I once thought I was a lost cause. I had given up; suicidal, hopeless, full of shame and guilt. Rape at a young age had taken away my self-worth and identity. I had buried it so deep within, locking that secret away…pretending it didn’t happen. That secret festered inside of me. The life I would attempt to lead was an exhausting effort to wear a mask, living in the flesh, trying to please everyone around me. In doing that, my choices were skewed, causing me so many more issues. I, myself, caused so much pain and at the same time, endured unimaginable circumstances. I thought I could never overcome the internal festering emotional pain. I drowned that pain with alcohol for almost two years. I did everything I could to eliminate myself from this earth. God had another plan. God saved me. Jesus held me when I could not hold myself. My family loved me through it and endured so much themselves.
I am eternally grateful that we have a God who stays. God never leaves us. God opens His arms wide and waits for us to receive His eternal love. Because of God I have been forgiven, renewed and restored. I live a purpose today. I serve and honor God because He is never forceful or condemning…He is peaceful, loving and patient with our hearts. He waits for us. He loves us. He holds us.
Tomorrow is a special day for me. I celebrate 10 years of sobriety. I celebrate the beginning of who I am today. I celebrate freedom. I celebrate HOPE. I am eternally grateful that God saved me. Today, I help others see the hope we have in Jesus. Today, I am a witness to the miracle of God and what can happen if we simply surrender our lives to “The God Who Stays”. Thank you, Matthew West. This incredible song is a testament to my nonprofit Light of Hope. Together, we are helping people see the hope.
God is with us,
Author of HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE and Layla’s Light
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P.O. Box 669 Claremore, OK 74018
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Layla’s Devotional Book available for purchase at the following:
HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE – $9.95
AMAZON – Hope In the Struggle