A series for those of us that need the reminder that God is still in the business of changing lives.
I grew up in church. I really never knew any differently. This was a good thing in some ways and in others not such a good thing.
When I was in 7th grade, I began leading worship in my youth group. Growing up in church all my life, I could answer any of your evangelical questions with ease. But, inwardly there was a war raging that only I knew about.
My 8th grade year, I became addicted to pornography. What began as an accident, proceeded to consume my whole life. I was stuck in a cycle of depression, alleviation and guilt which lead back to depression, alleviation and guilt. I began to believe that I was in control and could stop whenever I wanted…the response of most all addicts.
As this was going on, I was on stage every week like nothing was even going on. I felt like if I shared what was going on, people would not understand, and would not want me to lead worship anymore. A valid concern, but what was more concerning was that I did not know the love and forgiveness of Christ, which was evident in my response. But everyone believed I did. I was a leader, I was supposed to have it all together and stuff. Yeah, I didn’t.
In the spring of my 9th grade year, 2007, I finally cracked. It was too much for me to suppress anymore and I became visibly depressed. My parents took me to counseling. Very long story shorter, I did not admit my struggles until that year when I was on a mission trip to Moldova. My youth pastor at the time confronted me and asked what was going on. I told him and heard the first words of hope in the midst of all the darkness. “Rachel, I can help you! You can overcome this in Christ!”
After the mission trip I went to camp and many people prayed over me and I began to hear and feel God calling me to Himself. Everything came to a climax on vacation with my family that summer in Key West. One night on the balcony there, I lost it. I cried out to God.
“I don’t want to be addicted anymore!” “I can’t fix this!”
“I’ve tried everything!”
“I need you to fix it!”
Then I began to read the Bible and the verses that were so familiar to me, the ones I’d probably done Bible studies on, they made sense for the first time.
Jesus came because I couldn’t fix my mess. I also could not bear the price that He paid.
That’s why He came.
Praise HIM! I WAS BROKEN, BUT NOW I LIVE!
I wrote this song specifically about that time in my life. It’s called “Liberation”.