my story, pt 2

{Disclaimer: it’s starting to get real. I’m trying not to be vague with my testimony. I want you guys to get the as much of the full story as possible just so you can see how much God has changed me.}

I can’t remember the exact age, but I know it was between beginning 5th grade or 5th grade summer. That was the first time I had alcohol and the first time I smoked a cigarette.  I didn’t think anything of it. I was with older cousins and saw them do it so I wanted to try it too. It wasn’t like I said to myself “I’m going to do this to rebel from my parents, this would be a fun lifestyle.” I did it simply out of curiosity. After that weekend was over, I went home and didn’t really think about it again for a while. The next time it came up was at church camp my 7th grade summer. I talked to a mentor about it and sort of confessed it. I hadn’t realized it was wrong until then. A lot of positive things happened at that camp, but Satan was on the prowl. He was not having me move forward without obstacles to snag me back.

At that camp, I met new friends who happened to live close to me. After camp was over, I was constantly at their houses. We were always getting into some kind of mischief. We slowly started drinking. It was at that point that I started a downward spiral over a three years span. We began to drink on the weekends. Then it went to hosting parties and attending parties. I was one of the youngest of them all so I thought it was cool to have the older crowd like me. I began seeking out satisfaction and affirmation with that crowd through drinking and just plain acting a fool. That’s the only way I can describe my behavior; foolish. For a while all that I was doing was drinking on the weekends. Then I started sneaking it at my house during the week. Just to be rebellious. Just to boast about how sneaky I was being. Idiotic huh? In 8th grade, I branched from drinking into experiencing more foolish substances. I don’t need to elaborate, but I’m sure you have the idea. I was so interwoven in that crowd and lifestyle that I didn’t know what else to look toward. Well, except the weekends. I certainly always looked forward to the weekends.

Throughout this period in my life, I began to push my dad away. The arguing and fighting had turned from him and my brother to him and me. My brother had moved out and left me as the basically the only child. I had so much hate toward my dad because I was so close to my brother. I took my up for my brother so much and never knew why except that I loved him. I never gave my dad a second thought. I never tried to take a neutral side to the fights; I always sided with my brother. The fighting always ended with my dad and I yelling at each other and terrible words I still regret. I was a dramatic brat who had zero respect for the parents God provided for me. It was evident that I was not in the right place. I’m a terrible liar and always have been. I have never been able to hide a single thing, but at the time I thought I was the one playing them when in reality I was getting played.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.  No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

Issues between my group of friends happened a few backstabs here and there and next thing I know I’m moving onto another group of older friends. Same lifestyle, just a little more magnified. FYI, I was 15 at the time hanging around 18 to 19 year olds. People looked at me as more mature for my age because I was able to “hang” with what was going on. I was able to dress the part and act the part. Some of my craziest nights happened during this time. I look back and laugh upon some of the craziness that went on and sometimes I shiver with disgust at the situations I put myself in. I was running fast at this point. Running in the opposite direction of where I should have been and wasn’t planning on looking back.

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