When my life changed it was a gradual thing. All of my bad habits did not leave at once. In fact, it took a little over 5 years to be rid of one of them.
I had one friend who remained a social aspect of my life after I asked Christ Jesus to come into my heart. In the beginning I was always going over to her home because I knew she would catch me a marijuana buzz. This seemed to be the hardest thing for me to give up. I guess you could say I was a “pot head”. The Lord had taken away the drinking, hard drugs, cigarettes and a foul mouth, but marijuana was something I just couldn’t seem to turn away from.
I prayed and prayed as time went on about jumping every time this person would call me. I could go for weeks and not talk to her at all, but let her call or let me call her — and I found myself at her home getting high. I would justify it by saying … “Well, the Lord understands. I don’t do it that often.” It seemed the more I would make excuses, the more convicted I’d get. She would always say, “Oh, Ellen, you have overcome so much and I don’t think the Lord minds if you get high once in a while. After all, he made it and you deserve it! It’s not like you are out bar hopping or something like that!”
This continued for approximately 6 years until one day I started crying after I left her house to go home. I was so convicted about subjecting the Holy Spirit of the Lord that dwelled inside of me to this behavior. I cried out to him saying, “Lord … I can’t do this by myself … PLEASE help me!”
A few weeks had passed when I received the phone call. She was inviting me over for supper and a buzz (to get high on marijuana). I went, driving down the road, headed for that buzz (a feeling of being high on marijuana). I said, “Lord, please help me to reject the offer to get high. Please Lord, I can’t do it alone”. My girlfriend and her husband were in the kitchen while I sat in the living room with their daughter. I had always played with the child. In fact, she called me Aunt Ellen even though we were not related to one another. I’d always been good to the child ever since she’d been in the world and she was 5 at this time. I would even buy her presents and goodies because that’s what I enjoyed doing.
We were in the living room and I was playing with her, making silly faces which I had often done and waiting for supper, when all of a sudden she looked at me in a very hateful manner. Her face was all scrunched up and she said with a hateful voice (which was not childlike, actually kind of scary — more of a growl), “Leave me alone!!!!!” I said, “you know your Aunt Ellen’s just playing with you. She would never do anything to hurt you because she loves you”. She said one more time with that same voice … “Leave me alone!!!!!! I don’t like it!!!!. If you want to mess with somebody, you go in there (she pointed into the kitchen) and you mess with those two (referring to her Mom and Dad)”. I thought her head was gonna spin! I was floored to say the least. I sat back on the couch as she sat in the chair … I was in total shock!
I finally got up and went into the kitchen. I could hardly tell them what had just happened since I was crying. It really upset me! The daddy said, “oh, she’s talked like that to me before. You just have to pay it no mind. I said, “I can’t believe she has ever spoken like this before”. I told them about the growl in her voice. The mama said, “you are scaring me … you’re making me think she sounded demonic or something”. I didn’t say it but that is exactly what I thought! I could not stay for supper, I left their house in tears.
As I drove home, I heard this little voice (Holy Spirit) saying, “I bet you’ll stay away from over there now”. At that moment I started telling the Lord how I knew he was in control of this. And between the tears I began to praise him and thank him.
The next morning I heard a sermon on the radio about parents not raising their children in the way of the Lord. The minister said that children are a product of their environment and without the Lord there are no grounded boundaries. I called the mama and told her about this sermon and that it would air again that evening. She said they would listen to it. They said they did, but to this day they are still drinking, smoking cigarettes and marijuana, and, needless to say, not attending any house of worship (i.e. not part of any church).
I am truly blessed. To this day I have not smoked any marijuana, nor have I visited their home again.
I pray for this family but I have realized that the Lord allowed this to happen when he did because he knew it would take some act of this magnitude to turn me away. Let’s face it, I don’t know very many people who can be hurt terribly by someone and want to continue to be around them … do you?
“Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing and I will receive you.” I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:17-18)