Freedom through Christ from a Meth Addiction!

Freedom through Christ from a Meth Addiction!

Kristi F

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.
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Jesus can set all of us free from the sins of our past and present even a meth addiction!

Freedom through Christ

Almost 3 years ago, I had the opportunity to meet and become friends with Beth.  Her redemption story truly glorifies God and shows how He loves us no matter what. Her story of being redeemed from a meth addiction show how God really can rescue us from the depths of darkness.

Now, Beth shares her past of enslavement and her rescue story to give hope to others who feel hopeless and worthless.  With God all things are possible including recovery and a new life in Christ.

Colossians 1:13-14

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.

We want to hear about your “Freedom through Christ” Story too!  Email it to [email protected] so others can be encouraged by your testimony of Jesus’ greatness!

Beth’s Redemption from a Meth Addiction

My name is Beth and I’m in recovery.

December 2, 2008 I used meth the last time and pray daily it was my last time. I’ve been asked several times, why at 31, self employed very profitable business, two beautiful daughters 7 and 12, three bedroom home, new sports car and stable relationships with my family and some great friend I would ever try meth?

Why? Because it was offered to me. Because I had recently gone through a divorce. Because I was dating a drug user and tried to keep up with his life style for almost six months. Because my self esteem had always suffered.

They say if you try meth once you might be able to walk away from it. Try it twice and you’re addicted.
From that night on until December 2, 2008 I used daily. Unless I was sleeping which wasn’t often, or in jail, I used and I used a lot.

Click here to read the rest of Beth’s awesome redemption story!

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To contact Beth about speaking to your group, email her at [email protected]

Tis the Season…

Tis the Season…

Toni D

Toni was born and raised in a small town in Oklahoma.She graduated from East Central University with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics.After college, she returned to her hometown to marry her best friend, Charles.Toni is a stay at home mom to their three teens, two boys and a girl, whom God led them to homeschool.Her goal is to raise her children to love and serve the Lord.They live on a farm where they grow produce to sell at several farmers markets.She also plays the piano at church and teaches piano.
Toni D

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Tis the Season…

..to be lonely.  Everyone is shopping and spending time with family and friends.  It is such a busy time.  But, the holidays can be a very difficult time for so many people.

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I lost my grandfather eight years ago right after Christmas.  I was extremely close to him and was his caregiver during his last two years.  When he passed on, I was devastated.  I did not deal well with it so I went to a grief support group to help me better deal with it.  I still attend on occasion, mostly around the holidays because that is when it is most difficult for me.  I also continue to attend these meetings because it has become a time of fellowship with a wonderful group of mostly older ladies.

The most important lesson I take from these ladies is that with our loss things change.  We do not always like it, but it does.  When we lose someone, it changes our routines and our traditions.

For some people, this can even mean the loss of their remaining family, a wife that loses her husband and they have no surviving children or an child that loses his last remaining parent.  These are the people that can feel particularly lonely.

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The Bible even tells us several times to care for the widows and the orphans.  During the holidays, this can be as simple as visiting someone Take some cookies or fudge.  Have your children make a homemade ornament and take it to them.  Take a group of friends and go caroling.  Invite them to go look at Christmas lights.  There are so many little things that we can do that would mean a lot to someone else, something that would help them to feel not so lonely.

 What are some things your family has done?

Be encouraged by these posts as well!

Holiday Loneliness Grieving with Parents Marriaged Saved After Addiction Grief & Health

I Got My Laugh Back!

I Got My Laugh Back!

Kristi F

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.
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I have a very unique laugh.  I claim it and am proud of it.  It’s loud and distinct. In a crowd, I can be found within minutes.  Growing up, I would have people wait for me in the hallways of the movie theater after the movie was over because they heard me laughing during the movie.

It’s always been my trademark.  My first reaction to everything was laughter. Whether I was hurting, sad, angry, or truly joyful, I laughed.

how-i-got-my-laugh-back

My junior year in high school, we had a bit of a morbid writing assignment, so of course, I took it on wholeheartedly.  We were asked to write our epitaph and without even batting an eyelash, I knew what mine would be.  And still to this day, it is what I have determined will be on my headstone.

She laughed at death

because God was in her heart

and she was in His hands.

Laughter…it’s always been coursing through my veins until one day it wasn’t.

I am not sure what happened, or the exact time my laughter faded, but it did.  Maybe it was a mix of sleepless nights and changes in life and my abrupt understanding of how evil people can be…I really can’t remember.  I just remember one day looking at my friend and saying, “I don’t laugh like I used to.”

This scared me.  I wanted my old carefree, joyful self back, but I couldn’t figure out how to get there.  I prayed, studied God’s precious word, and wrapped myself in his faithfulness and goodness.  In the end, I realized fear–something I never knew I possessed–was squelching my joy and laughter.

Over the years, the fears I have held onto have slowly melted away.  By the grace of God’s patience, he let me wrangle through the core issues In the process, I learned to truly trust Him no matter what the day brings. Only then did my laughter start to return.

Not only do I not hold onto those fears anymore, but I am also no longer ensnared by the stress that accompanied those fears.

The devil is soooooo sneaky.  He averted my attention and my joy from my God, the God who created the world and everything in it and the God who is faithful to everything He created.  (Psalm 145)

Oh, you devil, how did I let you do that?  Slowly….soooo tricky.  So slowly you turned my head and my heart and before I realized it, my eyes were not always on the Lord. but focused on my fear and how to avoid it.  Tricky, tricky, tricky.

Well, dear Satan, I have since learned this wonderful truth and have tucked it into my heart so that my joy can no longer be squelched. My joy can no longer be deterred.  I will continue to laugh at death and all your lies, because I do have God in my heart and He does hold me in His hands.  It is a promise he has made. I trust his promises and will no longer trust your lies.

I keep my eyes ALWAYS on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken!   Psalm 16:8

psalm-16-8

Today, after helping with an event, a lady walked up to me and said, “I love your laugh.  It’s sincere and unique.”  (She might have used slightly different words but the same sentiment was there.)  When I heard her say that, I felt the seal of joy on my heart and honestly got a little emotional on the inside.  Never again will I allow Satan to steal my joy.

I’ve got my laugh back!  The laugh that signifies a complete trust in God no matter what the day brings.   And just a little reminder for you, Satan, next time you try to steal my joy, you will not win because Christ has already defeated you!

Giggles & Laughs

Laughing and being silly with my kids is such a blessing!

Be encouraged by these posts as well!

Difference between my plans & God's vision Relinquishing Control to God We all struggle Refuge of Hope

In the Arms of Faithful God

In the Arms of Faithful God

Tamika R

I was born in Denver, Colorado. I moved to OKC after quitting my jobs as a teacher and YouthIntern to pursue the call into ministry. I started as a non traditional student at Oklahoma where I met my husband. He was a non traditional student working on a 2nd degree after moving from Poland to pursue a degree in Ministry. We dreamed together of serving the Lord in Europe. Now we are blessed to be witness to the awesome way that God works all over the world. We live in Vienna, Austria with our3 kids. We work with Eastern European Mission. We provide Bibles and ethics materials in native languages of Eastern Europe. That means we get to seeGod's hand and providence all over Europe. I am Publishing Assistant at EEM and a fitness trainer. I fill my days caring for my family, teaching gym classes and designing book covers and working on details to provide quality materials to those who need God's word. In my free time I paint, cook, make jewelry and run 2 blogs.
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It was February. I was about seven weeks pregnant for the second time. As I prepared to leave for the Bible class I was teaching, I knew something was wrong. I ran to the bathroom and I was bleeding. I took several deep breaths, said many prayers, and rushed off to the church.

The next day I went to the doctor. They confirmed there was a problem, told me to rest, and take testosterone for a few week. I did. At the next checkup, they told us the heartbeat was gone.

I was devastated. The doctor instructed me to go home and wait to miscarry. After it happened, I was to call and let them know.

Seven weeks passed and my belly continued to get bigger. So did my hope.

I decided there was some medical mistake. They were wrong. Clearly, my baby was growing. About this time, I started to get sick. I had never had morning sickness this strong and I figured this was just a part of it.

My doctor called to follow up since I never called. She asked me to come in. They looked and said I had a missed miscarriage. The baby was gone but my body wouldn’t let it go. I had to come back the next day to surgically end it.

When the surgery was over, I woke up deeply saddened by the loss of our child, but physically feeling great. Two weeks later I had follow-up tests. Within days, my doctor called my house. I remember thinking how nice she was to call me. She said,

“I took the liberty of running some extra tests after your surgery to try and figure out what happened, and again at the follow-up. Now that all the results are back, I need you to go tomorrow to meet with this doctor. He is a specialist. He can help you, and they will explain it.”

She added:

“If you were my sister I would ask you to see my friend at OU Medical Center. I have taken the liberty of making you an appointment.”

After agreeing to the appointment I hung up the phone, rolled into a ball on the bed, and cried. I was hurting for the lost dreams. Secretly, I had named the baby Noah. It hurt to think of all the things he would never experience or become. Even though I only knew he existed for fifteen weeks, he was mine and I loved him.

I called my dad and just sat on the phone with him and cried. My own strong attachment to the baby I lost puzzled me. Grief is a funny thing, but somehow just knowing my dad was listening on the other end comforted me.

Not many people knew I was pregnant because the pregnancy was troubled so early. So I tried to handle my emotions in secret.

Now, there was something about losing him that required me to go to a specialist because my doctor didn’t feel she could explain it? How much more could I take? I called my husband and he made plans to go with me to the appointment.

It didn’t take long to figure out what was coming once we got to the specialist’s office at OU Medical Center. He was in the department of oncology. They asked me to fill out a thirteen page registration form. Most of it had to do with cancer. I just lost a baby. So why were they asking me so many questions that did not apply to my situation?

They called us in, and we met with a team of doctors who explained that I had a rare form of cancer. It prevented the proper development of the pregnancy. In our case it was really rare because I had both tumors and a pregnancy. I would begin chemo the following day.

miscarriage, cancer, pain, sadness, faithful God, hope, renewalWe were in shock. I had to slam the brakes and shift gears. Though they assured me the cancer was very curable and that I would only need chemo for about three weeks, I was scared.

My thoughts turned to getting through this and focusing on maintaining my life and surviving for the sake of my two year old. Also we were planing to move onto the mission field so I needed to keep it all together.

I suppose now, as I am crying while sharing my story, I probably never fully mourned the loss. It happened as a mixture of the fear of the unknown loomed over me. The reality that no matter what happened next I would never go back to a life that didn’t include cancer.

The next day I gathered up all of my courage. As we walked out of the elevator at the hospital, I said goodbye to all that could have been. I needed all of my energy to focus on hope and move forward to create a new definition of what could be.

As it turned out, three weeks turned into eight months. Countless doctors, four different kinds of treatments, a clinical trial, several scares, constant bleeding, tumor growing, and countless nights stretched out on the floor crying out to the Lord.

While my situation took twists and turns like a roller coaster, God remained at my side and gave me strength. Many things in my life fell apart during that time. I changed, and lost parts of myself that have still not returned.

God is faithful, and he gave me a peace I still can’t understand to this day.  Even if I was asked to, I couldn’t explain it.

In some ways I still hurt, and I don’t expect that to change. I still think about what could have been. What would that baby would have been like? They told us chemo was the only way we might be able to preserve my ability to have more kids. But they could not make any promises.

God knew my heart’s desires, and four years later, shortly after moving onto the mission field of Vienna (not Poland as originally planned), I became pregnant with a baby boy. He was born strong and healthy here in Vienna. When he was about eighteen months old, I discovered I was nine weeks pregnant with another baby. My youngest was born here in Vienna as well.

God is faithful. He heard my prayers and answered in his own timing.

I know that he is near to the brokenhearted because he was near to me. I carried most of my pain in secret during that time for various reasons.

During this time, I learned to lean on God alone. I learned what it meant to be in the arms of faithful God as my world fell apart again and again.

If you have gone through the loss of a child, and all that goes along with it I am sure you can relate. If you have survived cancer, I know you know his providence. I pray you experienced his peace as well.

If you are in either of those places now, I am here. Feel free to message me or comment below. I will gladly pray and stand alongside you. Never forget God is faithful, able, and good. He wants that for us. He longs to give us hope and abundant life. Snuggle into his arms and let him pour the peace that is beyond human explanation into your soul. Know you are his treasured creation and he will not abandon you.

Be encouraged by these posts as well!

Crying it out MiscarriageSpiritual Walk Praying the Psalms

Writing for Healing

Writing for Healing

Toni D

Toni was born and raised in a small town in Oklahoma.She graduated from East Central University with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics.After college, she returned to her hometown to marry her best friend, Charles.Toni is a stay at home mom to their three teens, two boys and a girl, whom God led them to homeschool.Her goal is to raise her children to love and serve the Lord.They live on a farm where they grow produce to sell at several farmers markets.She also plays the piano at church and teaches piano.
Toni D

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Believe it or not, I’m not an avid writer.

I did not enjoy writing in college and never thought I would do it in my spare time.

A few years ago, my opinion of writing changed.  I had lost my grandfather for whom I had been a primary caregiver for several years.  At the time, this was the most difficult thing I had ever experienced because I had not dealt with prior grief.  If one does not deal with grief when it occurs, it continues to build and just gets worse.

Healing through Writing

While I was attending a grief support group, the facilitator, a wonderful Christian woman, suggested that I write my feelings in letter form to those who had caused me pain and anger, including my grandfather.  I was not to mail these letters, just to write them.  I thought this woman was crazy.  What good was it to write a letter? How would I find healing from my grief through a letter?

After being told this several times, I decided to try it.  Nothing was helping me cope and I knew my emotions were building.  One day, I sat down with a notebook and pen and started to write, and the words just poured out.  I wrote with such intensity and fury.  I didn’t know where it was all coming from.  In twenty minutes, I wrote eight pages to three people.  The emotional release I felt was unbelievable.  Everything came out.  It really did work!

Since that day, I continue to use this method for other issues in my life.  I often go back and add Bible verses in the margins when applicable.  I have even written letters to God.  This is my new-found therapy.  Pen and paper are a lot cheaper than a therapist!

If you are afraid of someone reading the letter, you can burn or shred it when you are finished.  I found that to be another healing aspect.  It symbolizes letting go.

Releasing Our Anger and Emotions

Remember, anger hurts us.  It separates us from God.  Satan is always trying to find ways to destroy us.  Ephesians 4:26-27 says,

“Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.”

We need to let our emotions out, not bottle them up.

Do you have an issue you can’t let go?

Beauty in Dying

Beauty in Dying

Meredith P

Hello, there!  I grew up as a military kid who loved adventure, so I fell in love with and married a military man right after college graduation.  The two of us had adventures together as we traveled for a while, but we finally settled in cozy Southern Indiana.  However the excitement is still alive, because God has given us four kiddos that I homeschool.  I love nerding out on anything from school curriculum to thrift store bargain hunting, from rockin' recipes to theological debates, and pretty much any lively discussion in between.  Thanks for reading!
Meredith P

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Fall is beautiful.

The colors in the leaves are breathtaking. Check out this picture my mother-in-law took of a tree glowing with color:

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That tree is stunning, golden and vibrant.

The leaves on the ground around the tree reflect like a mirror the beauty on the branches.

I’d love to be next to that tree and sit under its calm beauty.

As I admire the vibrance of these fall colors a thought occurs to me:

Those leaves are beautiful because they are dying. 

Those leaves are not producing food for themselves anymore. In their death they blaze bright before falling to the ground. In that moment, a question occurs to me: Is there beauty in dying?

Yes, I do believe there is beauty in dying. As I think about it three thoughts come to me.

I believe there is beauty in dying to yourself in the everyday choices.

If two (or more) of my boys are arguing and no compromise can be made I say to them, “Well, one of you must die to yourself and desires then.” This idea comes from many Bible verses such as this one: “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” (Galatians 5:24, NIV)  It is beautiful to see one brother choose to put aside his own passions and desires for the love of his brother and for the love of Christ.

There is beauty in a mother who is weary with chores but chooses to roll up her sleeves anyway and find something to be thankful about. Beauty in a husband choosing to roll up his sleeves and do chores right next to her.

There is great loveliness in choosing patience and love toward someone who is rude to you. Loveliness in choosing to cry out to God to help you truly forgive someone who has wronged you.

There is something lovely in choosing to not watch a popular movie because the Lord’s name is profaned and the story has inappropriate sexual content in it. Beauty in a wife choosing to say ‘yes’ to her husband even when tired. And beauty in a husband choosing to be patient and wait on his wife to be ready.

There is beauty in a father choosing to ride bikes with excited children after a long day’s work. Loveliness in a mom choosing to share her last bite of chocolate with small pleading eyes.

Beauty in choosing to get out the checkbook, an envelope, and a stamp to send off $25 to the mission asking for financial help as they reach people for Christ.

There is beauty in dying to yourself in everyday choices.

I believe there is beauty in a Christian’s death. 

Often, at the passing of a loved one people will say, “I am sorry for your loss.” It is true there is loss in death, but for the death of a Christian the loss is temporary and beauty abounds. I have a dear friend who lost her sister this past May. This woman was in her early thirties and leaves behind on earth a husband, two very young daughters, adoring parents, and loving siblings. To be sure, there is a painful and searing loss. But, oh, there is beauty too.

The Bible says, “To live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21) This mother, wife, daughter, sister has died, but because of her choice to follow Christ she has gained.

That is beautiful.

Her seeing her Savior face to face is incomprehensible in its beauty.

Her legacy of love and consistency in putting aside her own passions and desires is glowing in loveliness.

Her freedom from cancer and being given a new body by Christ is stunning.

And the promise of her reunion with her husband, daughters, parents, siblings, and friends for eternity is breathtaking.

If you have lost someone and they were in Christ, you have not truly lost them. You know where they are. They are saved for you in the most unfathomable place of beauty.

I believe there is beauty in a Christian’s death.

I believe none of this beauty would be possible without my Savior Jesus’s death. 

There would be no reason for a person to choose to “deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” (Luke 9:23) if Jesus had not done it first so beautifully.

There is immeasurable beauty in Jesus’s life’s example where He, without fail, denied himself and died to His own passions and desires. When He, surrounded with sick and begging people all the time, chose the beauty in giving of Himself and thinking of others first. Beautiful.

There is inescapable beauty when He said, “yet not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42) and chose death on a cross so that we might never be lost. So that we might never feel unloved. So that we would never have to say goodbye to anyone who is in Christ but only ‘see you later.’ Beautiful.

There is indescribable beauty in His rising again to live and to rule on the third day.  “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55Breathtaking.

There is now beauty in dying. Jesus is the reason for it all.

So friends, feel free to die.

There is little that is more beautiful. Feel free to deny yourself and live for Christ and others. Find joy in being “a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God for this is your true and proper worship.” (Romans 12:1) It is your proper worship to the One who did it first. If you earnestly seek His help, He will show you. He knows the way.

May we, by God’s power in us, be like the tree above.

Beautiful in dying. Stunning, golden, and vibrant in sacrificial love.

May our actions leave a beauty around us that reflects like a mirror the loving beauty Christ has put in our hearts.

May we be people the world looks to for the calm in our hearts because we know death in the body is the beginning of eternal beauty.

An Annual Reminder to Find Beauty in Dying

Has this shed some new light on fall foliage for you? I know it will be an annual reminder for me from now on. Would you share how you see beauty in dying, or how you want to have more beauty in your life by denying yourself?

Thanks for reading.

*A note from the woman’s sister mentioned above: “By my sister living out her faith until the very moment Our Father called her home, she taught us how to choose joy in life and how to face death with such courage and hope. What a gift.”  Beautiful.

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