Enjoy this devotional written by a FlourishWriter’s Student…
thrust out of a life of addiction to drugs and alcohol into the loving arms of my Abba Father and the mercy of His Son, Jesus Christ, I was redeemed and found worthy of the title Daughter of the Most High King.
My appetite for the life of a slave was so prevalent that, even when I tried to stop, I would always run back. My soul was tarnished by my abhorrent behavior and the resulting damage of my lifestyle; I simply could not restore my life on my own.
Only Jesus, who had a plan for my redemption, could afford me the salvation I needed to be free.
How did I get here, you may ask?
In 2014, I hit rock bottom. I was charged with my second DUI and several violations of my probation due to drug use. During my court hearing, I was promptly remanded into the custody of the Sheriff’s office. I wasn’t going home anytime soon.
My world was shattered, my heart broken. I was taken away from my two children for the first time in our lives. Confined to a dorm of other female criminals, I grieved the loss of freedom so familiar in my thirty-five years of life. On top of all this, the detoxification from the chemicals coursing through my bloodstream was excruciating.
I was devoid of all hope.
In jail, Sundays were a respite from the norm. Several churches came those days to offer sermons and salvation. One of those ministries, Jesus Infusion, came from a local church. I had heard from a couple of the other inmates that they were the best option out of the several that came.
When I met the two God-fearing women that ran this local ministry, I had no idea what to expect. They seemed raw, not the normal holy rollers I had met before. They didn’t preach per say — they just told us of their stories. They both had broken backgrounds and stories of redemption to share.
The first couple weeks I attended only to get out of my pod for a while. The ministry brought in markers, colored pencils, and printed drawings. My ears and heart were mostly closed to the message. I had no intention of allowing anyone to tell me I needed salvation. I was not yet desperate enough. I simply wanted to color.
While still in custody, I was required to attend a second court date on Christmas Eve to determine whether I could be released. I was optimistic I would be freed from my captivity, but God had other plans. The court ruled that I would be kept in custody until a place became available in a drug and alcohol treatment program, no matter how long it took. Again, my heart was shattered. I would not be able to spend Christmas with my kids.
Oh, how I missed my children.
By keeping me in jail until I went to the treatment program, the ensured I had a real chance to recover from the disease of addiction. I resented him for days. Didn’t he understand I wanted to go home to be with my kids? Didn’t he know that I was just a victim of my circumstances?
Of course not. All he saw was a frightened, tear-soaked woman who had been devastated by years of self-destruction. He knew one course of action that would open up a path to true healing. Little did I know, after all, was said and done, that I would be grateful to this judge for not releasing me.
That following Sunday after my court day, as I stood in the line to go to Jesus Infusion, I was barely able to walk. I had nothing left but somehow, I made it. My eyes were puffy from days of crying myself to sleep. My heart had disintegrated into a thousand pieces, and my soul was so fragmented that I knew it would never be whole again.
Finally, I was broken, humbled, and defeated enough for the Lord to find a foothold. The words spoken over me at that service that day were finally able to reach the deepest parts of my spirit where Jesus was waiting for me.
“But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:4-7(ESV)
From that life of sinful behavior, the Lord had a plan of salvation. Sometimes He must break us down to our most vulnerable place to build us back up again. Through His love and mercy, I was able to find the wholeness and healing I had been searching for all those years. In that musty jail classroom, the Lord used these vessels to come into my heart, save my soul, revive my spirit, and redeem the broken parts of me, forgiving me of my sins.
Are there areas of your life that have broken you down, made you defenseless against the onslaught of fear and temptation? Are you afraid that your past is too broken for God to repair?
I pray that my story testifies that it is never too late to turn to God. When we are weak, He is strong. No past is too broken. There is hope and healing found in our Abba, our Daddy in heaven.
Kelly Stauff was born in Galveston, Texas and raised in the sleepy town of Gulfport, Florida. She is an exceedingly proud mama of two children. Her passions include reading the Scriptures and Bible resources, listening to worship music (too loud!), and creating art projects with the kids. Favorite sweet treats are dark chocolate and raspberry sherbet. Kelly has walked a difficult path in this life, but the best is yet to come since God rescued her from a broken past with the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. She continues to share her testimony with women, especially those who have a broken past, encouraging them to receive Jesus’ redeeming power.