I wasn’t raised in a Christian home, or even exposed to many Christians growing up. My Dad was an atheist (a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God or gods.) who later in life has became an agnostic,(a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God.) and my mother would occasionally take us to Catholic Church mostly for holidays.
I believed there was a God as a child, but it was a vague belief and I didn’t know anything about Him. As I became a teenager I started to party. First drinking and then pretty quickly started using prescription drugs and pot. My parents divorced when I was 18, and I was heartbroken. For the next 13 years I struggled with a very serious addiction to alcohol and prescriptions. I maintained some stretches of sobriety going to anonymous meetings like NA, where I was taught to pray to a “higher power” of my own making, but always relapsed. Surprisingly, during this time I got married, had a child and went to nursing school. All while either struggling to stay sober or struggling to hide my addiction.
My marriage was rocky, to say the least. My husband claimed to be a Christian, he was baptized when he was child and he thought that was all he needed. His life however did not show any fruit of salvation. We fought and struggled for 5 years and finally ended up divorcing. My prideful mind thought that he was my problem, and once I was done with him things would get better.
But they did not get better, they got worse quickly.
I was working nights as a nurse and was completely dependent on my
prescriptions. Shamefully when my prescriptions ran out I began stealing medication from my job. During this time I was looking for a house to rent. I met a man that showed my some houses, and he could clearly see how fragile I was although I don’t think he knew the depth of my problems. He ended up sharing the gospel with me, giving me a Bible, and invited me to church.
I became curious about Christ, and started reading the book of Matthew. I felt so conflicted because I wanted to know Christ, but I felt trapped in my addiction. I felt like I couldn’t let anyone know how bad I really was. I didn’t understand salvation yet, that Christ died for my sins to set me free from the bondage of my secrets.
For about a month I wrestled with it, reading Matthew and secretly stealing and using pills. My addiction became the worst it had ever been. One night I went into work high as a kite. My supervisor confronted me, and I confessed everything to her. She is a Christian, and prayed with me as we waited for police to come.
I was arrested and taken to jail. I ended up staying in jail for 7 days,
During that time I remembered the phone number of the man who shared the gospel with me. I called him and over the phone I prayed with him, repenting of my sinful life and asked Christ to become my Lord.
I knew that I was done trying to be in charge, I knew that I NEEDED Jesus Christ. And I also knew that He was WITH me in that jail cell. I am starting to cry just remembering it, I wasn’t alone anymore. Jesus Christ was with me then and He hasn’t left me since.
Jesus Christ was with me then and He hasn’t left me since. He loves me and and gave His own life to pay my debt to God for my sins. Praise God, He pursued me and saved me!
My life changed dramatically. I have been clean and sober since then, but more than that the desires of my heart radically changed. I was given a hunger for the word of God, and a distaste for unrighteousness. I had always mocked “born again” Christians, I thought they were the weirdest people ever. Suddenly, much to my surprise, I was one of them! I was given a boldness for sharing Christ. God was precious to put solid Christian women in my life to disciple me, and He led me to an amazing church that continues to teach and feed me well.
My ex-husband, Chris, saw this change in me and immediately attributed it to being a “phase”. A few months into my new found salvation I began studying Matthew with Bible Study Fellowship, and I felt convicted to reach out to my ex and let him know that I wanted to keep the door open for us to reconcile if he ever actually became a Christian.
He agreed to meet with my pastor, who lovingly and honestly shared the gospel with Chris and asked him to examine his life for the fruit of salvation. Chris was incredibly offended (because he knew his life did not bear fruit for Christ) and told me that he wasn’t interested in anything that my pastor or I had to say. For the next year I watched in amazement as Jesus pursued Chris. His life was a series of struggles and trials that showcased his need for His savior.
Finally Chris ended up at my doorstep one night to pick up our son, and he broke down in tears asking for help. I reached out to my pastor, who recommended a solid Biblical counselor. Chris began meeting with the counselor and within a couple of months his eyes were opened to truth of his sin, and his need for repentance.
By the grace of God his heart was truly converted!
It has been amazing to see the transformation in him. Just like me, his heart was given new desires. He suddenly understood the Bible in a way he never had. We started meeting with the counselor together, and were able to forgive each other for the terrible things we had done in our marriage and our divorce because we have been forgiven by Christ.
Matthew 6: 14~15 “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
Because of what Christ has done for us, forgiven our hatred for Him and our rebellion against Him, we are able to forgive any and every wrong that has been done to us. I praise God that July 2nd we were remarried, and our marriage is a reflection of the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Colossians 1: 13~14 “For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Our lives and our marriage are now submitted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the authority of the Bible. We have been given new purpose to glorify our Creator and share the good news of salvation with the lost!