This is for those who are where I used to be—completely lost and making choices that can cost lives, including your own—Do you need a miracle?

God is the God of miracles!  The Lord has been stirring my heart to share some more about my past. I didn’t think that I could muster up the courage to follow through with this because it is about something I am deeply ashamed of.  However, because I believe it is what the Lord wants from me, I am doing it with the hope that He will use me again to reach a heart or two…to give some hope that change is possible, but only with His power.

I want you to understand that I know how tired you are.  I know how hopeless you feel.  I know you think it is impossible to get out of the deep pit that you are in.  I know all of this because that is where I was just two and a half years ago.  I lived like that for about two decades. You must stop believing the lies of the enemy.  There IS hope in Jesus.  There is no pit too deep for Him to pull you out of.   My transformed life is proof of that!  And if it can happen for me, it can happen for all who cry out to God for help.  Cry out to Him and have faith that help is on the way.

I happened to read something today that brought me back to some of the darkest days of my past.  It was a Facebook post about a vehicle accident where it turns out that there was a drunk driver involved.  Praise God that everyone was okay.  It seems the worst injury was whiplash.  I am so ashamed to admit that I used to get behind the wheel quite intoxicated. Some times were much worse than others.  I made those stupid and careless decisions for about 20 years of my adult life.

I was so broken and lost that I couldn’t even think about others.  All I knew was that I didn’t care about myself.  I thought I’d be better off dead so I didn’t care if I ever died in a car crash.  I never thought about any other consequences, I was too numb.  That’s what happens to those of us who are that lost and are already dead inside.  I am so sorry that I never once thought about others.  That is not the kind of heart that I really have.  But I was in chains controlled by the enemy.   I remember the darkness like it was yesterday.  The enemy is powerful.   I didn’t have a chance to break free because I wasn’t ready to fully surrender my life to the Lord.  If I could go back, I sure would have done it so much sooner.   But then, I guess the Lord wouldn’t be able to use me the way He does today, so it has all happened in my life as He planned.  I always have a hard time wrapping my mind around that so I don’t try to so much anymore.

January 2010, was the second to the last time that I made the choice to drive home drunk.  The memory is haunting.  I remember it was sometime after midnight. As I was sitting at a red light near home, I looked in my rear view mirror and saw my dead eyes looking back at me.  Suddenly I felt very fearful.  I remember feeling so disgusted with myself.  I could not even remember getting on or off the freeway.  I was horrified at what I had done. It’s amazing that I had never felt that way all the other times.  It was always a thought of pure luck to me. I was a gambler. As I got older, I remember getting a little more concerned about my choices, I did it less and less, but it was never enough to make me stop completely.  I always took each time I made it home without incident for granted.  I am so not proud of those days.

A year before that is when I remember the depression and drinking had become so bad that I sobbed uncontrollably one night and dropped to my knees asking God why my life was the way it was.  I didn’t know it then, but I realize that is when God started to work behind the scenes.  It took another year and a few months for Him to really reach me completely, but I am amazed to know that He started a lot sooner.  I have told my story in another post of how God rescued me while I laid in a hospital room crying out to Him…the rest is history.

I will never know how I managed to escape getting arrested for driving under the influence, and it is a true miracle that I didn’t hurt or kill anybody.  God’s grace always kept me and others safe, but I had a feeling that would be changing soon if I didn’t do something about it.  I felt my time was running out soon and that something horrible was going to happen in the near future.  I certainly didn’t deserve God’s grace, I didn’t even have God in my heart all of those painful years.  But that’s our wonderful and merciful Savior for you.  I am forgiven. Jesus has completely set me free.  I have received His free gift of grace.  I have received His forgiveness.  He has helped me to forgive others and to forgive myself and I have turned away from sin.

My life is truly a miracle.  In just about five more months, I will be celebrating three years of sobriety.  I share all of this not to say what a great person I am, but to say how great the Lord God Almighty is.  I wish so much that everybody would experience the miracles I have.  I stopped drinking without a 12-Step program or any other kind of help.  My story is 100% miracle of God’s power.  But if things don’t happen for you exactly how they happened for me, do not be discouraged.  It just means that God has different plans for you that are going to be just as great.  He helps different people in different ways.  God has all the resources in the world to help us.  He will guide you to the right ones for your life if you surrender to Him and give Him control.  You must trust Him. It doesn’t matter how we stop turning to vices to ease our pain.  It doesn’t matter what kind of addictions we have.  It doesn’t matter how deep in the pit we are.  But it does matter that we stop running from Jesus and start running to Him and only Him.  There is nothing too tough for Jesus to handle.  Remember what He said in Mark 9:23…“Everything is possible for one who believes.”  I believe!!  I pray you will believe too and receive your miracle.  It will happen in His perfect timing.

I may be repeating things from previous posts, but I do because they are important enough to keep repeating.  Surround yourself with people who will encourage you and lift you up. I have met so many wonderful people through church and they love me and don’t judge me. I have a wonderful pastor.  They all help keep me accountable. I encourage you to build a team of godly friends that will support you.  I know it may be difficult for some.  That was me…but if I can do it, so can you.  We can’t expect to stay on track alone.

There is light at the end of the dark tunnel, friends.  Never give up hope. That’s what the enemy wants. God loves you so much.  When you receive your miracle, I pray you will share what God has done and that you will be willing to be used by Him to help others.

Bless you, I am praying for you. ♥

Thinking about suicide…

Sure hard to believe now that after two and a half years into a journey of a lifetime with the Lord, that I ever had those thoughts.  I was tormented by them from the enemy for years, and he almost got his way.  Remembering what I was like not too long ago brings more tears to my eyes.  I am so grateful to God for what He has done and for what He continues to do in my life.

For those who have lost a loved one to suicide, from the bottom of my heart, I am so very sorry for your loss.  My heart breaks with you. I won’t pretend to know your pain. There is no way that I can because I have not walked in your shoes.  However, my heart breaks every single time that I hear that someone died at their own hands.  My heart breaks because I know their pain all too well.  I know what it’s like to feel that there’s no other way to make the pain completely stop.  We will never be able to understand why some people die, and some people like me don’t.  I stopped trying to understand. Only God knows.

By the grace of God, I am still here and I believe that the Lord wants me to share my heart once again on another extremely difficult subject.  Just like the last post, this one took me a while to write—just too many painful memories started to surface. It doesn’t get any easier writing such personal things about my life for the world to see, but it has become a big part of my ministry journey, so here I am.  I can only hope and pray that the Lord reaches someone through it.

Sometimes I feel guilty talking about how I was saved when someone else lost their loved one.  But, I know I shouldn’t feel guilty.  I must give God the glory for what He’s done in my life.  I am so grateful.  I can’t help someone who has died, but perhaps I can help someone else keep from taking it that far.  When I look back now on those days of torment, I believe God was there the entire time just waiting on me to call to Him but I never did until just a few years ago.  I didn’t know how to—I figured I had been bad my entire adult life, why would He listen to me?  Oh, how wrong I was!!  Many times I would spend hours awake at night crying and thinking of ways to end it.  I knew that I didn’t want to suffer physically.  I wanted to go quickly, but I wasn’t confident that I would do things right.  I remember thinking if I was going to go through with it, the best way for me would be to fall asleep in a running vehicle in the garage.  In my mind, that was going to be the cleanest, the most peaceful, and the most painless way to go. That was going to be my plan, but thank God I never had a chance to carry it out.

Now that God has opened my heart and eyes, I see how He was there working behind the scenes making things difficult enough for me, which kept me alive.  First, He gave me an incredible woman for a mother.   After dad left, she sacrificed more for me than I deserved. She kept me going and busy so that I would stay out of trouble.  I was a good kid because of how hard she worked and because of her love for me.  I have no idea how she did it all.  I am grateful for her.  I didn’t know it then, but I believe God put it in my heart to hang in there for her.  I just couldn’t have her find me dead.  Not after all she had done for me.  Second, mom and I moved around for years from place to place after we had to give up the house.  Amazing how everywhere we lived, there either wasn’t access to a garage, or in time the garage always ended up being storage one way or another…every single one of them.

Because I didn’t have God in my life at that time, I turned to alcohol to get me through the pain.  Little did I know I was still committing suicide, but it was a slow and painful death—the very thing I had always wanted to avoid.  Interesting, isn’t it?  Anyway, having a wonderful mom in my life is the only explanation I can come up with for staying alive long enough until I could open my heart for God to come to the rescue. And because God is God, He delivered me from it all.  The suicidal thoughts, the depression, and drinking.  I will share His miracles in my life until I am no longer able!

Anyone like me who has been delivered from such tormenting thoughts, I’d like to hear about the great things God has done in your life.  I hope you’ll comment.  For anyone who is suffering from these thoughts, I hope you will cry out to God and give Him a chance.  I hope you’ll fully surrender your life to Him.  I am thankful you are still alive and reading this!!  I want to ask you to do something: Look back over your life. Could it be that God has been there the entire time causing things to happen behind the scenes (like He did for me), and that’s why you’re still here with us?  I have no doubt that is what happened in my life and the reason I was able to hang in there long enough to be rescued by Him.  I hope you will keep searching for reasons to live, but most of all, I hope you will cry out to God for help with a sincere heart. He will hear you. What He has done for me, He will do for any of you if you let Him.  He will reach down and pull you out of the pit of darkness.  There is no pit too deep for Him to reach down and save a lost soul.  It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, what you have done…He will save you.  That’s what He does. You just have to want to be saved.  Jesus turned out to be my only reason to live and it is a decision I will never regret.  He has given me an incredible second chance at life and has given me an incredible desire to help others. He wants to do the same for anybody who invites Him to.  It’s an amazing life!

My heart goes out to those who are where I once was and to those who are watching a loved one go through it. Keep praying. Take one day at a time and don’t give up hope. There IS hope in Jesus.  May my life always be a testimony to God’s grace and mercy.  If you have a prayer request, I hope you will post it here.  I would be honored to pray for you.

Jesus loves you more than you can ever know.  I pray you will get to know His love like I have.  If you do, you will NEVER be the same.

Thank You Lord, for the gift of life. ♥

A word for lonely hearts, from someone who knows…

I have only been writing this blog for a couple of months now and I am truly grateful for the positive and encouraging responses that I have received from so many.  I appreciate it because it really helps me to want to keep sharing God’s greatness in my life no matter how difficult opening my heart like this can be. God has definitely placed a special calling on my life.  I feel His call into ministry, but I never could have imagined a blog would become part of it. What an incredible and challenging adventure this has been.

As I write each post, if you were to sit with me while I share things of the heart, you would witness some tears.  They’re mostly tears of joy that come from the Lord because of all the wonderful things He has done in my life, but each time seems to start out with tears that come from the painful memories of the past as I write about them. My main purpose for sharing my heart on this blog is to help people find hope for their own lives when they hear what God can do with an ordinary person like me—someone who lived without Him for 44 years.  This is the desire that the Lord has given me…to share with a hope that He reaches a heart or two through my testimony.  We can’t live this life without hope in Jesus. I know I can’t.

Loneliness keeps coming up lately, so I felt prompted to write about it. There are a lot of lonely hearts out there.  I can see them and I can feel them just about everywhere I go. Mostly I see it in single people, but I know it happens to married people as well.  Loneliness can be very painful at times. I know this, because I feel this pain every now and then.  This journey can be a lonely one for me at times.  I am amazed at how many times I have heard about loneliness lately. It helps to know it’s not just me.  That is why I am putting this out there. It is for others who think they’re alone in dealing with this.  Know that you are not.

You see, my life choices from the past have left me without a family of my own. I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me. I knew what I was doing. I’m not blaming anybody, but I will say that as a kid, going through an ugly and scary divorce with my mom convinced me that I would never get married and go through what she had to.  I was convinced that I would never have kids and put them through that.  So that’s how I lived my life…making sure that I never had a family.  I guess you can say it’s the one thing that I was successful at while being drunk and depressed (it’s not a proud moment).  I got used to alienating myself from people—I didn’t know any other way to live at that time. My life was a godless one and so I can see why things weren’t working out well.

Now that I am older, sober, and have the Lord in my life, I have my moments where I find myself wishing things could have been different. The loneliness sometimes occurs after serving the Lord and spending time with people who also love and seek the Lord as much as I do.   When service and fellowship is over, of course everybody goes their separate ways.  It blesses me so much to see whole families loving and serving the Lord together.  Just looking at them you can see how God is always in the center of their lives.  That is what I desire in my heart at times—a family who serves God together.  But when I get home, I don’t have a family like that to come home to. I have to fight off negative thoughts like “Look what you did, you made these choices, you did it to yourself…”  I know where those thoughts are coming from so I fight them and I put my focus back on the Lord and His love for me.

Jesus is my all.  I have learned how to spend time with Him on a daily basis where I feel His presence and the comfort and peace of the Holy Spirit. Whenever I find myself feeling lonely, I have learned to ask Jesus to fill that hole.  He does every single time.  It works most of the time, but I am human so I still have my moments where I crave human companionship.  After all, God wired us that way.  I am sure loneliness will always sneak in now and again so I’ve learned to not let it get the best of me.  I won’t let it bring me down.  I may shed a few tears over it once in a while, but I keep my hope in Jesus and He sees me through every time.  I am so thankful that I only deal with this ocassionally…so thankful it is not all the time.

I really don’t know why I am sharing all of this about myself, but I felt the Lord wanted me to so here I am.  It’s not like I have all the answers that people are searching for in their own lives. I can only speak about my own life and share what helps me. Jesus is the only One I know to reach for now.  I don’t look for comfort in people or things.  Not any more. That’s what got me into a lot of trouble to begin with.

I hope this will encourage someone’s heart. I pray you will have the desire to just keep seeking the Lord and only the Lord.  Not only in times of loneliness, sorrow, pain, or whatever it is that you’re going through, but always.  Remember, nobody knows the pain and suffering that we go through in this life better than our Lord Jesus Christ. When you weep, I believe that Jesus weeps with you.  There’s nothing that He has not experienced Himself, and there’s nothing He can’t do in your life to turn it around and use it for good.  My life is proof of that!! I hope you’ll take a look at some testimony in earlier posts.

Jesus loves you and He wants to help you…call out to Him.  ♥