I am overwhelmed with gratitude and love for my God. He saved me! He saved me from the worst enemy I’ve ever had — me! It’s good to remember where we come from. Where I’ve come from makes me fall on my face and cry tears of joy and thanksgiving to my Savior!
I grew up going to church. But the Gospel never sank into my heart. I loved God. I loved Jesus. But it was a superficial love. I knew about God, but I didn’t know Him. I loved everything He stood for. I loved Him the way people love movie stars, rock stars. When my dad died, my love quickly turned into a stubborn hatred, denial for the One who gave me life.
It didn’t take long to become lost. I did everything that was good in my own sight.
I married the wrong person which led to years of abuse. I divorced him which led to years of looking for love in all the wrong places. I thought being loved was a man thinking I was cute enough to sleep with which led to an abortion. Each step I took led me deeper and deeper into darkness. Each thing I used to pull myself up, drinking, getting tattooed, searching for love, moving to a new place, left me emptier and emptier.
Thirteen years after my dad died, I witnessed something that made me realize, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God is real. I am a nurse. I saw a patient come back to life after being legally dead for 30 minutes. I began to minister to patients that God is real. I never even realized what I was doing. What I did understand for the next 13 years was I was going to hell when I died. Oh, by then I was such a bitter, miserable, mean, sarcastic, cynical person, I turned going to hell into a joke. I would literally make jokes about it. It was the only way to not completely lose my mind. Deny. Deny. Deny. I broke my relationship with God years ago and had no idea how to fix it.
Fast forward another 13 years, I moved to Florida. One year later I finally hit rock bottom. I was more miserable than anyone I knew. If God hadn’t given me my boys, I would have rolled over and died. I never understood that all the suffering I endured was self inflicted. I spent 26 years projecting my feelings onto other people. I was convinced no one could ever love me or be my friend when all along it was me who could never love me or be my friend. So I withdrew from the land of the living. I built a very high wall around my heart. It became overgrown with wild flowers like the castle in Sleeping Beauty.
But God! In the parable of the lost sheep, Jesus tells of a shepherd leaving 99 sheep to search for his 1 lost sheep. Upon finding that sheep he gathers all his friends to celebrate finding him. I was that sheep! When I came to the end of myself, God sent a coworker to tell me how Jesus changed her life. I listened. I believed. Ten days later I was born again!
What is my life like now? I’ve known the Lord for almost 9 years. He healed me from alcoholism and smoking almost immediately after being saved. Once those chains were broken, he began to break down the granite wall I had been erecting around my heart for 26 years.
It’s been a long, painful process. That wall isn’t completely razed yet, but it’s being pulled down stone by stone, enough now for me to see bright, beautiful, glorious light! I have more hope now than I ever dreamed of before. The bitterness is going. The anger is going. The loneliness is going. The mean, hateful spirit is going. The self loathing is going.
I look in the mirror now and don’t hate the girl looking back. I’m starting to believe people when they tell me they like me. These amazing things have nothing to do with what I did to help myself. They are due to a great and awesome God who lifted me up from the pit of hell and put me back on solid ground. Anything good in me that you see is a gift from God! I will never be able to repay Him or earn the good things He’s given me! Salvation is a gift, the most precious gift I have ever received!
I don’t know who you are or where you come from, but if you read this today and say I want what she has, here’s what you do: cry out to God! Confess to Him you are a sinner. Ask Him to forgive you for all the stupid, wrong, messed up things you’ve done throughout your life. Believe in your heart with all sincerity and humility that Jesus Christ died on the cross in your place for your crime, was buried for 3 days, and on the third day rose again to life! Thank God for saving you! Run out right this minute and tell your friends, your family, the dude on the street corner, that Jesus Christ is Lord! He saved you! Then get yourself a Bible, find a Bible believing, Bible teaching church. Hang on for the best ride of your life! God will change you! He won’t let you stay where you are. He will restore the years you lost to sin. He will fill your heart with so much joy your head will spin!
My name is Michelle. I started following Jesus in 2005. If you’re interested in knowing how that happened, be sure to read Once I Was Lost. I am many things. Mom, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, non-conformist, sensitive, pragmatic, surgical nurse, mercy ships alum, cyclist, scooter nut, rambler, ukulele enthusiast, blogger, Christ follower…You can contact me here: http://Jesussavingmefromme.wordpress.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.