imageWhen I was in second grade, there was a bully that would meet me in the bathroom everyday and would slap me around and threatened me. She would say to me that if I told anyone she would kill me. Finally someone saw the way that she treated me one day and told on her. I was scared, and told my parents I didn’t want to go back to school because this girl would kill me. So I moved to a new school with a whole new attitude. I was no longer going to be the one being bullied, but I was now going to be the bully before anyone else could be mean to me. I carried that attitude for a long time. I fought alot, as I got into my teenage years and before long I started slacking off in school.

Because my parents worked out of town, I began staying home from school more often, with friends coming over to smoke, drink and take speed. My parents would come home on weekends, but that was nothing more than a time for them to party.

At age 15, I started smoking marijuana a lot. It wasn’t long before I met a boy and I left home to stay with him. He was a drug dealer and very controlling and abusive to me. Needless to say, I went right back to those feelings I had in the second grade when I was being bullied.

Before long we were living in and out of hotels and staying with different people. He threaten me by saying that he would do evil things to me if I left him, and there were a couple of times that he hit me. So I was convinced that he would do what he said, to keep me from leaving. Yet, because he was a dialysis patient, he was sick all the time and went through a lot of surgeries, and in 1996 he past away, which gave me my freedom back from the fear of his threats.

When I was 21 I continued with the attitude, “I’m going to get them before they get me.” I Started going to clubs, bars, smoking pot, taking prescription pills and drinking on a regular basis. I met my husband in 1997 (one year after my abusive relationship ended). I have no clue why he stayed around, because I was a beast. Yet in 1999 we got married, but our marriage was a rocky road most of the way through.

It seemed like all hell broke out in 2003. First, I found out that my mother had lung cancer. Then in 2004 I found out that was pregnant with my first child, but my marriage was failing. So after the baby was born in dec. 2004, I packed up my stuff, along with my new baby and moved out. Then in 2005 my mom passed away. In 2006 my Dad moved in with me, but he was very sick and was on dialysis. Soon after my dad moved in with me, my husband and I decided we were going to work things out between us. By 2007 I was pregnant again with my second child and she was born in January of 2008. But not without complications. She was born with a medical issue that kept her in I.C.U. for one full month, and when she had to be put on a feeding tube, I felt like I couldn’t breath and my world was crumbling in on me. Then on April 2nd my father passed away.

I continued with my drinking, smoking and taking pills this whole time, except while I was pregnant. I didn’t know what I was going to do. I felt helpless. I began thinking that there had to be more to life then this. I mean, I was hurting and felt like I couldn’t do anything right. I have lost the two people in my life that has always loved me no matter what I did, and always helped me through my troubles. But now I have my new baby, that I couldn’t imagine loving anything more, that was sick. I was truly at the end of my rope; I was lost. I just wanted it to all to go away so I could start over.

Then I had a visit by my brother, Alan Jackson, who happen to be in town and was preaching that weekend. He invited me to come and hear him speak, so I went. I could feel something there that day. The next week I took my husband and he felt it too. After deciding to go back the next week and we wanted to join the church.

So the Pastor came to our house to talk to us about our spiritual jouney, and that day, May 12th, I surrendered my life to follow Jesus Christ, and that day my life changed! I threw away my pot, my can and all my paraphernalia. God set me free from my alcohol, as well as, I didn’t take any more pills. God took all of those desires away. I have been drug and alcohol free from that day forward.

My love for people has changed, and my attitude for life has changed. I still mess up nearly every day, but now I long to please God with my life. Though I fail a lot of times, yet God is faithful to forgive me and to cleanse me from all screw ups. It is through Him alone that I can have hope and purpose through all of the messes of my life.

Angela Douglas
Evansville, IN

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