My testimony is like many of this day and age. I was brought up with a way of life, that today, I know was contrary to the way that God wants me to live.

At an early age I was taught that drinking was a “socially accepted” thing, so I learned how to drink. You see, since I was a small child, I was taught how to live. I was truly a product of my surroundings. My memory of my childhood was not one of love, but rather, one of a lot of pain and SOITOW. I know today that “perfect” love comes from Jesus.

With that, I will do my best to tell you how He came into my life. I would say that 1 was a “normal” young man that went to the local high school, graduated, married my high school sweetheart and began to raise a family. As the children came along, the pressures of life began to increase. I was working two and sometimes three jobs at once. After thirteen years of this, I found that one day I had a house, two cars, a swimming pool, and all that life could offer me–and the next day, it was all gone – along with my wife and three children. I was totally devastated. Everything that I had been taught that was right—-was gone.

At that point I turned to the only thing that I knew that eased the pain. I wanted so very much to change my “perception of reality.” I turned to a life as an alcoholic. What a life that was. I went places that I didn’t want to go and I did things that I didn’t want to do. My life, believe it or not, got worse. It took me to the pits of hell, where I had planned my suicide. I was a very disturbed, useless human being. It was there, on a cold rainy night, Jesus entered my life for, what I believe, was the first time. I didn’t know his voice then like I know it now. In fact, I didn’t know then that it was his voice. But today I know that it was Jesus that told me, that to take my life would be a totally selfish move; that I would leave behind three young boys without much of a chance in life. Today I know that it was His mercy and grace that got me into a rehabilitation center for drug and alcohol abuse. From here he took me to the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. In that program I tried my best to stay sober one day at a time, however, I did drink again. You see, today I know that without the Spirit of God there is another spirit that will reign and have total control of your life.

This time Jesus came to me, while I was sitting all alone at a bar, with a very clear vision of a scroll. This scroll pointed our (step by step) just exactly what my life was as an alcoholic. I left the bar that night, and as I remember, it was cold and rainy, and again I was devastated. You see, when everyone else had left me, I had turned to alcohol as a friend. And now, even that friend, had turned and left me.

Through yet another set of miracles I returned to the rooms of AA where I got my life physically and emotionally well. It was here, quite by accident, I met a young lady who was to become my present wife and companion. At this point I thought that things had changed in my life, and that it would get better. I was mistaken. After about a year of this marriage both of our lives seemed to be a mess. You see, I still had all the troubles of life that I had before—I just wasn’t drinking and getting drunk to cover them up. I still had all the hurt, pain, sorrow and guilt all penned up inside me. I was truly a mess.

It was right about here, my wife and I were talking about divorce (for the second time in both of our lives), where Jesus came into my life for the third time. I guess he figures three strikes and out. (Just kidding!). You see, I know now that it is only we that give up–Jesus never leaves nor forsakes us. And—He is patient It was at that point that I had nowhere else to turn; I decided to ask God for help. Again, it was at this point, when I was able to look back on my life and see that it was only when I had turned to God for help that there was any relief of the pain.

I walked and I began to talk to this God that I really didn’t know; but, that didn’t matter, because He knew me and He was just waiting for me to reach for Him. He was just waiting for me to see that He was my only answer; that He was one who should fill the void that was in my life from the day that I was born.

Through a business acquaintance (a Christian couple from the church) my wife was shown truth and led into New Life Assembly.

It was just a short time later, through even another set of miracles, that Jesus came to me again–this time He filled my car with a great light and me with a great spirit. This left me a complete understanding—that for the first time, everything was going to be all right. It also left me with a gigantic hunger for God and his truth.

From there I decided to investigate this church that my wife was attending. It just about scared me to death. I thought that it was a cult. It was unlike any church that I had ever been to. You see, what I didn’t understand then was that I needed something in my life that was unlike anything that I had before. Because everything that I had before—didn’t work!! In spite of everything I didn’t understand (worship, etc.) the man of God spoke that day and God’s word entered my heart. It took that man several weeks to show me the true love and truth of God. A love that was real. A “perfect love” that cast out all fear. Today that man is my pastor and Jesus is my Shepherd.

You see, through this church, I have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Through this relationship I have found a different way to live. A way that God meant for me to live. A way that has set me free from the bondage of this world.

Today, the memories I make are not of pain and sorrow, but rather ofjoy, peace, and happiness. Today I still have all the challenges and difficulties of life; however, today I have the answer. In short, “I once was lost and now I am found, I once was blind and now I see.” And today I am saved!

~ Tim D.