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Amber's Story

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Amber's Story

I was born in 1988 to an unwed teenage mother, and my biological father was never a part of my childhood. During the first few years of my life, my mother & I lived with my grandparents, they became a fixture throughout my life, my grandma has been a beacon of security for me since the beginning. Around age four my mom re-married, and I was adopted by her husband. For about eight years I had a fairly regular childhood, I played sports, we went to church on Sundays, and spent lots of time with my family, all seemed to be well. Unfortunately, at age 12 all of that changed. My “normal” childhood became instant chaos following a divorce between my parents, changing schools five different times between the 7thgrade and 10thgrade due to multiple moves, and ultimately living on my own by age 15.

 Between the ages of 15 and 18, I began to use drugs and alcohol recreationally to numb the pain of rejection, sadness and a feeling of not being able to find my place between being a child but being treated as an adult. By age 23 my recreational drug use had turnto full blownheroin addiction. I took the path that most addicts take, resisting help, shutting out my family, and letting drugs consume my every thought and action.

 In my mid-20’s I came to a point of complete hopelessness, I was certainly at my weakest (lucky for me, that’s when God was strongest). My actions led me to incarceration, which eventually led me to surrender to treatment for my addiction. During this time of surrenderGod began to move in my life in a way I had never experienced before. He consumed my heart and put back together the pieces that had been shattered for so long through a long-term treatment program called The Potters House. Today, through His amazing grace, He has restored everything the devil sought to steal from me, He has given me an eternal joy and a beautiful family to share my life with. I found my place with a God who loves me unconditionally and has redeemed my soul!

-Amber Lukowski

You are Not Defeated

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You Are Not Defeated

 2 Corinthians 4:8-9:  “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”

 God never said life would be easy.  Life was difficult before we became believers in Christ, and it is possible that our troubles could increase afterward.  The life of the Cross – the life that Jesus told us to live – is not an easy life.  The path we are on can be troublesome at times, though it leads to glory, it will likely contain some pain before we get there.  Jesus’s life and the life of his apostles confirmed that the Christian walk is not a casual and comfortable life.

 The world’s trials complicate our lives and trouble touches us all.  When we face trials and then ever more hardship comes our way, we can easily get discouraged.  It can be overwhelming.  We have not been redeemed for a life of comfort – at least not in this life.

 But life’s troubles and hardships cannot crush the Holy Spirit that lives within you.  Life may try, but it can’t.  The temporary things of this life cannot overcome the eternal things which God has established.  God lives in us through His Holy Spirit.  When trials hit, the Holy Spirit does not leave us.  He actually demonstrates his strength in these times and really shines even brighter.

 Through the mercy of God, which Paul discusses in 2 Corinthians 4, we will not be overcome.  When you feel overwhelmed, remember to hold onto the Holy Spirit’s strength.  Be intentional and focus on the hope He has placed within you through His Spirit.

 How can you do that?  By refusing discouragement.  Discouragement does not reflect truth.  The truth that we know is that God has saved us, continues to save and always will save us.  Jesus is our Defender, our Savior and Lord – and He is faithful always.  Life’s hardships are no match for the power of the Holy Spirit living in you.

Posted by Todd Bryant with