I was a good kid growing up. I played lots of sports, had lots of friends, got good grades…etc. I was a very emotional and rebellious teenager. I got into drugs in my teens and struggled to overcome addiction until I accepted Christ when I was 24.
I met my husband when I was 22 years old. Dustin was raised by addicts and that upbringing left him with little to no tolerance for drug use. We married less than a year after we met and he was deployed to Iraq about a month after we married. Before he left, he told me that if I wasn’t clean and sober when he got back, we would get divorced. So, true to form, the last day I used was on June 15, 2003, the day Dustin returned home from Iraq. I moved to Lawton immediately, where he was stationed at Ft. Sill, and then we moved to Kitzingen, Germany in October 2003.
I met a girl who lived on the 1st floor of our apartment building, named Tara. Tara and I were immediate friends. We would stay up for HOURS just talking about anything and everything. I had this sudden interest to know more about God, but at the time, I was not sure WHO God was. I suppose, by definition, I was agnostic. I was pretty sure there was a God, but I had no idea who God was and I wasn’t sure there was a way to know. I now know that it was God who placed this sudden desire to know if there was a God in my heart…and if there was, who was it?
John 6:44: No man can come to me, except the Father which has sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
One of the many nights Tara and I stayed up talking, the subject turned to God. Tara was raised Christian and believes the Bible to be 100% literal. She started telling me about things that I had never heard before – specifically the baptism of the Holy Spirit – and I was completely enthralled.
I called my mom and told her to send me books on all kinds of different religions for Christmas that year. I didn’t want any person to sway my decision – I wanted to do the ‘research’ myself and know FOR MYSELF who, if anyone, God was. My mom never sent me the books, but in the meantime, I started ‘praying’ and saying things like, "God, if you are real, I want to know. And if you are real, I want to know WHO you are. Please show me."
We started going to a church that another friend went to. I'd been to church with my parents as a kid, but this was different. I could feel God's presence. There was an assurance in my heart that nothing could make me question. Especially when I entered into a house of worship – the presence of the Holy Spirit was so REAL and TANGIBLE that there was no denying it. I would break down in tears and not be able to do anything but lift my hands and worship.
Romans 8:16: The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.
I accepted Christ in July 2004 at the Würzburg Christian Servicemen Center (now called the Freedom Worship Center). I was water baptized in August 2004 in Shinnen, Holland and received the baptism of the Holy Spirit on December 1, 2008 while driving in my car on my way to work!
Luke 11:13: "Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!"
A lot has happened since I accepted the Lord 20 years ago. We've had 3 kids, we've moved 4 times, health stuff, family stuff, friend stuff - life stuff. I love God. I struggle with people... I might always. But I do try. I have my people that know me, all the many me's there have been from addiction to sobriety from faithlessness to faithfulness from flesh to spirit... they keep me sane and remind me that I am exactly who the Lord created me to be, so stop being so hard on her!
Matthew 6:33: Seek you first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
But no matter where I am, God is always there. He has good plans for me and all I have to do is seek Him, believe His promises, and receive by faith. Everything we receive from the Lord, we receive by faith. Everything.
Mark 11:23: For truly I say to you, That whoever shall say to this mountain, Be you removed, and be you cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he said shall come to pass; he shall have whatever he said.
Romans 10:17: Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Hebrews 11:6: But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.
God is faithful!!!
If you are someone who does not know the Lord… or maybe you read this and think, ‘I still don’t know if I believe in God’, I encourage you to pray and ask: If there is a God, show me who you are. He will always answer when someone is sincerely seeking Him.
Jeremiah 29:11-13: "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart."