I want to share my testimony, I am so grateful for all the things God has done for me and I hope I can give hope to someone else who might read this.
I left home when I was 14 years old and I was probably already an alcoholic. I had already been smoking pot, cigarettes, speed, and cocaine. If I was offered something I would take it; it really did not matter what it was. The circumstances leading to this behavior really do not require repeating, this is where I was at 14 years old. I am sure that I was not sober one day between the ages of 14 and 17.
Over the years, I did think about God a couple of times. But, I never thought about Jesus, forgiveness, salvation, or what came after this life. My children were bus kids. I cannot even tell you for sure what church it was that picked them up. A friend of mine sent her kids on the bus and told me about it. I remember she said that the bus will come right to your house and pick them up early and they will not drop them off till about 1pm. That was all I needed to hear; my kids were on that bus.
Over the years I was actually pretty lucky and only went to jail a couple of times, and I never lost my job over going to jail. God was trying to get my attention, and He was still being merciful to me that I did not lose my job or my kids, but I was still not listening.
The years rolled on and my children grew up. I stayed drunk and although we fought a lot sometimes, we all survived, and I can still say that we did turn out better than a lot of those old friends of mine. I have always struggled with my health as all of my siblings have also. I always blamed that on bad genes, not bad living. I have struggled with depression off and on over the years, but have never seen doctors much, because I just did not like talking about my “real” condition. I had guilt watching my children having problems that were a direct result of my lifestyle, although I never admitted that was a reason for my depression. I always insisted that the girls had no idea how good they had it. (Now, I can barely even type that.) What a crazy life that I put them through. I remember I always thought that I can hardly wait till these kids grow up and move out so I can have my life back. I have no idea what life I was even thinking about that I wanted back; I never had a life. All the years that had gone by and been lived, but truly no life.
I could not handle any part of my life and in 2007 I decided that was it; I proceeded to get rid of most of my furniture and tried to drink myself gone. That did not work and, in 2008, I ended up living with my brother in North Carolina and I was not allowed to drink as long as I lived in his house. I did not know it, but God’s plan was coming together. I stayed sober for a couple of years and then got my own place and started drinking again. It quickly was right back to hard drinking and missing work now.
Finally, a lady that I worked with approached me and invited me to church. I remember thinking I must really look messed up if this lady who barely knows me thinks I need to go to church! I cussed like a sailor, and the field that I worked in (Substance Abuse, can you believe it) bad language was ok. It took her about a year of inviting me, and I finally went to church with her. It was Gospel Light Baptist Church in Walkertown, NC. Man, what a day that was when I walked into that church!!! I was greeted by many people that said they had been praying for me, and welcomed me. I was not sober, and I was not saved, but I was on my way! Thank the Lord for this faithful woman who refused to give up on me.
A couple of weeks after that this same friend asked me if I would go to a program that was at the church on Friday nights. She said it was an addiction program and she thought it would be good for me to go. I really did not want to disappoint my friend so I said, “yes”. I can honestly and gratefully say that night was the first night of my life. I knew after my first visit to RU that I wanted what these people had. That first visit was 2 years ago. I was not saved when I started RU and not much of it made sense, but there was peace there and I wanted that. I got saved in June of 2011 and I have been an active member in RU since then. This program has not only introduced me to my Savior, Jesus Christ, but it helps me to keep my eyes on Him and to try to be more like Christ. I have had victory over alcohol and continue to overcome obstacles in my life with Jesus as my Guide. What a relief it was to hear that I had a Father that knew me, loved me and would never leave me. I found great peace in knowing that He is in charge, not me. Wow, what a relief that is, after living 45 years my way!
Victory did not come easy or overnight for me, and I have stumbled along the way. I had my last drink on Dec 15th, 2012. I am not alone anymore, I can overcome and I know that no matter what happens from now on, that I can complete this race. Jesus is faithful and just to forgive me, and I can do ALL things through Christ, who strengthens me!!!! AMEN.
My oldest child and three of my grandchildren live with me now; they also are involved in RU and they are Overcomers! We are faithful to church and RU, and we truly are a family now. We read the Bible together and we pray together. I never thought that this could be my life. I am a grateful sinner, saved by God’s grace, and I look forward to tomorrow now.
I thank God for sending that person my way that would not stop asking me to church. If not for her, I would not have accepted for Christ, I would not be on my way to Heaven, and I would not be in church or RU today. I will be eternally grateful to her and I look forward to living eternal life with my Christian family.