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Stories of Lives Liberated

Sarah

Sarah

Once addicted to consumption and excess, bound by the heavy burden of sin. Now forgiven and loved, with a light conscience and a lighter body too!

 

Who I Was Before Christ

I accepted Christ as a young girl and choose to be baptized when I was 11. I committed large parts of the Bible to memory as a Bible quiz participant in my early teens. Unfortunately, even though I spent a lot of time in the Bible for competition purposes, I didn’t spend any time at all applying the Word to my life. During my junior year of high school, my boyfriend went to college and my best friend from childhood had a horrific car crash. I found new friends and boyfriends who opened doors for me to try the drinking, drugs and sex I previously abstained from. Through it all, I maintained my grades and public persona. I felt like I had it all together – I was an honor student and captain of the cheerleading squad during the week, in the middle of the party at night, and a soloist in the church choir on Sunday.

Through college, I continued to live the same way. My heart continued to harden, but I still craved the relationship with the Lord that I knew as a child. Rather than turn away from my sin, I found it easier to try to quiet that voice inside me. I stuffed it down by filling myself with excess – food and alcohol were my tools of choice and I quickly gained 80 pounds.

I got married to my high school boyfriend but we divorced less than two years later. Although I would have said I was a Christian if anyone would have asked, Christ was about as far from the center of my life as possible. I moved, found new friends and a boyfriend, and started over. I continued to run from God. I devoted myself to a new boyfriend and found myself at clubs with some of Chicago’s biggest dealers, quieting the voice of truth by overindulging in alcohol and now drugs.

 

What Changed?

One night, as the sun was coming up on a long night of partying, God used a television commercial to get the attention of my boyfriend, who decided he was going to church. I didn’t want to, but I finally dropped my guard and started listening to the voice of the Lord within me that I had quieted for so long. God graciously pulled me back in and captivated my heart unlike ever before in my life. I re-dedicated my life to the Lord and gave him all of it this time. Within a month, God provided me a job with a relocation bonus that helped me move away from that life and start over again in Minneapolis. I found my church, The Rock, during my first week in Minneapolis because I saw that billboard near my apartment in Uptown. When I read “Want God, Not Religion?” I said YES out loud!

 

Who I Am Now

Since I grew up in church, I immediately knew the major sins and vices (e.g., drinking, smoking, drugs) that I needed to let go of right away as I entered back into a relationship with the Lord, and I experienced great freedom removing those things from my life. However, as I continued learning and growing, I realized that there were other things holding me back from living a full and abundant life. My desire to overindulge remained. I had lost some weight previously, but pregnancies and dealing with unresolved pain from my past contributed to me adding 60 pounds. I ate instead of dealing with issues because I felt like I “deserved” it. I was like the people described in Isaiah 5:18 who were facing sorrow because they “drag their sin behind them with ropes made of lies.”

God made it very clear to me that he wanted my whole life and all aspects of it. 1 Corinthians 6:19 became very clear to me: “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” For me, that meant to trust the Lord not just with my heart, but with my health. I joined with a group of friends who were also learning how to honor God with their body. So far, I have lost more than 30 pounds in 4 months. More importantly, I have finally cut off those ropes of lies that were weighing me down. When I am feeling empty, I don’t overindulge on food to fill what seems like a bottomless void – I run to God who gives me more than I ever could have asked for.

 

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