Almost a year ago, my life was turned upside down by someone. On March 25, 2009 I was forced to leave the place I was renting, not because I didn’t pay my rent but because of someone accusing me of trying to harm them. I had about 20 minutes to load up any thing I could into the back of my van. I took what I could including Toby my dog and left every thing else behind not knowing at the time that the person accusing me would take every thing I left behind and never gave it back. I had no place to go, so I just stayed in my van with my dog. I lived out of the van for a week and then rented a hotel room for a week, but let’s just say the hotel was not a 5 star hotel!
Not having a lot of cash saved up made it hard to find a new place to live. I was looking at Craig’s list and found a place in West Amana, it’s not much but it will do. I moved in on April 1st and have been living there ever since. If you know any thing about me, you know I’ve made a few mistakes and have been trying to get my life back together. Ever since I was arrested, I knew I had to find a church but just didn’t have the courage too. The week before I was forced to live where I was living, I was dating a wonderful woman who loves the Lord and she encouraged me go to church. I was afraid to go to the church where my mother was a member of, thinking they “knew who I was” or better yet, what I did! Some how, I got up the courage to walk through the doors. The night I was forced to leave was a Wednesday night and the church was having a Lenten Super at the church. Since I now was homeless and no place to go, I though I would stop by the church and see if I could hang out with them. It felt really odd, not knowing too many people there and just walking in on them but they really made me feel welcomed. They even had a bible study that night and I stuck around to study with them.
That was a year ago and I have been going to church all most every week, only missing 2 or 3 weeks. They have accepted me, or should I say; they just love me as I am. I have done so much in the past year, Bible studies, Community work, Walk to Emmaus , Lay Speaker training, and even joining the church choir. All of my life I wanted to sing but thought I wasn’t good enough to do it, but since I’ve been practicing and singing with the choir I’ve found that I can do it and really love singing! My biggest step will be next week as I get to lead second service at church, our Youth leader who leads second service will be gone and I will be filling in for him. If you would have told me a year ago that I would be leading and singing at at church, I would have said; no way!
So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty. (Zechariah 4:6 NIV)
I am so blessed to have new family, my church family who loves me. I give all the credit to the Lord, he alone saved me. The old me could have NEVER done this, some times I think it’s a dream. I still can’t believe it’s me, I know the Holy Spirit t is in me! The old me has died and I was given a new birth, a life in Christ. I no-longer live for me, but live to glorify the Lord.
Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) by Chris Tomlin
My chains are gone, I’ve been set free, My God, my Savior has ransomed me.
And like a flood His mercy reigns, Unending love, amazing grace.