…continued from Monday
Maybe someone did reach out to help Joyce during her teen years – a house manager in a foster home or an officer in juvenile detention. Joyce does not recall. What she does know is that she believed the lie that she was worthless. Substance abuse lead to addiction. Juvenile detention lead to prison. And the bad choices as a teen lead to a reckless life as an adult, with no real home or stability to slow down the chaos of her life. “I was in shambles, a mess, a wreck,” Joyce says. “I lived for whatever drug would alter my mind. I was in total despair, worthless, meaningless . . .”
But then her life was brought to a screeching halt, by a coma. Waking up from two months in a coma caused Joyce to pause, and then think, “This is the last straw.” But, what really caused Joyce to say “enough!”? It takes more than fear of death for someone like Joyce to change. What gave her the hope and courage that she could change her life?
God was pursuing Joyce. Prior to being in a coma, Joyce was in a prison term for several years with a woman who trusted her life to Jesus. This woman, Joyce’s friend, began speaking truth to Joyce, telling her that God loves her, and that Jesus is the way out of the life she is living. God’s love and truth began to soften Joyce’s heart and give her hope.
And that is why I dedicate my life to creating places and programs for someone like Joyce. Joyce may not deserve our sympathy, but God loves her nonetheless. God loves us all, even though we cannot earn His love or deserve love.
The story of how God redeems Joyce is a beautiful story. But this was just the beginning.