Changed from the inside out!
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17)
I want to share some steps to being truly changed from the inside out. I also want you to know that they work – because they worked for me. In order to show you how God has changed me from the inside out I need to go back to the beginning.
I was born to an alcoholic father and a fragile mother. Though when I was three they both entered self-help programs and thankfully today my dad is still sober (and my hero) and mom is a very strong and courageous woman. I grew up in Melbourne and when I was 13 we moved to Brisbane. Where I attended an elite private girls’ school and then at the end of Grade ten I decided to change schools to focus on film and media. I had dreams and visions of being a great film director.
The school that I changed to was well known for reasons other than its great film and media department. It was also known for the students taking drugs and being in gangs and having guns at school. So obviously my parents, who had raised me to be a good kid of great morals, expressed grave concerns. I put them at ease by telling them to, “have a little faith in me”. They let me go to the school but only because they knew how passionate I was about film and they wanted to help me pursue my dreams.
I made it through to almost the end of Grade 12 before trying drugs. And that was only once I had completed all of my schoolwork for the year and I felt as though I could relax, comfortable that I had the results to get me into a university.
For the first year at university I experimented more and more with drugs ranging from marijuana, acid trips, speed and ecstasy. My work started to slip and I started also slacking off at my job. I had worked in a cinema from the age of 15. I used to sit in a clean and empty cinema and imagine my pictures up on the big screen. Amazing how our focus can shift so easily isn’t it?
Early into my second year at university doing my Bachelor of Arts degree I fell out of one unhealthy relationship into another one with a guy that was known to be a heroin addict. All of my friends told me to be careful or I would end up a heroin addict “junkie” as well. I think a part of me thought that I could rescue him from himself.
Sadly within a short time I had fallen pregnant and had decided to have an abortion. I didn’t know God and I had no concept that growing inside of me was a life. I was so self-obsessed that all I cared about was me and my life.
After the abortion I entered a very dark and lonely place and I saw my boyfriend taking heroin and entering nothingness very easily. I knew that was what I wanted. I eventually talked him into giving me some. Sadly, I loved the void that it created in my heart and mind. I could live in nothingness and experience no pain, no guilt, and no anger – just nothing.
Within a few short weeks I was using heroin everyday. Within months I had no money or possessions left. I soon also had no friends or family left that I hadn’t taken money from. I was trapped and alone, with seemingly no way out.
I started to steal from my work but one day was fired and told by my boss to “please go to rehab”. The problem was I was so caught up in my addiction lifestyle that I couldn’t see that I was a full blown “junkie”.
I got home and made one phone call to an escort agency. I started work as a prostitute that night. I had entered the darkest, loneliest most soul-destroying time of my life, and I could see no way out.
I worked as a prostitute every night for 12 months, earning and using anything up to $1000 a day on heroin. Until one night my mom showed up at my door. She told me that she had been searching the death notices for my name. She cried and told me to get some help.
I struggled in my own strength for the next 18 months to get clean from drugs. Until one day my mom walked in on me in a bathroom trying to shoot up pills because I hadn’t had any heroin that day. She told me that I had no chances left; I had to seek help straight away and follow through with it.
I found a doctor who ‘happened’ to be Christian and he told me that I had a hole in my soul that could only be filled with Jesus. I thought he was crazy, I had no idea how right he was.
So I entered a Christian rehab and within weeks found myself giving my entire life over to Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I then depended on His strength not mine. That was 6 years ago, in July 1999.
The steps that God showed me back then still work in my life today, when I need to be changed from the inside out. The only difference is now those changes have to do with desiring to be the best wife, mother (I have three gorgeous daughters), friend, daughter, author, speaker, person and princess that I could possibly be. What an awesome God we love and serve.
The steps to being changed from the inside out are:
1. Willingness – to really want to get better in that area in your life
2. Submission – to Jesus Christ as Lord, knowing He does all things well
3. Commitment – to follow through 100%, don’t give up when it gets tough
4. Support – build up a network of people you can trust, you need them!
5. Return – give back to others the help and knowledge that has been given to you
My prayer is that you will follow these steps and share with our Creator in being truly changed forever – from the inside out!
Bronwen shares all in a transparent auto-biography of her life so far in her book Trophy of Grace. Available through her website –www.hopefoundation.org.au