When I finally accepted Christ into my life in February 2002, I was addicted to alcohol, miserable, full of shame and self-hate, and completely hopeless. I was 27 years old at the time, and I was weary, tired of fighting, and completely defeated. I didn’t think I had anything left, so I prayed for death. Thank God that He did not answer that prayer, but instead gave me something so much better – life more abundantly. From that day on, my life took on a whole new meaning, and I never felt hopeless again.
It has been many years now since I started on that journey and I am completely transformed. Early on, God gave me the image of a butterfly. The butterfly starts off a worm, and then it has an extended period of being separated where it undergoes some radical changes (transformation) inwardly and outwardly. By the time the cocoon period is over, the worm has been transformed into a beautiful, colorful, majestic little animal that flies high above the ground it once used to crawl. I embraced that image and held it in my heart, as I saw God doing just that to me, day-by-day, year-by-year.
Even though there were many challenging, and even grueling times, it has been well worth it. I by no means have arrived, but I am a far cry from the broken, dysfunctional mess I was when God first got a hold of me. The miracle of God’s love and power operating in my life has healed me through and through and made a message out of my mess. I now can share with others the hope that I have found in His love, and I know that if He did it for me, He could do it for you.
Paul writes in Ephesians 3:17-19 “…that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height – to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” I counsel hurting people every day of my life and never cease to be amazed at how love-starved people are. Woundedness from the past, inadequacies of our parents, broken hearts, broken relationships, low self-worth, addictions, and the like leave gaping voids inside of people’s hearts, souls, and psyches and often the antidote is simply God’s love. Many people talk about faith, and faith is definitely paramount to our spiritual victory, but as broken as I was, I had nothing to base my faith on. What caused my faith to develop over time, was watching God continuously express His love toward me. I saw Him taking care of me, protecting me, opening doors for me, revealing Himself to me, healing me, and forgiving me.
In Revelation 3:20, Jesus says that He stands at the door of all of our hearts and He knocks, but He only enters into the heart that willingly opens the door for Him. In 2002 I made that decision to let Him in and it has made all the difference. Jesus is the Great Physician, the Great Counselor, and the best therapist I know. He is more than able, and willing, to bring healing and restoration to even the oldest and most painful of wounds. This has been my personal experience and it is my passion and mission now to help Him do the same in others’ lives. And what an honor it is indeed!