Thursday, May 15, 2008

I choose Jesus

Years ago I was a very confused young woman. Raised up in a strong Christian home I became the Prodigal daughter much younger than what I should have. I attended a private Christian school and in my early teens became very rebellious. Not sure why I chose the path I did as both of my parents are God fearing in love with Jesus Christ, very loving people. I have nothing but great memories when it comes to my childhood and my actions literally broke my parents' hearts.
Something happened as a young teenager to where all of my choices were married to consequences that were not good. It was when I was in my early twenties and things were just horrible between Gene and I long before we were married. We both came from Christian homes but we were both clearly not living a life that reflected Jesus.
The sins were too numerous to even try to recall or even share on this blog as some things God hasn't given me the nudge to share. I secretly hope He never asks me to indulge in certain things of my past, but if He does I hope I'm obedient. Like today. I am saying "yes" to God when really I'd rather keep this in my back pocket. Someone must need to hear of His greatness is all the reasoning I can come up with.
I'll never forget the despair I felt on this one particular day. Gene was off on his own sinful adventure and I just couldn't take it anymore. I remember his roommate asking me if I was okay and begging me to not do anything stupid. I promised I wouldn't and said I was fine and went home. An empty heart and empty apartment is not a good combination.
Alyssa was out of town camping with my parents and I was scheduled to go to work in a few hours. I remember making the decision that I was done. Done with life. I felt like I was the worst mom in the world to Alyssa and honestly at that time in my life I was. I loved her, but I just put my selfish desires ahead of her needs...all of the time. I was just plain sick of me and I was so tired.
Growing up loving Jesus I was so far from Him because of the lifestyle I chose to live. I had praying parents and an Uncle and Aunt, Chris and Brenda in Alabama who refused to throw in the towel on me though. I believe that because of their faithfulness in praying over me that God heard their prayers. None of them knew what I was about to do, but I know now that God was not done with this child of His. He had more plans for me.
I emptied a bottle of sleeping pills into my mouth as I was in the shower. I got out and got dressed for work. Then I started feeling incredibly nautious. I then called my cousin and my aunt who live in town who I didn't ever call. I was telling them goodbye as I was holding a picture of Alyssa and through whatever I said to them they called 911.
I can only begin to imagine the victory dance Satan did when the pills slid down my throat. Little did he know my God was about to rise up and knock my pathetic enemy to the ground.
I was taken to the hospital in the nick of time and spent a few days recovering. Was life perfect after that? No way...I still didn't live my life for the Holy One who rescued me that day. And because He knows everything, He knew I'd still live life my way and yet He still got off His throne to save me. It wasn't until I returned to church a few years later and realized that Jesus wanted a personal relationship with me that I gave my life back to Him.
Blows my mind that God would want to use someone like me, but I'd rather be used by the Almighty One versus Satan any day. I want my life to reflect who I love by my actions and my words. Some days I know my husband has to wonder, but I am thankful God has blessed me with a man that has turned his life around and is filled with much grace. A man who desires to lead others to Christ because of how Jesus has changed his mind and heart.
We are a couple in love with Jesus. A couple who has looked at each other and thought..."really Lord this is your gift to me?". A couple who looks to the world like they're failing in the parenting area when their teens act like they haven't been taught a single thing except how to say "please and thank you" to his parole officer and to her OB doctor. A couple who knows if they return to living a life with their Bible's closed and their backs facing God that they will be destroyed by their enemy who is trying hard to get them back on his team again.
Bottom line is I have no idea where you have been or are heading to. Don't know if you're in love with Jesus or know nothing about Him. What I do know is that after watching this video my Mom sent me, I am reminded that He has to be everything to me. I know that when I wake up each morning I have to make a choice to live my life for Jesus as the center of my life. I tell you from my own personal nightmare that I have lived that a life out of my Savior's grasp is a scary road to travel.
I have to be close enough to feel His heart beating because when I'm not ,the only beating I feel is the one coming from Satan's fist.
Please take the time to watch this human video is incredible. Thanks Mom for sending it my way.
~Many Blessings~


Yolanda said...


We all NEED G-R-A-C-E!

Just earlier this spring I had a Girlfriend share a comment that she was a part of with me. A MAN that is in the party world, which I was very much a part of the drinking scene at one time, told my friend, NOW THAT IS ONE CHANGED WOMAN.

What does he mean by that? That I no longer make those choices, and that unbeliever, like him, sees that!

Choices are extremely important, and I so desire for each one of you to make choices that would be pleasing to Our Lord and Savior. IF, you haven't choosen Him yet, I plead, open your hearts!

GRACE....we all are in need of it. None any worse than myself!!! And I want to shout it from the roof tops, that the choice to walk with Christ, will be the very BEST choice/decision you will EVER EVER EVER make!


MrsJoeB said...

Lelia-I can't get the video to come one...probably this temporary computer. I don't like it very much. Our past are so very similiar in so many ways. There is so much to share in N. Carolina but I am afraid we will be too busy!! Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing Jesus in your past!!

In His Graces~Pamela

heather said...

Thank you Lelia for the reminder to stay in His lap so close that I can hear His heart beating. Otherwise I am goign to get nowhere.
the enemy is really pounding hard on me this past week. Probably because I am doing some things that my counselor wants me to do, so that i can heal. And the PAIN is incredible.
I am reminded of this morning, sitting on my butt in the dirt in our back yard, working on a flower bed. I finally got all the dirt and compost mixed in, and just sat down in the middle of it. covered with dirt, exhausted. I realized that is where i am at emotionally, spiritually right now... covered in dirt, sitting collapsed in a heap, exhausted.
thank you for the reminder this video is. a spark of hope, adn more tears.
God bless,

Kelley said...

I saw this video for the first time last Fall and I was blown away! I am glad you shared this part of your testimony. I can relate to where you have been and, like you and Gene, my family is just clinging to the cross so that we are not destroyed by our ever-vigilant enemy! He never gives up on us but God will ALWAYS win!

I'm thanking the Lord for you and your heart!

tiggerdaisy said...

Dear Sweet Lelia,

You are just so precious. You are so transparent. I love that. I know it is hard to share your life story with us, as I know that is a part of your life you want left behind you. You are probably wondering if someone will be judgmental or critical of your past---of your present frustrations. Yet, you are obedient to share. And you know what? We are all blessed. Truly blessed.

Thank you, Lelia. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for being real.

I love you,

Tori Shelton said...

thank you for being brave enough to post part of your past. it's all for his glory, isn't it? i was touched by your transparent posts, and seeing your heart in each of them. thank you for visiting my blog, and for allowing my own attempts at obedience to speak to you.

i'll be coming back here for more truth and inspiration.

MrsJoeB said...

I finanlly got this to work! We showed this to our youth this past February. I want them to re-inact this as a drama at camp this summer. It brings me to tears each time I see it. That girl is me....

In His Graces~Pamela

My cup runneth over... said...

I came by to thank you for your kind comment on my blog. I started reading your post today and can't begin to tell you the impact of reading your vulnerable words. I'm so humbled by your openness. I've watched this powerful video a number of times and it never fails to bring me to tears. What an amazing picture of what Christ does for us on a constant basis... when we let Him. I look forward to learning more of your story. Thank you again for your visit and very kind words. I'll be back.

Julie said...

Sometimes life gets really hard, so hard that it seems easier to give up than press on.

I am glad God came after you.

You are so precious to Him and to all of us.


SweetPea said...

Wow, let me try to compose myself now. As I began to watch this video I thought what's so special about this. Boy, it didn't take long for me to "catch on" to the message. How so true...we do live in a spiritual battle even as Christians. This was very emotional and touching to me. The portrayal of tricks of Satan and the world causing a barrier between her and God and then her STRUGGLE to get back to God. The tears flowed heavy to see the portrayall of my Lord protecting the girl from the enemy and world. Wow...I just sat there balling and saying "that's MY Lord." This was extremely touching and ministered to my heart with a visual of how much Jesus loves ME, ME!!! Wow.

Thank you, Lelia, for sharing your heart and a very painful time for you. You have opened yourself and made yourself vulnerable for HIM, to be used by HIM, and for HIS glory. I know our Lord is pleased with you and smiling upon you.

This is what our lives are about: opening up, sharing, ministering, and doing all we can do uplift fellow Christians and witness to unbelievers.
God bless your sweet soul!

Anonymous said...

thank you for your willingness to share your story!!!

HisPrincess said...

Thankyou Lelia. Your post gives me hope, hope that my prodigals will come home, hope that the Lord will always watch over me and protect me and it gives me comfort in the knowledge that my dark past is forgiven. Thankyou for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Oh Lelia,

I feel as if I am repeating myself--Thank you for sharing your life with us all. The beautiful pieces along with the ugly pieces. The pieces that God has put together for his glory!!

The video is an amazing story that we all can relate to--- the devil just beating us each and every day and the Lord just calling and calling... and the VICTORY we have in him--amazing grace!!!

Thanks again for sharing so beautifully.
Love & blessings,

Yolanda said...

There is a very small group that God placed on my heart to bring together last October, for HIS GLORY AND HONOR.

We started as three and are at 4... meeting each Friday in public for accountability and positive encouragement/influence.

One of the gals is going through some extremely deep struggles and two of the other gals are dealing with some frustrations from this woman's choices. My husband last night at the dinner table blew me away, and I can't help but think it was God speaking directly to my heart. He said, I'm so proud of you for not judging her, for not being frustrated, and living out what you say all the time, giving her space and loving her right where she is at.


When I watch this video, I see myself, and I see my precious friend.

Please pray for her, and I am seriously considering sending her this video with a not of encouragement to not give up. Tell Satan, NOT ON MY WATCH!

I would truly appreciate your prayers, each one of you that visits Lelia's blog...such an ANNOINTED Sister in Christ, of mine, and of yours.


Sita said...

I recently came across this video myself. What a great illustration of the behind-the-scenes spiritual activity. But for the prayers of loved ones for us, we may have been more vulnerable to the attacks of Satan. I ask God to unleash His forces for my children and niece and nephews regularly.

And, hey Lelia..another post to let people know the HOPE of our glory...
Love, Sita

Laura said...

Your words and this video...I am a mess! Girl, you made me cry! What a beautiful thing to hear how God has used your broken places to create the beautiful woman I see before me today. He never stops fighting to win us back, does he? Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful...

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

That's the dance I'm waiting for...

powerful witness...your words and this video.

Indeed, "Remembering Whose We Are!"

Thanks for sharing and for your comments on my blog.


Alyce said...

Hey Leila..
Glad your family loved the cake..My husband loathes coconut too! BUT..he eats this cake.. Someone mentioned to me about using that frosting in a german choc. cake mix. I am planning to try that soon. I am sure it will be delish. Did you ever try the salmon cakes?
I enjoyed your post today. Our youth did something similar to that video too. Powerful!

valerie said...

Thank you for sharing another chapter of your life with us.
Your testimony blesses countless people. I'm so thankful that you had praying parents who never quit praying and believing.
Isn't God's grace amazing?!
I appreciate you sharing the difficult stuff & am so glad your life was saved. You are such a sweetheart.
Have a great weekend!

Anonymous said...

Oh, thank you so much for exposing me to such an impacting message. What you wrote really touched a chord with me, and then I watched the video - O My Goodness! Thank you, thank you! God is great. I am so glad I stumbled upon your blog!!! Naomi

Laura said...

I just keep coming back to this video and I cry every time! I even made my eleven year old watch it with which he responded, "weird". Which means it must be pretty cool to him too. I would love to know more about the performers, music, etc. I'm thinking about trying to get our youth to do something similar, if possible. Do you know anything about that stuff? Thank you for sharing this. You just don't know how deeply it touches me. I feel like Jesus fought so hard for me. It is so beautiful.

Lizerd said...

AMEN, Lelia! Beautiful Testimony.

Jenny said...

Your post was beautiful! I can't wait to get to see you in person at the conference!


Kristen said...

I am sitting at my desk crying... what an incredible video. I am going to share it with everyone I know - young and old.

He is there fighting for us even as we stray to the ways of the world. Waiting to resuce you us when we acknowledge we need resuced, reach out and grasp his holy hand!