Hi, my name is Linda and I'm 37 years old. On October 12, 1986 I was saved from a life of alcohol, prositution and addiction to both cocaine and heroin.
My father and I didn't have a real good relationship. I left home at the age of eleven. I spent a lot of time hitchhiking around the country, doing drugs and whatever else I needed to do to survive.
At the age of 32, I had a bad addiction to heroin and was prostituting to supply that habit. I was arrested one too many times and was given the choice of going to jail or the Christian program, Youth Challenge. I had done time in jail before, and knew I could breeze through that, so I chose Youth Challenge.
At that time I was so tired of living in a deep pit. I decided that giving God a chance might prove to be worth it. It was the best decision I've ever made. God has made me a new creature and I can't praise Him enough for that. I now live my life to the fullest, sometimes moment by moment, and commit every day to the Lord.
Nine months after I went into Youth Challenge I tested HIV positive. I am now living with AIDS.
When I first found out I was HIV positive, I did some backsliding; not being able to figure out why God had allowed this to happen when I had turned my life around and was living for Him. I got beaten up badly in a drug deal and it took a month in the hospital and three trips to surgery before it finally came to me that God had taken a death sentence to give me life.
God's grace has been sufficient for me. I have really bad days when I literally have to pray myself out of bed, but as Luke 1:37 says: Nothing is impossible with God (NIV). I learned that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13).
God has blessed me with a speaking ministry where I go into churches and schools and give my testimony, praying and hoping that one person will be affected by it.
I always felt like I had a piece of the puzzle missing in my life and tried to fill that void with alcohol, sex, and drugs. It wasn't until that glorious day in October that the void was finally filled. The Lord has filled me with His love in ways I could never even imagine. John 3:16 says: For God so loved the world that He gave His only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life (NIV). What a gift that is!
I can't wait for the day that the Lord calls me home. Until then I'll do my best, by the grace of God, to continue the work He has planned for my life. I'll continue to make the most of the life that God has so graciously given me because as it says in Psalm 116:1,2: I love the Lord, for He heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy. Because He turned His ear to me I will call on Him as long as I live (NIV). God Bless!J