By Jennifer Markle
The Truth can get contorted and twisted if you aren't grounded, can't it?
I grew up in a loving but chaotic home. My parents did not teach me the Truth about God; my mother instead taught me that virgins do not have babies and that Jesus was not the Son of God. My mother even had a bumper sticker that said “Born okay the first time.” My parents were drug addicts, and I spent most of my teen years being the adult in my home. My mother fell very ill when I was 14 years old and I had to step up into the mom role of our home. I was a "good kid"—I excelled in school programs and made great grades. However, I was living a double life. I sought love and attention from men and ran around Dallas with people much older than I was. I was happy for the most part, but on the inside, I was dead.
My boyfriend went off to the Air Force a year before I graduated high school, and once I finished school I ran off to live with him in Little Rock. After his first deployment to Afghanistan, we got married. We were both only 19 years old.
My mother passed away shortly after we got married and I completely crumbled. I was so depressed, and my husband was so tired of trying to fix me. I was sure he and everyone else would be happier if I were dead. After three more deployments, and with life taking a toll on us, my husband asked for a divorce. Only three years of marriage and he was done.
I was crushed. I thought the death of my mother was bad but this sent me even further down a hole that I couldn't get out of. All of this happened around my 22nd birthday. I remember lying in my bed all night, crying and just downright broken. I hurt myself on purpose. I wanted to die.
Getting Past the Lies
As a last-ditch effort to find a reason to survive, I began to search for YouTube videos of motivational speakers for encouragement. I happened to come across some sermons that significantly lifted my spirits and made me understand that life can get better.
I was missing one thing though—Jesus. I wanted it so bad but I couldn't get my mind past what my mother had taught me about Christianity being a lie. I met with a friend who had a relationship with God and she taught me so much. The night after our discussion and after listening to yet another sermon I fell on my knees, crying my eyes out asking for Jesus to come into my heart and for Him to heal me. I realized that life without Him was miserable and worthless. I wanted, needed Him. In Luke 19:10 Jesus said “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Jesus never stopped seeking me and He saved me mightily.
Since that day I can’t get enough of God. I have now been attending Watermark and am in the process of becoming a member. I am trying to learn as much as I possibly can to catch up from my years in the dark. I spend time every morning reading my Bible. The day just isn’t right if I don’t make time to spend with God! Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
As a result of this journey God has brought me on, my dad has started attending Watermark, and is even going to re:generation, with me. A friend of mine also saw the positive changes in me and asked for my secret. She is struggling with addiction, and after I shared my faith with her she now also has a new life in Christ. I am also working to restore my marriage with my husband. God is working all around me.
I do not know what the future holds for me, but each day I make the choice to give it over to God. As Jeremiah 29: 11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I know and trust that His plan and purpose can excel me further than I can ever imagine doing alone. My life is brand new and I will never go back to who I once was.