Hi, my name is Jenny and I’d like to share a testimony of God’s amazing grace. I do not wish to “glorify” my bad behavior; but rather, I want to show you just how good God is. I did not grow up in a Christian home. Instead, I grew up watching adults who took advantage of children; and therefore, believed adults were not to be trusted. Unfortunately, I also learned that I had something that men wanted and I could get my needs met by getting their “needs” met. I believed that I had to fight for everything in life, including safety.
I had actually started drinking around age 6, and my drug choices grew greater and more powerful the older I got. When I was 15, I moved to another state where I was introduced to angel dust and ended up homeless on the streets. I came back to Illinois, where I met my first husband at age 17. Within 2 years, I gave birth to two boys. I was able to stay clean during those two years, however, it was not before the darkness inside came back. My husband was a good man by the world’s standards, but I was lonely and angry. This led to a divorce from my husband.
After my divorce, I went from man to man and drug to drug but was never satisfied. I gave birth to a daughter in 2006. I wanted to “get clean” for my kids, and I tried many times. I could not figure out why I was such a horrible person. I signed temporary custody of my two older boys over to their father and lost custody of my daughter to her father. It was shortly after this that I met the father of my fourth child. This child, my third son, was born addicted to opiates and I lost custody of him immediately as the Department of Children/Family Services were involved.
I was so lost in my addiction and literally drowning in my own misery. I attended approximately ten secular rehabs, mental hospitals, and had multiple jail visits. There seemed to be no hope that I would ever live a “normal” life. But God had a plan. On Easter Sunday in 2010, I met the Truth that would make me free! I found the Answer! The problem was that I did not know how to access Him and His power! I left jail, trying “harder to do better” and in May of 2011, I found myself in the Winnebago County Jail again after a failed suicide attempt. Behind bars again, I sought the Lord. In a Bible, I found Jeremiah 33:3, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” Within two hours of earnestly praying that verse, the foster mother of my son (his father’s sister) bailed me out of jail and told me about Reformers Unanimous.
I now know that jail was just an address…in my soul, I had been in prison for years. I was in bondage to crack, alcohol, heroin, an immortal lifestyle, anger, and bitterness. Through the ministry of RU, I have learned how to die…not through suicide, but to my wants, my desires, my thoughts. I no longer seek to please people, but instead seek to please God. Galatians 1:10 says, “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” I finally found the one and only thing that could fill the void within me and remove the darkness within! It was then I discovered the most amazing feeling…it was called peace.
While I was a student in the RU Discipleship Home for Women, the father of my youngest son got saved and came to the RU Discipleship Home for Men. After graduating the program, we were married in July of 2012. This is just the beginning of His marvelous grace! It has not been an easy road, as the state petitioned to have my rights terminated twice and made it obvious the odds were against me in getting our son back. Exodus 14:14, “The Lord shall fight for you and you shall hold your peace.” In November 2013, our son came home. I have also had the opportunity to lead my 3 oldest kids to the Lord. That is not all. My cousin, my nephew, his girlfriend, my mom, my step-father, brother in-law, and sister have all been saved! Today, I work at the Reformers Unanimous warehouse, where I see God changing lives just like He did mine. My husband and I now live in a home with our children. God has restored my family and so much more!
I praise the Lord daily for what He is doing in my life and in the lives of those I love. God has given me for a forgiving heart, the ability to love and be loved. I am no longer full of rage, but of gratitude for allowing me to experience the things in my life that have led me to depend on Him completely…and there is no one more trustworthy. – Jenny Elias