Before I knew Jesus I was a slave to sin and generational curses in my family. My parents didn’t take us to church. I grew up very poor and was raised in a trailer park in Macon, Ga. I didn’t know that there was any other way to live except what I was being exposed to by my family and the families of the neighborhood kids around us.
My parents were divorced by the time I was about 7 or 8. They were both using drugs. My two older brothers went berserk with rebellion after the split and were sent away to live with their dads. That left me and my mom and her new boyfriend living together, and he turned out to be a raging alcoholic.
It wasn’t long before I began to rebel myself. I started trying to fill a hole inside that longed for love with alcohol, drugs, and boys. My mom reached the end of her rope with my step dad’s drinking right about the time I headed off to college. She started attending a reformer’s unanimous program at a local church where she eventually got saved.
Although I visited a few times I wasn’t ready to surrender. I did, however, start trying to be a “good person” on my own. Once I realized that being good for God didn’t protect me from heartache and that I was really bad at it, I swung in the totally opposite direction. I was angry with God for things He had allowed to happen to my family so I figured I would just start doing things my way.
As you can probably imagine that didn’t last long. I ended up getting arrested and charged with a DUI by the time I was 20. During the time that my license was suspended, I had to do a lot of walking. It was super humbling, and God used that undistracted time to get my attention. I felt His presence come over me one day in the street, and He revealed to me the mess I had made of my life. I surrendered it to Him right there on the side of the road.
I didn’t know a thing about God other than the fact that He wanted to use me. So since that day it has been a long journey of Him speaking to me, giving me His people, and teaching me so much through His word. The one thing that I feel like has been drastically different is that He has called someone as messed up as me to be holy so I can point other people to Him. My life has been marked by His power so much since that day that I can’t talk about my life to anyone without mentioning His goodness. He has called me and my husband to do some crazy things that I believe show people we are just foreigners here, and that God is with us.
When I look back on my life I can see evidence of His pursuit of me everywhere. The van that came to the trailer park and picked up kids to take us to church, the prayers of my brother’s grandparents over my mom, the prayers of my husband’s family before they even knew me. My mom even told me the other day that a local church threw her a baby shower when she was pregnant with me. Mostly though, I’m thankful for the program that my mom went to out of pure desperation to get help for my stepdad. That program led us all to Jesus. If it wasn’t for Jesus saving those broken people and their faithful prayers, my life and the life of my family would look a lot different. Grace, my salvation is nothing but the result of His truth and grace to this messed up girl.