As I’ve traveled down this interstate of life, I must admit, I’ve took a few wrong exits. My Lord, the things God has done for me, never ceases to utterly amaze me. I’m often humbled at the fact of how much grace and mercy God has lavished on me, as I think back from where He’s brought me from. I was completely t- totally bound by chains in satan’s prison. Key word in that previous sentence; was - past tense! Throughout all the corrupt snares the devil had put in front of me, the Lord was always with me and never left my side. We leave God, He never leaves us. The devil tried his best to kill me, both physically and spiritually. But thanks be to God, I’ve been born and raised in church my whole life. I’ve cut my teeth on the church pews! Yet again, scripture stands confirmed; Proverbs 22:6 says to “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it”.If you aren’t raising your children in this Godly way, you better start! The Word does not return void. However if you don’t train your child this way, you don’t have that promise. Think about it!!
Now, I got saved around about the time of 9 or 10 yrs of age. As I progressed in age, and the Lord, I knew the Lord had a plan for my life, he had called me to do something for him. Just as I knew the Lord had place a calling on my life, the devil knew as well. At the age of 13, satan begin throwing some fiery darts. The devil knows what actions to take to disrupt our minds and get our level of thinking off track to lead us into darkness. He attacks our weaknesses, when we are weak in spirit, mind, and soul. Be on guard! He was trying to do whatever he could and place whoever he could place in my life, to keep me from the Lord. He wedged his way in little by little. Ya see, a little yeast ruins the whole batch of dough. If you give the devil an inch, he’ll be your ruler, you better be on guard.
I use to be a heathen, a literal heathen. I’ve been some places in my life, I never dreamed to be, and in no wise am I proud of it. When I was 14 I began smoking pot. As time progressed I became immuned, and needed something more to fulfill that level of ‘high’ I was seeking. In which, lead me to drugs. I slowly began taking pain pills, nerve pills, alcohol, whatever I could get my hands on. I’ll just be honest, I loved that feeling of being carefree in mind and numb to the troubles and trials this world brings. The devil thought he had me trapped, but I had a family & Savior making intercession on my behalf with the Father in Heaven. The devil knew that the mental and physical feeling the drugs gave me, had trapped me. So for a while I was taking mild pain pills, if you will, such as lortabs, lorcets, and nerve pills and smoking pot on top of that. Just let me clarify myself real quick, I wasn’t sure as to whether I should mention the names of the pills, but I felt as though if you seen how the addiction progressed little by little, how it went from bad to much worse, then you could see how the Lord has truly delivered me. And how he totally set me free from this destructive path.
After taking the mild pain pills for quite some time, I also became immuned to them as well and was seeking something stronger to retrieve that ‘high’. At the age of 17 I began taking methadone, which is synthetic heroin. Man, I was so miserable. I hated life, hated everything in it, and was not happy in no way, which is not like me at all, cause I’m a happy go lucky person. Every night before I went home I would go get me a fix so I would be prepared to start the next day. I felt as though I couldn’t even get out of bed and function unless I had a pill to get my body moving. And a lot of people say, well its all in your mind. And yeah I agree, a lot of it is, but at the same time, when your addicted to drugs, your body gets used to working and functioning with the drugs being present, and when the drugs is absent from the body, it goes into crazy fits. Now me being 17, my bones would ache as if I was like 30. Physically, I felt as though I couldn’t do anything unless I had a pill not even the least thing, like going Wal-mart or the movies, anything. The addiction became so bad, I was pawning everything I had to obtain a feeling that lasts only a short time compared to eternity. Of course at that time I wasn’t thinking about how eternity outlasted the pill buzz, but maybe someone who reads this might consider their ways. In the realm of eternity there is only two options to choose from; Heaven or Hell, no in between. If your reading this and you’re bound by drugs or know someone who is, here’s a question for ya- The span of a pill buzz only last a couple hours. What if Jesus comes back on the clouds of Glory within those few worthless, intoxicated hours.. Are those few hours worth trading for eternal life? Think about it. Bible says, “He’ll come as a thief in the night”. Whose wise enough to know when a thief is going to appear. Luke 12:39-40 says, “But understand this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him”. The Word commands us to “ Choose this day whom you will serve”.
After all the pawning, I realized, man, I don’t have nothing left. I knew I had to do something. The pills were too expensive and plus I was killing myself. This wasn’t only me coming to my senses, this was the Lord working on the other end, bringing all this realization, allowing me to see how bad off I had become. I was trying to escape this bondage, but here came the devil again. This time the pills were free. See, the devil knew if he could put someone in my path where I could get them free, then he would keep me in bondage, and he did just that. I began cleaning a persons house for the pills. There were many, many, days I would take anywhere from 8 to 10 methadone at a time, still smoking pot on top of that.. But God, had a plan. None of this had taken him by surprise.
From the beginning of time, God knew the plans he had for my life, and the wrong exits I’d take getting to the place in which I’m at today. Now, I’m not saying God had it planned for me to get on drugs. That was the devil’s doings, throwing snares before my steps, trying to mislead me from what the Lord had planned for me. The Word tells us in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. That’s all in contrast to what the devil was doing, so you can’t say my situation was predestined by the Lord, cause he doesn’t come to bring destruction upon us. We allow that to happen by giving in to the temptation of the enemy. James 1:14 says, “ But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed”. However, being on the methadone, taking them every single day for about 2 and a half years, I knew something had to give. I weighed 90 pounds and looked like a rack of bones, literally. I was at deaths door, seriously. I wore a size 12 or 14 in little girls. When you let Jesus come in and take up his abode with you, he brings all sorts of nice things. Even a few pounds! =)
I began seeking a change. The drugs were not fulfilling the satisfaction I was desiring. Things continued to get worse, the misery was laying heavy on my heart, soul, and mind. I needed to get relief. Since I had been trained in the way of the Lord as a child, I knew my only hope was to call upon the name of Jesus, and ask for forgiveness. I was down at the church on a Friday, standing talking to Brad Stevens. I don’t even know why I was down there. You barely could get me in the doors for a church service, let alone me being down there on a Friday. However, I wasn’t there by coincidence. The Lord had already been dealing with me. See, the Lord has perfect timing, and the right people in the right place at the right time. As I was standing there talking to Brad, with no intention of rededicating my life that day, I told him, lets go pray for me. We didn’t hesitate, but headed for the Alter. The Lord gloriously delivered me.
The Lord mercifully took me back under his wings and wrote my name in the book of
Life. I did good and stayed straight for like 3 months, then I started hanging with the old friends. Many of my family and Godly friends told me, “Danielle, you have to exclude yourself from those friends, although you care for them you have to let them go. If you don’t stay away from them you’ll be right back where you were”. Well, I thought, they were crazy. My mentality was, I’m saved, I’ve got the Lord with me, I’m strong enough not to give in. Boy, was I wrong! Proverbs 12:26 says, “A righteous man is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray”. Had I listened to the instruction of my Godly friends, I would’ve avoided another huge mess. See, my Godly friends where cautious in friendship.
I thought I was strong enough to still associate with those worldly friends. In which, participated in the activities and pleasures this world had to offer, and living for God I should not have been among that while I was trying to live right. Needless to say, I went and visited with them anyway. Remember, a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough? Well, once again I let the devil creep in. I gave into him just a little by going to see those friends. The yeast I let slip in, which was, me giving into my pleasure of going to see those friends, when really I knew I shouldn’t. From then on, the yeast, the friends, began working through my batch of dough, my life. That’s why the bible says in 1 Corinthians 5:7-10, “Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast- as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth. I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people- not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world”. The people I went back to hanging out with, fulfilled each of these descriptions.
That’s why the bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 6:14 - “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?”. Verse 17 tells us; “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you”. Needless to say, I ended up back with those friends, doing what those friends do. Every time you backslide, it gets 7 times harder to come back. I once again, started doing the same routine; pawning to get money, asking nana, mom, dad, whoever to get money for pills. Except this time, instead of the methadone, the devil got me with oxycontin. Things grew much worse than before. I started out taking like 1 oxy each day which was either 20 or 40 mg. The number of intake rapidly increased, to 3 - 4 oxycontin 80mg each day. These pills are so potent, I can’t even began to elaborate to you how controlling they are. In the mix of taking 3 to 4 80's a day, I was taking 6 or 7 xanxes on top of that, and smoking pot like it was going out of style. In the mix of all that, I started testing more severe waters. I hate to even mention this, but its all for the glory of God so you can see where he’s brought me. I’m not proud of none of this, I’m actually very ashamed, but thanks be unto God, my sins have been cast as far as the east is from the west. Anyways, I began dibble dabbling in cocaine, total poison. These substances and chemicals were so potent, that my face became broke out SO bad, and prior to all the drug intake, I had clear complexion. I’ve asked the Lord to heal my face, and he has HEALED my face. The bible says ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened. I asked, and I received just like the Word says. Anyway, In the midst of all this chaos, the Lord still had a plan. Once again I was sick of the drugs. I was mentally shaken, and had noone else but Jesus to turn to. I hated even living, I excluded myself from everybody. I stayed away from home for a week at a time, and when I did come home I would come home around 4 in the morning, while mom was asleep so she wouldn’t see me high, then get up at 10 am the next morning and start all over again. Well, all this got old, day in and day out staying completely, t-totally blown out of my mind. I knew I needed help and needed it fast. I knew my only true relief and help, was the Lord.
Thursday Jan 29, 2009 rolled around. I was at home with nothing to do, so I decided to stroll down to a jumpstart meeting at the church just to see what was going on. I was homesick for my true friends, and just wanted to be around Godly people. I was actually homesick from being away from the Lord. So I arrived at jumpstart, went in checked everything out and noticed 2 of my friends that had returned back to the Lord. Knowing where they’ve been and seeing what the Lord had done for them, made me want to be reconciled with the Lord that much more. You could just see unexplainable joy on their faces. I left jumpstart that night with no intention of doing another pill. I told the Lord, if you will just help me Lord I’ll do this for you, I’ll turn it all over to you and allow you to take full control of my life. A couple days after that jumpstart meeting, I was in awful shape. Hadn’t took anymore pills, but I was in a bad state. The withdrawals were going into overtime. I felt like I couldn’t breath, my heart was racing, didn’t know whether to go to the hospital or not. Mom was panicking, I was in a bad way. Mom asked me if I wanted her to call Joey and Brad to come and pray for me. I said absolutely, someone has to come and pray for me. I was never so glad to hear someone knock on my front door as I was that day. Joey, Vicki, Candon and Brad strolled in, me laying on the couch just barely coping. They fervently prayed for me, they’ll never know how much I appreciate them for that. Lord how mercy, I can’t explain what kind of shape I was in. I had discussed with them that I was ready to give everything to the Lord and surrender to him, and I was going to get back in church.
The next service that rolled around, I attended. I was sitting on the back pew, feeling the Lord tugging and the devil telling me you can’t do this, all at the same time. During all this spiritual warfare going on, Candon was singing a song called, “Brother That’s God”, the words of that song was me to a T. Throughout the song being sung, I was nervously glancing around and noticed 1 of those 2 friends I previously mentioned, just standing there with his arms thrown to the sky, worshiping the Lord in sincerity and truth. There was just something about his worshiping that just made me want the Lord back in my life that much more. I thought if the Lord done it for him, he can do it for me too. As I sit there and watched him worship my eyes began to fill with tears and before I knew it I was up walking. Went up and hugged Deidra on the stage. Didn’t know who else to go to, don’t know why I didn’t just stop at the alter. Beats me. But I went up there and was hugging Deidra, and almost the whole church gathered around me on the stage and was praying for me. Since that day, my life has never been the same. I surrendered to the Lord, the Great and mighty King! I’ve been in church going on a year and five months and have missed 1 church service, and I was pretty sick, or else I wouldn’t have missed then. When I’m in, I’m in. When I’m out I’m out. His word tells us, He’d rather us be hot or cold as to be lukewarm or he would spew us out of his mouth.
I thank God for his mercy, compassion, and unfailing love. He’s always been there for me through it ALL! I had no rehabilitation, that the world offers anyway. However, I submitted myself into the Lords rehab. That beats anything this world can offer. See, when you let God do something, He does it perfectly. Be cautious and guard your mind and the wondering of your mind. Be careful in what direction you allow curiosity to lead you. It may take you somewhere you don’t want to go. I praise God for everything he’s done. Lord, Lord, Lord, you’ve really been good to me! I appreciate you Jesus. What the Lord has done for me, he is willing to do the same for you. The Word says, “God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him”. I once was a looney drug addict, but now, I can honestly say...... I’m a God addict!! The joy that I have, the world didn’t give it to me, no the world didn’t give it to me. This peace that I have, the world didn’t give it to me. The world didn’t give it and the world can’t take it anyway! HALLELUJAH!