A Transformed Life: Debbie’s Story
I believe the road I have traveled, the many levels of abuse I’ve experienced, physical, verbal, mental, sexual and the destruction in my life all have spiritual significance. I believe I’ve always known that God is real and very much in control of my life.
Yes, I have questioned God many times, what reason did he have in allowing me to endure sexual and other forms of abuse as a child? Abuse created in me a slow process of surrender, the transformation of the Debbie God intended me to be and this lead me to have great empathy for others, to be able to help people overcome evil, and to be transformed and renewed. (Create in me a clean heart O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalms 51:10)
At the age of twelve I began drinking beer, smoking cigarettes and soon after came pot. Before alcohol and drugs, there was much chaos in my life; domestic violence took over my world. The peace I once had and the realness of God seemed to have faded. The emptiness was filled with alcohol, drugs and men. I didn’t realize then that the chaos, confusion and destruction were putting me on the path of creating and “opening doors” to allowing demonic activity into my life.
My teenage years were spent drinking, smoking and tripping on acid or mushrooms. I was introduced to meth, cocaine and valium. Drugs became my life, which was one big party, and my education didn’t matter. My future career was to be a drug dealer and to do it as a “business career”. I was trusted with large amounts of cocaine and pot by a dangerous group of people. The lies the enemy told me were things like: “you’ll be rich; “you can have anything or have anyone you want”. My arrogance and pride continued to grow along with my addiction I did not believe that I had. I spent a lot of time never really knowing what was going on, “I was too high”. I always had a lot of coke and the addiction grew out of control. I find myself day after day waking up and reaching for the crack pipe or syringe even before I would get out of the bed. There were times I would wake up on the floor due to overdose. The over doses became more and more frequent. Then came the dreaded day that I was arrested along with others in the “circle” lets just say the plentiful days ended.
After spending time in prison I realized that God used this opportunity to keep me in one place long enough to really get my attention. He proved to me that He was very real and again that He had plans for me to have a future. (Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”) I spent my time at his feet, learning and most importantly listening to his voice.
As I grow, I grow closer and closer to God; my life is committed to him and to his guidance. Recovery and healing has not been easy. There are always areas and behaviors that need improvement. The thought of having to fight for recovery and healing was an unbearable burden for me, I felt that I could not be free, it was, yet another lie I believed for a long time.
When God said, “Hold out your hand” the man held out his hand, and it was restored just like the other one! (Matthew 12:13)
I took that verse very personal, I knew that God was telling me that He was going to heal all of me! There was a period in my life that I worked very hard at making something of myself. I became an addictions counselor and moved forward in my career very fast. I was good at what I did. Yet I let the world get in my way, pride and arrogance will always make one fall. I did not continue in my own recovery and healing, there was no time for that. This in itself created my worst relapse ever. When I hit my bottom and could only seem to continue to dig deeper, ending up in prison (again), my Prayer was that God would please make himself real to me, to please help me fight the demons in my life, I was loosing the battle! He told me, “the Battle Belongs to Me”. That in itself was a relief.
At this point my life took another turn. People changed, things changed and I changed. There was no more “love” I believed that the people I surrounded myself with were “family” and that was the extent of love in my life. This was yet another lie I believed for so long. Evil never loves. So working became hustling and oh the many ways I had to hustle. I saw things and did things and began thinking in ways that I never dreamed of. The addiction had taken over and was out of control. This lasted for more then 20 years. I used to say I’d have my life back in order, like during the days of plenty that was driving force in me. I was always selling drugs and I was my own best customer. The addiction grew worse and I didn’t care.
Being in and out of jail gave me short bouts of time to get a “somewhat” clean head. But there was too much evil and too many negative voices, negative thoughts and no feelings. The Holy Spirit began quickening me, telling me there was hope and healing and a future? Each time I would get a clean head I knew God was speaking to me. I began to realize I needed God. I realized I could never stay sober, overcome my addictions or keep from ending my own life unless I had help from GOD and others.
Shortly after, I knew right away that God was calling me to heal. I won’t say that this has been an easy journey, yet with the Lord all things are possible and his Grace is Suffient! One thing that the Lord taught me was that He is a miracle worker and miracles are an “instant healing” where as HEALING is a process, the process to full freedom, where we get to learn to trust, to love, know God and have an intimate relationship with our creator, transform and be renewed into his likeness, and we live with joy in our lives no matter how hard things get. The JOY of the lord is our strength. He is the potter and we are the clay.
The changes in my life are so significant, a personal journey of self examination and “confessing our sins one to another” this is where true healing begins, this leads us closer to the Lord as He cleanses and purifies us. (A quote, “God does not need us. HE wants us. To fear is to take our eyes off JESUS”)
I look forward to the call on my life. I will always remember to stay clean before the Lord so He can continue to use me. God is doing what He says He will do and His promises are REAL and FOREVER. I am truly free of the past and will press on to win the prize He has for me. (Philippians 3:14 “I press on toward the Goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus”.)
Today I live my life for the Lord as He has called, I have restoration in my certification as CACIII, and I have finished a BA, along with a certification as a Clinical Chaplain. God has blessed me with a ministry called Community Re-entry Place Inside/Out; it is a transitional house for women coming out of prison, homeless, wounded and addicted. My work as a Chaplain and D&A counselor for the Denver Rescue Mission Champa House and reentering the Denver Women Correctional Facility (DOC) teaching women inside prison also continues to be a dream lived out. All glory and Honor to our Lord Jesus Christ who can do all things and with God all things are possible!
Praise God He never gives up on us!