What my Lord and Savior did for me!
by Ian Hanna
I would like share with the world what my Lord and Savior did for me, how He set me free from the bondage of sin and death and gave me the faith to fellowship and pray to the God
of the Universe. God came to me using a human being. He could have used a donkey, but He chose to use a human. I once read somewhere that if you're looking to the sky you're going
to miss God because He uses humans. There is a lot to that. This is the story of how He set me free and gave me a new life so I can walk with Him.
In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon talks about how he built buildings, chased after women and did whatever he could think of to find meaning and enjoyment. But it was all meaningless. After going through all
of that he found the only thing worth it was fearing God and keeping his commandments. That was all that mattered. And that was before Jesus came to die for our sins! How much
better for us now that we have peace with God through the blood of Christ?
I was raised in a middle class family. I grew up with every thing I needed, but there always was a longing in my life, a part of me was empty. I started trying to fill it with
pornography and video games. At school I would tell horrendous lies to make it look like my life was exciting. I had the same void in my life as Solomon did. I thought that maybe
having a girlfriend, getting the newest video game, or being accepted by my peers would somehow make my life complete. It never did, so I kept looking for things to fulfill my
Eventually I started using drugs and alcohol and they would make the emptiness go away for a while. The alcohol would give me courage around big groups of people to interact,
(normally I was afraid of people), but it would leave me feeling sick in the mornings. The pot would dull the world around me, but I would also be really paranoid about what to say
My parents sent me to a psychiatrist to get medications which I would turn around and use to get high. I would lie to the doctor to get higher doses of drugs which I would share
with my friends when we were drinking. Eventually, I started using cocaine because I thought it would make me accepted by a group of friends. It did, only because I was splitting
the bill. I was working two jobs and ended up loosing both of them. A good portion of my money went towards drugs and alcohol and somewhere in the drug abuse and drinking I had a
DWI. This wasn't enough to get me to quit drinking for good.
Eventually I ended up going to rehab, but this was really just because I had lost my job and I didn't want my parents to kick me out of the house. After I had dropped out of rehab
I ended up going to a Religious recovery program. It didn't really help at that time because I wasn't trying to get a hold of God. I was trying to make my parents happy.
Shortly after I started to abuse leftover supplies of aderall, a form of amphetamine. It wasn't too long after that I was smoking pot again. One night while stoned I drove onto
train tracks and my car got demolished by a train. Shortly afterwards my parents caught me smoking pot in their basement and kicked me out of the house. They agreed to let me and a
couple of friends stay in one of their apartments. We used a lot of drugs and drank quite frequently. I really grew to hate both of my roommates. Now I can thank God for both of
them, but at the time I would blame them for my problems and shortcomings.
Eventually I tried to get sobered up at an AA hall and ended up reacquainting myself with someone I knew from rehab and he agreed to sponsor me. (In AA the older members help the
younger ones stay off of alcohol by helping them work through a twelve step program.) It turned out that he was a Christian and not the sort of one you see every Sunday sitting in
a pew and tithing his 10 percent. He was someone who actually knew God and wanted to follow him. I had always thought that salvation was through the Roman Catholic Church and so I
was ok with God because I was baptized Catholic. I thought it was ok that I did drugs and all manner of evil because I was Catholic. It turned out I was wrong and that salvation
only comes through faith in Jesus Christ and that's what the word of God says. One night my sponsor point blank said, “I don't think you're really saved. Would you like to accept
the Lord?” I ended up getting saved and for the first time in my life I felt Love and Joy and Peace.
After I got saved I told most of the people that I knew that Jesus was real, that there was salvation of sins, and that God was real. At the same time I was going to a religious
Christian recovery group's meetings but it never did feel right. In hind sight I can see that it wasn't the place where God wanted me to go to be strengthened in His Word. All I
really did was pick up false doctrine. If I would have prayed about it the Lord would have shown me where He wanted me to fellowship and learn. It would have been much easier. The
Lord though in His mercy has since brought me to the body He wanted me to fellowship with and be raised up in the ways of righteousness and His Word.
Shortly thereafter, my AA sponsor got in contact with the ministry that he had left when he had fallen away from God and started drinking again, but that is his story to tell, not
mine. He was invited to come back to the ministry and later I was invited to fellowship with them also. Unlike the three others churches I had gone to this one actually felt right.
Eventually, I moved, joined in the work of the ministry and have been taught about our Lord and Savior. There have been ups and downs in my walk with God and there has been deep
conviction of sin. But through it all, God has been there to turn to and the body of believers He's given me has been there, forgiving, correcting and encouraging me every step of
Glory, Honor, and Praise to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, now and forevermore.