It’s the perfect time of the year to share my salvation testimony with you. Everywhere you see people celebrating. Christmas parties at work, neighborhood get-togethers, extended family exchanges of gifts and celebrating together. There is an air of festivity, a reason for partying, and…alcohol will play a big part in many lives and homes this time of year. Lives and reputations will be ruined, marriages will disintegrate, car accidents will take the lives of some, and children will be beaten and abused by those under its influence, and many tears will be shed by those who love someone who drinks. Oh, yes, it’s the perfect time of the year to share my testimony with you, because alcohol played a big part in it.
At this time of year, Christmastime, with New Years Eve following closely on its heels, the celebration becomes one long-running excuse to drink for many people. But, also, it is a time when those who have never even considered drinking are tempted to “just try it once–“Go ahead, just have one, what harm can it do.” They are tempted by the sheer number of times alcohol is offered to them, and by the fact that everyone else seems to be “doing it,” and by the messages in the media encouraging them to drink. Everywhere we look, we are bombarded with messages that say drinking is cool, the perfect finishing touch to your special dinner, choosing just the right wine is a sign of refinement and class, it will impress your friends, it adds to the fun, it makes things more festive and it’s for everyone. Yes, of course, there is the added message, these days, not to drink and drive. These messages that drinking is not only ok, but encouraged, are not really surprising when you’re out in the world. However, it still takes a firm resoluteness to one’s convictions to get through the gauntlet unscathed. But, what is amazing, and alarming to me, is the number of instances where drinking is taking place even in some conservative Christian circles. Christian twenty-somethings, homeschooled their whole life, from Godly homes and families, are going to Wine-tasting Weekends or passing a bottle around at Bible studies. They have broken down the wall and stepped over, ignoring their Godly forefathers’ longstanding ban on drinking for anyone who was serious about following Christ in obedience to His Word and anyone who cared about their testimony before a lost world. Please listen to my story and think deeply on this subject. It affects every one of us.
This is “My Testimony,” by Wendy Gunn
My childhood was a blending of stability and instability, happy and very sad events, just as my family was a blending of two people, both widowed, and their two children, each. My mother’s story had been a traumatic one prior to marrying my dad. Her first husband was an alcoholic who died very young from the damage to his liver which he’d inflicted upon himself. My mother never knew. She found the bottles hidden in the back of their closet. Her little boy, who’d been suffering with a life-threatening disease, lost his battle with death, and died not long after his father, at the age of 4. When mom married her former landlord, they blended two families: my mom and my sister, now 4, joined with my dad and my 13-year-old sister and 6-year-old brother. I was born a year later. We never ever called ourselves anything but family. It never occurred to us children to use words like “step” or “half”–what did that mean anyway? We were brothers and sisters. I give my mom, especially, a lot of credit, for the loving, close family we still have today.
My mom, dad, brother, and 2 sisters—loved me. We were a religious family and went to church regularly. Things were very happy in those early years for me. But death was looming around the corner. It became a prominent part of my story from the time I was 8 years old onward. Every year from then on, year after year, someone whom I loved dearly would die. First was my 2-day-old niece, then both my grandparents. Next, my oldest sister, fourteen years older than I, who had been like a second mom to me, died when I was 11. Her husband had been exempted from serving in the Vietnam war while she was alive, but so sick with kidney disease. Upon her death, he was drafted and soon after was reported missing in action. In my childish affections, I had idolized him from the moment he came into our family when I was 7. My sister had married young, and he was a few years younger than she, only 18, when they wed. He must’ve been about 22 when he died. I still remember the day my parents told me he was missing. I was 12 and it hit me hard. In the following years my other grandma died, and then a favorite uncle had a fatal heart attack and died very unexpectedly. As I finished out junior high, my brother became very sick and unless he had a kidney transplant, he would die, too. Many special people, and some of the most important men in my life, had been taken from me. All I wanted was to find someone who would love me forever and never leave me.
“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)
“The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” (Jeremiah 31:3)
“…he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5)
Please return to read Part 2 of “My Testimony” which will be posted tomorrow.