I was raised southern Baptist and was baptized at the age of eight. My father was transferred to England when I was twelve and that is when my family stopped going to church and I became extremely rebellious. We moved to Bossier City, Louisiana when I was 13 and still never really found a church to attend. I continued in my rebellious behavior and ended up moving out of my parent’s house at seventeen. My parents and I had a very unhealthy relationship and I didn’t speak to anyone in my family for about a year. We eventually reconnected; however, the relationship was still not what God intended.
When I finally graduated from college at twenty-seven, I started going out to bars a lot and drinking every day. I would even go home from work at lunch and have a glass of wine and this continued for about two years. I had numerous people in my life tell me that they were worried about me but I really didn’t care about anyone but myself at this point in my life.
One day, my mother called me from a local dog store and told me that she had found a dog for me to adopt. It was weird because I had never really considered adopting a dog because I was always out drinking somewhere and didn’t really have the time to care for an animal. Regardless, I met up with my mother and ended up adopting this dog, which changed my life. Suddenly, I had this dog to care for and I started to go home every night, after work, instead of meeting my friends at the bar. Now I know that this was the plan of God all along. It seems silly, but God can use anything or anyone to change our lives, even a dog!
During this time, my best friend had recently started to attend Christian Center Shreveport and kept asking me to go with her. I told her no for almost a year and then one Wednesday night I just decided to go. From the moment I walked in the door, I was in tears. I didn’t know what it was then, but later, I realized it was God I felt in this crazy place! This was the first time I can remember in my life, actually feeling the presence of God. I continued to attend CCS, even though I was extremely weirded out by everyone there. Being raised a Baptist, I had never believed in the spiritual world or in prophecy or any of those things that charismatic churches believe in. Matter of fact, I used to think those type of people were crazy.
So, I have been attending CCS for about three years now and I love it. I feel like for the first time in my life, I actually know Jesus and look to Him for guidance, when before, I did whatever I wanted. God has completely changed my life. My family and I have a real relationship now; it’s not perfect but it is much healthier. I’m now an elementary school teacher who is involved in my church. I’ve been out of the country three times in the past year on mission trips. This is a life that I never could have imaged three years ago and every day I am so grateful to God for pulling me out of the darkness that I used to live in. I cannot wait to see what He has for my future!