By: Carla

I just wanted to feel accepted, to fit in, to be part of the group. I tried cigarettes to fit in. I tried alcohol to fit in. Today, my life is full and complete, and I fit in perfectly. To find out how, continue...

I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania. I can always remember being in church. In fact, at age 13, I was saved at church. I liked going to church. I always felt it was the right thing to do. I also liked feeling accepted and being part of a group. I had a good-girl image, and I wanted to live up to that. So being a good-girl meant going to church. The world also had some things to offer. So, if cigarettes meant being popular, I tried cigarettes. If drinking could get me accepted, I tried drinking. There was always that fear of letting someone down. That someone was first of all God, then my family. My father worked in a car factory, and my mother was a housewife. I had an older sister and a younger brother. My father was very strict, so I definitely did not want to get caught. I had an aunt who lived in another town about 12 miles away. My sister and I used to love to stay at her house. My aunt and uncle would let us stay a couple of weeks in the summer or the whole summer. They would spoil us and we loved it. The summer I turned 13, I was staying at my aunt's when I met Jim.

We shared different faiths. We were married June 22, 1974. Before we got married, I said that I would pray and believe, and that in a short while Jim would be saved. That short while took 19 years! A couple of years after we got married, I got serious about being a Christian. I still wanted to be that good girl and do the right things. I am glad that I never got addicted to the alcohol or the cigarettes. I would smoke and drink on and off to try to fit in, but I always felt guilty. Eventually, with the help of God, I quit smoking and drinking and never went back to it. Jim, on the other hand, was a drinker and a smoker. He went out with his friends a lot. Sometimes, he wouldn't come home until 4 or 5 in the morning. We started a family after we were married 7 months. I did go to school here in Indiana, and I graduated.

I became focused on the children and continued praying for Jim to get saved. Jim and I had 4 children - 1 daughter and 3 sons. I raised them in church. Jim never kept his family from going to church. I praise God for that. At times it was hard, because I didn't think he would ever get saved. I remember once in 1980 when he went out drinking and didn't come home for two days. After that, he quit drinking and smoking. It was amazing, but he still didn't get saved. The church I was attending started standing and agreeing with me for Jim to be saved. There were times when I would get on his case about being saved, and I knew I was just pushing him away. I tried to reach him by my lifestyle. I did that by being the kind of wife and mother that God wanted me to be. That helped me to see that I didn't need to find man's approval any more. I only needed to have God's approval.

Finally, on March 21, 1993, Jim was saved. Praise God. I do praise God for saving my husband, and for getting me on track. The hardest part of the story is that I committed all of these sins after I was saved. That bothers me so much, especially the premarital sex. I did repent, and I know I was forgiven because I John 1:9 says 'If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.' I kept feeling guilty until I allowed Jesus to completely set me free. I was forgiven, but Satan tried to convince me that I wasn't. Satan is a liar. Two years after we were married, I was baptized in the Holy Spirit, and it felt like God opened up my head and poured love through me. That really ushered me to a place of wanting to be set apart for God. It was still a process that brought me to where I am today. Life is full and complete with Jesus as my Savior. I do not want to live without Him. It is only because of Him that I am where I am. He is my everything. I love You Jesus. I thank You Jesus. I praise You Jesus.

Real Life Stories - Chapter 31:



Dear Reader - are you at peace with God?  If not, you can be.  Do you know what awaits you when you die?  You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain.  Either Jesus Christ died for yours sins, or He didn't (He did!).  Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God?  We plead with you ... please don't make such a tragic mistake.

To get to know God; to be at peace with God; to have your sins forgiven; to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity; to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help understand the importance of being reconciled to God.  What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one.  Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life. 

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