A Little Girl Lost

Archive for the ‘alcohol’ Category

A New Creation

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).

In Christ,
Berta

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What Can One Person Do?

Lost and alone, living in the turmoil of self-hatred and despair I worked in a hospital full of strangers and retreated to a bar each night. I had abandoned my daughter to her abusive, alcoholic father because I believed his words, “You can’t make it without me. You’ll either be back in two weeks or you’ll be dead.” I walked away.

One evening at work, I saw a man in a blue lab coat walking down the hall and asked a fellow nurse, “Who is that?”

“Earl? He’s the chaplain for our floor.”

Anger filled me. How could I be attracted to a preacher? We became friends despite our differences. Then we dated. Then we married. Baptism seemed the right next step for a preacher’s wife, but I didn’t feel “saved.”

Earl’s appointment to a local church helped me get custody of my daughter. As a pastor’s wife, I lived in guilt over my past. My lack of Christian faith and knowledge sent me into a tailspin of insecurity and isolation. Earl struggled with my behavior until I went on a Walk to Emmaus where God ministered His forgiveness of my past and healing for my spirit. Earl continued to love me as he helped me learn about the Savior who died for me.

What can one person do? As I’ve grown in Christian faith, God has placed people in my life who have needed Christian love and guidance. Most recently, I’ve befriended a young mother in need. Her love and dedication to her family and her willingness to share her family’s meager supplies with neighbors who have less has blessed me.

As Christ gave everything for me, if I could do one thing to change a person, I would be like Him and love them.

Paul said, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:6 NKJV).

In Christ Alone,
Berta

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