I spent the first twenty-four years of my life craving the love of a man. As a result, I found myself in an unhealthy relationship, living with a non-drinking alcoholic who was self-centered and belittling on a good day.
Imagine my confusion when this person came home one day professing to be “radically saved” and telling me I would go to hell if I didn’t take up his newfound beliefs. Up to that point in my life, people who used those words were “Jesus freaks.” Needless to say, I did not react well. We argued more than once over this; each occasion ended with me screaming mean and vicious things at him.
Even so, the Lord used him to plant a seed when he made me sit at the table and actually look at Scripture. There were the words in black and white, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) And, “if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. . .” (Romans 10:9) among many other verses my eyes had never seen nor my heart ever heard.
But if I did what my boyfriend wanted me to do- ask Christ into my heart and start attending this crazy church he had found- I was giving into him. Yet again. I didn’t want him to be right.
So, this unhealthy relationship finally ended. However, a stirring in my soul remained which left me wanting more. After all, what if he was right? What if I did need the love of Jesus?
That’s when God put another unlikely person into my life. A girlfriend invited me to join some of her church friends for lunch and I found myself sitting next to a lady whom I overheard answering a little girl’s question regarding the fish in the aquarium, with “That’s just God’s plan.” What did her comment mean? Does God actually have a plan for everything?
As soon as I was sure nobody else could hear, I asked very quietly what she meant by “God’s plan.” She asked if I had time to come over to her house after lunch so she could explain more. That is where my life changed . . . . on a stranger’s sofa with an explanation of the Gospel we both read together where I understood Jesus paid the debt I owed for my sin through His death on the cross. I asked Jesus to forgive me of my sins and to come into my heart forever.
I discovered later this lady who led me to Christ was struggling with pornography issues and was crying out to the Lord about serving Him. She expressed He was “going to have to hit her over the head” so the opportunity would be loud and clear. In the moment when I asked her what she meant by “God’s Plan” she knew God hit her over the head and He meant for her to do His work by sharing with me.
Since then, my ex-boyfriend who planted the seed . . . the one who told me, “I don’t care how mad you get at me right now, just so long as I know I will see you in heaven one day,” fell back into excessive drinking, no longer able to hold a job. While serving time in jail, he died of a reaction to medication dispensed. I grieve over the sadness of how his life ended, and yet I know he is part of God’s kingdom now. Because of these two imperfect people, I am able to know Christ and experience the truth of His love which I had been craving during those early years.