Chris McKinney Personal Testimony
October 16, 2013
For me personally, this is the most important thing I can do on this website. Sharing what God has done in my life is one of the most important ways I can serve God. It's also one of the best blessings I can receive to hear of anyone else being encouraged by my story. I know that it's long, but there are so many important aspects that I did not want to leave out (still, if you don't have much time, you can check out the short version). This will be especially interesting to anyone who has had someone close to them, or has personally experienced struggles with alcohol or other addictions. Thank you for taking the time to let me share what God has done for me.
When I was 18 years old, I somehow became convinced that I was going to die if I didn't change the path I was on. When I look back on everything in my early life and my relationship with God, it's all very confusing. While I had several significant emotional experiences, I don't know when I first received salvation. That's because I was a "believer" as far back as I can remember. I remember as a child falling asleep while praying, pretty much every night. There was a real fear of God and his judgment instilled in me very early in my life. As a young child, I thought that I had to ask God to forgive me for each and every sin I committed. Otherwise, I would end up in hell. That's why I fell asleep praying each night. I was always worried there might be one sin I had forgotten.
By the time I turned 14, I had turned very rebellious. I didn't explicitly question the truth of what I had been taught growing up. But, given that our true beliefs ultimately determine our actions, my behavior suggests that there were serious questions. I began to drink regularly. By the time I was 16, my life revolved around drinking and smoking marijuana. At the age of 18, under serious fear that God's judgment was coming my way, I had an emotional experience at church. I almost immediately ceased any use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs (I think I used alcohol one more time immediately after that and then stopped completely). I stopped having sex, using curse words, and all the other obvious sins.
My life revolved around going to college, church, and being involved with christian college ministries and groups. I had a lot of sins that I had to pay God back for, so I spent most of my time doing just that. If you had asked me if that's what I was doing at the time, I would have told you no. But, it's easy to see in hindsight. The God I thought I knew back then was never pleased with me. He demanded perfection (Matt 5:48). Somehow I completely missed the fact that God already told us that none of us could be perfect on our own, and the only way to "Be perfect" was to be covered by the blood of Jesus. Yes, grace and mercy were just "feel good" words that some people at church threw around. I did not actually understand God to be loving, compassionate, or full of mercy and grace. I felt the weight of a huge debt I owed to God and I worked very hard to pay it off. I felt the need to get people saved wherever I went by talking to them about God. If I was pumping gas, I felt like I was supposed to talk to the person next to me about God. This was a struggle for me as I am naturally introverted.
Eventually, this struggle led to sheer exhaustion and I will never forget what happened next. I was at work in the computer lab at school. I was praying and reading my bible, as was common for me at that time. The struggle began, and I literally closed my bible and said, "God, I'm sorry, but I need a break from all of this." That was it. A week later, with no prayer or feeding my soul with God's word, I found myself on a drinking binge. If only I had known where that decision would lead.
My drinking was always heavier than your average party goer. In spite of that, I had no idea of the destruction it would eventually cause. Though my drinking definitely affected my attendance and focus at school, I still managed to graduate with honors (3.68/4.0) in May of 2003, with a B.S. in Commerce and Business Administration from The University of Alabama. Roll Tide! My major was Finance, and I had a concentration in Investment Management.
Facing a tough job market, I immediately went back into a Master's program in Finance. My drinking continued to progress, and I was barely able to finish the program. But I did manage to finish, and even with decent enough grades (3.4/4.0). It was kind of a blessing and a curse to have always been pretty good at figuring out the answers on tests whether I studied for them or not (that may sound boastful - and it is in a way, but it is also an important aspect of who I am and the road I traveled). But at some point, especially in the Master's program, I really needed to set the bottle down and pick up a book every now and then. There was a time in my spring semester where I really struggled to do that. I began to get my act together in the summer of 2004 and graduated with my Master's in August of 2004. I landed my first job in the wealth management group of a large commercial bank, as an Equity Trader in October, 2004. Later, that position went away and I became a Research Analyst within the same group. I continued to drink heavily on the weekends, but never during the week. I could not find the motivation to try stopping altogether, but I desperately wanted to be successful in my investment management career. Investment management is a very high paying, prestigious profession, and I was quickly making money and success into an idol.
My relationship with God throughout this time was almost non-existent. One minute God seemed very real to me, and the next minute it all seemed like a fairy tale. I seriously questioned the rationality of it all. There were just too many things in the Bible that I found to be problematic. It made absolutely no sense to the rational mind. In a lot of ways, it still doesn't jibe with my human logic. But that's the thing... most of us aren't going to find an infinite God through our very limited ability to think and reason. His ways are beyond our comprehension. So, how could we possibly expect to understand him or deduce answers to the myriad questions we have about him, the world, and our existence?
Instead, we seem to find him when we seek him with all of our heart. That is, our innermost being. But, I was walking in spiritual darkness. I had grown further away from God than I could have ever imagined when I was younger. At times, I got to the point of feeling opposed to God, religion, church, other people, the world, and pretty much everything in existence. I really think I resented being born at certain times. I was angry at the world. Don't get me wrong. Much of the time, I probably came across as normal or even healthy. Unfortunately, at other times, the people I came into contact with were exposed to the effects of my anger, frustration, and general dysfunction. That little break I told God I needed was quickly leading me to a very dark place. Even during these times, the truth was somewhere deep down inside of me. I think that ultimately, I was trying my best to deny the truth because I didn't like the behavioral mandates that came with it. I think I had a picture in my mind that fully surrendering to God would mean no fun in life, probably giving up everything I owned, and living in a third world country somewhere preaching the gospel to people who didn't speak English.
I wasn't having any of that. I was doing things my way. Alcohol and money were pretty much my gods, but they are diametrically opposed to one another. In other words, it's hard to be a successful drunk. Somehow, I managed to pull it off for a while. My career progressed rapidly, largely due to my success with the CFA program. After passing the first two exams within 6 months of each other, I ended up being promoted to Senior Research Analyst, and was literally halfway up the corporate ladder after only 2 years (based on the grade level system the company had in place at the time). Of course, the last half of that ladder is where all the true monetary success comes. But, it was a big accomplishment after only 2 years. Still, I wasn't satisfied there. I had even relayed this to my managers. So, they knew that I was looking to go in a different direction. I wanted to take on more quantitative work, preferably working in an institutional asset management role, as opposed to "Private Wealth Management" which was basically a mix of managing money for high net worth individuals and small institutions. For the record, I realize now that I was very fortunate to be able to do either one. I'm simply trying to describe my perspective at that time. What can I say? I had a lot of self-centered pride. I had some significant accomplishments, but overall my ego was way larger than it should have been.
So, after months of going home each day, scouring job boards, and sending out countless cover letters and resumes, I finally landed what I considered to be a good job. I was to be a Senior Investment Risk Analyst in the Investments Division of a very large insurance company. Insurance companies collect your money up front in the form of premiums. Then, they invest it and pay out the claims over time. Because they can earn investment returns on the portion of the money they hold as reserves, any other profit that may exist through the pricing and collection of premiums can get eaten up through competition. Hence, a large portion, if not all, of insurance company profits are due to their investment returns. The large ones have absolutely massive portfolios. I worked with a team of people that was charged with managing this company's multi-billion dollar portfolio. It was a very good company made up of good people. Though I experienced personal differences with a few of the people on a few occasions, I enjoyed that job and did well there for the most part. I finished the CFA program, and got excellent reviews and pay increases while employed there.
But there was a major problem that continued to grow. Shortly after taking that job, I began to drink occasionally during weekday evenings. This trend continued to progress until I finally realized it was a serious problem. Not only was I drinking heavily, I was now doing it very frequently, often as much as 4-5 days a week. In 2008, I began trying to stop or limit my drinking with no success.
On September 27th, 2008, a turning point occurred. My entire family was together to watch the Alabama-Georgia football game (Roll Tide!). I had been concerned about my problem. I really was trying to stop or cut down and found that I couldn't, no matter how much I wanted to. I had an uncle that had died in 2004, at the age of 44, from liver damage due to his alcoholism. Like me, he had been very successful academically and professionally, but found no success when trying to control his alcohol intake. I feared that I would also leave my family behind at an unnecessarily young age. In desperation, I asked my entire family to lay hands on me and pray that God would do "whatever it takes" to end my addiction to alcohol. That is exactly what they did, and I went back to my life.
Only things didn't stay the same very long. Being perpetually unsatisfied, I had already begun looking elsewhere for more pay and was pretty close to finding it. I had gone through two rounds of all day interviews with a competitor of my employer. The pay bordered on outrageous for someone my age. Though I was concerned about my looming drinking problem, I was excited about this opportunity. I thought I got along well with the people during interviews and that I had a lot to offer. Shortly after praying this prayer and returning home, I got the news that they were not extending an offer. No explanation whatsoever, just no offer (to be fair to them, I think I understand why now - but at the time I didn't understand). Next came a DUI (which was really unexpected because I was generally in the habit of sitting alone on my back patio drinking, not going places), then two failed attempts at rehab, then the loss of my career altogether. All of this happened within 5 months of praying that prayer, and it was only the beginning.
Being unable to stay sober for very long, and having lost a job right in the middle of the worst time in history for my chosen profession (i.e. the financial crisis), I did not fare well. In spite of my alcohol use, I had managed my money well, having no credit card debt, only one $10,000 car loan, reasonable equity in my home, several retirement and brokerage accounts, and even a coverdell savings account for my son. But, I also had a wife who had chosen to stay at home with our son the past several years, a sizable house note, and around $50,000 in student loans to repay. So, what assets I did have got eaten up rather quickly. It was also the middle of the downturn in real estate, and in spite of dropping the price as low as I could, it took a year for my house to sell. There was a perfect storm of events happening that brought my life crashing down all at once.
Not only did my drinking situation not get better, it got much, much worse. Without really intending to, I somehow began to abuse prescription and other substances as well. I know that may sound crazy, but when your life is an alcohol induced haze, you will look back and wonder how certain things even happened. In fact, looking back now, I would say prescription drugs, even the ones considered non-addictive such as anti-depressants, had a lot to do with my downfall (I include that realization not to make excuses, but as a potential warning to anyone treading that path). Anyway, I was devastated by the loss of things I thought so important, with no hope of getting them back. There seemed to be little point in trying. Though, every now and then, I would get sick of financial struggles and attempt to get back on my feet. I had some really great opportunities outside of the financial industry. But as soon as they were going well, my addictions would lead me off the deep end again.
Throughout this time, I looked everywhere for answers. Church was the first place I went. Unfortunately, at least in some cases, what I found there seemed to be a lack of faith in the power of Jesus Christ to set people free from sin. I hate to stir controversy of any kind, but I want people sitting in churches right now to think about what God would have them say to a person who comes in and says, "I pray each day and ask God to take away my addiction, but He hasn't done it." Many churches simply pass people off to man made "solutions" to the problem of addiction. I am not trying to throw stones at my brothers and sisters, but I went through everything I went through for a reason. Besides, their intentions are good. They truly want to help. But it is unfortunate that anyone at a Christian church would feel the need to direct people to places that teach, in very dogmatic fashion: 1) the false gospel that one doesn't need Jesus in order to find God 2) continued, in fact lifelong, bondage to sin (though they call it "disease", not sin), and 3) the need for a "daily reprieve" from that bondage through the use of man made wisdom, tools, and rituals. In spite of being able to recognize some of the problems with those teachings, I was desperate enough to try it. I went to all of the different 12 step groups, including hundreds of meetings, as well as 12 step and science/medicine-based rehabs. I did my best to follow their instructions, but never got good results. If I really fought hard I could stay sober for about 2 months, and did so on at least 2 occasions. I went to doctors and psychiatrists. I went to counseling in many different forms. I tried all of the magic pills. Nothing worked. It seemed that I was hopelessly enslaved.
Forgive me, but I have to step outside of the story for a moment. If you are someone who believes that you have found answers to your problems in 12 step or other man made programs, I am not here to discourage you from your attempts to combat addiction. Rather, I am here to proclaim to you that there is a much better way! I believe that there is a way that leads not only to total freedom from bondage, but also to eternal life! It will also fill your life with love, fulfillment, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control! I believe that man made programs are unnecessary at best, and very damaging at worst. If you are a Christian who is wondering what my issue is, there are many. I will only note a few, as I believe that they are sufficient to help people understand where I'm coming from. I sat in a 12 step seminar (3 different times) in which the following statements were made by one of the most prominent leaders in the 12 step movement, "We ultimately decided not to update the AA big book, because many of us believe that the AA big book is inspired by the spirit of God." "Religion can save your soul, but you need a 12 step program to stay sober." "Your higher power is not a door knob, but it can be anything more powerful than yourself. The AA group itself is a legitimate higher power for you to put your faith into." Now, I will say that I believe that this man is very genuine in his beliefs and is doing his best to help others. However, he has been deceived by one posing as an angel of light. In fact, something that looks good and positive on the surface can actually leave a person in a worse spiritual state than they were originally, because they are still not okay (saved, healed, delivered, made whole) but have been deceived into believing that they are doing great! So now let me address those in the church. You should be aware of what a group teaches before sending people their way. Their entire approach is built around the idea that people can choose their own concept of God. The Bible calls that idol worship! Isaiah has some very good passages about the nature of man and his desire to create his own God. Isaiah 44:9-20 paints a clear picture of men who craft their own God. Isaiah 41:5-7 describes a situation in which idol makers stand around crafting their idols, and encouraging one another, telling each other that their idols are very nice. I believe that is exactly what is happening at many of the meetings of these man made programs. There are many Bible verses about idols and idolatry. The bottom line is that idolatry occurs when man, in his mind and heart, elevates a created thing to the status of the creator. One type of idolatry occurs when we trust in a created thing to do what only God himself can truly do. That is exactly what is happening in these man made "programs" that purport to offer a "reprieve" from addiction. For those involved in such programs, I want to tell you plainly, if you have fallen for the idea that you can create your own God, you have been deceived! Do not settle for man's substitutes when you can easily have the real thing! Jesus Christ is the answer to any and all of man's sins and all of his troubles! The Father sent his Son into the world to pay for your sins. It is an affront to Jesus Christ and to the Father for you to try to come to the Father any other way than through Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is stating plainly to you this very day:
"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
Now, back to my story...
Finally, in April of 2012, my precious wife, who had stood beside me through so much, decided she couldn't handle it any longer. Even though we were separated in a sense for the past several years by my addictions, she officially separated from me at that time. This loss got me really thinking about what I was going to do. I had tried many times to find good solutions, or to simply make money my god, looking to it to solve my problems. In fact, money, both the lack of it and the abundance of it had served to make things much worse for me at various times in my life. So, I knew that there were no answers to be found through all of the regular worldly channels. I also knew that trying once again to make a lot of money would simply not solve my life's problems. I finally came to the end of myself. Instead of resenting everything and everyone else, I began to seriously resent my own foolish decisions. I began to truly regret having turned away from God some 14 years prior.
On July 25th, 2012, I decided that I would go into the men's program at The Foundry. Going there was an act of surrender. The Foundry is a rescue mission and recovery center. Basically, it's a place where men and women with addictions can live, get the help they need, and earn their keep by engaging in "work therapy" at the thrift store or another job within the organization. It is incredibly challenging, humbling, uncomfortable, and demanding. But, I was taught God's truth there (that's a good summary of the Foundry "program" I think). I was encouraged that God actually did care deeply for me and my situation. God used the people there, along with my life's circumstances, much prayer, Bible study, and counsel by the Holy Spirit, to completely change my life. There was a clear path that God put me on to finish the Foundry program. By the end of it, I was delivered. Part of that, I think, was obeying the instruction in Matthew 5:29-30. If something is causing you to sin, you have to be willing to do whatever it takes to remove that thing from your life. If gas stations, liquor stores, and beer coolers were keeping me from having a right relationship with God, I had to go live in the woods for a while, leaving only under the supervision and accountability of others. I had to be willing to cut sin and temptation out of my life by any means necessary, "If your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out..."
As for my circumstances, on July 26th, 2012, one day after I decided to go into the Foundry, my wife told me that she wanted a divorce and that there was nothing I could say or do to change her mind. I remembered people in 12 step circles warning me that it would get to that point. They also said there would be nothing I could say or do to change her mind. They were right. There was absolutely nothing I could do. It was at this point I could hardly bear the pain of realizing my foolishness and sinfulness. I had been given a lot of ability and opportunity and had squandered it all. I had been blessed with a beautiful, precious, sweet wife, and a little boy that I can only describe as perfect. I had destroyed all of it. I cried out to God in absolute surrender, and have remained in surrender to Him ever since.
In spite of thousands of earnest prayers and attempts to get her to see that I was different, my wife and I met in court on January 3rd. Given how earnest and how many were my prayers about the situation, I thought surely that God would somehow intervene. He did not. Nor did the judge have any apparent sympathy or concern for my pleas and attempts to ask for marriage counseling or any other possible way of salvaging my marriage. Instead the judge quickly and easily granted the divorce, with seemingly about as much concern and effort as I might put into ordering lunch. But it was no one else's fault that I had ended up there. I was at the point of wanting to commit suicide. I had literally begged the judge, attorneys, and my wife for mercy, to at least wait until I was done with the Foundry program. But, no mercy was forthcoming. I knew that I had been very unmerciful to others in the past, and I deeply regretted that. I now see that situation in light of James 2:13, "Judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful." I got a very, very small taste of that truth. At the time though, I couldn't make any sense of it. I walked away broken and confused.
Still, at this point in my life, I was determined to do the right thing no matter what anyone else did. I knew that I wanted the second half (hopefully) of my life to be better than the first half had been. Even if my dreams were out of reach, I wanted my life to count for something. I continued in The Foundry program and after a couple of weeks, resolved that life would go on without my marriage and family intact. I knew that I had gone through the most difficult, painful time of my life, and had done it without compromising or giving into temptation of any kind. I had, over the prior 6 months at least, taken the road less traveled. It would have been much less painful to give up on my marriage early on, to leave the Foundry, to go and try to find a job and another woman. But I had fought and fought and done the right thing throughout the trial, so I knew that blessings were in store for me. That may strike some people as strange. As humans, we are so unforgiving and unmerciful. We tend to enjoy watching people get what we feel they deserve. Fortunately, the God I serve is full of mercy and grace. Once we ask for His forgiveness, He doesn't hold our past against us in any way, shape, or form. He gives us good things that we don't deserve. He just makes sure that we can handle them first.
Slowly, my burdens began to be lifted. Then one day, the miracle was complete. I woke up and my burdens were completely gone! I had been freed from years of strong resentment, anger, guilt, shame, discontent, insecurity, and fear. Not only was I alright, I was happy. I had lost everything; my possessions, my career, my family, and any sense of worldly pride or dignity. I was living in a converted chicken house with 50 other men, standing in line for my meals, performing menial work for no paycheck, and being told where to be and what to do pretty much at all times. The only things I owned were some bibles, a few sets of clothes, and a bunch of Christian books. But, I was happy! For the first time in my adult life, I had true joy, peace, and contentment permeating every part of my being! The scripture that God gave me when I first entered the Foundry, when I was desperate and crying out for answers, was finally starting to make sense, "I am doing this so all who see this miracle will understand what it means - that it is the Lord who has done this, the Holy One of Israel who created it." Isaiah 41:20, NLT.
I believe that this newly found joy and peace, in spite of my situation, was key in setting me free from the bondage of addiction. Not only was I alright in the midst of dire circumstances, I was thriving. I knew that nothing else mattered besides the acceptance and love of an amazing God. I had the bonus of knowing that he cared about my earthly situation, and had good plans for me. Plans to prosper me and not to harm me. Plans to give me hope, and a future. I knew that I was a child of the most high God, adopted into his family as a son. How the world viewed or treated me was of little consequence. I had found the meaning of life. I was put here to love and serve God and to receive his salvation, and I didn't need anything beyond that. Not alcohol, not drugs, not a career, a family, or anything else, good or bad. I had everything I needed in my relationship with Jesus.
Though it wouldn't be any less amazing and wonderful if it did, the story doesn't end there. 11 days before I was set to leave The Foundry, my wife and I saw each other at my son's baseball game. I had resolved to move on and had no interest in getting back together with her at this point. At the risk of sounding unfairly critical, I have to note that the pain and bitterness had led her to become a very cold, seemingly heartless person that I did not even recognize. Quite frankly, I had done all I could to bring her out of that. Once again, my attempts to fix things had proven futile. But, God began to work in her heart. Upon seeing that what was happening was real and it was from God, I immediately went to her and held her in my arms again. Within a week, I had bought an engagement ring (thanks to the help of a family member) and was able to propose to her in front of everyone on my last night at The Foundry. She said yes, and we've been together ever since.
To this day, I rarely think of alcohol or drugs. For the few times that it has briefly crossed my mind, I simply get on my knees before a loving God. He brings me through it with ease. He is strong when I am weak. I praise God for all of this, and take no credit for what He has done in my life. To the contrary, I proved that my most sincere efforts led to no success at all. But I have been completely set free. Today, I am not an alcoholic or an addict of any kind. I am not "in recovery". Someone in recovery is still nursing their wounds. That term was probably accurate to describe my first 7 months of sobriety. But I have been completely healed. I don't have any disease. I don't need any sponsors or special meetings in order to avoid the sin of drunkenness. All I need is God's spirit to dwell in me and lead me down His path. Like any Christian, I want and need to continue to walk with Jesus daily. I trust in Him alone to lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from evil. I've already proven that if I turn away from Him, the consequences are dire. I still have free will and could walk right back into bondage if I so choose. But as long as I keep my eyes on Jesus, I will remain free.
Faith in the power of Jesus Christ was also key to finding true freedom. I believed that if I surrendered all to him, that Jesus Christ would set me free. He did! (see Matthew 8:13, and 9:29). Today, I don't want anything to alter the way I feel naturally. I enjoy existing exactly as God made me, and I feel no need to be anything different from that. Coming from someone who lived the way I did in the past, that is truly amazing and I am eternally grateful! I have no idea why God has been so merciful to me. It's only because He is so amazing. His protection and grace were with me even when I clearly did not deserve it. I almost died many different times. I put myself into very dangerous situations. I don't understand why God chose to spare me so many times but I love Him so much. I am so thankful and I want to do whatever I can to help others find Him!
If you struggle with addiction or know someone who does, please feel free to reach out to me. If you are too uncomfortable to do that, maybe you can start with the list of scriptures below. In those scriptures, you will find God's truth rather than man's "facts".
In fact, no matter what your particular sins are, you need a savior. You may not be struggling with substance abuse and addiction. But the Bible teaches that all human beings struggle with sin. An honest assessment of your own experience, and a quick look around this world will confirm that teaching. Jesus Christ came to set us free from our sinful desires. The lusts of the flesh can never be satisfied. The only true satisfaction man can ever know is the love of Jesus Christ as savior. Only he can truly set you free.
Whatever your particular sins are, I need you to know that there is hope! Real hope! I felt so hopeless for so long, but my life is so good today! It's better than I could have ever imagined it being! I don't know how to fully describe the freedom that I have today, but it is truly amazing! If you do choose to reach out to me, I am glad to discuss what I went through and the answers I found in more detail, or to help in any way that I can. Thank you again for letting me share my story!
“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” – 2 Corinthians 5:17, NLT.
“For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.” – Romans 6:14, NIV.
“You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.” - Romans 6:18, NIV.
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,” – Luke 4:18, NIV.
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” – John 8:36, NIV.
“For the one who was a slave when called to faith in the Lord is the Lord's freed person;” – 1 Corinthians 7:22, NIV.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” – Galatians 5:1, NIV.
“But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life.” – Romans 6:22, NLT.
“And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.” – Romans 8:2, NLT.
“I will say to the prisoners, 'Come out in freedom,' and to those in darkness, 'Come into the light.' They will be my sheep, grazing in green pastures and on hills that were previously bare.” – Isaiah 49:9, NLT
“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." – John 8:32, NLT
The world may be telling you that you aren't worth anything. Jesus says you're worth dying for. He hasn't thrown you away. He will not leave you. Surrender to him today and enjoy freedom and peace that you've never known.
"I have called you back from the ends of the earth, saying, ‘You are my servant.’ For I have chosen you and will not throw you away. Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand." - Isaiah 41:9-10, NLT
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