This is a guest post by Megan, who shares how God brought her out of a state of deception in which she believed she could find happiness and fulfillment in things and people. This deception led her down a path that led to depression, hopelessness, and which almost ended her life. The unexpected intervention of an acquaintance from high school, who shared the good news about Jesus with her, was the beginning of her new life of healing and freedom. Her story shares how she was able to find true fulfillment and how God transformed her life From Deceived to Redeemed through the power of Christ Jesus.
Before I became a Christian, I was in a state of deception believing I could find my happiness in things and people. I had a lot of success in my life and I felt a lot of pride and sense of accomplishment about it. The activities (sports, art, academics) I was involved in were my way of coping with a difficult at home situation that I was very eager to escape from and a lot of internal emotional conflict and anger that I did not know how to resolve.
When I went to college, my world came crashing down. I chose a college in NY in order to get far away from home but had no other real reason for going there. I quickly saw that my world – the things that I had invested in – had all changed. Not only had I moved far away from family, but far away from all of the friendships and other things that I had used as distractions from how I was feeling. I was used to getting a lot of attention for my accomplishments and suddenly I was in a situation where no one cared. I felt lost and hopeless. I turned to my sister for help and went to visit her at her college one weekend hoping it would ease how I was feeling. Instead, she got me into drinking and smoking as she herself was dealing with similar struggles of running away from pain. I made some new friendships at the college I was going to and they introduced me to drugs. That became my new life. I became increasingly depressed and could see no purpose or meaning in life.
When I went home for Thanksgiving break I became even more disenchanted seeing how happy my friends were and recognizing how miserable I was at home. A friend during the break asked if I had tried praying and I told her no. I was raised Catholic and believed in God but really had no idea what a relationship with Him meant or how Jesus fit in. When I returned back to college I hit rock bottom and planned out how to kill myself. One of my friends figured it out and called the police, who came out and confronted me. It shook me up a lot and I decided to once again try praying.
I sat down that night and prayed that if God was real that He would 1. Make me happy again, 2. Bring new friends who cared about life and 3. Get me out of the mess I had gotten myself into. I decided to remove myself from the toxic environment and people I had made “friends” with by transferring to a different school. The first day on my new campus at orientation, a girl I had known in high school and made fun of because she wasn’t “cool” came running across the field when she saw me. She embraced me with a huge hug and said, “I am so glad you are here.” She had no idea of what I had been through, but reached out to me despite how I had treated her years before. It meant the world to me. That night, she invited me over and a few weeks later she shared the gospel with me. I learned about why Jesus died for our sins and how He offers forgiveness and freedom from our past. I learned that through a relationship with Him I could finally let go of the guilt, pain, and anger I had been holding on to and finally find true happiness. I prayed with my friend that night. It was a few months later when I realized that every single thing I had prayed for had been answered. I felt fulfilled, I had a great group of Christian friends, and I had not touched drugs since leaving NY.
My life has changed in so many ways. My friend in NY who had introduced me to the drugs later killed herself. It always stood out to me that this COULD have been my life, my outcome, were it not for the grace of God intervening. In the Bible (2 Corinthians 5:17), it says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” This is how it has felt to me. Some things were instantaneous changes once I became a Christian and other struggles have taken time. It took years to deal with the anger and hurt that I felt but the Lord so faithfully walked with me through it. He always brought the exact right people, the right fellowships, and the right verses to help bring me healing and freedom. He brought me to a place of being able to forgive everyone and He changed my desires. My desire no longer was for the things that had brought me so much satisfaction as an unbeliever but instead my desire became to know Him more and to know His Word.
Colossians 1:13-14 states, “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” God rescued me from darkness and has given me a new life.
1 Peter 2:9 also resonates with me: “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
The key message I want to share is that there is no need to do it all on your own. God is there, waiting for you, beckoning you to come to Him, to know Him, to experience His love and His forgiveness. He is the best mess-cleaner-upper out there. We don’t need to come to Him trying to fix ourselves; rather, we need to come to Him in our brokenness. We need to allow Him to be the healer and watch as He brings redemption and truly turns ashes into beauty.
If you would like to reach out to Megan, you can leave a comment below or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a story you would like to share, please email me with “Broken to Beautiful” in the subject line and I will follow up with you. Thank you.