I drank. I drove. I killed.

And then I woke up in a cold cell. Confused. Broken. Afraid. Empty. Alone. With a DUI to my name.

How in the world had my life come to this? Two innocent people were dead because of me.

I thought I had perfected my behavior. I thought my life was under control. I was going to be different, better than all those people who had caused me so much pain. But now I was the one hurting people and destroying lives.

What do you do when your behavior has gone too far? How do you cope when you wake up one day and see that the very thing you loathed is what you have become? What do you do when you realize that the demons in your closet are the very same ones that your family carried, except you have additional ones added by your own decisions, your own bad choices, and your own unacceptable behavior?

It’s a discovery that could have destroyed me. Had it not been for the grace of God, I wouldn’t have been able to live one more day.

I wanted to give up. Trust me. There seemed to be no hope. 

I felt so alone, so utterly hopeless. Death seemed like a great choice…a logical choice…the only choice. How else would the pain ever stop?

On many occasions, I stepped up to the finish line of life, prepared to cross it. Society would have gladly let me pass by. In their eyes, I didn’t deserve to live. Day after day, Death was there, screaming and cheering, eager to claim its third victim…me.

But I couldn’t do it.

Somehow, even in the darkness, I sensed the voice of Love calling out to me, saying, “You’re not alone, child. I’m here. And I love you. You don’t have to carry this pain alone. Come to Me and find rest for your weary soul.”

I accepted His invitation, and for the next seven years, behind prison bars, Jesus walked with me and helped me persevere through the pain of guilt, fear, loneliness, and shame that could have so easily consumed me. He placed me in a faith-based dorm where I learned how to worship, study God’s Word, and pray. I found peace through His music, guidance through His Word, and comfort through prayer.

Jesus also walked with into my new life when I was released from prison. He has lovingly led me from that day until now and has picked me up time and time again.