“Where Was My Voice?” Part 4

“Don’t you people ever get mad? Don’t you ever throw things or swear?!?”

There you have it. THAT was the new plan that came to my mind. “I’m sorry, what??”, you may be wondering. If you look back at “Where Was My Voice?” Part 3, you will see at the end of my story that I had come up with a new plan to get my life turned around. I may have handled it kind of roughly but in hindsight, it WAS God’s plan. I felt like I needed desperately to talk to someone who may be able to help me get my mess of a life under control. I decided to speak to one of my mom’s church friends. You see, these people were different. They came INTO our home mess, bringing food, friendship and love. I’m serious! These church people came over, KNOWING we were out of control, they hugged us, looked into our eyes, laughed with joy to see us and filled the house with joy and love. They touched me… They TOUCHED me!! Not because they were trying to get something from me but because they wanted to give something TO me! Now, I KNOW that sounds iconic but that REALLY is the way things went down! For a long time I thought they were out of their minds! I verbally abused them, stole from them and took off in their cars when they left them in our driveway to all go to church events together. “Chumps!”, I sneered. But when everything in my life was spiraling out of my control, I thought of them. I knew these people loved me. I knew that whatever was going on in their lives was making all the difference. It certainly had brought great changes to my mom’s life! So, it had to be God. They somehow had God in them like I hadn’t seen or experienced before, though I’d grown up going to church Sunday mornings. Would He help me? COULD He still help me? I had to know.

Now, I realize a normal human being would have simply walked in and said, “Hey, could I talk to you for a minute?” But that wasn’t my hardened swag. I felt it necessary to come at them with guns blazing. It was the best I could do at the time. So, at the right moment, I threw the door open and burst in the room yelling, “Don’t you people ever get mad? Don’t you ever throw things or swear?!?” My mom’s friend Richard (Seen in photo above) was my newest victim. Do you know what he did? He burst out laughing. Not at me but in a disarming, understanding fashion. So, with that, I sat down with him and poured out my heart. I can’t tell you how relieved I felt. He listened intently with great love, compassion and support. He told me of the Love of God. He explained about being “Born Again” and the new life made available through Jesus taking all of our sins, wrongs, messes and destruction upon himself on the cross. Through grace, God gave us what we did not deserve, forgiveness is now offered as we commit our lives to the Lordship and loving ownership of Jesus. I would need to put my faith and hope in God’s rescue mission made plain and clear in the good news of Jesus; His death, burial and resurrection from the dead. Richard explained that it wasn’t about being religious or successful in keeping the rules well but that it was about Jesus making the way for us to have new life and hope by having a loving relationship restored with our Heavenly Father. He suffered and died in our place, we go free.

Oh, how I wanted a loving Father. I needed to be rescued. I no longer had the strength to try to make a way for myself. It was utterly futile. I listened….politely. Richard told me about his life before turning the whole thing over to Jesus. I was shocked. My final question was, “If I give Jesus my life, will He be able to take away my fears?” You see, fear was the tormentor that kept it’s death grip choke hold around my throat and heart at all times. I hadn’t been able to breathe since I was a little girl. Would Jesus be able to rip it’s boney fingers off of me? I didn’t know what that would look like…..to have a life without fear….but what ever that was, I wanted it.
“Yes”, Richard said emphatically. “I promise you He will.”

There I stood at this point of decision. A fork in the road. If I got up and walked away to continue on my own, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I would die before I turned 20. I was 17 at the time of this discussion. I knew death would be either related to a drug overdose or at the hands of a violent man. I saw myself in my mind. Id be found laying in the gutter on the side of the road. This is where trash is collected. But, did Jesus really want this trash? Did He see something of value and worth hiding in this mess? I was wrestling inside but because I’d had much time to think this through as God was working in me to bring me to Himself, Id already concluded, take this path offered by God, though I felt like I was stepping over the side of a cliff, or die.

“Tracy, do you want to ask Jesus into your heart?”, Richard asked.

“What?? You mean right here in my living room?!” Oh good grief…. What about my tough facade? How would this look? It was not easy folks, but Jesus says, come as you are. And so, I came. I said “Yes”. I was terrified but I bowed my head and prayed with Richard that day to give my life to Jesus. I didn’t feel anything or see any kind of vision or something that would signify something “Spiritual” just happened. I walked away thinking, did anything happen? But in fact Jesus quietly moved into my heart and began to work.

I walked into my room and shut the door. “Uh, Hi God. It’s Tracy. Um, I have a problem. I can’t live. I have a drug problem. It’s not that I want to do drugs, it’s just that I can’t live without them. I can’t stop. But if you will take away this addiction, I will.” There. I said my first prayer. Was God listening? Was He there? I didn’t feel Him but I put this prayer out there. Tiny new faith trying to take its first steps. Within 3 days, everything began to change. My Father had arrived.

What happened to the guy I was running around with who had “evil” in his eyes, you may be wondering? (See “Where Was My Voice?” Part 3) Stay tuned!

To be continued…..

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