Responding to SufferingHow do you feel when your life is interrupted by suffering and adversity?
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The Lord has been with me through some times. I was on a life roller coaster of emotional and physical drama, which was initiated by my stupidity and selfishness. I started out by smoking cigarettes, then drinking, then drugs. That is usually how it works. I thought I was cool initially. I thought that I was everything that I ever wanted to be. I assumed this was freedom. In reality, captivity was my destiny in the role I was pursuing. And it was exactly that, a role. I wanted to look like a typical person that was lost in the world. Man did I achieve such an absurd role! The enemy worked hard on me. Issues with life in general was what I grasped hold of quickly. I wanted to be an intellectual druggy. That is certainly total opposites when it comes down to it. It is an impossibility to do drugs and be an intellectual when the simple fact of the matter is that drugs impair the ability for the brain to work at its full potential. I pursued sex, money, drugs, alcohol. I had idols, one of which was crack cocaine. I worshipped this drug. Now this isn't to say that I got down on my knees and thanked it for everything that it did in my life, because believe me I cursed it more than anything, but I did consume daily feedings of it. I joined the military. Great thing to do when you want to do what you want to do, right? No! The Air Force, to be specific. I was discharged with a bad conduct discharge, due to drug use. From there the events come to me in no particular chronological order. One event, which was very eventful, would be the accident. I broke my foot. The consequences I still reap. Another event would be wrapped up in one state, Alaska. This is the time when God started to place people in my life that I recognize now to have been blessings in my life and who continue to be a blessing. My brother, Ronnie, was a big part of my salvation in Christ. He prayed, asked others to pray, continually and consistently. There was a chain of events and people in Alaska that led me to Christ. I started out in a job as a helpdesk clerk at at a non-profit organization in which I was under a wonderful Christian lady by the name of Chris Sasse. She helped me. She gave me a place to call home when I was homeless and got me to church. She prayed for me and intiated prayer for me in her church family. I went to her church service one morning and listened to a testimony that was given by Katie Bryson. She spoke of a woman that searched for her crack rock on the floor. Immediately, I identified with the torment of that situation andbegan conversing with Katie. The Lord placed many people in my life, for which I thank Him for to this day. I pray blessings over these people's lives for their obedience to Him. Barb Bryson's heart was touched by the Spirit to continue contact and prayer with me. She would interact with me in Bible studies on the phone. At the time, I was just looking for attention, but now I know that God was slowly showing His face in my life as my Savior. Barb was aware that I had a drug and alcohol problem and mentioned a friend of a friend of hers, Lei Ann Hunter. Lei Ann Hunter was a wonderful woman that exemplified devotion to Christ daily. She did Bible studies with me also. I was touched that she allowed me to come over to her house as with Chris and Barb and Sue (I haven't mentioned Sue's part yet). Lei Ann prayed with faith. She knew that she was going home with the Father and their would be no more pain when she left this world. She had that confidence in God that I am receiving now. Sue Reiss, she made the best strawberry rhubarb pie. I remember it to this day. I went over to her house and received that coffee and pie with much joy. She invited me into her home, also. It was a testimony to me to what Christians truly believed. I got to the point where I was back on the streets again and it was getting to the winter time. I wanted warmth, so I called my brother and told him I would be in Greenville, SC in a week's time. He was ecstatic. Before long, the witness of Christ shined through so bright and I finally understood what my brother, Katie, Barb, Chris, Sue, and Lei Ann spoke of, that peace beyond all understanding. The Lord pursued me and I received Him. Now it's about growing in Him. He has placed me in a home that aids in this growth. Mrs. Dixson, she has been great for guidance spiritually. I pray this peace and understanding for everyone who hears the Gospel. I pray for quick reception of the Gospel, also. Thankyou, Lord for your guidance, perseverance, and hope that you have given to me. Amen