Before I knew Jesus, I always considered myself to be a “spiritual” person with a very active prayer life. I truly felt closely connected to God. But looking back at my life, I can clearly see through my poor choices and disastrous life decisions, that I was not. That’s not to say that my Heavenly Father wasn’t looking out for me. He was. He was always calling to me. But without a relationship with Jesus, I was not following the road that God had paved for me and the consequences were devastating, almost deadly.
Now that I am born into new life, I know I must leave the past behind. It is a challenge, though, not to look back at my former life and not be overcome with anguish and regret. While feeling trapped in the prison of anorexia, grief, guilt, worthlessness, and fear, I wasted two decades of my life shrinking, literally and figuratively, away from what God had designed for me to be and do. I unintentionally and selfishly hurt many people along my path of self-destruction and self-hatred. And I wasted so many opportunities to bring love and light to others by spreading the good news of the Lord, Jesus Christ.
But Jesus never gave up on me. He weaved my life with my now husband’s life through many years, after having planted that seed to grow before I ever could have imagined the great love story he had in store for us. I never could have survived the darkest of moments, lying in bed on the brink of death at 63 pounds, without the powerful love and support from Shon, who was ultimately the expression of God’s love for me. And when I came “home” through my faith in Jesus, God blessed me and my husband with two beautiful children who prove to us God’s blessings daily.
I am in infancy in my faith and have so much growth to experience. I struggle most days feeling the devil trying to fight for my soul and lead me back into old thoughts and behaviors. But through the love of my husband and brothers and sisters in Christ, the Lord keeps me moving forward as he continues to mold, redeem, and sanctify me.
-Ann Marie Hopwood