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My Hope Story

Phase I

I was born at a very young age to a loving family!

We went to a traditional church but during adolescence I realized it wasn’t that meaningful to me.

Phase II

When I was 16 tragedy rocked my world when my beloved brother died of cancer. And since we had prayed a lot for him to be healed, I became upset with God.

Very upset

Very, VERY upset.

In fact the night my brother died, I made a fist (it might’ve even been the finger), held it up toward heaven and told God with burning anger & resolve: “If this is how You are, I don’t want ANYTHING to do with You.”

Phase III

That began a 3 year period of rebellion & escape.

At first, mild in temperature then progressing to flaming craziness. I would first find great joy & excitement in a new ‘add-on’ but then realize it wasn’t enough. So I went deeper into the dark. But when I graduated (or I should say - descended) to the next level, the same stark realization overwhelmed me.

I didn’t know it at the time but as much as I was being fueled by rebellion against God I was also desperately and unknowingly medicating an unseen pain. Partly from my brother’s death & from other things that happened to me in my childhood….I looked good on the outside, but on the inside (where no one could see, not even me fully) I was deeply wounded.

Phase IV

Facing a gaping emptiness. Long story short… By this time I was at college (I attended one far away which only had an 18 year old drinking age vs. the 21 age in my home state).

Even though I had been a decent student all my life, my lifestyle had taken a heavy toll (as if I cared at the time). But when I was put on academic probation it was a bit of a wake up call.

Well, I had 2 very important mid-term exams coming up so I simply reasoned for 2 weeks I’d just cut out the partying and extracurriculars and go to the library instead. I’d study & prepare hard for I was confident that I could upright the ship.

I was wrong. When I flunked the one and scored a D on the other I was shell shocked. It was the ‘icing on the cake’ which allowed me to see my need of rescue: I came to the end of myself. And thanks to God’s grace, the God who never stopped loving me…

I finally stopped running.

Phase V

In my dorm room I said out loud to God (something like) “If You are real...reveal Yourself to me. I need to be rescued”.

I began to read a Bible my Mom had given to me the previous Christmas, & the words “came alive!”

Through what some people called being ‘born again’ or getting ‘saved’ (the terms don’t matter – it is reality of the transformation that counts), He took up my invitation & transformed me from the inside out. He replaced my shame with His acceptance, despair with hope, isolation with belonging.

As it says in the Gospel of John 5:24, I crossed over from death to life!

I began a relationship with the Lord God (note that I didn’t say with a ‘religion’: for Rescue does not come from just a set of do’s & don’ts). A knowing occurs that cannot really be explained until you surrender (by faith) into His loving arms.

There’s an astounding verse in the New Testament that says: “Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (AMP version)

I attest that this is true!

And that it is wonderful… the Lord is wonderful!

Am I perfect now? Far from it

Do I ever stumble & fall in areas I shouldn’t dabble in? Unfortunately yes

Yet He helps me remember I’ve been down that road, I know where it goes & I don’t want to go there. And as I choose to receive His abundant mercy He leads me back!

Thank You Lord!

For when I turn my heart back to Him (repent) & ask for forgiveness…

He restores my soul! He is good!

“Explore how to experience the rescue God has for you! . . .there truly IS hope!”

To experience your own Hope Story, read "Why Rescue"