When I think back to how life was before finding this message, I remember just so much pain, emptiness, and confusion. As a teenager, I was very empty and hurting and disheartened with what I saw in the world, and looking for meaning, I turned to bad company with things like partying, smoking, and substance abuse to find comfort from the pain I felt in my heart and the lack of sincerity I saw in the world around me. In my prideful rebellion, one thing led to another as I focused more and more on myself and pitied myself and was quickly labeled depressed and put on antidepressants. Being very self-centered, I blatantly rejected authority and went to more and more substance abuse and a dark lifestyle to numb myself and make it through the day. But this never helped with the pain and of course made everything worse. I went so far with this bold defiance that my own parents had to press charges on me in order to try to rein my antiauthority and rebellion in with this substance abuse and wild lifestyle. I was a very angry person, determined to do what I wanted to do, and I put up a thick wall around my heart that became increasingly hardened.
Thankfully, by the grace of God, He opened my eyes as a young adult that He was real and existed and I knew immediately I had to stop my sinful lifestyle. I repented from the old life, but I was not finding the answers to grow now in my new faith. I laid down the drug use but only transferred it to indulging in food instead and continued to be completely self-focused and needing antidepressants to keep me going. I had become the Christian hypocrite I used to always detest as a teen, knowing God existed but I was not free nor did I have a real relationship with Him. Again, I was disheartened. I went to a Christian college and even did mission trips around the world, hoping to find this relationship with God, but only to come back with more questions and feeling this emptiness, still enslaved in countless ways---to food, to myself, to the praise of man, needing antidepressants to make it through a day, and just growing in pride, thinking it was all about what God was going to do for me and not that it was all about God. I went to Christian counselors and even got a degree in sociology hoping I could make sense somehow of this life and my insatiable greed, but there were no answers to be had except for more focusing on how everyone else needing to change. I started to pick back up my old sins of smoking and substance abuse and felt so very far from God, but now I was overweight as well. I went to church after church and no one could give me any answers.
Everything changed when I found Remnant Fellowship Church! I immediately learned how to stop the substance abuse and smoking and overeating and instead when I was hurting, learn that there was a God I could run to who really cared and really helped! Remnant Fellowship Church and Weigh Down Ministries clearly taught how to connect with God and how to lay down the sin for good. It taught me how to stop judging everyone else, (something I had a degree in!), and instead learn to judge myself and change my own heart and focus on my own obedience to God. The Bible opened up like never before and I started to be hungry for His word and started getting to know God and His requirements and how good He was. I was able to stop smoking and going to substances immediately because now I had something WAY more powerful and fulfilling to go to, and a life of purpose that I was always seeking. My weight came off quickly and I let go of the controlling exercising that I had become accustomed to and learned to find joy in serving others instead of myself. I was free of the antidepressants immediately once finding Weigh Down! After being so angry as a young person, now I can't stop smiling all the time! I am looking now for God's approval instead of people's approval, and this message has shown me the connection between obeying God and His favor of God and the joy that results! God has been so kind to test me and give me the perfect refinement along the way to help me to lay down the antiauthority that was so deeply rooted in my heart, and now I long to find the will of God through the lead of authority. I have ZERO longing for substance abuse and can't even stand to be in a room of smoke now. I have no fear of going back to that lifestyle because I have found the reason for life and the purpose of life and I have such excitement for the days ahead. There is no "once an addict, always an addict" because I am truly free! I am so grateful to be able to share this true joy of life, true purpose of life with others, and the hope that others can avoid all that pain from sin by learning to connect to God early on from this beautiful walk of obedience that is the real and incredibly fulfilling. I am so thankful for Remnant Fellowship Church that taught me how to let go of the substance abuse and overindulging in all the wrong things, and to take hold of a relationship with God.
Learn how you can be set free from all addictions! Visit www.weighdown.com to check out the Exodus from Strongholds series that will show you how to lay down drugs, smoking and anything that calls your name!