The reason that I can sit here and write this today is because of the Lord. I am a wife, a momma, a college graduate (twice), a “retired” teacher, a counselor, an advocate for teenagers, an adult, because of the Lord.
Before college, I had what a lady once described as a “vanilla” testimony. I had good parents, was raised in church, graduated HS with honors and a brand new car.
After becoming a Christian and being baptized at age 10, for the most part I tried. Not because I had to. Not because I was told to. But, because I loved the Lord. My childlike faith carried me far into my teen years. I always wanted to do right by Him.
Don’t get me wrong. I was NOT perfect. I had the common HS stumbles. And, I would get grounded occasionally. Usually for my smart mouth. But, I wouldn’t say I was a bad kid. My parents never had to threaten me with military school.
Eventually, I graduated HS and went to college. College away from home! I found myself out in this world without forced structure, or others making decisions for me, or curfews. I could do what I wanted, when I wanted. I’m free spirited by nature, and when I got to college… I WAS FREE!
The thing about my people though. The thing that tripped us all up. My people liked to have a good time. My people loved to laugh. My people thought they needed to escape. And so how did we achieve this good time and laughter and escape? At the bottoms of shot glasses, bottles, and cans. At peoples apartments and homes. At the end of games of cards and quarters. Yes, we drank. And we drank a lot.
I went to a small school and before long we were gaining a reputation. We were a group, a clique, a small gang. We ate our meals in the caf together, we went to our classes together, we hung together, and we partied together. And, God let this go on for a while. He allowed us to use our free will for things that every one us knew was wrong. And then, like any good father, He had to teach us a lesson.
Can you guess who was “the chosen one” of the group to change the hearts of all of us? If you guessed me, you are correct. One night. One party. One cop. That’s all it took for God turn me, and several others back around.
One night I had to work late, and when I got home my crew was waiting for me. I had to get ready quickly. Getting ready included having too much to drink too fast, so I could catch up. One party is where we went. On campus. Stupid. One cop watched me fall down a flight of stairs, picked me up, and put me in his car to take me to jail. I was a minor who was publicly intoxicated.
Instead of jail though, I was taken to the hospital. I was arrested, but I also had severe alcohol poisoning, and the policeman quickly realized that if I sat in a jail cell, I wouldn’t have made it out alive. My stomach was pumped, I was force fed charcoal, and I had to spend the night in the hospital for observation.
The reality is that I could have died that night. Should have died that night. I was no different than the girls you see on the news who died from the exact same thing. But, God had different plans for me.
You might be wondering why I spent my testimony time on such a small part of my life. While I had been a Christian for almost half my life, almost dying made me truly come alive in the Lord. I rededicated my life and with help, changed. God was even there, helping take care of things while dealing with court, punishments, my parents.
For a long time I analyzed why this incident had to become part of my story. But over the last 10 years, God has brought to my attention many reasons as to why. And PRAISE GOD that He had plans for me. Everyday I’m thankful that my job didn’t end when I was 19 years old. Thankful that He gave me a second chance at A Whole New World.