Forever Thankful

I was raised in a major denomination and learned about God and the Bible, but it was never intimate to me. At 12 or 13, I pretty much closed the door to that religion. I remember at about 17, looking up and saying to God, “Is this all there is?” I was drafted at 18 to Vietnam. I became part of a group of hallucinogenic drug users and began embracing the idea that religion was a crutch.

When I came home, I married my girlfriend (we had met three months before I was drafted) and tried to settle into a normal life. It proved difficult, and a year or so later, I left for Los Angeles. Then I joined a religious cult. It required no drug use and seemed to make sense to me. My wife joined me after several months with my assurance that hallucinogenic drugs were behind me. We were part of that cult for a couple of years until circumstances there caused us to leave.

We moved back to Ohio and after several years, I was getting mildly involved with hallucinogenic drugs again. I had to travel several hours to work every Monday morning and return on Friday to keep my job with the telephone company. On top of that, I was paired up with a Bible-thumping Christian man who asked me if I had ever read the Bible. He asked why I would discount Gods Word having not given it the same consideration I had given to other religions.

There was a Gideon-placed Bible in the room I was renting through the week, and I began reading it. I challenged Jesus to take over. He did. I cannot decide if was the easiest, hard thing or the hardest, easy thing I ever did. The next morning, I scattered my bag of marijuana out of my window as I drove in to work because I knew inside I could not use it anymore. I also knew inside it would be wrong to sell it.

That was in September of 1982, just weeks before my third child was born. Two of our three Christian children are now married to Christian men, and we have four grandchildren. We have been truly blessed, and I am forever thankful for the Bible that was there at just the right time and in just the right place for me.

—K. Ley

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