Brenda Walla - April 2, 2017
I was addicted to drugs and alcohol at a very early age and continued along that path until I was 32 years old. My life was a mess. I had gotten married, had two children, got divorced, lost custody of my children and ended up homeless. I say I "accidentally" got sober because I really wasn't planning on it. I can look back now, though, and see how, in spite of my unbelief, God led me to a place where I heard something that gave me hope for a different way of living.
I limped along with a "higher power" for the next 10 years while maintaining my sobriety. I remarried in 1994. We eventually bought a home right across the street from Camano Chapel. It was there that I came to know Jesus as my Lord and Savior. It's not always been easy since giving my life to Christ, but He has shown me over and over again how faithful He is in His love for me.
There have been earthly consequences for my actions in my former life, but I am forgiven by the power of His blood. Where I once walked in shame as a victim of childhood sexual abuse, I now walk in the light of Christ as an overcomer because He taught me how to forgive. What was once a dark part of my life becomes a gift when I get to share with others the hope and healing that comes only from Jesus.
For years I suffered from liver disease as a consequence of my I.V. drug use. In fact, I was told I was terminally ill. And yet by God's grace and mercy here I am, 14 years later, raising my 11-year-old granddaughter. God knew He had more for me to do.
As scripture tells me in Jeremiah 29:11, God has a plan and a purpose for each one of us. My job is to seek Him with all my heart. When I do, He promises to bring me back from captivity. I was trapped in a "prison" of shame, guilt, drugs, alcohol and, most of all, unforgiveness of myself and others. By His stripes, I have been set free; brought back from captivity. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. John 14:6