A grateful heart! The Easter version…

Celebrations are part of being a community of people, whether it is local or global, people love to have a reason to celebrate. As Christians we have several celebrations that we enjoy, Christmas and Easter being the top celebrations that we observe. As a Christian, I often wonder if we truly understand what we are observing. Easter is ranked as the eighth highest celebration globally for Christianity. If a poll was taken, most Christians would be able to tell you that Easter is a time to recognize that our Savior is no longer in the tomb. He was resurrected on the third day and He ascended into heaven.

However, I wonder how many could detail what the resurrection means to them personally? Pardon me, I am going to share what the resurrection of my Lord and Savior means to me. I lost my marriage, career and health in seven months. Everything that I ever worked for was lost. I was addicted to alcohol and prescription pills. Severe PTSD, nightmares, insomnia and rage was icing on this terrible cake. Every issue I faced, I confronted it with a combination of alcohol and pills. Drink after drink, pill after pill, I tried everything that I could think of to combat these issues. I tried everything but the one thing that I knew would work. My pride led me down a dark path. In time, depression and anxiety teamed up to drive me to the point of suicide. Suicidal thoughts were my bread and butter, they were fueled by a combat cocktail of alcohol and pills. Through my walk in darkness, I floundered from one issue to the next. Constantly, I fought the battle alone, and daily I lost the war for my sanity. However, in the darkness we are closest to God. It was in the darkness that God carried me.

Sunday, April 7th will be the first year of my restoration in the Holy Ghost. Sitting on the back pew at Iuka First United Pentecostal Church, I refused to yield to God’s spirit. However, the Holy Ghost was not done with me. A couple of months went by from my first service back to the house of God. Rev. Shane Burns was preaching at our church, when I felt the Lord whisper to me to stand. I stood. He whispered to me, “raise your hands.” I lifted my hands and tears rolled down my face. Instantly, God filled me with the Holy Ghost. Because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, I was unable to complete my attempt at suicide. In the darkness, I was never abandoned. Because HE lives, I was restored in the Holy Ghost and my own version of the Prodigal Son story was ended. The chains of my addiction was broken, because He walked out of the tomb on the third day. Depression and anxiety no longer have a claim on my mind, because Jesus Christ is high and lifted up! In Him, I am free. It is with a grateful heart that I proudly proclaim that Jesus Christ is everything that I will ever need. Because He lives, I can face tomorrow!

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