m grateful for every single one. I couldn’t do this walk without them. If I’m going to be around people, it has got to be around people of like faith. I need to be around people who have strong faith. Even stronger faith than me. Building a team of godly people to help keep me on track is one of the first things I learned at the beginning of this journey. But of course we can’t be together all the time so it’s during the times when I’m alone that I struggle a bit. It’s mostly with the mind. When I find myself alone, I’m working hard at trying to capture every thought and make it obedient to Christ, just like Paul told us to do in 2 Corinthians 10:5. It’s so not easy, but I realize I have to keep on it every single day so the enemy doesn’t have a chance to put unhealthy thoughts in my mind. The daily effort can be tiring, but it is a must. I just can’t go back to the way I was. If I do, I’m quite certain the outcome will not be good, perhaps even tragic. I’ve come too far to allow that to happen. When I do start feeling a little lonely, that’s when I call out to Jesus. He makes it all better right away…I’m smiling as I type this, He is my all.

Well, I felt I should share this because if there’s anyone else out there going through something similar, know that you’re not the only one. I may not know your name, but God does, and I am praying for you. And if it’s okay, I’d like to ask that you please pray for me too. With the Lord’s help, we will overcome. Thank you and blessings in Christ.

Never ever thought I’d find myself saying: “Thank You God, for allowing me to suffer!”

This blog was not an easy thing for me to start. I don’t even think many people will see it, but I have this calling to share openly about what God has done (and still does) in my life so that maybe someone else will be helped by it. So I’ll just keep sharing and will leave the rest up to God.

The last post got me thinking a little more about the past. I am so amazed when I see how God was there protecting me even though my heart was closed to Him. They say “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle” and it’s so true. If worse things would have happened to me, there’s even a greater chance that I wouldn’t be here today.

I used to have a hard time at the beginning sharing God’s story in my life because although the depression that He delivered me from was severe, nothing super tragic happened in my life that caused it. Talking about it made me so uncomfortable. But then I realized I was wrong to keep it to myself. Not everybody goes through something tragic. There could be someone else suffering from depression from trials in life even if there’s nothing that we can call tragic. Anyway, depression is depression. It doesn’t matter how it happens, once you have it and things get darker and darker, it’s all the same to me.

Back to seeing God’s protection in the past—If God wasn’t there protecting me as a child, I would have been another victim of molestation. When my dad left (I was 16), it’s a good chance I would have gotten into drugs and alcohol (the alcohol didn’t start until I was of age), but God gave me a great mom who kept me busy and out of trouble. As an adult, while I made poor choices to drink and drive, somebody could have been hurt or killed. I could have been arrested. I would have deserved it of course. I could have lost my job working as a civilian in law enforcement (you’d think that would have straightened out my poor behavior but it didn’t–God straightened me out instead!).

It’s a miracle that none of that took place. Many poor choices in my life prior to giving it all to the Lord could have cost me so much more than it did, but God was there protecting me without me asking Him to. He allowed me to go through what I went through because He knew He would use it for good later on…well, it’s later on and I AM GRATEFUL.

I can only speak for my own life and there’s only one thing I believe explains why worse things didn’t happen to me and that is God’s sweet gift of grace! God knew I couldn’t handle more. For those that have gone through or are going through worse, only God knows why. Trust that He won’t give you more than you can handle. I would like to encourage everyone going through hard times thinking God isn’t there, to look hard. Perhaps He is and you’re just not able to see beyond the circumstances. I believe if you seek Him with your whole heart, you will find Him. Seek Him every single day. And later on, if you’re willing, He will use your trials for good and your life will never be the same!

Is it possible that God is there in godless lives?? I say, YES!!

Every now and then I like to look into the past. Not to dwell in it, but to remember where I was before the Lord reached down and saved my life. I keep facing forward, but I never want to forget the miracles He has done. As I was spending some quiet time in His presence this evening, I was thinking about an old journal. I didn’t keep it up very well, but I came across an old entry that I found pretty amazing. Actually, it is amazingly sad. If I didn’t now better, I’d say that I didn’t write it. But the truth is, I did. It’s pretty dark, but I’d like to share it to give an idea of how lost I was:

December 20, 2008

My thoughts on this day:

Why does God allow me to live a worthless life while others die too soon—others that actually had a true purpose in life? At least it appeared that they were good people.
I have nothing to offer, why am I so different? I am nothing—a wasted life.

As you can see, I ripped out all the prior pages of this journal. Last entry was September 9, 2004. I was kidding myself trying to find my purpose.

I’m no good, I’m terrible at everything. I don’t belong here.

Wow, who was that? So hard to believe I wrote that. Thank You Lord, for bringing me from death to life!! I lived a godless life for decades, but when I look back at the different stages now, I see that God was there the entire time. I just didn’t know it at the time. He allows me to see things so differently now since I surrendered to His will. I am grateful to the Lord for helping me discover His purpose for my life. What an incredible journey indeed.

Why God didn’t want me…

I know, strange title to post, but I hope it will catch some attention. Just the other day I was speaking with a very dear Christian sister about this thought and how it kept coming to mind. Of course I will explain what it means for my own life. I think God planted that thought into my mind knowing I’d be creating a blog in a little less than 48 hours later. Since what I’ll be sharing in these posts is about my very personal life, I am in the habit of praying before I share anything. I ask God to help me share in a way that will reach some hearts and bring Him glory. I truly hope I can accomplish that.

Back in the days of depression, on those very dark nights when I used try so hard to drink myself into a coma, I’d cry myself to sleep almost every night asking God to “please put me out of my misery.” I didn’t have a relationship with God at that time, but I would desperately cry out to Him asking Him to let me die in my sleep. I was so exhausted from the life I was barely surviving. As you can see, God never answered that prayer and I am eternally grateful.

When I say that God didn’t want me, it was actually what I believed after crying out to Him on those agonizing nights. When I’d wake up the next morning feeling terrible, I managed to get through that next miserable day and it would start all over at night with me crying myself to sleep again. God seemed so far away and even unreal. On some nights, I’d cry even harder, literally sobbing uncontrollably saying “God, why don’t you want me?” My heart breaks every time I hear about a suicide. So many people end up taking their own life and some may wonder how I was able to escape that. I used to wonder that myself, but I don’t anymore. Believe me, the tormenting thoughts were there, but the only explanation I have (other than God definitely had His hand on my life) is that I had and still have a very good relationship with my mother. I just couldn’t have her find me dead by my own hands. But somehow if I drank myself into a coma, well, that would be different. At least that’s what I had convinced myself of.

More than a few years prior to those darkest nights of depression, I had given my heart to Jesus, but I didn’t fully surrender every area of my life to Him. I didn’t know how to back then. I didn’t know any Christians at that time that could help me and I wasn’t looking for help. I have no idea if I would have made it to heaven or not if I had died when I wanted to. That’s a scary thought, but today I’m thrilled to say that I have no doubt where my eternal home is.

So, God didn’t want me…He didn’t want me to die because He has big plans for my life. He has big plans for everybody’s life. Unfortunately, many people won’t discover those plans because they’re not willing to open their heart to Him and give Him full control and live according to His will alone. I pray that He will use my new life as an example of what He can do with a willing heart. I won’t try to understand why some people end up dying by suicide. That would drain me trying to figure that out—only God knows the answer to that. My heart hurts for them and their families. All I can do is pray that something I say or do will help someone else think twice about their actions before it’s too late. I pray they’ll reach out to God like I did, perhaps even before a major wakeup call like I had. Maybe that’s why God led me to start this blog. I may never know and that’s okay. I’m just going to continue to do what He asks of me and leave the rest up to Him.

Lord, Thank You for Your love. You have opened my eyes and have shown me that my life has great purpose. Please use me to help others find hope in You so they too can find their purpose and live the best life possible!