By Lisa A. Johnson
Recently, I met one of the happiest, and I might add unique, young ladies it has been my privilege and experience to meet. She tells a most interesting, and touching story about her life. When most young ladies would be trying to “live it down, and cover it up, ” she is open about her experiences. This openness and willingness to talk and write about her life, is from a heart that swells with love for others. She hopes to contribute something, to keep others from following the same path of self-destruction.
She has a bubbly personality and is so thankful that she is alive today. With her fine husband, and wonderful little girl, her life has real meaning and purpose at last. She feels greatly blessed by God, and must try to help others that may be making the same mistakes in their lives. Here is her story. – Doug Matlock.
To Whom It May Concern:
At 26 years of age I write this letter to whomever has or is experiencing the things in life such as I did. If your heart is troubled or your mind numb, I hope just a little of what I’ll be saying will sink in.
Growing up as a preacher’s daughter in a small, isolated town in the mountains, and becoming a teenager was a turn-around experience for me. Christians are a rare form of wonderful people who only work for one goal, “the hereafter,” but when you are sixteen, death, sin, and morality are hard to keep in your memory. It seems like the fast pleasure of today’s world is more rewarding. Oh, that life in the fast lane, it all consists of numbness, being carefree, avoiding reality, and of course your final fulfillment of nothing being achieved. Oh, I forgot to mention that nasty, wild, experimental crowd likes you, though.
I remember all so well the first night I smoked pot. I was hiding outside in the bushes with “friends” that were pushing me to just try one “toke.” My head was spinning, I forgot everything, and all I did was laugh. I thought that was the greatest high in life. Of course you know peer pressure is the greatest trial in life, and I failed the test. That was the beginning of my roller coaster of fun.
At the tender age of fourteen I had become a Christian, so when I started my life of sin I buried my guilt somewhere deep until I got caught, many years later. When the church withdrew from me, it didn’t affect me in the way it should have. I didn’t value my great riches. I was already too tangled up in the web of the world and its fast times.
After a while of being away from home learning about the real world I realized one day I needed help. I was no longer in control of my life. I was the victim of Satan, and substance abuse. With the help of group therapies, and coming in contact with a few young people who were also tired of drinking and drugs, I slowly came to realize I could be a total human being without fogging up my thoughts with alcohol and drugs.
After going straight for awhile, I was smothered up with guilt and too stubborn to turn to God for total forgiveness. So, I wanted to die. I attempted suicide. My attempt was almost successful. I didn’t remember anything for two days. Being found in time, prompt medical attention, and many prayers to the Almighty were made for me, I was pulled through. Being young, I was encouraged to seek out things to make me feel productive, while I continued to receive professional counseling. All the while my parents and two brothers along with many Christians were praying for my life in the hope that someday I might return to my first love.
Still stubborn, I stayed clear of the Lord’s help and continued to be a child of the world, realizing I was no longer a victim of substance abuse, but the untamely world had its claws in me with the sin of fornication. It was the only sin I engaged in, but the Bible plainly states, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked:’ for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Gal. 6:7). I became pregnant. On my feet (I thought), 23 years old, on my way to being a registered nurse, and my evil ways caught me again.
My pa rents torn, hurt, and bewildered, sought to help me again through troubled times. I was bitter, and felt all alone in the world while they kept praying and hoping I would change.
Time went by, and late in my pregancy, I became vey sick. Complications set in; mine, and the unborn child’s life were endangered, but my heart was still hardened with sin. Faithfully my family pleaded with God through prayer, going back to the Bible and reading encouraging passages, they never gave up. The doctor decided to take the baby three weeks early in fear for my life. Then I remembered holding that tiny innocent and pure baby in my hands, now brought into my life to guard and protect-, just as my parents had tried to do with me. My heart began to melt.
Soon thereafter, my younger brother came home for a few weeks to visit with us. We shared a lot of tears together. We sat, talked, and prayed together. I soon began to realize what love God had for me, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life” (Jn. 3:16). How could he give up his only child to die for our sins? How could I ever give up my child to nail its body on a cross to bleed and die for everyone’s sins? God must love us so, he delivered me from such narrow escapes from death. My heart was finally pricked, and I wanted to change. No sinner in this world can ever understand unless you feel that love in your heart that God has for you. I realized this life goes by so fast. The Bible states, “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow; for what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (Jas. 4:14).
I became a nurse and prayed to God faithfully to provide me with a mate. I found him, he is now a Christian, and we have started a blessed happy Christian home for the child given me and my husband.
How did I make it? By the grace of our living God. You may turn off your parents and God for awhile, but sooner or later, you will have to face your decisions that you make now. Maybe you won’t escape so easily, maybe one of those party nights someone driving will have too much to drink, maybe someone will slip something in your joint, maybe you’ll get a bad disease, or even worse, wake up in the judgment with the Lord saying, “I never knew you; depart from me ye that work iniquity” (Matt. 7:23).
Wake up! Don’t let the greatest years of your life vanish away in waste. Find someone you love (a Christian), set them down, ask for help. A Christian’s prayers are the key to your salvation. Talk to your peers, and don’t be afraid to do what’s right. Don’t bury your guilt, for when it surfaces it may destroy you. Let God in your heart. Trust and obey.
Today I’m so blessed. I got by, away from the grasp of this mighty sinful world with only a few minor health problems, but you may have to suffer more. Think about it. God wants to save your soul. From the bottom of my heart I wanted you to realize, I’ve been there! We all have temptations, but someday you’ll understand how precious your soul really is. There is no greater high than to know, to obey, and to enjoy his wonderful blessings. If in any way I can help: listen, advise, or cry with you, please call or write. In much Christian love, “From One Who Knows.”
Guardian of Truth XXXI: 24, pp. 737, 752
December 17, 1987