When I was about 15 years old, I tasted alcohol for the first time and I knew that I was hooked. It seemed to fill me up in a way that nothing else did. I didn’t realize at the time that it felt good to me only because I was empty inside. I had something missing and something broken in my life, but I couldn’t really define what it was. I was yearning to feel complete and drinking was a counterfeit solution. It was like a bandaid. I didn’t know that I had opened a door in my soul to the devil.
When I was about 21, my boyfriend, who had been my best friend since age 14, left me and became engaged to another woman. I was devastated. It’s not so much that I felt betrayed. I didn’t blame him. I hated myself. My family was not supportive and they did not show any tangible love toward me during this time. To be honest my family has always been very cold and distant. I never really felt connected to them. The were never abusive, but we were not a loving family.
After that, I cut my wrists. I don’t know if I was really trying to kill myself, although, I did have suicidal ideations. I really think that it was mostly hatred directed toward myself. I actually remember making a choice to be crazy. I thought at the time that if I could just go insane, then I wouldn’t have to be accountable for the mess of my life.
Later on I got married and had kids. I made a choice to get off alcohol 13 or 14 years ago and got into rehab. They told me I had bipolar disorder. I did a 12 step program. I didn’t know then that all I needed was to take 1 step to Jesus.
My brother died about 4 years ago and I started worrying that he might have gone to hell. It got me thinking about life after death and that was the beginning of a spiritual journey for me.
By this time, I had been seeing psychiatrists regularly for this bipolar disorder and they were medicating me with an array of drugs, including tranquilizers and amphetamines and I was now an addict.
I was raised Catholic. My family was very religious, but now that I reflect, they didn’t know God. My family honored God with their lips, but not in word or deed. That’s part of the reason why I was so turned off to religion. They honored God with all kinds of rituals and traditions, but they did not walk in love.
My first husband’s family was from Texas and they were Bible believing Christians. When I met them and saw the way they honored God through love and in action, I knew that there was something special about these people. I didn’t know what it was, at the time, but what I was seeing was the fruit of the Spirit.
During this time, I actually made a confession of faith for Christ and was baptized. However, I remember coming out of the water and the first thing that came into my head was, I want to be just like these people, but I am not strong enough to do it. I do not want to stop drinking. I need that in my life. I didn’t know that God would give me the power to live a holy life and that when I am weak, He is strong.
However, that marriage didn’t last long, but I always remembered the unconditional love they had. It was beautiful. This was a seed that God planted in my heart.
Three years ago I came across the Left Behind books by Tim LaHaye. They are a fictional series of 12 books that are based on Bible prophecy and the Book of Revelation. When I first saw them in the bookstore, the covers were so attractive and they looked intriguing. But when I noticed they were about Jesus, I lost interest and put them back down. Now I know that it is because the carnal man is in enmity with God.
A couple of months later, I saw them again and decided to just try the first one. I was so surprised when I read the first one to find out that a person needed to be saved. I had never really understood that before. Maybe, I had been told that when I got baptized, but I just didn’t have the ears to hear that.
Through reading these books I heard, for the first time, the reason why Jesus went to the cross. I finally received and understood the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I had seen the ‘crucifix’ in church a million times, but the true meaning of it had forever alluded me. Now I finally understood that He had died and shed his precious blood for me personally, so that I could be redeemed from my sins. He took all of my sins so that I could be found righteous in the eyes of God the Father on the day of judgment. And not only for me, but for the sins of the world!
I read as the characters in the books received the Gospel and made decisions for Christ and I urged them on in my heart, coming to the conclusion that Christ is the only way.
However, I had not yet done it myself. My flesh kept fighting it. Then one day around book 6, we were getting ready to go out in the car. Suddenly, I thought, if I were to get killed today, I will go to hell for sure, especially knowing what I know now. I am accountable. So I sat down on my couch and I had to fight my flesh to submit myself to the Lordship of Jesus. I took some deep breaths and with my heart racing I said the salvation prayer. There was a battle going on inside of me as I did it, but I did it! I repented.
I really didn’t feel much differently after this, but unknown to me, something had shifted in the spirit realm when I prayed that prayer.
About 2 months later God came to me in dreams and visions, 2 nights in a row. In one of the dreams, I saw a baby dressed in a sparkling white gown. Now I know I was seeing my born again spirit.
While awaking, on the morning of the second night, while I was laying in my bed, I saw a vision of what appeared to be a shooting star. It was twilight and I could see the moon and the stars and this flame of fire coming out of the sky falling toward me. It kept getting closer and closer. It became larger as it got closer and finally it was in the room with me and then I felt something enter into my chest. It physically jolted me. It felt like fire and waves of rushing water at the same time. Waves of liquid love. I have never felt love like that in my life. I was filled with perfect peace and joy. Thank you Jesus! He had given me rivers of living water.
I still had not read the Bible yet, so I did not yet understand that I had received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Praise God. I just knew that whatever that was, it was from God. And even before I read the Book of Acts I had an inner witness testify that it was the Holy Spirit somehow manifesting to me.
Shortly thereafter, I was visiting my Dad and picked up a Bible that he had on his coffee table and I devoured it. I was so hungry for the words in that book. It was filled with all of the treasure that had been hidden from me my entire life! Everything that I needed was in these pages. I could not get enough of it. It was light and life to me.
When that light came into my eyes, ears, heart and soul, the grave clothes started to come off. I fired my psychiatrist. I was miraculously delivered from drugs. He totally cleansed me.
He did not give me the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. When God’s divinity touched my humanity every demon had to flee!
I actually had what appeared to be a nervous breakdown as the demons came out. My husband drove me to the hospital where I stayed for ten days. But I am telling the truth when I say that I was delivered from every last demon in the car on the way there.
When God’s light entered into my spirit the demons couldn’t stand that light and they had to go, but they manifested on the way out in all kinds of ugly ways.
Jesus has set me free and whom the son sets free is free indeed. I am now walking in His resurrection power. He restored me and now I am serving other people in my community and God has called me to be an evangelist.
Just like He said to the demoniac of the tombs, “Go and tell what the Lord has done for you.” Therefore, I give this testimony to tell what the Lord God has done for me and how good he is.
He restored me in my body, soul and spirit. He removed the scars from my soul. He gave me beauty for ashes. The joy of the Lord is my strength.
When I said that prayer that day, I just thought that it would prevent me from going to hell. I had no idea that he would give me heaven on earth now!
He has given me the abundant life! He has filled me with his Holy Spirit and made me whole. Now there is nothing missing and nothing broken in my life and I do not have to try to fill the void in my heart with anything counterfeit!
I touched the hem of His garment spiritually and He healed me. He took away the blindness. He removed everything that hindered and crippled me.
Thank God Jesus was willing to go to the cross and take the curse for me so that I could live in the blessing. He translated me out of the kingdom of darkness into His marvelous light. I have passed from death to life in Him!
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