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Lindsay Givens Futo's Story

I turned my back on everything I had thought I believed up to that point and ran a million miles an hour in the opposite direction.

10 years ago today I was waking up on my first day of freedom because 10 years ago yesterday Jesus had mercy on me. I guess it could actually be said he had mercy on me around 2000 years ago, and it just took me that long to open the gift and accept it with humility and gratitude.

I had once been a person who was a slave to religion, at church every time the doors were open, knowing all the right answers, and sure I was better than anyone who wasn't just like me. It was only a matter of time before that pride had me stumbling headlong into a different form of slavery. In theological terms I had been a slave to legalism, and when I found that I couldn't keep all the rules perfectly by a sheer exertion of self-will, I had given up and landed in the opposite ditch of licentiousness which gave way to a substance addiction that nearly took my life countless times before God broke through and saved the day.

The truth is that before my addiction I had always thought that by living right I had obligated God to protect me, and when harm did come my way I was offended with Him. I turned my back on everything I had thought I believed up to that point and ran a million miles an hour in the opposite direction. As I look back I am able to see that God was right there with me in my darkest hour, and His heart broke for me when I was violated by another human being who used their free will to betray their own Creator and His creation.

That same blood bought freedom and forgiveness is not only available to me, but to all of us, even the very ones who have wounded us. If I am honest, my own sin against myself and God have done far more damage than those of others. If God has forgiven me after all I have done who would I be not to forgive anyone else? The best news is that by His grace I also see His sovereignty over my life as He has taken that thing the devil intended to destroy me with and used it to lead me to my incredible husband, to bless me with my beautiful children, and, most importantly, to lead me into an intimate relationship with Him where I can now confidently testify that my God is faithful and true to cause all things, even those the enemy intended for evil, to work together for our good when we seek Him with our whole hearts.

As Psalm 139 says, even when I made my bed in the depths of hell He was there with me (and carried me out)! There have been many moments of joy on this journey, but there have also been painful moments. God has asked me to allow Him to clean out deeper wounds in my heart so that they would be healed and my heart would be made new. I might have given up in some of those painful moments if it hadn't been for many of you who have walked with me on this journey!