In 1972, my stepmother began to isolate my sisters and me (along with her own children) by moving us away from the town we knew and restricting our access to peers. I quit school and worked alongside Dad each day in the wooded area deep in the bottoms along the Illinois River where we lived in a school bus.
I enlisted in the Navy in 1975 and followed orders 24/7 in basic. At my “A” school and then my permanent duty station, I had time off. Used to structure, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I didn’t understand why everyone in my barracks sat crowded together in the lounge watching television. I tried to make friends but was socially inept.
Lonely, I started drinking and fell in with the wrong crowd. I did fine for a while but alcohol soon became my enemy as people took advantage of me. Tired of being used and thrown out like yesterday’s trash, I grew hard-hearted. I lived by my own rules and hurt many people—mostly myself.
I’d heard about Jesus in those days but believed I had to be perfect in everything I did for him to love me. Imperfect as I was, I knew He couldn’t.
But when I met Jesus, I knew He loved me. As dirty as I was, He wrapped me in His loving embrace. He knew everything about me—the good, the bad and the ugly. He washed me clean. He healed my wounds. He saved me from my life of sin and death. He set my feet on the Solid Rock.
I received a new and loving family. Forgiving. Accepting. Welcoming. Alive in Christ.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:17-18 NIV).
If this devotion blessed you would you consider sharing it with your friends please?