I was born and raised in Burley, Idaho. I got married when I was 18 years old. The reason I got married was because I was pregnant. By the time I turned 23 years old, I was divorced with two little babies to raise . . . alone. My folks were really good to help me, but the kids' dad never came around even though he only lived twenty miles away. I was alone for eleven years until I got married again. That marriage lasted four and a half years. And then I was alone again, only this time really alone. My daughter was 18 by then and out on her own, doing her own thing. My son didn’t want much to do with me because of the divorce. He stayed there. He had been adopted by the man whom I was divorcing.
So, feeling abandoned, I went to drinking hard and heavy. I had just graduated from the local college and was out of work. I was in a position where I had to move in with my mom and dad. How degrading!! Forty-years old and living with mom and dad!! So I drank a lot. I went on runners, three and four days at a time.
I finally got a job working in an office. I really liked it, but I was still drinking. The lady who was my boss knew that I was still drinking. She wasn’t very nice to me. After about a year and a half, I found another job in a casino which was about 75 miles away. I moved to a little town where I could ride the bus to and from work every day.
Shortly after I moved, I met Bob. We started living together within two weeks. He didn’t drink except on occasion. When we drank together, we fought like cats and dogs. I quit drinking. Bob did like to smoke pot. I had smoked pot in the past, so I smoked with him. At first, I would only take a couple of hits at a time because I didn’t want to get too high. But as time wore on, I was keeping right up with him. Occasionally we snorted some crank but that was just once in a while on a weekend.
After about a year, we moved to Twin Falls. That was probably the biggest mistake that we ever made. But at the time, I thought it was a good decision. My daughter and grandchild lived there and so did Bob’s kids. I thought that would be a prime place to be so that we could have more contact with our children.
We soon got involved with people who sold crank. We were selling pot, and so we would trade the pot for crank. The only problem with that was that it wasn’t our pot to trade. We owed our dealer money for the pot that we had traded. One night he brought a guy over to our house with a gun to entice us to pay him. The next day we went and sold our television, VCR, and stereo to get the money to pay the guy.
We snorted the crank. Bob, years ago, would shoot it into his arm. Bob started doing that again occasionally. But as time wore on, he did it all the time. I could tell that he was getting a lot higher than I was, so I begged him to let me try it. It took a lot of begging, but he finally consented. BIG MISTAKE!! The reason that I had never wanted to put a needle in my arm before was because I was afraid that I would like it. I did. We sold everything that we owned and put it into our arms.
We lost ourselves in that crank and almost lost each other. I did not like myself anymore. No one else liked me much either. Gone was the sweet, loving person that I had been to this person that even I didn’t know. I had no qualms about telling someone to F----- Off if I didn’t like what they said or did. Bob and I fought most of the time. When we fought, we really got with the program. We were using about a gram a day for about a year, sometimes more if we had the money. My kids seldom came around. When they did, it was with a lot of concern all over their faces. That was just as bad as not seeing them. The crank that they had there had heroin in it. Therefore, it was very addicting. Every time we would even think about quitting, there would be someone knocking on the door who either had some that they wanted us to try or sell for them. Our house was a total disaster. The electricity and the water had been shut off because we didn’t pay our bills. I got pretty good with a flashlight and a candle.
Finally we got to the point where we knew that we had to quit or we were going to die or go to jail. We didn’t want to quit. We just knew that we had to in order to survive. It was awful. I was in a state of mind and body that I had never thought was possible. I knew that we had to get out of there.
Bob’s son had escaped out of there by moving to Salem, Oregon. He had given us an open invitation to come, too. I gathered up enough money by selling what things that we had left and went directly to the travel agency. I bought two one-way tickets to Salem. I had to get them three weeks in advance for the low price. In the following three weeks, we got evicted from our house, slept on the front lawn, and finally moved to a friend's house that liked the drug as much as we did. Bob didn’t want to move, but I knew that we had to. We had to go someplace where we didn’t know anyone. No connections.
The day finally came, and we flew out of Boise to Portland and rode the bus to Salem, Oregon. We had no money. We stayed with Bob’s son for about a week and a half until he told us we had to leave. We fought all the time because we weren’t on drugs anymore. When we were in Idaho, we tolerated each other when we were high. If we were high, we got along just fine. But if we were out of drugs and Jonesing, Watch Out!!
We were now homeless. We started living on the river in Salem. One night when we were hitchhiking, this lady stopped and picked us up. When we got into the car, she said, "Boy, the Lord must really love you. He told me to stop and pick you up, and I don’t ever pick up hitchhikers." She told us where her church was and invited us to come. This happened within a week after we arrived in Salem.
In 1980, I had accepted the Lord as my personal savior. I had always wanted to serve Him fully but never knew how to get there. It was a lot easier to drink or do drugs and try to drown my sorrows.
When I met Bob, he had started going to Bible studies at a Christian church. He was a Mormon and didn’t believe in Jesus but wanted to get closer to God. This really interested me because I did believe. So I offered to go to Bible study with him. I kept telling him that Jesus is God in the flesh who died for us to save us from sin because He loves us so much. He wouldn’t buy it, no matter how much I talked. One Sunday, we went to church, and the preacher was reading the Scripture that said the same things that I had been telling him. That Sunday, he bowed his head and asked Jesus to forgive him for his sins and asked Him to come into his heart. I knew that I was saved because there is another verse that says that He will never leave us or forsake us.
We went to church on a regular basis until Bob’s ex-wife came into the picture. We tried and tried to get married, but the pastors of the churches we attended told us that if Bob and I were to ever get married that the Lord would leave us. That was man’s version, and we knew it because the Lord had already been blessing us. He knew that we wanted to get right with Him. At one point Bob left me and went back to his ex-wife to see if that was what the Lord really wanted.
Those pastors forgot to mention that there is grace--or in other words--forgiveness. The Bible says: "For by grace are you saved, through faith not by works; it is a gift of God lest any man should boast." Bob came back to me. We were shunned from the churches because they forgot grace. God loves us and corrects us in love. Men sometimes try to help God by correcting us themselves. People then turn away from God. He wants us to come to Him because He knows that we can trust no man. He is the only one we can trust. His love is the only love that we can depend on.
After the lady picked us up, we tried to find that church that she had told us about but to no avail. One day when we were riding our bikes, we stopped to rest and looked up. We were standing right in front of that church!! I went in to check it out and found out that they had been praying for us. God brought us there!!
We went to Bible study the next night. We received the baptism of Jesus. This is what I had been lacking since I had accepted the Lord. I had always been taught that I already had it. But what I found out from reading my Bible is that when I said the sinner's prayer, the Holy Spirit came and indwelt my body. When I asked for the Baptism of Jesus, I received the POWER of Jesus.
Satan doesn’t want us to have this Power because if we do we can rebuke him in the name of Jesus and he has to flee. He has many demons everywhere that are tormenting people because they don’t know any better. The Bible also says, "My people die for lack of knowledge." Here are just a few of their names: fear, alcohol, drug abuse, witchcraft, division, jealousy, failure, anger to name just a few. Satan wants to get in there and make us miserable so that we blame God. When it isn’t God at all, it’s Satan. Satan is here to kill, to steal, and to destroy.
Jesus came to touch, to heal, and to save. God loves (you and me) so much that He came to earth as a man, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins. When He did that, He defeated Satan. Satan is under our feet. When we rebuke him in Jesus’ name, he has to flee. Jesus is the name above all names. All knees have to bow at the name of Jesus. The demons tremble at the name of Jesus.
We don’t have to change anything to come to Jesus. We can’t on our own anyway. We need His help. He changes our hearts. But He gave us a free will. We have to do the asking. Here is the prayer that you need to repeat. You can say it right there where you are. You don’t have to be in church to talk to God. It helps to go to church and be around those kind of people instead of the world. It gives us encouragement to know there are others who have been there, too. Jesus is the best friend that you will ever have. He will love you no matter what, and He won’t ever leave you. He wants to bless you.
Jesus, I know that I can’t do it on my own. Please forgive me for all my sins. Please come in to my heart and be my personal Savior. Please baptize me with Your Holy Spirit. I receive You now. Thank you, Jesus.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Bob and Susie Edwards