*This is a guest post written by M. Ogle

When I was young I was abused.  I was all alone and confused. No one was there to stop the abuse, so I started to use drugs thinking, "What's the use?" I grew up thinking things would be different, but people are all the same. They just want to abuse you and add to your pain.  So I used drugs thinking, "What's the use with all this abuse?"

I ask for help, but people look the other way saying I'm just making an excuse to use drugs. People don't realize that I am dying inside, and I am an empty shell walking through life praying to God. I would die because of all the pain I feel inside, but still people look the other way. So now I think that I will never escape this abuse, so I still use drugs thinking, "What's the use?"

Now I am sitting in this empty cell realizing I am not alone. God has been here all along. How did I not see him? He has been screaming my name saying, "I'm here. Just look.  I have never left you." Now I see the Lord has been standing here the whole time holding his hand out to save me.

Thank you, Lord, for saving me. Now that I am finally free, I have true inner peace. Thank you, Lord, for this gift. What great joy you bring. Before I was full of pain.  How glorious you are, Lord!  I praise you that I have been saved and born again through you. Thank you, Jesus.  Once I was in darkness, but You brought me back to light.  What else can I say but, "You came to save!"

NOTE:  My friend, Stephanie, spent some time in the hole with Ms. Ogle and asked me to read what she had written. I was moved to tears and given permission to share this. What touched me the most was how she was looking for help while others turned away.

Have I done that to someone? Has God brought someone across my path, and I have looked the other way because I don't associate with people like him/her? Is God using someone else, because I am not available?

How do you answer these questions?  Let us remember that Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost.  Jesus spent a lot of his time on earth with sinners and publicans, while the religious folks avoided them because they were too sinful.  Just some thoughts to reflect on. . . .


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