Have you ever notice that most little girls need reassurance that you love them or you like their new sparkling shoes? They want approval of their worth, to know that they are cherished and loved. I was definitely this type of little girl. I never knew my worth and always was seeking to find it in various ways. Boy! That got me in a tangled web that tangled me up my whole life. This web led me to seek man’s approval and not my Lord’s. I had this huge hole in my chest that nobody could fill. I was an angered, troubled teen and was always getting into trouble with drugs and alcohol. My heart was on a mission to find my worth so it was so easy to get sucked into anything that could numb my emptiness.
My parents put me into a private school, Christ Community Christian Academy, which is now known as my home church DSCC (funny how the Lord works). I met my husband, Brandon, there and fell in love. We were always together, hand in hand for 3 years. However, I was put back into public school, and that is when things began to change for the worst. Brandon and I went our separate ways due to differences we couldn’t settle, and I had my eyes on different things. I wanted to embrace my youth, and when I did my life went downhill.
It was my junior year in high school, and I was finally an upper class man. I had a new boyfriend and was on the dance team. Everything in my eyes fell into place. I was getting everything I ever wanted, except the emptiness was growing in my heart. So I started tapping into alcohol on the weekends with friends and doing drugs when I could. My relationship with my new boyfriend was toxic, and I was continuing in my downward spiral. That’s when Brandon started popping back into the picture. He tried to get me to go to In & Out Burgers for this youth group thing. That was the last place I wanted to be.
The Lord had His hand on me during this dark time of my life. It took one party to change everything. I had way too much to drink, and I was passed out on the floor in the bathroom. I was in really bad shape, though I don’t remember much. One of my friends came and checked on me, and soon there was a crowd of people. I heard one of them say that I might need medical attention and another voice said, “She’s fine. Just shut the light off.” So there I was “living the life” thinking I had tons of friends who would have my back and that they loved me. Lying in the dark on that nasty bathroom floor, I heard in my head that I needed Jesus, that He would never leave me, and that this was not the life He had for me. That was the only thing I can remember from that night.
The next day, I felt led to call Brandon, and I decided to go to In & Out that week to see what the fuss was about. I went and that first night I met a beautiful lady named Heidi Jones. She was so welcoming and warm, and I never was greeted with so much kindness from someone I just met. I left there wanting to know more about Jesus than I ever had before.
It still wasn’t easy. That summer I was pulled between following the Lord and still being stuck in my old ways. During the summer, my parents took us up to Flagstaff. On the way up, I had a 2 hour long conversation with my mom about God and what He did for me. It took me back to the night where I was passed out and that I needed Jesus. Nobody had helped me at this so called friend’s house, but I thought of what Jesus did for me and it took my breath away for a moment. I accepted Christ that weekend in Flagstaff, and I came back home as a changed person.
Over the next year, there were many transitions I had to make. My friends weren’t helping me live the life I needed to, so we all went different ways. That was a very painful time. I broke it off with my boyfriend and wanted to focus all my attention on God. I started attending In & Out regularly with Brandon and then started going to the college group at Desert Springs. I just couldn’t get enough of God’s love. The empty hole in my chest wasn’t so empty anymore.
I thank the Lord that through the darkest time of my life, the Lord never left me. And as it turns out, neither did Brandon. After months of cleaning up my life and letting God take over, we began to hang out again. This time it was different. He was my brother in Christ! That’s when God put the desire in my heart that I wanted to marry this man. Oh happy day! That’s exactly what happened a year later. I found Brandon on one knee asking me if I would marry him. God is so good and He has such a sense of humor! Who would have thought that I would be married to my 8th grade sweetheart who helped me to love Jesus? I guess God did!
Now, I’ve been walking with the Lord for 3 years, and I’ve been married to Brandon for year as of May 11. To see how the Lord changed my life in ways that I never thought He could, has inspired me to help girls that are going through the same struggle. It is still a daily battle to find my worth through Christ’s eyes and not man’s, but words aren’t enough to explain how thankful I am for the Lord’s love and grace. We certainly do serve such a great and awesome God!