Fall of 2010…Stuart and I were in the heart of planning our wedding. We were at the Cheesecake factory interviewing a potential videographer. Our waitress was very friendly and talkative and she struck up a conversation about what brought us to the Cheesecake factory. We told her that we were getting married in May and were planning our wedding. She then went on to tell us that she had recently broken up with her boyfriend. I told her that Stuart and I had broken up for a year and that it was the best thing for us. She then asked, “If you don’t mind me asking, what brought you guys back together and made it work?” I looked around the table, then back to the waitress and said, “There is just one word, Jesus.”
Rewind two years to fall of 2008. Stuart and I had just broken up, we had been having issues for months, but I never thought it would end in a breakup. I was devastated. At this time, Stuart believed in Jesus. I, on the other hand, had zero faith or beliefs. Stuart needed time, he needed to reconnect with his faith, which of course I did not understand.
My life spiraled downhill fast.
This is a very personal part of my life. Many of my friends or family don’t know all of these details, but I feel it is a story worth sharing. It is a story of redemption and a story that shows God is all His glory.
Leading up to our breakup I was borderline depressed, had an eating disorder and quite possibly a drinking problem. I didn’t realize any of these problems, nor would I admit to them until much later. Once the breakup hit, everything got much worse very quickly. I hit rock bottom and felt I had nowhere to go. There I was drowning and I blamed it on the breakup. I kept trying to convince Stu that we needed to get back together, and that I was sorry and I would do anything for us.
He then asked me a question that at first made me very angry, but then led to much self-discovery. He asked, “what makes you happy?” My first thought was, “you of course!” But he interjected, “and don’t say me”. I can honestly say, I had nothing. No answers and had no idea how to find these answers. I pushed this thought of happiness aside and continued my destructive behavior. I continued to drink more, eat less and cry often.
The drinking numbed the pain and the lack of eating was me seeking attention. This went on for months until I decided I needed to talk to a professional. This occurred December of 2008. I only saw this clinical psychologist a few times, most of which didn’t seem to help, except for one thing she said to me. We walked about the breakup and how my ex believed in God and I did not. I told her that I believed in evolution, in science, and she said something so simple. Something that started a chain reaction from deep in my soul. She said, “You can believe in both evolution and in God”. This may seem like nothing, but to me, it was everything.
The start of the New Year, 2009, I decided to make drastic changes. I made a “happy” list, things that I hoped would help:
- Stop drinking entirely
- Eat healthy, well-balanced food
- Exercise at least 5 times per week
- Learn how to play the guitar
- Spend quality time with Frankie (my cat)
- Attend church every Sunday
- Read the bible
- Read books
Over several months I started to notice a huge change in my mood and behavior. I was at a healthy weight, eating correctly, not self-medicating with alcohol, exercising regularly and I felt great.
Attending church became a regular weekly tradition and really felt a change in my understanding of the heavens and earth, but I wasn’t sure what would make me a follower of Jesus. I had heard stories of these glorious moments where God took over someone’s heart and body (out of body experience) when they finally accepted Jesus into their hearts. I never had this and I guess I was waiting for that moment.
At church, I was attending a 101 class to learn more and meet other church goers. At the end of the three week (once a week) course there was an anonymous Q&A portion. The pastor said to write any question on a piece of paper and he’d read them and answer them.
So I asked, “When do you know you have accepted Jesus into your heart? Is there a big glorious moment or does it happen gradually overtime?” He answered my question with it could be both, but there was no right answer. He then asked that whoever wrote this to stay behind to talk 1 on 1. So I did. We chatted for a bit about my question, but then he asked me, “Do you believe that Jesus is the son of God and that He was sent here to die for our sins”. I answered “yes”. “Do you believe he died on the cross and rose from the grave 3 days later?” Again I answered “yes”. “Then you are a believer in Jesus Christ. Some people have a big “Ah Ha” moment, but for some it happens over time. Can I pray for you?”
He then put his hand on shoulder and prayed over me. That day was March 1 2009.
My life has been forever changed. Jesus is my rock and my savior. He saved me from my abyss. He threw a life saver down into the depths of the ocean for me to grab a hold of. And I’ve never let go.
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.