As I stood in the alleyway behind the drug house, I could feel the life drain out of me. I put out my hand to lean on the stone fence, but I could no longer hold my weight. My words slurred as I felt my body begin to collapse underneath me. The world around disappeared, and all that my mind saw was darkness, complete and utter darkness. My heroin addiction had brought me to a point I’d never imagined I would reach the point of overdosing.
When I “came to,” I could hear the ambulance in the distance. Being on the run from parole, I knew my positive drug test would be an automatic violation. This meant prison again. My heart raced, and with all the strength I could muster, I went into “flight” mode. The crowd I had un- intentionally gathered hollered after me, “Wait for the ambulance!” But I didn’t listen to anyone, including the law, and I certainly wasn’t going to listen to some strangers even if they were right.
In the months to come, I would find myself in prison for the fifth time, pregnant, eventually residing in a women’s and children’s rehab, then a halfway house, and finally a transitional house in inner city Philadelphia. Moving back home to Lebanon, Pennsylvania, seemed to be the only option, and I met my husband shortly after. We were living in sin, considering divorce after only a few months of being married, and in desperate need of Jesus.
The oppressive state of generational sin had greatly tarnished our upbringing to the point that divorce was normal, sin was consistent, and brokenness was rampant. Any rational person would say we would never make it, that we were destined for a life of heartache from which we could never recover. Drugs and alcohol, ungodly relationships, utterly foul speech, generational ignorance of God, bitterness, and cold hearts of stone had severed so many opportunities for a successful life.
We had gone too far… Or had we?
Easter morning of 2013, we found ourselves, broken and torn, desperate and despairing, in a revival service. The Gospel message of Christ’s sacrifice and our need for repentance came through loud and clear! It struck a chord in our hearts and drew us to a place of prayer at the altar. We prayed, separately but together, for forgiveness from our sins and for God to help us.
This was the beginning of our new life. Since then, God has continued to lead us into all truth as we walk in the light He gives. We have overcome the old, twisted, generational mindset that had us set on the road to divorce. Our marriage was not simply spared but actually made anew. God has blessed us as a family. The “me” mentality was traded for concern toward those around me and their spiritual state. We gained a heart for the lost and a love for God’s people.
The undeniable fact that God can take what is so broken and make something new proves true each day that passes. The Father is good and called us to this life with Him. Our gentle Comforter, the Holy Spirit, guides and speaks. Jesus the Christ is my redeemer and only hope. I praise God who generously gave me the reality of this new life! We have a means of help to be victorious! God saves us from a sinful life by His grace through faith and frees us from the bondage of slavery to Satan himself. We are freed from the old self and given the ability to live victoriously above sin. Through this salvation we gain a changed life on earth and the hope of heaven to come!
We have a method of habit to become consistent! God provides effective tools and principles to live a consistent Christian life! His Word outlines practices like discipleship, church attendance, accountability, leaning on His Word as our highest authority, and, most importantly, prayer, as means to keep us spiritually fed and focused on Him. Immersion into this life with Christ is vital for success in His eyes.
We have a message of hope to share with others! The bondage and brokenness we recognize in others can be successfully remedied by Jesus Christ Himself, for He is the only true hope any of us have. We, as Christ followers, have a great mission and purpose. When we see those around us who are broken and bruised, let us remember our own past brokenness our depravity no matter if it be perceived as great or small. The fact is that in the past, we were all fellow beggars searching for the Bread of Life. Let us freely share the Good News of Who the Bread is!
I am thankful that God gives us everything we need and more to live a transformed life for His glory. The abundant grace He bestows is very undeserved but appreciated beyond measure. It is truly only because of Christ’s triumph on the cross and the power of His resurrection that we have the benefit of living a surrendered and victorious life!