As a child, I always had an awareness of God. My parents took me to the church to learn about Jesus, and I am forever grateful to them for that. I had a wonderful childhood and came from a good family. Life seemed perfect yet something was missing.
As a child, I felt pretty awkward and had been made fun of a lot in school. I struggled with low self-esteem and thought if I could just look a certain way that I would be fulfilled. So I made it my goal in life to become beautiful. I really became obsessed with it. Once I reached high school I felt like my efforts to become more beautiful had finally paid off. However, that was not enough.
When the “in crowd” rejected me, I found other friends. I started running with a bad crowd because I felt like they accepted me. I began dating and having relationships with people who were a negative influence on my life. I would do anything to be accepted. I have heard it said that we all have a “God shaped hole” that can only be filled by Jesus. I was trying to fill my God shaped hole with all the wrong things. It was at my lowest point that I came to a crossroads.
I was in a very dark place and had just heard about a girl who had been an old friend of mine. She had been living like I was and something truly terrible had happened to her. All at once I came to the realization that this girl could have been me. I knew this was my defining moment and there were two separate paths I could take. One led to Jesus and the other led to death.
I told God in that moment, “If you will redeem my life…if you will rescue me out of this pit I have gotten myself into, I will ALWAYS follow you.” I knew at that moment if I didn’t choose to accept the gift of salvation through Jesus and completely follow him, it would lead to my spiritual and even possibly physical death. I chose Jesus.
At the time, my Dad had just taken a job in another state. My Mom and I had not yet moved with him because I wanted to stay and finish my senior year. However, I knew at that moment I had to leave my hometown. I had to get away from the people and influences I had been around. I immediately told my Mom I was leaving, I went outside and cleaned my car out, and I threw away all my secular music. It may sound strange but it was almost like I was symbolically doing a cleansing of my soul by cleaning that car out. I was showing God that I was serious and wanted to become a new person. I packed my things and left for Illinois that very day. It was the beginning of a new life for me. Because I chose to trust God with my life, he rescued me out of the pit I was in.
As a new Christian, I still struggled with low self-esteem and it has been a process to become delivered from that. Yet, God has proved faithful and has helped me accept myself as his beautiful creation. I don’t look to the world anymore for approval. When I feel down about myself, He reminds me that He does not look at the outward appearance but at the heart. It has been 16 years since my rescue. God has blessed me and changed my life more than I could ever have hoped for or imagined. My wonderful husband and I just celebrated our 12th anniversary and live an idyllic life out in the country. We have three beautiful children and one precious foster baby we hope to adopt one day. My whole life is really a salvation story of God’s grace. I am forever grateful to my Savior and my friend who rescued me and restored my life.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
2 Corinthians 5:17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
Isaiah 61:3 To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory.