I grew up in a catholic home and had developed a huge resentment towards organized religion and the idea of God. I saw people go to church, preaching about being a person of God, then leave church to go treat others who were different than they were in a hateful, condemning manner. My ideas and beliefs didn’t fit into the strict mold of the catholic religion. I believed that there was no creator of the universe, because in my mind, everything could be explained by science.
After being beat down from drug addiction and multiple suicide attempts, I came to a point where I had no choice but to be willing to believe in a personal God of my own understanding. This is my story of how I accepted the love of God.
A Turning Point
I had tried to overdose on heroin several times, but each time I had been around other people who made sure I got medical attention. Each time, I was revived and woke up angry. I had been using heroin intravenously for four years, and it simply wasn’t working anymore. I couldn’t get high like I had been able to in the past and my life revolved around using. My days consisted of desperately finding a way to make money, to get drugs, to get high, and then worry about how I would make more money. It was an endless, miserable cycle. I saw no way out other than death, so I found a quiet place away from others where I was positive I had enough heroin that would kill me.
When I woke up, something was different. I wasn’t angry this time. I decided to seek out help from a detox and treatment facility where I was introduced to sober women who had overcome their obsession to use drugs. They unabashedly explained to me that I had two choices. One was to continue living the way I was living until I finally succeed in committing suicide, or accept the love and care of a God of my own understanding.
I began to pray and meditate, to the best of my ability, because I couldn’t bear the weight of addiction and my suicidal thoughts any longer. One day, I was doing a guided meditation before bed and a realization that I was blessed beyond belief came over me.
The numerous times I had overdosed, I was always saved. Even when I was alone, I somehow woke up. Regardless of the countless dangerous situations I had placed myself in, I was miraculously kept safe and unharmed. In this moment I came to believe that some kind of power greater than myself was responsible for the entire essence of my existence.
I had done horrible things in the past. I lied, cheated, stole, and manipulated when I was in active opiate addiction. I came to the realization that everything that I had in that very moment was nothing short of a blessing from God. I had no money, yet I was given a place to live. I hated myself, yet women were placed in my life to show me love. I was a dishonest person, yet people still wanted to listen to what I had to say. I had caused so much harm, yet I was given so much grace. Due to my actions in the past, I don’t deserve the beautiful life I have today. However, God saw fit to keep me alive and give me a purpose in life.
An Ultimate Test of Faith
My God is loving and kind. He does not condemn when I make a mistake, but rather gives me a chance to learn from my wrongs to grow as an individual. My God is always there, I do not have to seek him. The only thing I have to do is speak to Him, listen to Him, and most importantly – have faith in Him.
Believing in a higher power is knowing that there is a God, but faith is much harder. Faith is an undying, unconditional trust that God will provide exactly what I need. Faith means that no matter what situation occurs in my life, it is all a part of a grand plan that will, in the end, turn out okay. Faith is trusting that God is not only protecting me, but He is protecting my family and friends as well.