These are things God has done. These are Redemption Stories.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Redemption Story #10 - Seeking in all the Wrong Places

I was not brought up in a Christian family. I had a fairly happy childhood, with parents and family who loved me. I ended up hanging around with all the Christian girls in school and tried youth group, but I didn’t fit in. My best friend was the BEST example of a true Christian. She didn’t swear, wasn’t boy crazy, was friends with everyone, and just loved on people. I never thought I could live up to all that and so I turned to boys and alcohol. 

That choice led me down a path of pain and emotional turmoil, I almost didn’t survive. My views were very liberal and at the time I believed in evolution, and a woman’s right to choose, and many other “modern” philosophies and “new age” trends.

One day I was trying to debate the evolution/creation theories, with a very simple, yet devout, Christian lady. As I carried on about the Galapagos Islands and the variety of different animals being suited to their particular environments, this simple(WISE) woman said to me, “Isn’t it beautiful, how God has made it?”

It was at that moment, I believed in God the creator. I knew that if God was who (I thought he should be…) he was, all powerful and absolutely perfect, why would he have created these creatures or anything, but in a way that would suit its environment?

This was only the beginning. I now believed, but I wasn’t ready to change anything in my life and didn’t understand God’s love and grace. I thought God and faith were crutches, with rules and a life of boredom.

I became an alcoholic by the age of 20 and one night about a month after attempting suicide and waiting to enter a treatment centre, I said my first prayer.( You see, I believed and held God in my own weird and misshapen box. I didn’t say “bless you”, when somebody sneezed because I thought God would find it insulting, coming from me. ) I prayed to God that night in desperation and at “rock bottom”, I saw no way out of my despair, except for God… IF he was real and would even listen to me.

I know he heard me and I know he has been with me through every moment. It took another 9 years of trying things my own way, abusive marriage, more alcohol, drugs, having 2 kids living in this situation, it was insane actually. One night my husband hurt me in front of the children. That was it. I left. I stayed at a transition house, went in for counselling, started attending AA, and met my new husband who believed.

For the first time ever, I was attracted to someone who spoke of God. I can only attribute it to God opening my ears. While we were living in New Westminster, my land lady, invited me to a Christian mom’s group. Then to an ALPHA course. We attended together (it was our “date night”). It was through this amazing combination of events, I became a Christian. I found a mentor and a women’s group, read my bible and prayed. It was the beginnings of an eternal life. I had made so many mistakes and God forgave ME.

When I got baptized, my best friend from school came. I didn’t know she was coming. When I saw her there with some of the other Christian girls from school, I was so happy. They told me they had been praying for me for years. Wow! I am so grateful to those girls and especially to God, who never gave up on me. This “walk” has never been boring. At times it has been brutal. God has used me, through my experiences, to reach out to others. So what can I say, but, if our God is for us, then what can stand against us?

My most inspiring bible verse is Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

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