Restoration: A short story by Shubricca L Bell

I couldn’t wait until I turned eighteen. I was determined to do whatever the hell I felt like. I was going to smoke weed all day and turn up every night. I’d graduated high school, I was paying my own bills, so why not? I didn’t see a problem with living what I called “my best life,” until I woke up twenty years later reaping the consequences of my past decisions.

I’ve always known the Word of God, it was something my parents instilled in me since before I was born. I had gotten saved when I was a toddler. In elementary and middle school, I would read my Bible daily. I’ve always loved God. I wish that I could paint a beautiful picture of me having no flaws, but that would be a lie, and I would not have a testimony.

You see, my testimony is what makes my story beautiful. I was that lost teenager who’d suffered heartbreak in the worse way. I’d lost my dad when I was fifteen and the way that I dealt with my pain was to smoke, drink and even become promiscuous with several people… boys, girls, men, women… it didn’t matter. I rebelled against my mother and I rebelled against God. I was angry, sad and lost.

I didn’t know that time would go by so fast. At first I was young and “enjoying life” partying, getting high and getting off… then one day I woke up and I was thirty eight with not a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of. I’d see some high school friends who were really living their best life, buying homes, getting married, raising families and loving their careers… meanwhile I was looking broke, busted and disgusted because every dollar I had was spent clubbing and getting high for twenty years! Imagine what I could’ve done with that money had I invested it into buying a home, going to school or by simply operating in my talent. I hit a low point, but the thing about rock bottom is, you can only go up!..

I made a decision to go to God first. I had to repent, because my way of coping with my dad’s death wasn’t working. It had only brought more misery and the thing is, I was comfortable in my misery for two decades. The drugs didn’t work, partying didn’t work, sleeping around didn’t work… I was still empty on the inside.

The thing about God is… He was always there. When He said, “I will never leave or forsake you,” He meant it! He didn’t run off when I was angry at Him for taking my dad. He didn’t deny me when I went astray. His love for me never failed me.

There are some things I’ve been through that should have killed me, but God! He made a promise to me that my present day glory will be greater than that of my past -Haggai 2:9. Today, I have been drug and alcohol free for a year, and I’ve rededicated my life to the Lord. Mind, heart, body and soul. I’ve also been celibate for eight months. I’m a work in progress, but I’m telling you that I have so much more peace.

I’d been searching for this peace for decades but I was trying to attain it my way, when God was right there the whole time. Had I taken a better road for my life, there’s no telling the success I’d have. I wasted a lot of years, but God is right on time, and I am confident that His love will get me on track. I’m just taking things one day at a time and completely placing my burdens in His hands. Oh, I finally have my own home! Yes, God blessed me with an amazing job and I was able to purchase a house. This is only the beginning for me, and I’m excited! I can’t wait to see where He takes me. I’m saying all of this to let you know that if you’re tired of doing things your way, surrender your all to God because He cares for you! He loves you unconditionally and wants what’s best for you. He doesn’t want you to live defeated and alone, He wants to fill you with His Spirit and give you peace and joy you’ve never known. When you decide to trust Him with your pain, He can heal you, set you free and deliver you, and His favor will do things for you that you could never accomplish on your own. ❤️

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