I grew up in the church and had what I believed to be a lasting relationship with Christ. But over a period of time, I went from being a serious student of the Word to simply reading the Bible when I “felt” like it. To this day, it still amazes me that after all this time God is still holding my hand…even when I was dragging Him along in my mess.
But let me start at the beginning. After I graduated high school with a fairly good streak, I sought for a change. That summer, I reconnected with an old friend, and that’s when things began to take a drastic turn in my life.
This friend and I would meet by the park near my house. After quite a few interactions, I received the impression that my worldly friends found my life so boring, because as one guy once referred to me, I was just the “church girl”. No doubt, his words would remain with me for some time. I would then spend a considerable amount of time from that point on trying to reject this “goody-two shoes” image. From that night onward, I started experimenting with alcohol, boys, and a whole new way of life.
When the party invitations started coming, I made an effort to go to all of them. Secretly, I made a vow that no matter what, I would not “lose myself”; as in get overly drunk. But at the same time, I reasoned within myself, that one or two drinks couldn’t hurt. After all, I didn’t want to miss out on all of the fun. Yet, I neglected to foresee the potential danger that would arise.
Running From Home
One night, in a familiar setting with old friends and acquaintances, I was confronted by a guy I had always seen in the distance. He approached me with the idea that he wanted “to talk about life”. Soon, we were alone together in his car, and it turns out he wasn’t interested in talking. So despite my drunken state, I made a run for it.
After that night, I found out that I could not escape from the thoughts that consumed me. I was fully aware of the fact that I had almost been a rape victim and this deeply troubled me. In my attempts to forget the night, I got caught up in substance abuse. At this point in my life, I was dangling dangerously close to the cliff. My mother sensed this, and so one day as I readied myself to go out, she stopped me. She expressed her concern because I hadn’t been acting like myself. Despite knowing her words to be true, I didn’t like this. I wanted to be free to live my own life. I screamed all my frustrations at her. She turned and continued making dinner, but I refused to be ignored. I picked up the phone and dialed the police.
Before I could hit the undo button, two police cars were outside. I had been determined to have my mother pay, but for what? I quickly recognized my error, and pleaded with the officers, requesting that they “take it easy” on her. It was only by the grace of God that they heard my cry and backed off with a stiff warning. Even though I managed to keep my mother from getting arrested, the damage had been done. I saw it every time I looked into my mother’s face. I moved out after a couple weeks because every time I looked at her, I could see the hurt in her eyes. It stung like crazy.
Broken and Out of Control
A couple of weeks before my first year of university, I decided to clean up my life and promised myself that I would never be the same. Frosh was great. I met new friends, had new experiences, and earned myself a boyfriend.
However, this new boyfriend ended up being bad news for me. I would stay by his place until very late in the night, and then make the long commute home. I would even miss my trains for him, but I had thought it was all worth it.
Every time we were together he pushed for sex, but I told him that I had made a vow before God that I would follow His commandments, and wait until marriage. This guy wasn’t happy. Despite his Christian upbringing, he had his doubts about God which he freely expressed. He was a self-proclaimed philosopher, and he quickly brought me down with him.
Before I knew it, I had stopped attending church, stopped believing and had become a skeptic. I partied again and was throwing school down the drain. This boy and I had similar classes, but we’d spend more time “fooling around” than studying. Then, the emotional abuse started. He slung threats my way as a means of controlling me. It was all becoming too much, too soon. So with the realization that I deserved better, I decided to end the relationship. It appeared to be a mutual understanding, but then a day later, I heard that he was seeing a friend of mine. I was heartbroken. I sent the both of them, disturbing calls, texts and emails. No sooner had they been together and I was already spiraling out of control. Drinking and smoking had now taken on a new meaning. I no longer was doing it “just for fun”, but was using it as a way to help me feel better. I was facing some serious depression. My grades were plummeting…My life in shambles.
This is when I heard the Holy Spirit telling me that I needed to get it together. The Lord was urging me to quit ignoring Him. I needed to let Him into my life. At first, I didn’t want to listen. How could He expect me to possibly believe that He still loved me?
Now looking back, I realized that it was a huge mistake to give up on God. That epiphany led to an heart-to-heart conversation with my mother, which subsequently led to my re-appearance in church. I still remember the song the choir sang like it was yesterday: “What Can I Do?” by Tye Tribbett. The words ministered to my heart: “Tell me what can I do? ‘Cause I can’t live without You. I can’t live without You…So here’s my heart…I give You my soul, Lord…Need You to take control…”
From that moment on, my life took a complete 180. I knew it was time for a change. I was a new creation…Old things had things passed away. ( 2 Corinthians 5:21) “On my own, on my own…I can’t make it.” I had found these words to be true, because I had failed many times already by my own efforts. Of course, I still face my issues today but my faith still stands.
Today, if you’re listening and willing, I challenge you to get on your knees before God, repent of your sins, and invite Him to be your sole leader and foundation of your life. Find Him on your knees. I challenge you to say No to drugs, abusive relationships, pornography, masturbation, fornication, premarital sex, and any other thing that is separating you from God. You’re not in it alone after all. You will feel so much peace in your life that God calls us to have, and will no longer feel bound to your past.
I share this story with the hopes that it will present you with the opportunity to change yours into something meaningful. I am living proof that the Lord gives second chances. Allow the Lord to completely change and restore you. After He is done with you, you will no longer be the same.
About Rishae: In the summer of 2013, Rishae Pinnock truly learned the meaning of grace, and it has changed her life completely. She now knows that Jesus died for her sin, and no matter how “shiny” her actions, they could never earn this love. Every day, God continues to shape her heart as she experiences the unchanging love of Christ. For as long as she can remember, she has always craved acceptance. She has now finally found it in Jesus. To find out more about Rishae, check out her blog No Strings Attached
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