God said, "Live!"

Guest Editorial by Kerri-Sue Adams

“Then I passed by and saw you kicking about in your blood, and as you lay there in your blood I said to you, ‘Live!’” – Ezekiel 16:6

Nearly 17 years ago, January 12, 1990, I was literally kicking about in my own blood, although that would have been hard for many to believe. You see, I was a 4.0 student at RIT, with a double major, 3 part time jobs, a car, an apartment. I was President of Int’l Business Students Assoc. I had even successfully changed the financial aid policy to allow myself and other Int’l BusinesChris & Kerri-Sue2.jpgs majors to have a semester abroad in England. While I was building my resume to advance my career and secure my financial future, I was rotting on the inside. I knew that the true me was a mess, but I was terrified to let people know. My best defense mechanisms were getting numb through drugs and alcohol and finding self-worth through pleasing and helping men – obviously not good choices!
I tried to keep up my traditional religion. I went to Catholic Mass and even volunteered to participate, but that just magnified my misery, as I was able to deceive even the religious leaders with my duplicity.
I got offended when God sent people in my life. My sophomore year a guy shared his faith with me by asking me if I was “saved”. I shut him down by saying “As a matter of fact I am,” although I had never even contemplated the thought of being “saved.” God also had an older man who stood on a statue’s platform outside my dorm reciting scriptures on Saturday mornings. I would see and hear him as I made my way to the dining hall, hung-over. I was so disturbed that I wrote one of my essays for English on the subject. I got my roommate’s Bible and started misinterpreting scripture to prove my point. For example, I turned part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6 into “Go into your closet and pray! Don’t do things to be seen!” I think that paper was the only ‘C’ I got in college.
God really had to let my sin become utterly sinful for me to see it. When I was studying abroad, I wasn’t trying to impress anyone or build my career, so my resume started to look more like Galatians 5:19-21 & Romans 7. I was constantly drinking, looking for the highest proof bottle for the least amount of money. I even bought drugs in an alley from a guy in a trench coat! My best friend caught me being bulimic. I woke up in strange places and had people telling me stories of what I had done. I was out of control and no will power or guilt trip could change me. I tried to motivate myself to change by imagining consequences to my behavior, but nothing stopped me.
When I came home to my boyfriend, things got worse. He had lied to me and to my family while I was gone. Apparently he had another girlfriend, yet had asked my mom about my ring size for an engagement ring. Although we broke up, we continued a very destructive and manipulative relationship over the phone.
Finally God crushed me as I hit bottom in a drunken, murderous and suicidal rage. I’ll never know all the actual details of that night, because every time my ex-boyfriend said something to me, I took another shot of alcohol. I know we had a huge physical fight and I wanted both of us dead. I know I gave him two black eyes. I know that I was lying on the floor of my kitchen yelling on the phone to my mother, 2 ½ hours away, that I wasn’t going to take garbage from men anymore and that I didn’t want to live. I know I looked around and then told my mother, as I lay there in a heap, “There is so much blood.”
Then God said to me “LIVE!” – like the scripture in Ezekiel 16:6. He said “LIVE!” because my roommate came home with her fiancé that was an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). She had forgotten her purse and they found me on the floor with blood and scuff marks all over the kitchen. He said “LIVE!” because the New York State Troopers and Campus Safety arrived at my door, as my mom had called them to help. He said, “LIVE!” while I yelled and swore at my friends (who were the ambulance drivers) and the nurses in the ER and told them I didn’t want to live.
When I was considered stable enough and agreed to counseling, I decided to get away from campus. I landed an extra internship with IBM in Westchester to build my career resume and escape at the same time. I moved on Saturday, knowing no one in the area, and on Sunday decided to go to a neighborhood church. God again said, “LIVE!” when the sermon was about how much we want to control our lives rather than submitting to God and being close to others. After church, I went to the mall to buy some self-help books and a chocolate shake and was met by a disciple who was at the mall specifically to share her faith. That week I went to a Bible Talk dinner, a movie night and then to church with the disciples the next Sunday. God said, “LIVE!” with the first sermon I heard on Mark 1:16-20 – giving me the one purpose to live. God said, “LIVE!” as the sisters shared the word of God, night after night with me. As they fasted and prayed for me, one dear sister loved me enough to show me the extent of my sin by reading Ezekiel 16 to me. God said, “LIVE!” and freed me from my sins as I was baptized and raised to a new life less than 3 weeks from moving to Westchester. God said, “LIVE!” and gave me a reason and purpose for living. I am so grateful. I know without Him I probably would not even be alive, much less be able to point other people toward eternal life in Jesus!
Kerri-Sue Adams