It is pointless to want peace and joy if you do not know Thee Author of Joy and Peace.
We can't continue on this 31 day journey together without me sharing my conversion with you.
I grew up in a Bible-believing home. I asked Jesus into my heart when I was 12 years old. I got baptized when I was 13. Then, I started hanging around with a different group of friends. By 14, I was clearly off of the path.
I continued to go to church and studied my Bible. I memorized verses like crazy. But I wanted someone to love me and I had not realized that My First Love was already pouring it out on me. God pursued me for over 20 years before I fell to my knees and received that love.
Instead of turning to Thee One who knew me best, who could heal all of my pain, who could hold me in His Right Hand, I turned first to alcohol, and then to drugs. I drank Everclear and it made me feel brave. It burned down my throat and took away the pain in my soul. At 14, I was smoking a half a pack of Marlboro Reds a day - they made me feel tough. I sounded and hacked like an 80-year-old woman. I lied to my parents and said I was staying at a friend's house and wandered the streets at night.
I was beautiful, but I didn't know it. I hated myself. I felt so guilty that I couldn't get my life together. I was an honor student, in Talented and Gifted, and was a MENSA member. But I was too stupid to see that I was destroying my life.
I will spare you the stories of promiscuity. The drugs and dark places. The crack houses I found myself in and somehow came out alive - I never touched that stuff. There were gangs and dealers and just total insanity.
The first time I knew for sure that God was still with me was when I was in a car accident at the age of 18. I was riding in the back seat of my friend Rebecca's car. There were at least six people in that Cadillac and for some reason she swerved and rolled it. I ended up in the front seat. The car landed on it's wheels. I was instantly sober and aware of the protection of God. "What are you doing, Carolyn? Why are you running from me?"
I got pregnant that summer. Cody came when I was 19. I was in college and tried to continue but I just couldn't keep it together. My mom tried to help me. Most nights, I left Cody with her and went to the bar. One night, I found myself at a frat house. I was raped. I was so mad at God. I told Him I hated Him. I blamed Him for all of my pain. I wanted to die every.single. day.
God gave me sense enough to sober up for awhile and Cody and I moved 35 miles away from my parents. It was time to grow up. I came to a town that was small. No one knew me. I needed to be on my own and decide whether or not I was going to live or die. At least I was safe. This was before cell phones and four lane highways. I was off of the radar. My ex-boyfriend's dealer could not find me or my son.
Small town life agreed with me. I met new people. Got a real job. Sent Cody to a great school. My boss took me under his wing and taught me to have confidence again. He reminded me that I was intelligent and could still have a good life.
Slowly, God was drawing me back to Him. The right people came along at just the right time. There were no coincidences. Fast forward to age 29. That's when I met him. Thee Farmer. He snatched me up from that pit and put my feet on the ground and gave me my dignity back. I RAN to God then. And never looked back.
Now don't think it was some miraculous thing and I was suddenly just all pure and holy. It wasn't. I still had a tremendous sense of guilt. I had nightmares and flashbacks.
But God had a plan for me. He wanted me right here, right now,
to tell you about His amazing love for you.
It doesn't matter what you've done. God is also not a fun-killer. I am a happy person. Full of joy and life. Nope, not perfect and I don't even pretend to be.
Asking Jesus into your heart isn't enough. It takes genuine conversion. That's fancy talk for putting the past away and looking forward. I don't ever want to go back to who I was. Right here. Right now. I am forgiven and so FREE.
I want the same for you. There is One who loves you. Values you. He created you and knew you before you were even born! That means you are not a mistake!
I got so tired of fighting on my own. Now, God fights my battles for me and gives me strength.
"I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13
People who knew me then can't believe who I am now. Some have told me they were afraid I wouldn't "be Carolyn" anymore. Oh, but I am, only now I am the real me.
So, you have a choice, you can start over right here. Right now. Tell God you are tired. Tell Him you have messed up. Tell Him you are out of control. Ask Him to forgive you. He will. I promise. And then LIVE the life He has planned for you.
"For I know the plans I have for you, " says the LORD.
"Plans to help you and not to harm you
- to give you a future and hope." Jeremiah 29:11
I promise you won't turn into some religious nut. This isn't about religion. It is about relationship with Thee One who died for you, so that you don't have to live this life alone.