when I hit rock bottom…
I still take a deep breath before I tell my story to someone new.
A really big deep breath.
Because my story is humbling.
I’ve said this before, but it’s true: I’ve made all the mistakes.
All of them.
There is a reason I am so passionate about God and his love.
There is a reason I am running after him with reckless abandon.
There is a reason that I blog twice a week to encourage others in their faith.
Plain and simple: God saved me when I least deserved it.
He chased me down in the middle of my rebellion and offered me a second chance.
I’m forever grateful and wholly indebted to his amazing grace and I will spend the rest of my life telling everyone about his radical love.
A love that covers a multitude of sins.
I’m living proof of that.
In my late 20’s, I hit what I thought was rock bottom. On the outside, everything looked perfect: I had a beautiful family, a beautiful house, a big group of friends, and I was involved at church. But on the inside, I was a wreck: I had never recovered from postpartum depression, I had unresolved health issues that led to crippling anxiety, my marriage was a mess, and I was weary of trying to cover it all up.
My faith was shaky at best. I didn’t spend any time reading my bible, and my prayers were self-centered demands. I couldn’t understand why God wasn’t fixing all of my problems and answering my cries for help. I thought I deserved better and I believed that if he loved me, he would help me the way I thought was best. In my pride, I grew angry with God and looked for other ways to escape my pain.
Shopping, drinking, flirting…it was a slippery slope and I slid all the way down into partying, lying, and adultery. Then my anger gave way to rebellion and I walked away from God, the church, and my faith.
I didn’t stop there.
I ran as fast and as far from God as I could, chasing everything that the world said would make me feel better. Money, fame, love…I gave myself away over and over in the pursuit of happiness. It didn’t fix my pain. I ended up alone, scared, and even more depressed than ever.
This time, I had no one else to blame; not other people, not God.
It was the best thing that could have happened to me because it stripped me of all my pride.
Humbled, I realized my total depravity. I saw for the first time how desperately I needed Jesus as my savior. I will never forget that life-changing moment; I was in a luxury hotel in the Cayman Islands and absolutely miserable. I hit my knees on the hotel room floor and begged God to forgive me. I promised him that if he would get me home to my children, I would turn my life around and live it for him. Thirty minutes later, someone invited me to go to church when we got home from the trip and the rest is history.
God welcomed me back with open arms, regardless of all I had done and despite my defiance. He showered me with grace and helped me regain solid footing. My life is a living testimony that a person is never too far gone to be loved and forgiven by God.
Last week, I was reading 1 Timothy 1:15-17 and it struck me how much those verses describe my journey: “This is a trustworthy saying and everyone should accept it: ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,’ – and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.”
If God can love me, he can love anyone.
That’s why I write. That’s why I’m starting a ministry. That’s why I share my struggles.
I do it because God asked me to be transparent with my life so that others could see the incredible grace and unconditional love that is available to them. I share willingly, I just have to take a really big deep breath first. It’s not easy to show my scars. But it’s worth the cost to give hope to others and bring God the glory he deserves.
Friends, I don’t know where you are on the faith journey, but I do know this: the God of the universe wants to walk with you. He knows your name and he has a plan for your life and it is good. No matter what you have done, or where you have gone, or how long it’s been – you can come home. God will welcome you into his family and make you his child. He will fill up your heart and transform your mind and empower you with his spirit.
You need only to believe in him.
Romans 10:7 explains, “If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.”
For the last 7 years, my faith walk has looked a lot different than it did before. The biggest difference is that I’m utterly dependent on God, and not on myself. Approaching my faith with humility has made a profound impact on my character; I’m willing to let God correct and discipline and prune me into his image.
Practically, it means I’m in the Word and praying every single day. All that time studying the bible has grown my roots deep into the soil of faith, and I no longer doubt God’s love when trouble comes my way. In addition, when I get on my knees, it’s to seek God’s will, not my own. Daily, I lay everything at his feet and promise him that no matter what comes, I will chase him with reckless abandon – forsaking my life to bring him glory. It’s made all the difference in the world.
As always, I love hearing from you. Send me an email or comment on the blog and I will get on my knees for you. Feel free to forward, re-post or share this blog – I appreciate your help spreading the word. Let’s do this faith journey together.
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