I grew up in church my whole life. I had a wonderful home life, lots of love, nothing to complain about. My parents were together and happy. Every time the doors were open at church we were there. I went forward in church in vacation bible school and asked to be baptized. I did this mainly because all my friends at the time were doing it.
I had no idea what I was really doing or the true meaning behind it all. I was always rebellious and never wanted to hang around my family. I was my own worst enemy and had low self-esteem, felt less than and very unworthy. I compared myself to anyone and everyone.
I had terrible perceptions I believe the enemy planted early on in my life I grew to agree with somehow. I saw my dad as hard to please because he and my brother were very close and had similar interests they excelled easily at. I seemingly struggled with everything I did whether with schoolwork, friends, or the like. I grew very shy and introverted turning all my feelings inward. I tried several things, like cheerleading and softball, I thought I should do but didn’t really want to do. Then when I failed I grew more hurt and wounded each time. I dealt with things like anxiety and hopelessness often.
In my high school years my family moved to another city because of my dad’s job at the time. I was devastated of the thought of leaving the familiar and friends at this point in my life. As soon as got there I immediately fell in with the first crowd that accepted me. I got involved in a high school group that partied all the time. I fell in love with this life and took the ball running. I started not caring what I looked like because of all the drugs and alcohol. The highs and drunks made me feel better and be someone else, helping me not face reality.
Alcoholism ran in my family so it did not take long for it to latch on. I would sneak out at night all the time, slept around with whoever whenever blending in with this crowd and losing myself. I was grounded all the time. My so-called friends from my old hometown would tell my parents on me all the things that I wrote confidentially to them. I then felt betrayed, further wounded and hard hearted. This all snowballed to make me rebel even more. I was literally blinded by own attitudes and actions.
My family then moved back to Hopkinsville, Kentucky about 2 years later mainly because of my falling off the band-wagon so to speak. I was better for a while, but eventually wound up right back in it all again running. I went to do the spring break thing, partying, cheating on my boyfriend etc. etc. I was a liar, cheat, thief you name it. All things I said I would never do, I did and then some.
I just barely passed high school with dad’s help. In college, I chose the “easiest” degree, or so I thought, just to get out of the house. I partied all through college dropping out after the 3rd year because my mom and dad quit paying for it when I moved in with my boyfriend at the time. I basically did $3000 worth of every drug imaginable in a week’s time. It was a true miraculous act of God that I did not overdose. My guardian angel and the prayers of my parents/their church were working full time behind the scenes just to keep me alive. This was the peak of my experience with drugs.
My boyfriend and I left the house we were living in - because we were not paying rent or utilities or taking care of it - to go on the road trucking. We lived about 10 months out of a semi-truck, doing all kinds of drugs, not thinking, and dodging weigh stations. I called my parents once in a blue moon from who knows which state or service station. I literally drove them to their knees praying while I drove their minds just about crazy.
My boyfriend finally decided to quit trucking, and we moved in with his mom due to being evicted from our apartment for terrible neglect. This was the next worst decision ever. His family did just as many drugs as we did--if not more. We eventually both got worse. I would get in fist fights with his mom and him. I was physically and verbally abused by both of them and myself.
We worshipped crack in several settings in complete silence circled around in a dark room all literally staring mindlessly at this drug. It was satanic in every way. I felt it, and knew it, but kept on doing it. The whole time I knew this was so wrong, but told myself I would quit one day if I got pregnant or something. Crazy huh?! I had the last fight with his mom and him and finally had it. I loaded all my stuff into my car and drove to Hopkinsville - probably high as a kite.
I was basically living out of my car because I never knew what situation I was going to be in. This car also had insurance my amazing parents were still paying - something I did not even know or think about. They were still covering me in more ways than one with a beautiful hard love I needed so bad, but rejected. I went back to mom’s house, and sat in her chair in the living room. She walked in and about fell over seeing me. She had always told me I was going to wind up dead or in jail if I didn’t stop. I just kept on with a closed mind and ignored her.
My dad showed a more silent love. I lived under their roof for a while, and not long after found the drug-using crowd and fell right back in the same patterns. I wasn’t working and ended up getting kicked out because I didn’t live by their rules. I then moved in with this person and that person, got fired from jobs, and quit everything I started. I slept around with whoever, whenever - exploiting myself even for drugs.
I lost all my values, my face started to sink in, and look gray being only 80 pounds. I was then caught with pot and paraphernalia in my apartment after a wild party, I went to jail, got fined with probation for 5 years, drug counseling, and the whole works. I was just mad I got caught, and I called a friend to pick me up. I kept right on until a good friend of mine died of a drug overdose. This finally hit home (a little anyway) when my friends at the time asked me at the visitation if I wanted to go do some crack which was the same thing he died from. Something rose up in me and I said no. I had my dad come pick me up again.
Still not completely ready to stop it all, about 4 months later I totaled my car with a friend under the influence of lots of alcohol. I pulled out going the wrong way on a one way street hitting a big concrete flower pot literally almost killing both us. She was knocked out completely and I had a big gash in my head with blood squirting out everywhere. I was pulled out of the car by my mom and dad’s pastor’s son (a cop) preaching to me. I had to get my head stitched up and wrapped with him reading me my rights, which was pretty humiliating. I went to jail overnight and got out the next morning by my dad who bailed me out. I was mad I got caught again, of course and I washed blood out of my hair for days.
I was made to go to 12 step meetings to pay off the fines I could not afford. I hated meetings, never shared, and sat cross-armed and mad. Drug counseling didn’t help until the last day my counselor shared his story with me, then I finally opened up. The Lord struck me like Paul in the Bible with pinkeye for two weeks straight. I was stuck in the house and got tired of watching TV so I started to clean my closet and out fell a piece of paper with a note from my dad gave me when I got my DUI and threw it in there. I picked it up and this is what it read...
A well-known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill. He asked his audience “who would like this $20 bill?” Hands started going up! He said I’m going to give this to one of you but first let me do this this. The speaker proceeded to crumble the bill. He then asked “Who still wants it?” The hands went in the air! He then replied “What if I do this?”, and he dropped the bill to the floor and started grinding it with his shoe. Now the bill was crumpled and dirty. “Who still wants it?” he asked. Hands still went in the air. Smoothing out the bill the speaker said “My friends you’ve all learned a very valuable lesson now. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it, because it never decreased in value. It is still worth $20. Many times in our lives we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and circumstances that come our way. We feel that we are worthless but no matter what has happened or what will happen we will never lose our value. Dirty or clean, crumpled or creased, you are still priceless to those who love you. The worth of our lives come not in what we do, or who we know, but by who we are. You are special. Don’t ever forget it. I love you, Dad.
Then, for the first time in forever, I picked up the phone and called my dad thanking him for this poem that he wrote me a long time ago when I got the DUI. You could hear a pin drop on the phone, and he said, “You’re welcome. I love you, Steph.”
This was my spiritual awakening.
My whole spirit broke. I grew hungry to read the Bible, to read the 12 steps, and to share in the meetings. Something like scales fell from my eyes and I could see again. I remember my vision opened up to where the trees looked so pretty and crisp for the first time. Amazing Grace became my favorite song, and I felt like “I was blind but now I see!” I was a sponge. I overtook the meetings, sharing what happened and was pulled aside by a lady and told I needed to share this with a sponsor. I got mad and tried to do all the 12 steps by myself. I was still smoking cigarettes and drinking. I quit smoking pot first then came alcohol a few months later. I came to the screeching halt at the 4th step when it came to an inventory of my actions and life. I was not doing this - LOL.
Surrender came but not easy at times. I was afraid of what I might find, and am still afraid sometimes. Candy was the only lady I ever heard or saw to ask to be my sponsor at this time so I grudgingly asked her. Sometimes the things that we want the least are the things we need the most. She actually said she had room for one more. She was a Godsend and was one of the best decisions I had ever made.
Candy has been my sponsor/spiritual advisor or mentor for over 10 years now. She led me through the 12 steps several times and about a year or two into sobriety, the Lord lead me to quit smoking with a verse Acts 3:19. It says that repentance comes from a breath of fresh air. I was sick with a sinus infection and did not want to smoke when I was sick. So I prayed to be sick and was that way for three months. I asked the Lord to stop it, and He did. Hallelujah! I do not recommend that for everyone, but hey it worked for me!
Sometimes you have got to do what it takes! Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ” became one of my favorite verses. And, Proverbs 14:12 says “There’s a way that seems right to man but leads to death.” It reminded me of where I would go if I went back. This was a visual to keep me in check! I found later that my mom had prayed Joel 1-3 for me “sober up you drunks… restore the years the locust has eaten."
Satan fought for my very soul, but God was ready to cancel catastrophe when I finally cried out!
I rededicated my life to the Lord. When I had gotten saved at age 7 I didn’t know the full meaning of it. So I turned back to my 7 year old salvation ,and I chose to make him Lord of my life and put him first. I found that youth was an area that I would eventually work in at different points in my life. I taught small groups, I did youth camps, and I sponsored several girls in AA and support groups. Several old and young have sought me out for prayer from random places, all rare opportunities to be Jesus in flesh to those who need to see He is real in every way.
I finally went back to school and got my degree and made amends to all I’d hurt badly. It was definitely not easy but it was the best thing to do. I got my fitness certification and got married to a guy in the same program as me after staying pure for one year - another giant leap for me. I thought I could not have children after being told by the doctor and on years of medication to get me to ovulate again. I was led by the Holy Spirit to trash it all and trust him, and was pregnant within six months! I now have two beautiful children and one just recently got saved! I got to lead her to the Lord in my own prayer closet - hallelujah!!! Not too long ago, I was baptized in the Holy Spirit and have been on fire ever since. His presence has been ever with me and for me. For nothing is impossible with God!
I just continue to be amazed at his undying love and mercy and will be forever grateful. I must choose each day to look to him and not to myself and never be satisfied where I am. I must be spiritually growing and craving him more than anything else. To be stagnant for me is death. I seem to learn things the hard way, but I never forgot them. Also, just a few years ago I was delivered from anxiety and depression. Beautiful ladies prayed over me and I woke up the next day with my head silent. It can happen. Ephesians 1:9 says “I’m no longer an alien but a member of God’s family” and Isaiah 26:3 says “He keeps at perfect peace whose mind is steadfast on him.” 1 John 1:9 says “He cleanses us from all unrighteousness as we confess him."
Today I choose to be a radical intercessor and prayer warrior. Many times I am called to the front lines of prayer, which is the exact place I was attacked. I wandered aimlessly in regrets until he delivered me and set me on high. I now have spiritual parents I meet/speak with regularly to keep me accountable instead of a sponsor. When I heard nothing but the voice of regret shame and guilt before, I now hear his voice in dreams and visions which sends me on a radical pursuit of him.
I have more than 10 notebooks where I’ve recorded these beautiful things. As I press into him and change everything I used to do to his ways, I hear him more clearly. I never thought I could hear from God until I cleaned up all the junk in my life. I recently started a blog “heavenlynuggets.wordpress.com” at which I share some of the beautiful things the Lord has spoken to me over the years. I regularly attend and help lead at Fourth Dimension a revival hub in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. I help teach the kids “Hearing from God” classes and lead soul cleansing prayer there, which is an inner healing ministry.
I most definitely am not perfect, but I have hope - which is the difference today.
I have a prayer closet I go in every day and get on my knees. I have used and written in a gratitude journal on occasion to lift my spirits. I love sweets and desserts now that I quit using and I have to fast regularly from these to keep me in check.cI am overcome by the spirit of God and feel prayer in my bones as I intercede and make Him my ultimate pursuit. This strengthens and builds me up in my most holy faith. Also as I continuously ask for Him to help me come up higher with Him, He answers me in a new way every time. I have a tremendous love for the heart of people to be changed to know him and feel his realness in every way. I share my story and the gospel regularly at treatment centers as well. I am also highly honored to be writing to you right now.
Think right now of what you struggle with and now think of the exact opposite of that and start declaring it over yourself. This is what Satan doesn’t want you to see. He attacks you right where God wants to use you. See, there are two plans for your life. Which one will you choose to agree with?
If you were to die today, would you beyond the shadow of a doubt go to heaven? Do you know that the Father sits in heaven but wants to make his home in your heart? Has anyone ever told you that God loves you radically and has a wonderful plan for your life? I am here to tell you that he wants you and you have a special call that He wants to ignite. Your identity is not found in how well you do something but in how much Jesus loves you. Do you know that anyone that calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved? All we must do is confess our sin to him and admit we believe that he died on the cross for us and he will come into our hearts and live and help us be who he’s called us to be shamelessly. I encourage you to get real with the lover of your soul and let him reveal himself to you and write on the tablet of your heart. Pray the following in your own words:
Father I ask you to come into my heart wash me, cleanse me, and set me free. Fill me with Your spirit so that I can live for You I believe in You. Thank You for dying me so that I can live! In Jesus name, Amen.
It is that simple, your sins are forgiven if you pray to the Lord and mean it. However, he does want you to wake up every day seeking Him with everything in you and He will leave no stone unturned in your life until the day you die. Get plugged in with Godly people and hold yourself accountable. Sometimes you may feel like giving up, but please don't! The enemy will throw everything in the world at you to get you to quit. Make a firm decision to run with the Lord at all times, forcefully throwing off all that entangles you. If you don’t quit, you win! Sometimes it cost you, but my friend it is worth every minute of effort that you put into it! You are worth the investment. He died for you and now wants you to die for Him so that you may truly live both now and forever in eternity with Him.
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