“For with God nothing [is or ever] shall be impossible.” Luke 1:37 Amplified Bible
My journey from lost sheep to surrendered follower of the One who makes all things possible has taken many years. In spite of witnessing how Christ miraculously transformed my parents’ hearts and lives, I walked away from the Lord, abandoned my childhood faith and embraced the things of this world.
Over the years, when I got into trouble and had nowhere else to turn, I sought after Jesus. I attended church, read my Bible and prayed but I refused to turn away from the sin in my life and give my heart to Christ.
Five years ago, my husband passed away after a long and painful battle with cancer. My life and the lives of my children imploded. I fell into the most horrific pit. It was full of death, grief, illness, and trauma. I used cigarettes and alcohol to try to numb the pain as I fell deeper and deeper into the abyss.
In time, I hit rock bottom. I realized that if I wanted to stay alive and be the mother my children needed me to be, I could no longer ignore their pleas to stop drinking and smoking. I knew I could not stop on my own. Completely exhausted, defeated and barely surviving, I cried out to Jesus for help. I asked Him to forgive me and I surrendered my heart and life to Christ.
“He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.” Psalm 40:2-3 NLT
Jesus lifted me out of that pit and freed me from the chains of addiction. He carefully uncovered the wounds beneath it. The Lord started healing my broken heart. He gave me the strength and the grace to parent two grieving teens alone while enduring physical and mental illness. He gave me the courage to walk away from unhealthy relationships and process the trauma from a sexual assault. God’s forgiveness and mercy allowed me to forgive others and myself. His love and the power of His Holy Spirit made it possible for me to let go of my shame, guilt and regret.
Christ replaced my desire for cigarettes with a yearning to know Him more, to share His message of salvation with others and to live a life that is pleasing to Him.
Where there was once fear, anger and hopelessness there is now peace, joy and hope. My desperate cry for help has become a song of praise for God’s healing love, amazing grace, endless mercy, and never-ending strength.
“I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.]” Philippians 4:13 AMP
Because of Christ, I am able to do what was once impossible; thrive in the midst of grief and illness. Jesus is not done with me yet. He continues to heal, refine and purify my heart and life.
Jesus is not done with you either. He loves you. No matter what you have done or where you have been, He is able to forgive your sin, heal your wounds and redeem your past. Nothing is impossible for God! He longs to have a relationship with you. All you need to do is call out to Jesus, ask Him to be the leader of your life, and surrender all to Him. He will set you free and make all things new!
“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT
Alison Kozlow is a Christ follower, writer, widow and full-time mom to two teenage boys. By God’s grace, she is thriving in the midst of loss and chronic illness. Ali loves reading, journaling, taking nature walks, and sipping on a steaming cup of coffee. Ali’s greatest passion is sharing her love for Jesus with others. She lives in Northern Ontario, Canada. Alison invites you to connect with her at https://www.facebook.com/alikozlowwriter and https://www.instagram.com/alikozlow/?hl=en.
We thank you, Alison, for sharing your heart and your Testimony of GOD’s love and grace in your life. Your contribution to Testimony Thursday this month is well appreciated!
You are loved to Heaven and Back, Alison ~~
LindaRJohnson, TitusTwo Visionary