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monday, july 9, 2001
if: not who i once was

if you were asked to identify your most life-altering moment, what would it be? why did that pivotal event or experience cause you to change your direction?

back in high school i was a totally different person than i am now. i know everyone says that because we all grow and change, but for some the changes are more dramatic i think. and i am truly nothing like the girl i was. the changes are so vast that i honestly think that those who know me today would not believe who i was and those who knew me then would not believe who i am. i have become a very different person.

and just being alive is a huge testament to those changes.

when i was a teenager, i was angry and bitter beyond what we would think of as normal teenage rebellion. i hated people, i hated life, i manipulated situations and persons to get what i wanted and not always successfully. i was horribly suicidal. greedy and selfish, my first question always was, 'what's in it for me?' if there was nothing, i wouldn't lift a finger to do anything for anyone. totally self-centered and eaten up inside with jealousy, anger and hatred. i wasn't into sex, drugs, rock and roll, but into the occult. that was an experience i rarely talk about, and all i'll say here is that it certainly didn't make me any better a person for anyone to know. somehow i managed to have friends, although i didn't treat them as such. why they put up with me is a mystery.

it is because of those friends that things changed.

i wanted to change, i really did. i knew my negative attitude was eating me alive. i knew i was a hateful person. i didn't like who i was, but i never could seem to find a way to change. suicide seemed the only answer, but those friends never let me finish it off. they never even let me get started actually. for all my talk, one of them would invariably talk me out of it for another day. but i still couldn't change who i was or how i felt. i couldn't become the nice person i wanted to be.

then these friends invited me to calvary chapel of riverside. by this time i knew i needed something. i had no idea what, but i knew the occult wasn't it. i agreed to go. we piled into a toyota truck, about a dozen of us with most of us piled into the truck bed. they were all people i knew, all people who had been nice tome despite my meanness back. their church was completely not what i expected. it had rock music, the preacher didn't wear a suit and tie, people stood up and expressed their love for god with raised hands and swaying bodies. it was the most astonishing thing i had ever seen.

not that i had ever been in many churches before this. i had gone to a friend's when a little kid and it was a traditional formal place. i never went back. i hadn't stepped through a church door in years. now that i had, i was blown away.

that night i accepted jesus christ as my lord and savior. and on the way home, one of the high rise buildings had some lights still on and they formed the shape of a cross.

my life has not been the same since. i admit to disliking a few people, but i can only think of one person who falls into the "hate" category (christian or not, i am still human). everything i was changed, everything i am i attribute to Him. he washed me clean of hate, rage and depression. he gave me a reason to live that was beyond myself. he filled me with love. all the changes i wanted to make he made for me and then some.

i do not talk about my relationship with him too often. my life now does not meet the biblical standards i think it should for me to have a right to speak out. you know the saying, 'if you don't walk the walk, then don't talk the talk'. but i know he hears me when i talk to him. i know he still has control and touches my life. i know he is still there.

and i am very thankful for that.

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