Have you ever felt like you were just going through the motions of life, at times moving up the ladder, at other times spiraling downward until you hit the bottom and didn’t see any way out? That was my life; thinking that I knew who God was, but thinking that I knew more.
I grew up in a Christian home and was brought up knowing who God was, praying, memorizing Bible verses, and going to church & Sunday school and loving God; but finding out later that I did not have a relationship with Him.
I started smoking pot at about 15yrs old & liked it immediately. I was shy and unfocused and was easily distracted and anxious. Smoking pot helped me not to feel so shy and to “be still.” “Being still” also meant that I cared less and less about school and almost did not graduate high school. Unfortunately, I did not stay still very long before I started experimenting with more drugs and later alcohol. My family loved me, I had friends, I went to school, held a job, so it all seemed okay that I was partying since I was still functioning in life. But I was definitely not living life; I was just going through the motions.
As I got older the drug addiction turned into an alcohol addiction that REALLY sent me spiraling downward into losing jobs, apartments, relationships, finances, and ultimately landed me in more than 12 rehab programs. One of the worst parts of all of this was that although my family still loved me, they were losing respect and had lost all trust in me. Friends walked away as I didn’t want to be around them. My mind was never clear and I hated myself. Knowing that it was wrong in God’s eyes and knowing that my life was a mess, I would pray for strength not to drink and I could stop for a few weeks or a few months, but I kept thinking that it was me having to be the strength; I didn’t give God any glory or praise for what He was doing in my life. Life would get better with a good job, an apartment, some money in my pocket; but then I would end up sabotaging it all if an emotional issue came up. I didn’t run to God, I ran to what I knew would make me “be still” or rather numb me. I didn’t want to feel, I didn’t want to accept what was happening in my life. God was trying to draw me to Him during life’s challenges, but instead I chose sin instead of choosing His Son.
A friend told me about Heartland. The Women’s Program is 18 months long, and that did sound long, but my life had been out of control for much, much longer than that, so I was ready to give it a try. The very first night I came, I got on my knees and prayed for God to truly change me and He told me that my life would never be the same. I finally felt peace, joy, and hope in the stillness of the room.
In the women’s program I quickly learned that I needed a relationship with Jesus, that HE is the answer. Through Bible devotions and the devotion of the staff there, I learned that we need to put Jesus first in everything that we do and He will direct our paths.
Heartland has now been my home for 13 years. My days here are busy with jobs, church, helping to care for children in the youth program; and two years ago God brought a wonderful, godly man into my life. I searched for “stillness” in my life; I wanted peace amongst my anxiousness; and my husband trusts God in everything. He has a peace about him that comes from his faith in Christ. God is so faithful and I am reminded of this verse in Psalms “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
I give God all the glory and want you to know, there is stillness and peace in Christ.