That one lost sheep
As a child, I was always dragged to church. I vowed when I was older that I would never go to church again. I did not go for 20 years. I was the very angry, drunk, and mean Prodigal Son.
The storm of my life had begun, and I did not know until it was too late. The unstoppable chain of events started with identity theft in June 2009. This led to my home being foreclosed on Christmas Eve and later padlocked. God said, “my house was built on the sand.”
Excessive partying with fair-weather friends I went down a lot of bad roads. My house of sand collapsed and 98% of my possessions were donated to a charity. I was homeless and then laid off. Out of desperation, I placed an ad on Craigslist for a place to live. I ended up living with a family of nine.
Some nights I had no food. I would microwave water to fill my stomach so that it had something warm in it so I could go to seep. I ate oatmeal for two years and finally, I dropped my pride and went to a food bank. What is ironic is that I volunteer at a food bank. I was too prideful and ashamed, and they quickly said, “Raise Your Head UP!” They shared they started as a client and now volunteered, no shame here!
The most overwhelming challenge was losing my Mom. She died four times, and on two occasions she was gone for over 30 minutes but came back to life! There is power in prayer and miracles happen every day.
A major turning point in my life was when I fell asleep while driving and I was headed into a transformer pole and a man called and woke me up and he said, “God had told me that you were in danger and to call you. Your divine life purpose is much needed in the world. I have to stay on the phone with you until you’re parked.”
I had to change my “Whys” into “I Trust You.” I had to stop whining and being a Jeremiah. I had to stop saying “please take away these burdens.” Instead, I had to pray for faith, broader shoulders, strength, and seeing others as God’s children and not judging. I also had to learn to forgive. Giving situations to God, I started watching my words. A few words of kindness can change a person’s day or life. This process was all about learning to be Christ-like, selfless, and having unshakeable faith, hope, and love. Listening to God and being obedient.
God has given me the strength and the courage to take one step at a time. Through this 10- year process He made a way, on His time, and His special way.
My trials have become my testimonies and giving God all the praise and glory. My life has been restored and blessed and God made His Masterpiece out of my mess.
People have said, “We see that GW found Jesus.”
However, the truth is Jesus found me!
Every day I thank Him for pursuing me.
I was that one lost sheep.
Lost and Found!
Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep. I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. Luke 15: 1-7
He found me, He will find you, just pray and ask.
God took my mess and turned it into His Masterpiece