Jolene's Story

Share:

Growing up I didn’t drink or smoke, because I didn’t hang out with people who did until I went to college in 2008. I started hanging out with my sisters and they got me into drinking and smoking and hanging out with the wrong people. We went to this one house party one weekend and I don’t remember being there even half an hour because they were serving straight shots.

I had nothing besides alcohol that whole night, and I don’t remember what happened. I do remember being in a small room with four or five guys, and I don’t know what happened exactly. I remembered that I was naked and there were men around me. I felt so dirty.

I went home the next evening and I called my sister and asked her what happened. My sister told me that one of the guys had AIDS. My sister said it was all my fault because I didn’t listen to them about drinking too much. I felt disgusted with myself and wanted to take my life. So I called my Mom and I told her that I didn’t want to live any more; I felt used and not worth living. I didn’t feel loved, and I didn’t want to keep feeling that way. I thought I would be that way for a while, but luckily I had family around to help me deal with depression.

A couple of weeks later I went to the hospital and I was checked for any STDs or AIDS. They said I was negative for them, which made me feel a little bit better about myself. I quit going to house parties, but the drinking didn’t stop. I ended up dating and being in relationships because I didn’t like the feeling of being alone. Nothing filled that void in my heart.

I went home for Christmas break and I went to visit my cousin who was talking to me about Jesus and the Bible. While we were doing Bible study together, she asked if I had accepted Jesus into my life. I told her, “Yeah, but that was when I was a kid.” Then when I prayed the salvation prayer with her, I felt a little bit better knowing that there was a person who died for my sins and loved me for even my past.

I went back to college and I realized that I didn’t want to be drinking any more, and I didn’t want to keep living that life. I made a resolution on New Year’s Eve to stay sober for a year. I kept telling my friends, “It’s impossible. I’ve been drinking for so many years. I don’t know how I’m going to do it.” I also took a break from college and I went home because I was going to join the Air Force. I spent time with family and, throughout that time being home, I was going to church every Sunday. I started going to Bible study more often and then worshipped God more, so that helped me to keep being sober and keep my commitment.

Throughout the years after that night, Jesus has helped me to understand that through Him all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). Jesus led me to a verse, which became my life verse. It gives me comfort knowing that even though this sad night happened, He will use it for good. “But Joseph said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives’” (Genesis 50:19-20).

I didn’t know that there would be others who went through the same thing I did until I traveled with ‘On Eagles Wings.’ Through these warriors and their strong faith in Christ, it helped me to want to know more about who Jesus is and I have seen the strength these warriors found in Him. They had strength to share their hope story with boldness. Being on this team, helped me to open up and really be used by Jesus, to help those who need a Savior.

The difference between me and someone who has gone through the same thing I went through, is knowing that there was hope in Jesus who died on the cross for that single sin. He is helping me to make a difference for Him by attending a Bible College instead of joining the Military life. I always wanted to join, but one day while I was speaking to a former military soldier, Jesus revealed a verse that changed my mind.

That verse says, “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12). Jesus was continuing to speak to me daily through the Bible. It has been a struggle accepting that joining the military is not in my path, but through trusting Jesus, His way will be my path and I want to be His tool and live my life for Him instead of myself.

Since I have chosen to live for Him, I have been sober for over two years. I wanted to be sober for myself, but throughout that year of trying to be sober, He showed me that I should be sober for Him. I give praise to Jesus for making it possible to stay sober, for Him, my family and myself. Throughout being sober, I’ve come to realize that through God’s own eyes, I am still a virgin and loved for who I am. Despite the wrongdoings in my life, I am forgiven.

I also chose to be pure sexually until marriage. Jesus has helped me to realize another verse, that He created me in His image. “So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27).

Even though things seem hopeless, give your life to Jesus. That will be the best sacrifice you will ever make—freedom from a life of abuse, misunderstanding, and regret. I pray you see this hope I found through my Savior and that you receive Him into your heart as well. His forgiveness is beyond our finite minds.