Rachel C.

Rachel C.

from MO
Story #267
My life before I became saved:

Let's see to understand my story of what my life was like before I became saved you have to travel back to the relationship my mom had with her mom. Which wasn't healthy and a lot of the anger that existed in the relationship carried over to us. I remember I'd do something wrong like not obeying Mom's wishes to come to her or not listening when she was trying to tell me something and she would be screaming at me whenever I disobeyed. Now that didn't always stay that way Mom was able to recognize the unhealthy signs of her anger enough to get help through counseling and therapy and I can honestly remember having a happy childhood. I was born in Springfield Missouri then we ended up moving to Joplin Missouri and two years later we had moved back to Springfield before eventually settling down in Lees Summit Missouri when I was 6 years old. I remember going to Grandpa's church after spending the night and racing my brother to the back so we could ri ng the church's bell to tell everyone it was time to come to church I remember staying up a little later past my bedtime so we could drive up to the gas station and get orange sherbet Flintstones push up pop ice cream. Lot's of good childhood memories of love and happy moments with my family that I will always cherish, but, there was always one thing that kept me from truly opening up to people.

When you hear your mom yelling at you at the top of her lungs because you did something to make her mad....it does something to you. I was always afraid of getting screamed at like that again so I began to quickly do anything to make and keep her happy whatever she asked of me. This fear I held was what turned me into a people pleaser pretty much because eventually over time the fear of upsetting people grew to encompass ever person I came to encounter with over the course of my life. I was timid, shy, apologized way too many times past the point of annoyance and unnecessary but I couldn't stop this habit that I had unconsciously created because that's all I knew how to do. I always would apologize if I felt that I had done something wrong that caused the other person to become upset or disappointed with my actions in some way. I didn't know how to talk about it at first because I kept trying to ignore the pain and discomfort thinking that if I ignore it and k ept my fear hidden then nobody would have to worry about me or become upset. When the pain became too much however I tried to voice what was going on to my parents only to receive negative feedback in return. It'd be dismissed in some way or returned with some harsh response or another so I figured if all I was going to get from my attempts at trying to get some help for what was going on inside me was nothing but negativity -then why bother talking at all? So I stopped talking and closed myself off even more. I became distant and drowned myself in music work books writing anything that I could use to escape reality so I could just breath and feel fine even for just a moments worth. Then that eventually stopped working I was drowning so deep in a pit of depression that I didn't even recognize that it was depression in the first place.

Everyone knows though that when you bottle things up eventually everything will explode into chaos at some point later on down the road. That point for me came in April of 2012. Everyone in the family was stressed even distant relations due to the health of my grandpa declining and no one knew how much longer he would remain with us on this side of heaven; this, along with my lack of financial support due to a low-income providing job piled a lot of stress on Mom's shoulders. I don't remember specifically what she said but something Mom snapped at me one night in April was what finally made my boiling point explode into chaos. My mind was a tornado of noise and thoughts and anger and hurt and so much more emotions that it was all I could take and I said “That's it.” So the next day while my parents were away at work I packed my bags with basically anything I considered essential for the journey a few clothes, some cash, ration-like food then got in my car and left. I ended up taking a major highway across Missouri just driving in whatever direction that would get me further and further away from what I had called home. I felt empty but at the same time there was so much pain warring on inside me that I became numb to where I only saw gray and many times I had thought of ending my life I figured death had to be better than what I was feeling at the time. Eventually I ended up leaving my car on a country dirt road and started walking/hitchhiking my way down another random road that took me through small towns in the middle of Missouri. It was the beginning of tornado season so the weather matched my gloomy mood the whole time as I walked and I ended up sleeping (what little I could) in a church playground's jungle gym. I kept tossing and turning thinking of home wondering if my parent's were okay without me. My mind kept flashing back to mom's reaction the night before. I felt low...like I was nothing but a disappointing failure in life that just made a burden on everyone.

...What was the point of me being alive if this was all I was going to amount to?...

...If all I can manage to do was make everyone disappointed in me all of the time?...

...If all I was able to do was cause more trouble for everyone?...

I felt like I was nothing but a waste of space that had been randomly placed on earth for no definite reason at all-like I was an accident.

I was separated from my family for a total of two days and one night but it felt like an eternity since like I last saw my family and my heart missed them......but what was the point of going back now? My car was several 100 miles abandoned on a road somewhere else and I had already made the decision to run away so what was the point?

How I became saved:

It was while I was sitting in a McDonald's in Houston Missouri that I had my senses knocked back into me and it was there I became convinced that there truly is a God who rescues those who are lost and broken and restores them to peace.

How I know was because I met an angel-a man whom I am convinced God had set in my path to save me from the dangerous road I had set out on. He made me think about the impact my decision of leaving my family would cause on them.

How would they think with me gone?
What was happening with them now?
Are they okay?
Are they missing me?

Next thing I know the man had made an offer to help me out. It turned out he served as a charter bus driver for his church by transporting the members of their church to the church and back to their homes. Normally he wasn't allowed to do this but if I gave him an hour to drop the three elderly women that were with him off then he'd come back pick me up and take me to a motel where I'd have access to a shower and telephone to call my family so that I could at least call them and let them know that I was okay. I wanted to at least let them know that much (though at that point I don't know how much you'd define okay emotionally and mentally-wise anyway). A voice, however, kept speaking inside my head I didn't know anything about this man nor did I have any reason to trust him-I mean for all I knew this could've been some ruse for the man to kidnap me or something-but for some reason something made me decide to wait.

I decided to test the man and see if he came back within the promised hour, if he did then I would go with him if not then I'd get back on the road again. Sure enough an hour later the man reappeared back through the doors of the McDonald's restaurant and true to his word he took me to a motel in a town a little further down the highway where he proceeded to pay a room for me and I was able to use the motel's phone to call my mom. Turns out when I called my mom the family was already out hitting the streets looking for me and mom had been in Rolla when I called her so it was only an hour at most before I was reunited with my family. Ever since then I've been convinced that there's a God who saves and rescues people like the great protector that He is.

What Jesus has done and is doing in my life now:

However, there is also another consideration to take into account in this story. If I hadn't ran away to escape my depression I wouldn't have known that it was depression I was suffering in the first place.

If I hadn't ran away into the storm of my life I wouldn't have met the angel that saved me and helped me to reunite with my family so that I could have a second chance at life to make things better.

If I hadn't ran away in the first place I wouldn't have met Jesus. So I do not regret my actions not even in the slightest. Every step I have taken since then has been nothing but a blessing that has improved my outlook on life day after day more and more as I move forward. I love God and there's nothing more in my heart's desire than to serve God to obey Him to bring Him glory in whatever way that I can by using my story of how I overcame depression danger and heartache to help others by giving them hope. The hope that there is something greater and bigger and better than the circumstances we're going through.

I remember reading my bible at home in October of 2012 and then hearing and understanding exactly the vision God has for me and I said yes wholeheartedly! May 4, 2014 I got baptized at my church that I call home and have been serving there for 3 years. That following November of 2014 I was able to join a team on a mission trip to Kenya for ten days where I was able to minister to hurting orphans and widows. I have so much joy and peace in serving my God that I want to share my story with everyone I encounter so that they too can know God and how much of a 180 degree change their life can become if they just simply take that first step even if it seems absolutely crazy and your whole world seems to turn upside down on itself. No matter how much chaos life seems to throw at you if you simply breathe and take that step I promise you that no matter how silly it may seem or what all your friends and family may think something good will definitely come from it. All it takes is h aving the courage in making that step.

This is my story of how I met God and this is only a small chapter of my life. There will be plenty of more chapters where even better and bigger courageous steps of faith will be taken as I put one foot in front of the other more footsteps are still waiting to be taken in my walk of faith with the Lord of Heaven's Armies, my Abba my Father and the best has still yet to come but I have hope now and the love I feel from God still beats inside of my heart and will forever continue to do so and I will forever be grateful for such love and kindness He bestows upon me.

“When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God's love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.” | Ephesians 3:14-21 NLT

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