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It was Feb. 21, 1988 10:00A.M.. I stood, outside my home, drinking orange juice mixed with white wine. Now days I was drinking a little over 1/2 gallon of wine per day. To say I was bewildered is an understatement. I felt numb or a better description is, I felt dead inside.
I had read every self help book around. I tried rejoining the church of my youth hoping their rule of total abstinence from alcohol might save me. It didn t. I was drinking more then ever and teaching Sunday school with a hangover. I was 40 years old and had now been drinking alcoholically for 20 years.
Why did I drink like this? I was a successful Real Estate Broker with all the material trappings that should make one happy and secure. Instead I was in a very unhappy 22 year old marriage. My two beautiful and gifted children age 16 & 19 were showing signs of alcohol and drug abuse. Everything seemed to be unraveling and I couldn t stop it. All of my positive thinking and affirmations seemed empty and lifeless. So as I stood looking at all my material possessions that February morning the void in my heart seemed unbearable and I wanted to die. I cried out to an unseen, unfelt, unknown God and said "if you are really there I need help. I can not do it by myself any more." The next day I attended the first of many AA meetings that were the beginning of my path to Christ.
The religion of my childhood taught of a Jesus and God who were glorified men of flesh and blood. I had to find Jesus Christ of the Bible. God had a plan. My family and I started family counseling trying to recover from the chaos my drinking had caused. I didn't know that the councilor was a Christian. She started praying for me and my family. At first it seemed like the more I recovered the sicker my kids and my marriage got. My family of origin, 2 brothers and a sister were also into drugs and alcohol. My nephew Steven came to live with us for a while. I didn t know that when he was 12 years old a neighbor family took him to church and he gave his heart to Jesus. Now at age 18 he realized that there was only one way for him to live an abundant life and that was to make Jesus lord of his life. He made that commitment when he was staying with us and began seeing our family counselor. I saw him change over the next months. He was excited and peaceful at the same time? There was a look of HOPE in his eyes that I knew I wanted. The end of that month Steve left for college but his prayers for me, along with our counselors prayers were being answered. All of a sudden I heard the Lord Jesus calling my name and I stopped to listen. I started asking my counselor and Steven questions and bought a Bible. Through reading I came to realize that Jesus was God incarnate.
When I had been clean and sober for 3 years I was dismayed to see my marriage and my children were in worse shape than ever. My husband and I took a trip to Kailua-Kona Hawaii. We were going to try and rekindle our relationship. For no reason other then it was Gods plan, we decided to sell out in California and move to Hawaii. My daughter had already moved out and my son was going to leave for college. Neither of them was interested in moving to Hawaii. Two days before we left for Hawaii my counselor arranged for me to be baptized. 3 years earlier when I got sober my life changed but the day I was baptized my entire perception of life started radically to alter. That unseen, unfelt and unknown God came closer and took some blinders off my eyes.
God placed me in a community of strong Christians and a group of mature Christian women began descipeling me and praying for my family. My children were not doing very well. My daughter was suffering from a dangerous eating disorder, drinking heavily , living in her car and dating an abusive man.She was very depressed over a second abortion. When she narrowly escaped serious injury in a drunk driving accident my counselor and my nephew Steven intervened and put her on a plane to Hawaii. The first six months she hooked up with a partying crowd and started cocktail waitressing in a bar. However our prayers prevailed and at the end of those 6 months she accepted Jesus as her savior and became a Christian. One of her boyfriends saw the difference immediately and asked to go to church with her. He also accepted Jesus and became a Christian and immediately quit a 7 year habit of smoking marijuana daily. My daughter Kim and this young man Josh went into missions in Washington state and Philadelphia for a year and when they returned they were married They now have 2 beautiful children .
During this same time my sister came to visit me in Hawaii. She had been living in the gay life style and had been a lesbian for 16 years. She knew I had become a Christian and asked me if I thought she was bad? I told her I loved her and so did God. But that her life style was not in his plan. The rest of her visit was strained but good. When she went home she called me and asked how I became a Christian. I told her I had just gotten on my knees by my bed at night alone and gave him my life. She called me a week later and informed me she had given her life to Jesus but thought it was OK to remain a lesbian. I asked her if she had turned that part of her life over to God and if he said it was OK? A few days later she called back and told me she didn t think it was OK and that just like my compulsion to drink had been removed so had her desire for the homosexual life style. That was 5 years ago and my sister is now married to a Christian man.
When my husband and I moved to Hawaii we started a new retail furniture business. The day before our opening my husband fell off a ladder and crushed both of his heels His recovery has been very long and painful. During one of his 6 surgeries I was in need of help and asked my son to come and help me. My son had been living with a young woman but had recently broken that off and was now living in a camp ground. He was aimless and spent his time using drugs and going to rock concerts. He agreed to come and help me but wanted nothing to do with our religion and packed LSD in his suitcase. When he arrived in Hawaii he saw the difference in me and his sister. he was at a low point in his life and wanted to know how we knew our belief in Jesus was real? I told him our relationships with Christ were personal and he would have to seek the truth of Jesus himself. Well he did and within the month he became a Christian. Within a year he was married to a Christian girl. They spent 5 months on a honeymoon doing mission building for Youth With a Mission in Europe. Now my son works with us at our furniture store. He has a 2 year old daughter and another on the way.
Because of the difference Christ has made in our family, my mother, brother a nephew and a niece have become Christians.
For a while my husband stayed on the sidelines watching his family change. My husband is a good man and didn t see a need for a savior for himself. Some of our sins are not as glaring as others and his were more hidden sins of deceit, manipulation and unforgiveness. However our prayers prevailed and my husband was baptized 3 years ago. As a family we survived what appeared to be insurmountable odds only by the Grace of God. My husband and I just celebrated our 32 wedding anniversary. I also celebrated 11 years clean and sober. My children are clean and sober and my sister just celebrated her 1 year wedding anniversary. Our lives are not trouble free. We daily face challenges just like everyone else. Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
There is much more to tell you. How God turned our misery around and has used our life experiences to minister to other alcoholics, homosexuals, failing marriages and on and on. The Bible says "to whom much has been forgiven, they will love much" This is true of our family and I give you this testimony to encourage you to give Jesus Christ your life.
Aloha Ke Akua,