July 07, 2021 THE MMA TEAM

Seeking God is only something I’ve begun to do more recently in my life. Although I’ve been a believer in the redeeming power of Jesus for over 20 years, I didn’t live a life that truly reflected the change in my heart.

Sure, I made the changes on the outside, stopped cursing, and watching TV shows that weren’t edifying, and started listening to Christian music. All of which did reflect the work God was doing in me, but at that point in my walk, I was not pursuing God. By pursuing God I mean that I was not actively seeking or spending time with Him. 

The idea of reading the Bible was boring and monotonous to me. My prayers hit a ceiling and I just knew God didn’t hear them. I attended various Bible Studies at church, but never followed through. 

In the midst of all this, a life changing event happened.  My brother, Eric, was killed. He was an innocent bystander in a shooting that was covered on the news for months. My sweet precious brother who had been born with disabilities and who had overcome so many odds, the life of the party, the one who choose people over everything else, was gone. In an instant. Forever.  

I couldn’t believe that the thing that happened to “other people,” a one-in-a-million “chance” was happening to me and my family. I still remember news reporters outside the hospital who wanted a statement from us. It was truly surreal and forever devastating. It was a moment when I realized life was short. We aren’t promised tomorrow. 

It was also a time that I very clearly felt the grace and love of God. He surrounded me and my family in the midst of the trauma and in the midst of the depression that followed.

My faith grew immensely during that time. It was what got me through. Relying on God to carry me. That was the beginning of me trusting God in a new way. While I still didn’t seek Him daily or deeply, I knew He was there and I believed His plans were good no matter what the circumstances. 

At that time I would have told you my faith was strong, but my personal relationship was weak. 

It continued to weaken after that because of my drinking. Lots and lots of wine. It started out as a couple glasses a night for many years. Then went to three to four. Then more than a bottle a night on a regular basis. And when you’re drinking that much, who has time, energy, or mental clarity for God? I certainly didn’t.

During that time, I still went to church, listened to Christian music, and prayed that God would deliver me from my addiction, one that my father had died from. I didn’t feel God had left me, but I also did not feel that God was going to deliver me. 

I recently read a journal entry from that season of my life where I prayed from Psalm 18 that God would “turn my darkness into light” and make this horrible consuming irrational addiction go away. It was hard to look at that journal entry and remember the depth of my despair and to remember feeling like God wasn’t going to intervene.

Months went on and still I struggled. In fact, I was almost resigned to the fact that this was the way I was going to die too, like my dad. I had absolutely no control over it even though I willed and prayed myself to stop, I couldn’t.

Finally, months later, my miracle came, in the form of a now sober friend who gave me hope and guidance that made me believe I could finally quit. And with some outside help, I did. 

I have now been sober for over 2 years and what God has done in those 2 years is absolutely astounding to me.

First it began with me deciding to spend time with the Lord. Making a choice that I was going to seek Him regularly. Regularly, turned into daily, and daily turned into multiple times a day. Now, not only is my faith strong, so is my personal relationship. 

It’s been a long journey, but now I love being with the Lord. Praying, reading His word, meditating in stillness, and reading books others have written about Him. I also love sharing what I’ve learned.

In this special quiet time with God, He has revealed more and more of His plans for my life and I’ve taken up the call. Most specifically, He’s called me to speak Biblical truth with love into our culture today and build up other Christian women to do the same.

Our culture, even among some Christians, seeks to make God’s truth a thing of the past, seeks to discredit His word of truth, the Bible, and say it’s not relevant anymore. It’s imperative that as Believers we walk in truth and love and that means accepting, believing, and living in a way that God has called us to.

His way is narrow and His truth divides. We are called to something higher when we accept Him as our Savior. 

I can say now that God answered my prayer from Psalm 18 to “turn my darkness into light.” He is FAITHFUL even when it feels like He’s not listening or intervening. He is. Not on my timetable. Not the way I thought He would, but in a way that was better. A way that was best. 

And He has BIG PLANS for His children. He doesn’t call us to live the mediocre life, He calls us to live the abundant life. It’s through our struggles, trials, and suffering that we can more clearly see His hand on our lives, when we know that our life is no longer our own, and that He holds us in the palm of His hand. It’s not in spite of those things, it’s because of those things. 

Best of all, He can take the most broken of us, and because of our brokenness, surrender, and dependence, He can use us most brilliantly for His glory. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”

That’s what I’m living and believing in today. I hope you’ll join me.

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  • Micki Bowers

    Jul 09, 2021

    What an extraordinary testimony, Andrea. You have been through some firey hoops and braved some truly terrible storms. Yet, God leaned into you and you into Him, and now this fantastic new season has started. One which blesses so many. Thank you for always speaking Biblical truth with such authenticity, love, and grace. I know it’s not always easy, but it is so deeply necessary.

  • Kerri Hupp

    Jul 07, 2021

    Love your vulnerability, Andrea, and can’t wait to see your story continue to unfold!

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