One of the biggest lies I believed as a Christian was that once I gave my life to Christ that everything would get better. The truth was I entered a war!
I am not sure where you are in your journey with Christ at this moment in your life. I know that if you have been truly seeking God in your life for any amount of time what I am about to share will probably ring true to for you.
In 1992 I set out on a journey to find my higher power. I had been using drugs and alcohol from the time I was 11 and I was 26 years old. I am going to share just one season of my testimony and leave the rest for another time. What you do need to know was that my life was unmanageable and out of control. I was seeking God or something to ix what I had never been able to control.
One Wednesday afternoon I was driving down Prescott Street. I was talking to myself or whatever entity was listening. I was begging for solutions and crying out for help in a state of desperation. My husband (Chris, my first husband) and I had went three thousand miles away to get clean a couple of years earlier in North Carolina. We came back to Portland and went back around the same friends and family and eventually the familiar territory sucked us back in. We were headed straight back to hell on earth.
When I was in North Carolina I met some really strong Christians. I was totally anti-God and fist shaking abusive to them. They just kept loving me and showing love through deeds of kindness no matter how abusive I was to them. What I was unaware of at the time was that all the love and kindness and prayers were penetrating my hard cold heart and seeds were being planted. I tell you all of this because the thing that God impressed upon my heart that day while driving down Prescott Street was that I needed what the Christians in North Carolina had. I needed Jesus! Shortly after that thought I look up and on the telephone pole was a sign. It was shining so big and bright. Church Picnic Wednesday night I decided that I was going to check it out. There was no way my husband was going with me as he had sold his soul to the devil and was not changing. I got my kids and we cleaned up and we went to church. We got dressed up in our Easter best because this is what I thought everyone wore to church. The people were in shorts and casuals, the pastor did not even have shoes on his feet. I felt so out of place. I wanted to turn around and run out of the building. This little white haired lady swooped in on me and before I knew it she had me filling out an information card. She had all my information. What I did not know was that I was going to be her mission on earth. Her last mission as she walked with me until she died.
This ladies name was Evelyn. She was an amazing woman of God. She knew the word and loved Jesus with all of heart. Like I said I became her mission. She was so bold. She was always calling and showing up at my house. I was mean to her and very rude as I was not giving up. To keep a long story short, she met with me weekly for 2 years before I accepted Jesus. She always told me that once I accepted Christ my life would get so much better. I accepted Jesus or should I say I had an encounter and my life has never been the same. The war started. The 2 years I met with her before accepting Christ my life had not changed much. God had to chip away at my hard cold heart Once I accepted Jesus Christ the devil was angry. As I mentioned earlier my husband had sold his soul to the devil and so who do you think the devil was going to use to make my life living hell? My husband. My life was turned upside down. The closer I got to God the more angry he became. We had always had a very dysfunctional relationship. I was being told to be quiet and submissive to win him to Christ by my conduct and behavior. Here I was trying to surrender my addiction while living through one of the most painful times in my life. His addiction went out of control and before long he was back to shooting heroine. I remember wanting to use so bad and getting up in the middle of the night just warring in worship music, crying, shouting and writing my psalms to God.
My husband life became totally unmanageable and my lift felt more like hell than this new life in Christ. He was physically abusive, mentally abusive, spiritually abusive and emotionally abusive. He held guns to my head and would beat me and tell me to beg for my God to come save me. I was being tormented by nightmares of him and his friends shooting me up so that I would come back to the other side. It was downright hell. We grew further and further apart. The war got stronger and stronger! He was now having affairs with other women. In the two years I had been studying Christ, God had stripped my old friends and family out of my life and I felt so alone. I was in a church full of people but they really did not understand me or where I came from. I really did not think I was going to survive.
I lived in that abusive environment for a year. God brought a couple into my life to teach me about spiritual warfare. They explained to me that before I was a child of God that I was a child of the devil and that this war was in place because the devil wanted me back. They taught me that I did not have to stay in this abusive relationship. They never told me to leave. They had me seek God for direction in that area of my life. They taught me what was healthy and unhealthy in a marriage. They taught me about prayer and fasting. They became my spiritual parents. They walked with me for the next 15 years of my life very closely.
I packed up my kids and our clothes and we hit the streets in our van. It was about the time I was ready to give up Christ and let the devil win. It was probably the scariest and hardest thing that I ever had to do. I was not only taking a risk for my life, I was also risking the lives of my 2 daughters.
I will confess that coming to Christ has been the most beautiful thing that has happened to my life but that the hardest thing I have ever done. I lost my husband, my home, my belongings, my friends and family. I was stripped of everything that I loved. It was one of the hardest battles that I have ever fought in my life and I have fought some battles. I will testify that if I was challenged today to do it all over again, knowing the outcome of where I am today, I would not have to think twice, I would be all in.
I am sad to say that my ex husband died last month. Only God knows if he gave his life to Christ. He did not overcome his addiction. He was a prisoner in chains until he died last month. It was a sad, sad day. I loved that man.
I am happy to say that over the years I found it in my heart to forgive him. I am also happy to report that I was able to speak at his funeral and I had nothing but love for the man.
In the end it was a stark picture of light and darkness. We both made choices. I chose to fight the good fight and surrender my life to Christ. He chose to remain the same and continue in what he had always done to survive in this crazy world. I could not fault him. I was at one time just like him and living for the father of lies. I had an encounter with Jesus and that encounter changed all of our lives. It shifted the atmosphere for quite some time. It made many people uncomfortable and when people are uncomfortable it has a way of bringing out the worst in them. It has definitely been the biggest tool to work out the worst in me. One thing was for sure, things could no longer remain the same. Someone had to be willing to take the risk for change to happen. I am thankful that I did not have to do it in my own strength. I had encountered the love of Christ and he gave me the power to overcome. My life has been shifting ever since. It has been one war to the next. I have had to be courageous enough to enter in. I sometimes entered in trembling and had to learn really fast not to be afraid of fear. Freedom comes to those who seek it.
One of my life verses is John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take Heart! I have overcome the world.” My favorite prophet Jeremiah 1:10 says there is a time to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.
My God turns darkness into light 2 Samuel 22:29b
In closing I would like to propose a question to you. What is the biggest lie you have believed as a Christian?
Women’s Ministry Director