Time for My Story
I feel it is time to tell my story: the story of why I became a believer in the person of Jesus Christ.
It is not a story I have shared with many people because it might paint others in a light that is not so admirable, but I realized that is not what the story is about, it is a story about me.
I feel like it is “the time” because I am tired of being a minority in a country that was founded on Christian principals. The verbal onslaughts against Christians, like we are uneducated, stupid, brain washed and need a crutch to survive are such ridiculous statements.
Most Christians who come to understand who God is later in life, that is they were not “born” into a Christian household, probably did the same as me: we never set out to “find” God, rather God set out to find us.
As bold a statement that is, that is why we are emotionally passionate, and no one can take our beliefs from us, because we know they are true and like mine, it saved my life. I would be dead without it.
I was raised in what I thought was a “normal” household; dad, mom, sister, brother, dogs even a hamster for a short time. We were sent to Sunday School and taught the basics of right and wrong and that there is a God.
God was not someone with whom I had a relationship, He was God, up in the sky, looking down and I knew I had to be “good” to please Him.
When I married an alcoholic, I had no idea how to handle it. I could not perceive that if my husband loved me, why he would not stop drinking. I had never seen my dad drunk, we did not party like perhaps a lot of the world did. Dad and I made wine together and mom and dad enjoyed a drink now and then, but it did not prepare me for the other world.
The other world was a world where families sadly have a hereditary link to be drawn to alcohol, it pulls them in. Their behaviour changes when they drink, they lose track of time, often morals wane, and they lose themselves in the process. It is an addiction and like all addictions, it controls them, they are powerless to control it; they usually believe otherwise.
The drinking and behaviour changes made for a very uncertain life. I was not sure when it would happen, how drunk people would be, what could/would set them off; it was a life of walking on the edge all the time. Every encounter would leave me standing there feeling so crazy, crazier than them, and yet I had not touched any alcohol. What was wrong with ME?
I tried to be a good wife, I tried everything I knew to be “good enough” to get my husband to change. Nothing helped. It got to the point where I wanted to die. I cannot tell you how many times I wanted to be “courageous” enough to end it all, it was only much later that I realized that that was “selfish and cowardly, not at all - courageous”.
I was too embarrassed to ask for help from anyone, I was sure it had to be my fault that my life was falling apart, and my husband would not stop drinking. I had yet to discover that alcoholism is a disease, an addiction, hereditary in families and is not something that a person can usually “just stop” without help regardless if "I" wanted it or not. It was totally not about me.
In one of my desperate encounters God miraculously reached out to me to let me know He heard me and saw my pain. It started me on a road to find out more about Him, who He was and why was He interested in me. I could hardly fathom something like this, a up close and personal God. I had never seen this before in anyone else, but it was true, God cared about me. I started a relationship with my best friend of the last 40 years - God.
He has yet to fail me, now I did not say it has been easy – in fact there were brutal times, the alcohol did not stop, life was often hard and painful, but I had a friend who walked with me in it. I do not think I would be alive if I had not had that. It gave me life and purpose – something that I think most people are looking for.
God let me know that I did not have to be “good enough” to come to Him, as a matter of fact He let me know through the Bible that no one is “good enough” and that He loves us anyways. It was a life changing revelation and took a lot of pressure off to stop trying to be perfect (it was not working anyways).
God led me to a lady in a post office, who just happened to be a Christian lady, who introduced me to Al-anon where I learned firsthand from others about the damaging effects of alcohol. I learned from this valuable program that it was not my fault and we could safely share stories and hope. I learned that addictions are no respecter of persons and that anyone can be caught up in their trap.
I found a home church where I could go and study God, I was like a sponge, soaking in everything I could get. I wanted to know more and more about this God who came to save me.
I am a highly intelligent woman, a woman with a keen and very strong will. I rarely take anyone’s word for something; I like to dig out the facts for myself so I did just that. I took the time to sit down and read the entire Bible front to back (only 1 of many times). I enrolled in courses, Bible schools for more information. I talked with other people of different faiths to search out the truth. Somewhere in between the pages of the Bible, I came to realize who God is. Oh, I am quite sure I only understand a fraction of who He really is, because He is God after all. I still have lots of questions after all these years, but that is okay, God can handle my questions.
I have lived my life calling out to Him when life is hard; celebrating with Him when life is good and loving Him for saving this woman from herself. He and I walk together everyday in life and I defer to His wisdom over mine, because as you can see, mine was not the wisest all those years ago and I am pretty sure God has better answers – all the time.
I count on it and maybe you could too.