My name is Carol, and I’m a new creation in Christ.
Before this, I was lost. I was a thief, a liar, an addict and alcoholic, and so much else. My life of misery began at an early age. Nothing terrible happened to me to me to MAKE me into that person. Things contributed to it, but when all was said and done, I chose the path that eventually led to my downfall.
I was a well-loved child, but for reasons unknown at the time, I always felt alone. As a teenager, I did as so many teens did; I looked to fill that emptiness and loneliness with anything and everything. My story isn’t so different from the rest. What began as “she’ll grow out of it” led to a life of misery.
I spent over half my life trying to get out of the dark hole I’d dug for myself. I spent time in jail, multiple rehabs, even a mental hospital. I had a child at age nineteen that was taken away by the state when she was only a few months old. She was adopted and raised by a family member. Today I thank God for that, but at the time all I could see was how I was the one being “wronged”.
I had another daughter a few years later, and though the circumstances were different, things were very much the same. My life came first. Period. I loved my daughter, but I loved the drugs and alcohol more. I was a miserable person, inside and out, living day to day, existing, and nothing more.
Deep down I knew there was more to this life. I knew about God. In my mind, I was saved because I’d said the sinner’s prayer when I was younger, but the words had absolutely no weight to them. I wanted the peace of knowing I’d go to heaven when I died, but I couldn’t have cared less about changing my life. I was stubborn in that regard to the end. I knew I needed something. But God? What about the things that went with it, the willingness to change, the sincere desire to put God above all else in my life? Nope. I didn’t need God.
Towards the end, my family intervened on behalf of my child. I was given a choice to go into another program, this time a ninety-day faith based program, or lose my daughter. I’d love to say that I went for her alone, but even as sick as I was, I knew that this had to be for me. In my mind, this was my last chance. So, on June 28, 2016, I entered the Haven of Hope. Halfway through my stay there, I truly gave my heart to God. This time, there was no longer a doubt of whether my salvation was real. I had God in my heart!
Since I graduated, I’d love to say that life has been perfect. It hasn’t. I’ve struggled. I’ve fought. I’ve had Satan attack me in every area of my life. But I finally have my life BACK. God, the same God who I rejected over and over, is now in control of my life. He has blessed me with so much. I have a wonderful, godly husband. I have a good job, and I see my daughter often. She will be coming to live full time with us in the summer. But there is so much more!
My God is a forgiving God, full of grace and mercy. I was completely undeserving. All those times I thought I was alone, He was there, always there. There is no doubt in my mind of that. He let me go through the bad for His own reasons. I don’t care what they were. I’m forever blessed to be here now. Faith is something I still struggle with daily, but in the end, I know God’s got me. He had me all along. I just had to be open to receiving Him.
To anyone out there struggling with anything, whether it be a bondage or wanting Christ in their life, but not thinking they’re worthy, I say, “None of us are worthy. We are sinful, evil creatures. But God knows everything about us, the good and the bad, and He loves us anyway. No one is too far gone. No one cannot be reached. Please receive Him now, because tomorrow is not promised.”