One Thing Worth Pursuing

Welcome to Real Life. Lately, I reconnected with my past.

I took Bob’s daughter to lunch. Bob and I ran in the same crowd as teenagers. Sadly, he died of cancer seven years ago. It was sweet to see his face, especially those hazel eyes, echoed in his daughter's face. Then, a few weeks ago I found Gary on Facebook, another friend from my teenage years. These connections reminded me of the Peggi I was long ago. She’s someone I often forget.
But you are the ones chosen by God …
to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you— from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.[1]
My Best Friend Annette and I (both age 13)

Unfortunately, as a teenager, everything I did seemed more fun when I was high on drugs. It added an element of excitement. I felt cool doing something illegal, slightly dangerous, and getting away with it.

As the youngest of four siblings, when they all began using alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs, I inevitably followed. At twelve, I was introduced to marijuana. A year later, I tried acid at an Edgar Winter concert.[2] Rock idols like David Bowie, Todd Rundgren, and Lou Reed accompanied us as we passed joints (marijuana cigarettes) in basements lined with black light posters.

Thankfully, the thrill of drug-use faded while I was still young. “Is this all life has to offer?” I wondered at sixteen. I was in high school deciding on a future career. I didn’t want to waste my life. I wanted to invest it in something worthwhile. But nothing seemed worth my time and energy. I felt lost, directionless.

During that time, my brother Joe graduated and joined the Army. He was sent to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, smack in the middle of the Bible belt. There he found Jesus. Talk about transformation. On Friday nights, instead of enjoying drunken brawls, Joe met friends for Bible study. I couldn’t deny the miracle. While home on leave, he gave me his military-issue Gideon’s Bible. After he left, I opened it to the book of Revelation.[3] But what I read totally confused me. So, I tucked the Bible in the back of my dresser drawer.

However, my interest was peaked. I began visiting churches. One Sunday, a pastor talked from a passage in the Bible. It was the first time I heard someone speak purely from God’s Word. It was different than someone giving their opinion. It had authority. I recognized it was the truth. The pastor talked about Jesus' death on the cross as a bridge to God. At the close of the service, I knelt at the altar. I asked Jesus to come into my heart.

From that moment, everything changed. The next morning on the school bus, a friend offered me a free Black Beauty.[4] I refused it. He was shocked! I never smoked another marijuana joint. I didn't want it anymore. Knowing Jesus was a natural, joyful high. His Spirit inspired new desires in me. I devoured my Bible. I wanted to learn more about God. I loved church. I started leading a Bible study in my high school. I found the one thing worth pursuing—Jesus!

And Peggi lived happily ever after. Well not exactly. Real life is no fairy tale. But through every up and down, Jesus is my solid rock. He's loved me and given me a life worth living. And the best is yet to come.
… the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. ... But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world … had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.[5]

Take it further...
  • If you want to know Jesus, a simple prayer can change everything.
    Dear Jesus, be merciful to me, a sinner. Please forgive me. Come into my heart and make me new. I want to live for you. Amen.
  • Talk to someone about Jesus. Call 1-888-NEED HIM or find more info at www.needhim.org.
  • Read John's Gospel.

[1] 1 Peter 2:9-10 The Message
[2] Edgar Winter, 1973 at Massillon Tiger Stadium
[3] At the time, everyone was talking about Revelation and the end of the world. Revelation is a book of prophecy which is difficult for many Christians to understand, much less someone who’s never read the Bible.
[4] An amphetamine
[5] Closing lines of The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis

Comments

  1. Hi Peggi,
    You are a living testimony of the grace of God and how it changes people. Thank you for sharing your conversion in your blog. I, too, have a story about God's grace and his goodness. It is wonderful that we who have been turned around to see the light can make a difference by our obedience to his word.
    Very tasteful and nicely written blog post calling people to Christ.
    Ciao,
    Patricia

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  2. Beautiful just beautiful brought me to tears. You truly have a gift of writing.

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  3. Thanks, Stef. This blog was hard to write. There were so many different aspects/stories in how I came to know Jesus that it was hard to know what to focus on. So, I really appreciate your encouragement!

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  4. Peggi, this was wonderful!! You were lucky to have the good sense at a young age to turn your life around--so many don't. I think I bloggered your post to my blog--thought I hit twitter, but I did sent it to twitter and fb.

    Micki

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  5. Hi Patricia,
    Thank you for your beautiful comment! I really wrestled with this blog - so I appreciate your encouragement. Sometime, I hope I'll have the privilege of hearing your story of grace. It (God's grace) is certainly evident in all you write, Patricia.

    BTW - my brother Joe (and his wife) was stationed in Stuttgart for 2 years with the military. His daughter was born there. They liked Germany and enjoyed traveling Europe while living there. Thanks again! Peggi

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  6. Hi Micki,
    Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and comment - so kind of you! Yes, I am VERY grateful that I came to Christ at a young age. Peggi

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  7. I love life-changing stories like this! Thanks so much for sharing your story with us and thanks, Micki, for guiding us to Peggi's blog!

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  8. I think, this is some really life changing story - and a very special one. I can feel how important this is to you.

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  9. Thanks, Raani. I appreciate your kind words!

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  10. Hi Sandra - thanks for taking the time to read "my story." :) I'm glad you liked it.

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  11. Hi there,

    Since I like your blog so much, I've "tagged" you in a little game on mine:

    http://raaniyork.wordpress.com/2012/04/04/eleven-questions-whos-in/

    Hope you're having a wonderful week!

    ReplyDelete

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