Have you ever hit rock bottom? I have and it was the scariest place I’ve ever been but that’s where I found Jesus. Where I truly encounter the Holy Spirit and the healing power and life He can give.
I was raised in a Christian home by good parents that would have given their lives for me. I was raised in the church and loved by my church family. I enjoyed going to church as a child and I loved Jesus my whole life. At the age of 8 years old I asked Jesus into my heart and was baptized. I wish I could say from that day on I lived my life for the Lord, but I can’t, that’s not my story.
I grew into a teen who sought attention and approval and wanted so desperately to be liked by all.
When I was 16, the friends I was hanging out with started dabbling in drugs and taking pain pills to get high. I dabbled right along with them because I was a follower and wanted to be accepted. It started off just for “fun” on the weekends. I would go out partying on Saturday and be in that pew at church on Sunday morning. I would be in youth on Wednesday nights too.
As far as where my relationship with Jesus was, it was put into a checklist of going to church and praying. I would go out on Friday or Saturday nights and do sinful things and come home and ask for forgiveness before bed. I thought as long as I went to church, prayed, and asked for forgiveness everything would be OK.
Boy, was I wrong.
Like any family, we had our shares of problems, hardships and family disagreements, and being hurt by members of the family. It wasn’t a pleasant time for all parties involved. Instead of seeking Jesus and really drawing closer to Him, I chose to find relief in popping pills. I would pray and pray and pray but nothing got better for our family, it just got worse. I eventually stopped talking and praying to Jesus. He wasn’t fixing it how I thought it needed to be fixed so I thought He must not be listening.
When I stopped talking and praying to Jesus, the devil really took a hold of my life.
Depression set in—I sought drugs to fill that void. I was high almost every day. I was so hollow and sad inside that I needed and wanted to feel something other than sadness. Drugs gave me that but only for a little bit. Little by little I started losing what friends I had because of the way I was living my life. Although I was going through all of these things, I still showed up for church with my parents on Wednesday and Sunday like clockwork. Then my world came crashing completely down around me.
One morning, my mom found out about what I was doing. She questioned me and I, of course, blamed other people. Later that day I went to school and fell asleep in class. I dreamed that my parents found me dead from an overdose. I woke up freaked out. I left school and went to my sister’s work and told her everything. I told her about the pills and the depression and about how I was feeling. She listened and went into big sister mode because I was too scared to tell my parents on my own. She brought me home and put me to bed and told my parents what was going on. They found a facility for me that night that would take me in.
I remember staring blankly in the car at my daddy’s Bible on the floorboard for the hour-long drive there.
When we got out, I grabbed the Bible and held on to it.
I got checked in and as I was telling my parents goodbye, I went to hand the Bible back to my daddy. He handed it right back to me and told me to keep it. I walked into my room. It was dark, dull, cold, and late at night. I was still clinging to the Bible for my life. I dropped to my knees on that cold, hard floor and began crying. I cried and cried and then I looked up to heaven and told God how mad I was at Him.
I listed every reason I was mad and hurt. I questioned why He allowed any of this bad stuff to happen and to take control over my life. There on that cold floor crying out to Him, God busted my stone-cold heart wide open. I felt the Holy Spirit in me and God wrapping me in His arms and holding me while I cried. I finally understood that God was there the whole time in my strife. He never left me. I left Him. I chose to stop talking and praying to Him and turned my back on Him. He never turned His back on me. The moment I opened my mouth and started talking to Him about why I was so mad and hurt, He held me in His arms like a father does a daughter and let me cry it out.
That moment on that cold floor changed my life forever.
I wanted to tell you my story because I want you to know that addiction is real. Depression and anxiety are real. Being hurt so badly by someone or something that you turn your back on God and the church is real. All of these things are not just real in adults, but they are real in children and teens also.
If you are struggling with any of this, please know you are not alone. God loves you and will take you with all of your mess, I promise. Has my life been perfect since that night? Absolutely not, but I am beautifully broken and a work in progress. I am so in love with Jesus and His ways. God amazes me every day with the wonder of His love.
Talk to him, it’s that easy. God is a big God.
He can take whatever reason it is that you’ve turned your back on Him and heal your hurting.
If you need professional help, don’t be afraid to ask for it. If you are a parent who has a child who is struggling with any of these, the best thing you can do is be there for them with no judgment. Speak scripture over them, pray over them, pray with them, leave a Bible in their hands. Get them professional help if that’s what they need.
I will forever be grateful to my parents for raising me in the church and teaching me about Jesus. I will forever be grateful for my daddy leaving me standing in the room clinging to his Bible. For if these two significant things didn’t happen when my life came crashing down, Jesus would have never been the rock I stood on.
“Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and fortress” (Psalms 71:3 NIV).