“Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love.”
I was born in a loving Christian home that consisted of a Dad, Mom, 2 brothers and 2 sisters. We were raised in a church with a very strong belief in the Gospel. I had accepted Jesus into my heart at the age of 7. Although my Dad and Mom loved me they were very strict and black and white. There was no room for different. There was a right way and a wrong way to do everything and their way was right. I have come to understand that there are many ways to do many things that are right and they are called different. Unfortunately there was a lack of communication in our house. I became very rebellious in my teenage years. I began drinking and running with the wrong crowd. Getting in trouble was my forte. I was arrested at 14 for drinking and put in jail. That didn’t go over well and things got worst at home and I decided to run away at the age of 16.
I moved about 100 miles from home where I had an older friend I had met at a camp. I worked at a gas station until I was eighteen. I had created a fake ID and was able to drink at the bars. The legal age was 18 at that time. I began getting into drugs and lived for the party. At the age of 18 I got arrested in my apartment which was on the town square of a very small town for drugs and contributing to minors. This hit the front page of the newspaper and I was kicked out of my apartment and fired from my job, let alone that my reputation was ruined as this was not common in the 70s. I had to move to another town and got into construction work. I was in and out of jail for drinking charges, DUI and public intoxication. I met a girl at the age of 20 who liked to party like me and we thought it would be a good idea to get married.
Although getting married did keep me out of jail, not much else changed. We lived to party, drinking and doing drugs all the time. When I was 25 we got pregnant with our first child. Though we loved our child and tried to make it a good home we were in the heights of our addictions. After twelve years of a dysfunctional marriage the marriage broke up. At the same time my boss of 11 year passed away and I was out of a job. I found myself having to sell my home and start over at the age of 32. Instead of turning back to the Lord for help I climbed into the bottle to find my comfort.
I had been doing roofing for several years and started my own roofing business. I knew nothing about the book work but I knew how to bid the jobs and do the work. I hired a bookkeeper to handle the paper work. I thought I was doing ok although my life was a mess. I got a couple more DUIs and was drinking every night at this point. At the age of 38 I went to the bank and all my accounts were seized by the IRS. Evidently my bookkeeper didn’t know what she was doing either. As a result of this my banker foreclosed on my two properties, home and business and the IRS took my federal ID away from me so I could no longer do business. I owed the IRS $200,000.00 and was out of my house and job. I sold everything I had and paid all my debts but the IRS. I found myself physically, spiritually and emotionally bankrupt. I retreated from life and reality and lived in a barn selling drugs to survive but wanting to die.
After a year I realized I was not going to take my life and I could not live in this barn forever. I decided to get a job. I found an ad in the newspaper for a roofing salesman and went to talk to this guy. He hired me, although I don’t know why, as I was not exactly the salesman looking type. I had been living in a barn for a year what could you expect. After hiring me he drove out of the parking lot and I was left there trying to determine what to do next because I didn’t even have enough gas or money to get home and back in the morning. Then Drake drove back in, drove up to me, rolled his window down and handed me a check for $200.00 and said God told me I need to give you this and drove away. While working with this man he continued to show me the love of Jesus through his actions and words. I watched as he read his bible every morning. How he did his business dealings and lived his life. This is what it really looks like to be a Christian. After working with him for a month I received my 4th DUI and since my job required a license I assumed I blew it again. When he showed me grace and figured away to make it work. At this point I had had enough, I went into treatment to receive help for my addictions. I found I could not do it on my own. I needed God’s help and I gave my life to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Although it took years of recovery I did not have to concern myself with the little stuff and it is all little stuff because God is now in control, not me. I learned if I lived my life in obedience to Him, one day at a time, doing what he wanted no questions asked, things would just start to come together. Drake mentored me in business and spiritually, I got into the bible and studied what God was all about and what I was to be doing with my life. God blessed me in a very successful business, paid off the IRS, all my lawyer fees and got my license back all in miracle time. That I know was God.
It was a process but little by little I turned one thing at a time over to God and He continued to show me I could trust Him. He loves me so much and wants the best for me if I only follow Him. I turned my relationships over to Him and asked Him to bring a good woman into my life, because He can see the inside and the outside and I can only see the outside. Two weeks later He brought Jackie into my life. At that very moment I knew it was a gift from God. We were married 1 year and 2 months later. We got involved in a bible preaching church and got into bible studies went on several short-term mission trips and grew to ask God completely “how can we join you in your plan?” We saw there is only one plan and God has the blue print laid out in the book we call the Bible and that plan is that all people hear about Him and know Him personally. I lived my life for me most of my life and it got me nothing but grief. I am choosing to life out the rest of my life for God that is what a true follower of Jesus Christ does.
Delight yourself also in the Lord,
and He shall give you the desires of your heart.