Some church sermons hit me harder than others. There are always great messages from our pastor but this past Sunday was one of those messages that left me thinking “man, I needed to hear that 10 years ago”.
God has definitely worked in my life in my 33 years even when I wasn’t listening or when I was flat out disobeying Him, which I have done a lot of.
Our pastor spoke of a very famous rock song of the 70s, “Highway to Hell”. I could totally relate to this particular message because for a long time, I was on the highway. God tells us in Matthew 7:13: “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way.” While I was so busy “having fun” in my 20s, I didn’t realize the path I was on. The worst part is I don’t even think I cared. I was selfish and lost and completely unhappy. Sometimes I wonder how I survived that time of my life.
I wasn’t raised that way. In fact, I grew up going to church and ever Bible school around. My grandparents were the definition of God fearing Christians. I remember as a child always hearing hymns being played in their house.
When I went off to college, I was in such a culture shock. This little girl from the middle of nowhere Kentucky went off to college (albeit a local college) and was given total freedom. I was not prepared. It didn’t take long for me to get lost in the partying and drinking. I am naturally very shy, so I would drink to “loosen up” and have the confidence (false confidence) to talk to people. I just wanted to fit in. But fit into what?
Most of my 20s was spent in this state. I was on that broad highway to hell. It wasn’t until I finally realized that something needed to change and moved home to my mom’s house in 2011. Talk about change. 27 and living with my mom. I’m so blessed to have family that took me in so I could re-evaluate my life.
I began going to church again on Sundays and remembering the important things. I started working on my relationship with God and spending time with family. I also worked on finding who the heck Laura was. I realized I was a child of God and that I truly needed Him and his Son in my life.
Fast forward to Spring of 2012 when I moved to Evansville with my future husband. After we were married and had our twins, we began going to church regularly. We found our church home and I loved it. I remember one Sunday in particular, we watched as several people were baptized. I got super emotional when I realized that was what I wanted. I went home and prayed about it. I asked Him for forgiveness for all that I had done and I knew I wanted Him in my life. A few months later, I stood in that same pool and publicly proclaimed Jesus Christ as my Savior.
What has God done in my life? Well, for me, he kept me alive while I was on the wrong path. He loved me despite all the sinful things I was doing and all the self-sabotaging behavior. He brought an amazing man into my life when His timing was right. He has given me beautiful children and a beautiful life. He has given me forgiveness and grace. So much grace. And he is teaching me to give myself the same.
Is life perfect since I’ve been saved? Um, no. That’s not how it works. Perfection doesn’t exist but His love does. And His promises are real. I go through trials and tribulations. Before I would sulk and feel sorry for myself. Now, I go to God. I give it all to Him. And I know that everything will be good. I am surrounding myself with people who lift me up and encourage me to dive deeper into my faith.
I can’t tell you what He will do for you. I can only share my story. If you feel like you are on the wrong road and want to chat, I would love to hear your story.