This time last year…

Some memories are vivid, others are more like hallucinations of the memory – not really sure if they happened or if I just dreamed them up.

You’re about to read a vague, tip-of-the-iceberg summary of my life… before Jesus took control.

This time last year I was wrapped up and completely consumed by the party life. I lived for a good time followed by some drinks with my friends. I craved every opportunity I was out from under the roof of my parents house. I counted down the minutes to each and every weekend, and I dreaded every second of said weekend because I knew it was that much closer to ending, making me have to wait another 5 days until the next one.

Katy Perry’s “I Kissed A Girl” blared from my radio one second, followed up by Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok” and Cobra Starship’s “Good Girls Go Bad.” I was so cool. I was the life of the party, and my best friend was better known as my “lover.” My car was new and smelled like Caribbean beaches. My skin was as tan as a Mexican, and my hair had a dark purple streak through the center of it. The group of people I hung with were not necessarily “bad” people, but they weren’t exactly the type who “pushed you to be more like Jesus” or edified your life through their conversation. I had about 3 different boyfriends within 5 months, and half-attempted to split up a marriage of an ex-boyfriend. My mouth was as filthy as a sailor, and I spewed out more sexual innuendos than I care to recall. When we played volleyball on the weekends, my t-shirts were twisted and tied in various ways to show off as much skin as possible… if I even wore a t-shirt at all.

but I was living the dream.

A dream that I wanted to wake up from so badly. Stuck in a life without any peace; discontentment stained every memory and the nagging feeling of an ignored guilty conscience hovered over my head at every turn. Confusion over the distinction between right and wrong clouded my mind and I was more indecisive than I’d ever been before. Fear of dying before I’d really, truly “lived” haunted every minute of my so-called dream life.

That was all last year.

…but Jesus passed by my way.

Things are so different now. I quit the “old crowd” cold turkey. I haven’t touched a drop of alcohol. My conversation is clean. My love-life is waiting on the Lord’s perfect timing. I’m fully clothed. I no longer live my life for myself – I live it for the One Who gave me life.

I’m living the dream… except it’s for real.

This time last year, everything was so different. and I’m glad it’s different this year.

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Posted on December 19, 2010, in Personal and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. i’ve never gotten quite that far, but you don’t have to stray TOO far before discontentment starts. thanks for the reminder that, when i am dissatisfied with the way i look, what i’m wearing, what i’m driving, where i live, my lack of friends, etc., i just need some time with my dearest friend, Jesus. 🙂

    • All my life I had a longing
      For a drink from some clear spring,
      That I hoped would quench the burning
      Of the thirst I felt within.

      Poor I was, and sought for riches,
      Something that would satisfy,
      But the dust I gathered round me
      Only mocked my soul’s sad cry.

      Well of water, ever springing,
      Bread of life so rich and free,
      Untold wealth that never faileth,
      My Redeemer is to me.

      Hallelujah! I have found Him
      Whom my soul so long has craved!
      Jesus satisfies my longings,
      Through His blood I now am saved.

      Thank God.

  2. I am so glad we serve a God of second, third, and 200th chances. Were would we all be if He merely saved us and then left us to our own ways? I am so thankful for His saving grace, as well as His Sanctifying grace!

    • You’ve been on a long and rocky road.
      At times, you’ve felt cheated to have to bear this heavy load.
      While others who would barely even try.
      Would spread their wings like eagles and soar in to the sky.

      It doesn’t matter who you are.
      It doesn’t matter where you’ve been.
      It doesn’t matter what you’ve done.
      Jesus is softly calling.
      Because of who he is and because of where he’s been.
      Because of what he’s done, you can start all over again.

      The guilty burden you have had to bear.
      Has made your life weary though others aren’t aware.
      Of the mountains of mistakes you try to hide.
      With a smile on your face and a broken heart inside.

      It doesn’t matter who you are.
      It doesn’t matter where you’ve been.
      It doesn’t matter what you’ve done.
      Jesus is softly calling.

  3. Amazing testimony.

    • Heather, thanks for sharing. It’s wonderful to see what God has done for you. One thing is you could still have some contact with your old friends to tell them about God. I work with unsaved people all the time and I try to find things that I can still do with them to let them know that I care. Out for coffee, dinner etc. I’m sure you are a great friend to people and that is what we are here for. Have a great week.

      • You know when the Bible talks about stumbling blocks, or the appearance of evil, or temptations…? Well, that “old group” fits each of those categories. I had to quit the crowd cold turkey and completely because it was a stumbling block for me – every time I was around them, I regressed. I started to slip away – not their fault, but mine. I could no longer be around them because the places we went together went above and beyond the “appearance of evil.” And within those places there was a multitude of temptations that I had proven time and time again I was not strong enough to handle being around without falling.
        Some of those in the “old group” claimed to know Christ as their Savior. Many of them are friends with me on facebook and have access to all the things I post – 99.9% of them having to with Christianity in some form or fashion.
        I have even asked a couple of them to dinner or out for a coffee with no response ever given.
        I have tried, but the Lord must do the working in their hearts now.

        Thank you for your thoughtful comment and for sharing some excellent ideas. May God continue to richly bless you. 🙂

  4. Hi Heather Joy –

    Where you were a year ago sounds so much like most of the kids who worked for my son and daughter in the two Subways here! I’m so glad you found Christ’s way. And ESPECIALLY that you did so BEFORE your health problems showed up.

    BTW, be aware that all of us who follow you regularly have come to think of you as a friend. Please remember that even if you don’t want to sound as if you’re feeling sorry for yourself, all of us ARE interested in knowing how you’re doing. Brief is OK, but please do let us know from time to time. Both because you’re a friend, and so we can know how best to pray for you.

    I don’t know if you follow Anne Jackson’s blog, but she had to have heart surgery a while ago, and we were glad she did let us know what was happening and why. We certainly didn’t think any less of her for it, and it did help us a lot in knowing how to pray. (And we do include both you and her in our family prayers.)

    Btw, If you’d like to see things that might help cheer you up at times, my daughter (Yvette) has just put up a bunch of her best pictures as free desktop wallpapers. Flowers, leaves, gemstones, wild horses, antelope, Christmasy things, etc. And more coming, including some Scripture pics. They’ll be at http://www.sparkleofnature.com.

    • Thank you, Mr. Ahlstrom, for your continued support. You and your family are such a blessing.

      I often say how thankful I am that I did not know about my health situation for the longest time. The Doctor believes I’ve had this since my junior or senior year of highschool. Had I found out sooner about this problem, I don’t think I would’ve been able to handle it. But God’s grace is strong and his mercies are great.

      I don’t think I’ve ever read Anne Jackson’s blog – could you please provide me a link over there? I’d love to read it.

      May God continue to richly bless you.

  5. Heather Joy it is always a pleasure to read your blogs and praise God along with you for what He has done and continues to do in your life.

    While I often wished I had grown up in a Christian home and never had to suffer in a worldly situation, I am so VERY thankful that my upbringing (can hardly call it UPbringing) was faaaaaar from Christian. I know what the world has to offer and it holds no attraction. I am sure you also relate to that.

    2 Cor 5:17 would be well known to you. We are a NEW CREATION. Not only that, but we are being CHANGED constantly, becoming more and more like Christ. Thank you for showing us how Christ is working in your life. We praise Him with you.

    • Thank you so very much for your comment! I thoroughly enjoy following AND reading your blog as well. You always post practical posts that help the people of God and get their wheels upstairs turning.

      God’s plan is perfect. His storyline far exceeds anything we could ever imagine. I’m so thankful He holds the pen to my life’s book. I can’t wait to see what the future He’s planned has in store.

      This verse comes to mind:
      “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” ~ Isaiah 55:8-9

  6. Wow – great story!

    And make sure you never regret your past, but that you let it serve as a marker of what Jesus has done for you.

    And you’re still cool. I can tell. Even from England!

  7. WOW. I went through a party phase. I thought I was so cool, but thankfully I don’t go out partying, I rarely drink and I definitely don’t smoke. I’m always thankful to my husband for getting me to quit cigs way back when I first met him.

  1. Pingback: Mucho amore. « Grow Up!

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