My Long Redemption Story

Amber

Member
My story starts in 1984. Born to drug-addicted parents. My mother was exceptionally crazy, lost in feelings of envy of me and wishing I’d never been born. I’m told the doctor had to threaten her just to get her to give birth to me. By the time I was 1 I had been left on the floor starving, dirty and dying. Back then people didn’t “get involved” like they do now. Thankfully my paternal grandmother (Granny) decided to go against society and initially my grandfather and called CPS. I was remanded to foster care and it would be more than 2 years of fighting for my grandparents to bring me home to live with them.



My upbringing was simple, but a good life. I wanted for nothing, I never remember a need going unmet. My Granny decided to take me to church when I was about 5 and so we went. Then when I started 3rd grade Granny was diagnosed with breast cancer. I barely remember it. I don’t remember a day that she didn’t get herself up and get working on something at the house. Never too sick or tired to play or care for me. I would find out later that cancer brought her to Jesus. He used her illness to reach her, then healed her. However, my grandpa would lose his faith to that cancer. A faith that was never recovered, that I know of.



I was always in church. Sunday morning and night, Wednesday nights, youth group outings, church camp. Church, church, church. I never really wanted to go, but was not given another choice until I turned 18. I tried a few times to “live the life” but failed miserably and eventually gave up. I believed the lie that I was predestined for hell. I don’t mean that as a euphemism, I sincerely believed it. So, I lived my life. I wasn’t super bad. Went through a drinking phase, tried pot a few times. My vice was men. I longed for love and found it in the unhealthiest ways.



That brought me to a little town in southern Indiana in the summer of 2004. I met this guy, quiet but handsome. I knew of his trouble with drugs, but I was 20, who cares? We didn’t waste any time creating life, our daughter was born almost a year later. We got married and I instantly felt my life complete. All I had ever wanted was to be married and have kids. So, I threw myself into it. I read Christian books and tried to live that life again, but it wasn’t long before that went by the wayside.



My husband struggled with addiction for most of our early life together. We brought 2 more children into the world before we were 25. We split up, got back together, split up, got back together. I stayed through some of the worst drug induced incidents I can imagine. There is no earthly reason why, but I loved him and I was horribly co-dependent of him.



In spring of 2012 I decided to re-read the Left Behind series by Tim Lahaye and Jerry Jenkins. I read the entire series and got to the Glorious Appearing. I was reading about Jesus showing up and how they all felt. Then I read about how Rayford felt hearing Jesus say his name. I thought, “wow that would be nice if I could hear that.”. Then I thought, why can’t I hear that? I went through a radical change overnight. I accepted Christ and started looking for a church. I found one fairly quickly and me, my husband and my kids started going. I was so that ‘holier than though’ Christian. I was always harping on my husband about his sin and trying to get him to see the light. Whew, I don’t miss those days. Anyway, I got really into church and one night I heard about this ‘grace’ that comes from God. Either my childhood church never preached about grace (always focusing on living holy) or I didn’t have ears to hear the message. Either way, I learned more and more about this grace and about the love of my Father in heaven. I was baptized and lived the life, finally.



Until, I didn’t. My husband continued doing drugs and eventually left again in 2013. Instead of resting in Jesus, I lost my mind and my faith. Just walked away like it never even happened. I didn’t renounce him, I just lost my faith in my brokenness.



Mike and I got back together and after a few short months we were right back in the cycle. That would continue through 2018. Granny passed in 2016 and it changed me, not for the better. I didn’t feel like I was grieving, but that would catch up to me in the spring of 2018. Husband left again, and I again lost it. Except this time, I didn’t have my rock and moral compass, my Granny. So, here I went looking for love again. I found it (not really) in another man who was also hooked on drugs, and worse so than my husband. I ended up losing our house and moving in with my grandpa and my 3 children. Grandpa couldn’t handle the kids (he was an old school guy and I raised my kids in constant chaos, so yeah). I asked my mother-in-law to take the kids for a month or so while I saved money to get us a house. She agreed and off my kids went.



I had never been apart from them before and that didn’t work well in my heart. So, I made the worst mistake of my life. I decided to try the drugs I had watched consume my husband all those years. Never once had I tried it, or even thought of trying. But here I was, in some crappy pay-by-the-week hotel with a man that was not my husband, getting high on meth. I started like most people do, I only did it on weekends and worked through the week. I felt I had a good handle on it. Until I didn’t. It wasn’t long before I was getting high every day. The guilt kept me from seeing my kids, although I came up with some really good excuses.



October 2018 will forever be burned in my mind. One night “friends” of me and the guy showed up in our room and a fight ensued. They were robbing us, cause that’s what your drug friends do. The guy decided in a meth induced moment of heroism, to try to hit the one with the gun with a bat. The gun won. I would be held at gun point for several minutes while they cleared out all our cash and drugs. All the while I am just praying that Jesus would receive my soul, because I was most definitely about to die. I don’t remember saying it, I don’t know why I would say anything, but I was told later when he cocked the gun and put it to my head I looked at him and told him “You know I’m a mom”. For whatever reason, that brought him back down to earth long enough to decide not to shoot me. They left. (Of course, we know that Jesus was there that night and I survived because God is merciful. That grace I had ran from was there to save me.)



You would think that was my redemption story, yeah? Nope. I got worse on the drugs. I moved back to that small town to get closer to my kids. I started talking to my husband again who was fresh in recovery. My mother-in-law, not knowing about my drug use, decided to take me to court (that’s a whole ‘nother story I won’t get into here). Judge gives her custody because, at that time I had no home and no job. Husband and I get back together and I finally tell him about my drug use. He instantly starts doing drugs with me. Things actually are different between us, even with the drugs. It wasn’t a fun time, because meth basically makes you a raging psycho, but we stayed together better than we had prior to me doing drugs. We remarried in 2019. Things went well, we ended up getting custody of our kids back. Then my oldest comes home and tells us that she had told her counselor that her dad does drugs. I had to tell the truth that it wasn’t just him. That brought CPS into our lives. Which brought my mother-in-law back into court with us. She didn’t need to do much, that judge gave her my kids 8 days after our hearing. At the time of the hearing I had been clean for 6 weeks and CPS had cleared us to keep our kids. But, that judge took them anyway. Man, we were furious. But, I actually leaned on Jesus this time. I knew and trusted that our family would be restored. So, I went to meetings, I stayed clean. I stuck with Jesus. Joined a church, came to true faith, sincere repentance. That’s the end of my story BUT…



Let’s also look at how God’s plan came full circle. My husband grew up around drugs. He didn’t stand a chance from birth really. He was just doing what was natural to him. Literally nothing had ever worked to keep him clean. Until I got on drugs. Until our kids were taken. Until he had to choose between the only 4 people on the planet that had ever loved him unconditionally. See, God used my sinful life all along the way to not only save my soul, but to save my husband! We BOTH celebrate 3 years clean this year. God used my sin, for his glory. It honestly still amazes me to this day. To see my husband now, the way he cares for us, works hard to provide, loves us, his gentleness, his patience, his humor. You’d never know he used to be the monster in our nightmares. God restored us, our family and made us the partner to each other that each of us always wanted. We’re living our happily ever after in the palm of our Savior’s hand. There have been bumps, moments of doubt, some hurt feelings but nothing like it used to be. We’ve been made brand new and not a day goes by that I don’t praise YHWH for redeeming me and saving us all. He is truly worthy of all praise and glory. His plans for us have been amazing to see standing at the end. It was hard going through it all, but it’s beautiful looking back now.
 

SarahRose

Well-Known Member
Thank you! I still feel shame, but my hope is that my story finds someone who needs it! All to the glory of the Father!
I am sure it will find someone! I think there are a lot of lurkers on this site and there are probably people who have had similar experiences. You giving the glory to God and showing an example of how He can pull us through any situation if we depend on Him might inspire them to put their trust in Him too!

As far as feeling shame, remember you are not alone -- we all have a past and have done things we are not proud of. But Paul (and we know what happened in his past) said if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come (2 Cor. 5:17). :yay
 

Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
Thank you! I still feel shame, but my hope is that my story finds someone who needs it! All to the glory of the Father!


Your testimony reminds me of the Apostle Paul's and how God saving him, one of the worst sinners, brought great glory to God who showed great mercy:

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. All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen.

1 Tim 1:15-17

Just as God used Paul as an example, so too, He can use us. :nod
 

Amber

Member
I am sure it will find someone! I think there are a lot of lurkers on this site and there are probably people who have had similar experiences. You giving the glory to God and showing an example of how He can pull us through any situation if we depend on Him might inspire them to put their trust in Him too!

As far as feeling shame, remember you are not alone -- we all have a past and have done things we are not proud of. But Paul (and we know what happened in his past) said if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come (2 Cor. 5:17). :yay
Amen! I truly am brand new! Thank you for that reminder!
 

Amber

Member
Your testimony reminds me of the Apostle Paul's and how God saving him, one of the worst sinners, brought great glory to God who showed great mercy:

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. All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen.

1 Tim 1:15-17

Just as God used Paul as an example, so too, He can use us. :nod
I am deeply humbled. I had not even thought about Paul. Thank you for sharing that. I pray that I never lose sight of who the glory belongs to and become selfish.
 

alisani

Well-Known Member
Thank you! I still feel shame, but my hope is that my story finds someone who needs it! All to the glory of the Father!
There is biblical shame, which leads to confession and repentance. Then there is shame from Satan, designed to keep us stuck and steal our joy. I too had a lot of ish to overcome and I truly do understand how hard it can be to truly forgive yourself and live at peace. But that gift is yours hon. It is a beautiful robe, snow white and perfect. Pick it up, look at it and wear it every day. As I dug in to study the character of God, the knowledge of His deep, deep love and how He views us through that lens, regardless of how messy we might be allowed me to finally put on my own gifted garment. Sister, you responded to God's conviction with repentance. There is no condemnation for you in Christ Jesus and as His blood continues to cleanse you until you go home, (hopefully rapture soon!) you are renewed daily. His mercies are new every morning. I will pray that shame be lifted from you completely.

We need testimony like yours. People need to know that God's love and salvation applies to THEM too. So many churches these days are too busy paying attention to appearances and are not serving. The lost come in and remain lost. They think their sin is the one sin that can't be forgiven. They think they've messed up too much, too often. That they're damaged goods and ruined too many chances to come to God. May more people be blessed and saved by your story. :hug
 

Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
They think their sin is the one sin that can't be forgiven. They think they've messed up too much, too often. That they're damaged goods and ruined too many chances to come to God. May more people be blessed and saved by your story. :hug

Amen!!!


I'll tell you what, it's the one who's sinned much (as have I) that realizes the great forgiveness of God for them and is humble in heart and demeanor that I love being around!!

I love being around that "messed up person" who's placed faith in Jesus and hungry to grow in Christ. This kind of person is one of the most delightful people to be around!

May they know how precious to the Lord and to the Church they are. :pray

I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.


Ephesians 3:16-21
 

alisani

Well-Known Member
Amen!!!


I'll tell you what, it's the one who's sinned much (as have I) that realizes the great forgiveness of God for them and is humble in heart and demeanor that I love being around!!

I love being around that "messed up person" who's placed faith in Jesus and hungry to grow in Christ. This kind of person is one of the most delightful people to be around!

May they know how precious to the Lord and to the Church they are. :pray

I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.

Ephesians 3:16-21
I feel exactly the same EL. When you are cold and naked and dirty and have no expectation of kindness, just a sense of desperation, it is humbling to discover that instead of wrath, He gives you a soft place to fall and that beautiful robe of renewal. For no other reason but love. And you'll never look at anyone else the same again once you learn to look at others the way He looks at you.
 

welkin

Matthew 10:28
Thanks for that testimony Amber,

“What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.” (Luke 15:4-7)

Praise the LORD for your salvation and deliverance.

Praise the LORD for His grace that is greater than all our sins.

Praise the LORD the we can “put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24)
 

Amber

Member
Thanks for that testimony Amber,

“What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.” (Luke 15:4-7)

Praise the LORD for your salvation and deliverance.

Praise the LORD for His grace that is greater than all our sins.

Praise the LORD the we can “put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24)
The 99 sheep makes me tear up every time! To think that my Savior thought enough of me to come get me. Thank you for this!
 
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