Aug 19, 2009

Where God met me

I realized I haven't shared my story in awhile so I thought I'd repost it:

In October this year it will be 7 years to the day I turned my life over to the Lord. My life then was a mess! Let met tell you how I got here...

I grew up being a good girl...born and raised Catholic...as a child we went to church on the major holidays like Easter and Christmas and we also went on the not so major holidays like Mother's Day and Father's day. I spent most Sunday's on my daddy's lap watching whatever sport was big that season...I was definitely a "daddy's girl." We had family vacations and family night and we were a happy little family.

At the age of 8 my parents got seperated and all that stopped.
My dad kinda fell off the face of the earth. He didn't help us financially either so, my mom got two jobs and was never at home. So, of course we didn't go to church. I grew up fast and raised my little sister.

At the age of 13 my parents officially got divorced. My sister and I moved in with my grandparents because my mom was too big a mess to take care of us. I got back into to church and did all the stuff I was supposed to do as a good little Catholic girl. My grandma passed away my senior year in high school and life just sort of fell apart. I started college and fell into the music major party crowd. I had a ton of "friends". I was drunk a lot mostly and in some unhealthy relationships. Then I got sucked into paganism--worshipping multiple gods and found myself a part of a coven just thirty miles north of home. It was a place I felt accepted, wanted and important. By the age of 23, I was drinking, drugging, looking for "love" in all the wrong places and not real sure what I was doing with my life. (When I look back now, it's amazing that I didn't flunk out of college)

At the age of 25, I found myself bored with where I was, unloved, unhappy, wanting to die and unsuccessful. My life had become a routine. Some friends from college kept inviting me to a college group that met on Friday nights at their church and although at this time I was really beginning to wonder if there was a God, I couldn't go even if I wanted to because I worked the night shift at my job...so, i would just say no. One of those friends happened to need a ride home from school one day and as I was driving him home he asked me, "Leslie, do you think when you die you'll go to heaven?" I said, "Yea, I think so." He said, "Why do you think so?" I said, "Because I'm a good person." He told me that just because I'm good doesn't mean that I am gonna go to heaven and that the only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ. That was all he said. After I dropped him off I was livid! Why would he ask me a question like that?!?! He had hurt my feelings...

The next day he once again invited me to church that Friday. He said, "Come once, If you don't like it, you don't ever have to come again." I told him I would see what I could do. At my job they didn't like to give you time off and if I really wanted it off I was gonna have to used (PTO) Paid time off. I was working for a call center at the time and when I got to work that evening they told us that we would have Friday's off for the next month due to low call volume. I sat at my cubicle in aw for a moment and then went and called my friend and told him I'd go to his college group thing.

Friday came and I went to the church. There were people from school there that I knew, which I thought was cool. It was a comfortable atmosphere and the Christians that I thought in my mind would be fakes and rude and stupid were the nicest people I'd ever met. I left there that night knowing that I would visit again. I didn't go to church that Sunday even thought I wanted to because I got scared last minute. The following Friday I went back and my new friends encouraged me to go on Sunday. They offered to sit with me so I didn't feel so alone.

Sunday came and church was unreal...

The pastor said that God knew I would be there that day and that he wanted me to know that it didn't matter what I'd done, or what I'd seen that God loved me! He explained that God had sent His son Jesus to die for MY sins so that I could one day be with God in heaven. (I remembered the conversation I had with my friend) I couldn't quite understand that...in Catholic church we always were told if you're bad then you weren't going to heaven. I gave my life to the Lord that day and my life changed almost immediately. God has apparently begun to prepare me for that morning. I stopped drinking, doing drugs, renounced the witchcraft stuff and stopped sleeping around. The cussing even stopped. When you're ready, you're ready.

God met me right where I was and helped me turn my life around.

So, I started going to church regularly and then started singing on the worship team. My friend from school had told the worship pastor that I could sing and so even though he'd never heard me sing he soon gave me a solo and God has continued to use me as part of that team. Bringing people into God's presence through music is one my passions. *sigh*

Over the past three years God has also brought me to a place in my life where I needed to work through some of the hurts, habits and hang-ups in my life. Our church began a program called "Celebrate Recovery". Through this program I've found emotional healing for a lot of things that caused me hurt in my life. I've found that some of the things I was doing to "medicate" the pain in my life--(like drinking, drugging and men) were only symptoms of other hurts in my life. I went through my 12-steps and am now a part of the leadership for this program at our church. Another one of my passions is to help women find healing through Jesus Christ. I love watching them make decisions for Christ, for their families and for themselves.

Oh and I'm also on full-time staff at my church. Thank God for taking me out of that call center I really could call hell. *Phew*

So, yea...I don't just love to cook...I love Jesus! He saved my life! I really don't know where I'd be or if I'd be in existence if he hadn't met me that Sunday.

God is good :)

~Mrs. Galvan~

1 comment:

Jason and Michelle said...

Thank you for sharing your story Leslie. You're a wonderful woman of God. Love you!