Allison is an inspiration. Not only because of her strength on what she has overcome, not only for the joy of her becoming a Christian, but she inspires me by watching the excitement of a new faith and by seeing her faith in actions and freely shared in conversation. I asked her to share her journey that is behind the person she is today.
Allison's Words - The End of Me
When someone asks you who you are, you might start by listing your profession and some of your hobbies. For example, I’m a software engineer and I like to read, cook, and travel. These are all things that I DO, it’s not who I am.
For most of my life, I thought that I was what I did. I believed that I was the sum of my accomplishments and my failures.
I found myself living a very superficial life, and there was an emptiness that I couldn’t fill - with anything. More work, higher pay, bigger house, more shoes, more friends, more attention, more activities. None of them filled the void.
It wasn’t until I reached the end of me, with nothing left, completely spent, that I realized the error of my ways, my way of thinking, my way of being, my everything.
This was the darkest,
the stormiest season of my life.
My son and I were facing the fight of our lives.
He, literally, in the first person, and I, as a mother, was facing the reality of what was going on with my son - depression, self harm, drug addiction.
He was broken. I was broken. Our relationship - broken. You know the cliché opening line of any good mystery novel - it was a dark and stormy night.
Only once I had reached the end of me, with no other option, facing the realization that this is exactly how far I can get on my strength alone, did I turn to God.
A dear friend - merely a new friend, even an acquaintance at the time - invited me to church. It was New Year’s Eve 2017.
At that time, my son was in treatment - I had him admitted days before his 16th birthday. He spent his birthday, Christmas, New Years and then some in treatment.
All the while, I was sinking deeper and deeper into the darkness. I was thankful for this invite, I had been wanting community and connection. This was my chance!
The message that day was about “Surviving Setbacks” and it couldn’t have been more tailored for me.
After service, my acquaintance friend took me to coffee and asked me point blank to my face, “Have you ever invited Jesus into your heart?”
Internally, I’m like “Girl, you crazy! Are we gonna talk about Jesus? I know we just went to church together and everything. I know that I need help, my life is out of control, but I am not ready for this conversation.
This relationship is moving way too fast. I told her “yes” to end the discussion. Thankfully that wasn’t the end of the story.
Later that night, I reflected on her question, and realized that I had never sent Jesus a formal invitation into my heart. I decided to invite Him into my life, and not only invite, but beg, plead, and pray for Him to enter my heart and my life.
I was DONE white knuckling
my way through life.
You know how when you’re driving through bad weather, gripping the steering wheel so tightly for control that your knuckles turn white? I was DONE white knuckling my way through life.
I was ready to try a new way. My way hadn’t turned out so awesome. I told God that I wanted to learn His way and follow Him for the rest of my life.
My life has been forever changed - I have been born again. Wow! The old me didn’t even know what being “born again” meant. Now I AM.
I didn’t even have to clean up before He came in. He accepted my invitation and joined me in my mess.
Listen...this isn’t about religion; it’s about relationship. I made God and my relationship with Him the #1 priority in my life. Ever since, He has been pouring blessings into our lives, answering prayers and teaching me who I am. The emptiness, that void that I had been trying to fill, is now full - I had a God shaped hole in my life.
I am happy to announce that my relationship with my son is better than ever.
He is nearly 9 months clean and sober. He has started his own business, began his junior year in high school and has his sights set on straight A’s.
Last night he thanked me for changing his life and told me how much he appreciates me.
He told me, “I know that I was angry and awful, but thank you for making me go to treatment. If you hadn’t, I would have ended up dead, with a needle in my arm.”
He told me that he wants to become a social worker or a youth addiction counselor to help people through their hard times and give them hope.
Wow, God is so good. I am getting baptized this Sunday. This is the start of a new life, it isn’t the end of me.