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Broken Down to Bring Hope

I'd like to share my dream with you. It's kind of a long story, so bear with me. And just a warning—it gets bad before it gets better. But it does get better!

My Background
I don't have any brothers or sisters. I'm an only child. I don't have, and really never have had, a relationship with my dad. I was raised by my grandparents. My grandfather died of cancer in 1991 and my grandmother died of cancer in 1998. I'm currently 30 years old.

At the time my grandmother died I was 22 years old. I also got married that year. My grandmother's dying wish was to see me get married, so I was thankful it came true. She was "old school," and basically thought that she could rest easy dying with cancer, yet knowing there would be someone to take care of me when she was gone.
I got married in February of '98 and my grandmother died that November. However, my marriage didn't last. By early '99 we were separated. Though we were best of friends, we weren't in love and both of us agreed that getting a divorce was the best thing to do. We are still friends today.

Beginning to Break Down
In 2003 a close aunt of mine died. In 2004 my mom died. Then in 2005 a close uncle of mine died. It suddenly seemed like my whole family had died off instantly. Now I only have one remaining blood family member that I'm close too—my aunt in Virginia.

I think my mom's death hit me the hardest. Because my grandparents raised me, I never really got to spend much time with her, certainly not as much as I would have liked. I feel like there was so much left unsaid between us. I know she loved me, and she knew I loved her, but when she died it felt like I never got to say goodbye.
There were so many years I didn't get to spend with her, so many lost years. Mom sent me to live with my grandparents when I was around 11. My relationship with her didn't pick back up again until I was about 20 years old.

After my mom died I was very sad for a long time. I spent most nights crying. I always thought we'd have time to get to know each other and make up for the time we'd lost. But in 2004 I got a phone call that she'd gone into a coma. I immediately went to be with her, and I spent the next months at her deathbed. There, while she was dying, I finally got the courage to tell her all the things I had wanted to. Life is funny like that. Mom never came out of that coma and died a few months later.

A Crossroads
I've heard it said that at one point or another in your life, you come to a crossroads—an event that changes your life forever. Mine was a mental and emotional breakdown that started with a show on TV. To set the stage: My entire family was gone. My grandparents were dead, my aunt was dead, my mom was dead, my uncle was dead, my marriage was over, my finances were gone and my health was deteriorating. I also didn't have very many friends at the time. To say that I was breaking down would have been an understatement.

One day while home alone I just began to cry and cry. I couldn't stop. I was in bed crying and flipping through the channels when I came across a Christian television program. It was Love Worth Finding. On this program people were telling how God had changed their lives. I kept watching. They were telling how God had picked up the pieces of their lives and put them back together. Many of the stories sounded a lot like mine, or worse! One person said something that I'll never forget. It has stuck with me ever since. He said, "It's no secret what God can do. What he's done for others, he'll do for you."

Up until that point in my life I had believed in God, but God just wasn't real to me. I mean, I had been to church once in a while, but I had never really given much thought to God in general.

A Prayer for Change
I kept listening to the television show and I thought, I have nothing else to lose. I got down on my knees and prayed. I asked God if he was real to please, please change my life. I asked him to make himself known to me.
I confessed every bad thing I had ever done. Needless to say that list was long! I told God how sad I was, how sick I was getting, how scared I was, how tried I was, and how lonely I was. I told him that if he would just change my life, I would serve him forever. I asked him to change my life like he had done for others on TV.

From that moment on, my life truly began to change. Not too long afterward, I got a call from a person that I hardly ever talked to. She asked me if I'd like to go to church with her one day. She was a friend of my friend, and I went with her. I can't even describe the love I felt that day in church. It was like God was right there with open arms saying, "I'll comfort you." The people there seemed so happy—so at peace—I wanted what they had.

I began studying the Bible. I wanted to know what made these people at church (and the ones I had seen on TV) so happy. I discovered it was the love of Christ. I found my own church and the people there have become a second family to me. I've made more new friends in church than I ever made before. I've also received three promotions at my job in a very short period of time. I was able to save enough money to buy a new condo.

A Change That's Real
I no longer just cry and cry like I use to. The health problem that I thought was very serious, turned out to be a minor issue. I had to have surgery, but I've since recovered. I'm back to good health. I'm at peace now with the death of my mom because I have hope now of seeing her one day in heaven. I never had that hope before.
I gave my life to Jesus and got baptized. God has truly changed my life. I'm a new person in Christ. I’m telling you this because I know for a fact what God has done for me!

So my dream now is to lead more people to Christ by telling them about the love of God. I don't have dreams of a big career anymore. I used too. My dream now is to bring hope to people who are broken down like I was. I just want to tell everyone how God has changed my life—just in case someone might need help.

If you feel lonely, lost, or sad, just like I used to be, my dream, from the bottom of my heart, is for you to find hope in Jesus. Remember, "It's no secret what God can do. What he’s done for others, he'll do for you!"


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