Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Holding His Hand


         “I remember the air that day like it was yesterday. Warm, sunshine bright, water was refreshing, my faithful dog next to me. It was dreamy. He held my hand as we walked and shared all my thoughts and feelings of the moment. I was only five years old.
         My encounter with Jesus has never left my memory. It's an experience nobody can take away from me nor explain scientifically it couldn't be possible. However, I didn’t stay there, but went on to live my life making many bad decisions. When I finally reached for His hand again I was in a million pieces.”

         Kristi’s life was filled with abusive of alcohol, drugs and sexual activity. She lived with a man she loved, but he did not know the meaning of love, and mind-washed her thinking and abused her. She knew what she was doing, but this lifestyle only led deeper and deeper into a pit of self-pity and self loathing. She hated her life and herself for being a willing participant, but after many years, she could not see a way out.

         The best she could do was numb herself with drugs and alcohol. The numbness was a welcome respite from the reality of her life. During this time, she used people and stepped on their backs to get what she wanted. She made attempts at getting healthy, but the sinful life took effort. It was too difficult to do positive activities with a hangover.

         One day it dawned on her that her life was awful. Her "well-kept woman" life filled with riches, traveling and more, was not good in any sense of the word. She reached the bottom.

         Packing her SUV, she drove away. She left him, the city, the house, her job, everything. It was incredibly stressful, but she knew she couldn’t live like that anymore and needed to start life over.

         She remembered the walk with Jesus when she was a little girl. She thought she would give him a try.  She prayed and asked God to send her to the right church that would help her get to know Him honestly. Almost immediately a co-worker invited her to Sagebrush Community Church.

         She visited a few times and then found the courage to go in and meet with a Pastor. She had plenty of questions. He gave her a Bible and told her how she could have a real relationship with a God who forgave her for everything and loved her enough to die for her. This God promised to be with her forever, and fill her with the love, peace and healing she so desperately needed. She prayed and committed to follow Jesus for the rest of her life.

         When she drove home that day, she realized if she was going to be all in with Jesus, she needed to clean house. She gathered all her drugs and drug paraphernalia, drove back to the church and handed everything to the Pastor. He was more than surprised. It was both a physical gesture and a spiritual one. She was giving the Lord her past, and looking to Him for her future. She would never go back to the drugs and the lifestyle that went with them.

         To say Kristi is a different person today, would be a huge understatement. She has studied the Bible intensely, memorized verses, and applied what she has learned for a completely new way of living. She has served kids, adults and the church selflessly. Eight years later she is more in love with Jesus and the happiest she has ever been. She has a job she loves, lives in a pretty house with a plethora of animals and enjoys serving her community.

         An artist at heart, she uses the gifts and talents God has given her to create amazing faith filled art. She has created art using Bible verses to encourage others in their journey with Jesus. She is seeking to do more to help others, especially those mired in sex, drugs and alcohol.
 
Kristi has published a coloring book showing our identity in Christ.

         A person cannot be around Kristi very long without seeing her enthusiasm for life, her deep love for the Lord and having the joy He has given her, spill over onto them.

         Of her new life, she says,
“Jesus is still holding my hand, though this time I'm not letting go of His.”

For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you,

Do not fear; I will help you. Isaiah 41:13


Have you ever pictured yourself holding the Lord’s hand? Or have you felt His arms of comfort around you during a difficult time?


          This is Day 12 in a series called 31 Days of Change. If you would like to read more stories about change, click one of the links below
.

Day 1:   He Did What?!
Day 9:   Depression to Joy
Day 12:  Holding His Hand
Day 13:  Changed
Day 17:  Never the Same
Day 18:  The C Word
Day 19:  Punk to Pastor
Day 20:  Lessons After Class
Day 21:  Is There Life After Prison?
Day 22:
Day 23:
Day 24:
Day 25:
Day 26:
Day 27:
Day 27:
Day 28:
Day 29:
Day 30:
Day 31:

10 comments:

  1. Do not fear, I will help you, that verse in Isaiah is one of my favorites. Thank you for sharing your story and reminding me our God is the God who saves and draws us near.

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    1. Thanks Shanancy! I love that about God!

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  2. It is amazing to see the power of Jesus at work.

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    1. It really is! That is why I love sharing these God stories. Thanks Amanda!

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  3. Whoa! hat a testimony. That must have taken a lot of courage to walk away and start all over like that. God is so good. I love her artwork too.

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    1. Her art work is awesome. The coloring book has scripture and is about our identity in Christ. Really beautiful.

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  4. Robyn, I tried to email you but you must have not gotten it. I really really want to find out how I buy those coloring books. I'm involved with Alb rescue mission women's home and these coloring books would be awesome. I need some off these coloring books by next weekend. Can you help me out in how to buy some. I love your blogs. You are truly gifted. Roxanne roxanneh@abq.com Thanks you.

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    1. Thanks Roxanne! I emailed you Kristi's email address. But it looks like you were able to contact her through Facebook. Those coloring books are beautiful and will be such a blessing to those women.

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  5. I love hearing the testimonies of others who have had radical life change after meeting Jesus! Every Jesus experience is inspiring, but these kinds of stories make us stop and absorb the enormity of His love and power! Thank you so much for sharing this hope with us at #MomentsofHope! I am thankful to have you come alongside me with a passion to share the hope of Jesus!
    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori

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    1. Thanks Lori! God is amazing to take our mess and make His ministry.

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