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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Abundance (06/08/06)

TITLE: The Good Life
By Doreen Hammond


My life before Christ seems like such a long time ago. Thin, hungry, strung out on drugs, I often wondered where my next meal would come from. Married and unhappy, the house we lived in had no electricity because we spent our money on dope. My now deceased ex-husband used car batteries to give us enough light to get a shower or wash the dishes.

We put a couple pieces of the living room pit group in the corner of the kitchen so we could sit in there and use the gas oven for heat. We closed off the rest of the house.

I could make a twenty dollar bill feed us for a week, buying the basics, red beans, rice, potatoes, and bread. Becoming an expert at making water gravy took a bit of time to master, but it paid off. Since we hardly ever had meat to gather grease from, I had to improvise, hence…water gravy. It worked okay. We had several ways to eat beans too, refried, fried, mashed or slow cooked.

Was I living the abundance kind of life? Not hardly. I hated every minute of it. That wasn’t the way I was raised. I grew up in middle class, with hot meals for breakfast, parents that worked and meat and potatoes for supper. We had lights and heat, blankets, clean clothes and food. What was I doing living like this?

I had lived my life in rebellious pursuit of self will run riot and look where it got me. Help is what I needed, but how does a stubborn, unruly nineteen year old ask for it? She doesn’t. Just give her some more rope, eventually, it will run out, which is exactly what happened with me.

Disgusted, disappointed and confused, I finally hit my bottom. Breaking away from the bondage, I reached out to my Aunt and asked her to help me. She agreed to take me to AA where I was able to get a handle on sobriety. My life got better. Having a healthy body, regular meals, and sleep I became a productive member of society. Working full time was actually good for me.

Yes, my life changed and I didn’t have to live wondering where my next meal was coming from, but it was still very much empty and unsatisfied. It took several years before I met Jesus. When He came into my heart, my whole outlook, attitude and approach to life changed. Problems and struggles somehow got easier to bare. Maybe it was knowing that I wasn’t baring them alone or maybe it was knowing that He bore much worse. Either way, it was never as bad as it used to be when I was drinking and drugging. Life never got so bad I wanted to stick a needle in my arm again. I just reached out to my Savior, Jesus for help.

I know I don’t have a lot of money or riches or a big fancy house, or even many friends, but I have the love of God Almighty, the forgiveness of sin and life everlasting. To me, that means having an abundance of life. The friends I do have are genuine, my family honors me and what I do (my writing) and most of what I have I own out right. Life is good.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Lisa Vest06/16/06
From the heart, your piece does a good job of showing the contrast of life before and after Jesus and how he can brings abundance into one's life. I would like to have had a little more detail on the "after" side, but perhaps that pesky word limit confined you. Good writing with an raw honesty that touches the reader.
dub W06/19/06
Powerful testimony. Probably, the word limit caused you to clip some of the story, and a couple of sentences needed help. But, all in all, this is one that should be read to a senior high youth group.