To make a loooong story short (and I mean a LONG story of sin and confusion and being lost!), several years ago I was caught up in the sinful life I thought was left behind when I asked Jesus into my heart over 14 years ago today. I don't remember what the appeal was to me or how I had even gotten to the place I was, but I was living it up "raising hell" like Brother Brian says. I was into the bars, dancing, drinking, doing drugs, driving drunk and acting like a fool that had no idea who she was or who her Lord was. I carried on like this for almost 3 years until the Lord in His MERCY and GRACE rescued me from this destructive life. Monday through Friday, I struggled to try and ignore the choices I was making on the weekends, and I did try to pull myself out of this trap several times, to no avail. I couldn't do it. I wanted to, but I just couldn't. Several times God gave me an "out," but I only used these times to amp it up all the more and look for trouble. One warm day on my lunch break while sitting in my car, alone, reading the Bible (I truly WAS trying), I came across Psalm 116:1-6 that says "I love the Lord because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath! Death wrapped its ropes around me; the terrors of the grave overtook me. I saw only trouble and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the Lord: 'Please, Lord, save me!' How kind the Lord is! How good he is! So merciful, this God of ours! The Lord protects those of childlike faith; I was facing death, and he saved me." I was at the end of my rope. I was at the end of MYSELF. This was the moment the Lord answered me, but not because He wasn't listening to my prayers the whole time, but because I MEANT it. I wanted to be free, and He freed me. I wanted to be truly happy, and He put a new joy in my heart. I needed mercy, and He gave it to me generously. I NEEDED to be rescued, because if there was anything I learned during all of this, it was that I could NOT do it on my own. My own power that I leaned on for most of my life was useless. I had to be humbled, but God did it in such a way that He did not destroy me, my life or my family. He showed me gentle love. He spared me despite of the sin and selfishness I chose over my relationship with Him. I deserved judgement. After all, I was born again for many years and knew better!!! But today I can look back and love my Lord all the more because He truly did give me what I didn't deserve... His unconditional, true, pure, overwhelming, beautiful Love. That is my story of how great God really is!!!