I just recently came across Susan Irene Fox’s blog, and I became hooked. I really encourage you to check out her blog. You can also find her link at the bottom of the page. The thing that really got me was how she spoke to her readers from the heart. As many of you who follow my blog know – that is important to me and I also try to do that for you. So I felt instantly connected to her blog. Also even though I may focus on my health journey, as I say in my headline, This is “the transformation of one’s mind, body and spirit.” Even though I have focused on body, mind and spirit are equally important. So I knew I wanted Susan to write her journey for us. When she said, “yes”, I was really excited. So without further ado, I introduce you Susan Irene Fox:
From There to Here
I was floored, humbled and blessed by John’s invitation to submit my journey here. His overture arrived after an emotional evening at Bible study when the wonder and grace of God’s amazing faithfulness, and the responsibility of the huge task He has laid before me overwhelmed me to the point of weeping.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Twenty years ago, I was a catastrophe. I was drowning in my own reckless choices, plummeting toward a dangerous future like a runaway kayak headed over Niagara Falls.
I had already spent nearly 25 years imprisoned by the consequences of foolhardy behavior. Oh, not a physical prison – mine was an internal one. One more frightening, volatile and toxic than a cement and steel prison could ever be. My personal prison included blinding myself with drugs, incautiously gambling with unprotected sex, playing challenge games with a girlfriend to see who could steal the most during lunatic “shopping” trips. Married and divorced.
Luckily, I didn’t overdose. I didn’t get arrested. I didn’t die. But I lived a nightmare of terror and depression. And one suicide attempt.
In other words, I was a walking corpse.
I could have blamed all of this on an abusive father. Or on being molested at the age of eight. Or on being the victim of bullies in school. But I grew up. And made my own decisions about how to react act out.
For another twenty-odd years, I continued to respond as a captive to my own emotional victim-hood. I chose to remain in bondage. I was married and divorced twice more.
Then, when I was 56 years old, I had a jaw-dropping, mind-blowing, utterly surprising experience. I became captivated by Jesus.
This was utterly surprising because I had been raised in a Jewish household; the last place I ever thought I would end up would be in the arms of Jesus Christ. See, I knew I had a hole down deep somewhere. In my unconscious mind, I knew I was attempting to fill it with all those drugs and men and stolen clothes. So I tried to fill it instead with New Age thoughts and other religions. I even went back to Judaism for a while. But the filling-up, unconditional love, deep-breath-down-to-my-shoes-kind-of-peace, starting-over-again-kind-of-forgiveness just wasn’t there for me. Until I met Jesus and began to follow His words.
When that happened, I felt joy for the first time in my life. I mean a heart-expanding, breathtaking, tears-flowing kind of joy that I had never, ever felt before. And this Jesus led me straight to God. I have never turned back. I have never been the same. I have never wanted to be the same.
One year after I became a follower of Jesus, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I faced it fearlessly, with the grace, hope and laughter that He provided. He saw me through it, helped me to conquer it. That was seven years ago…cancer free now.
He saw me through having to give up my 20+ year elementary teaching career three years ago because of illness, only to place in my hands an even bigger task that will glorify Him and build His kingdom. (I’m writing K-6 devotional Bible curriculum.) That blessing is overwhelming and humbling. And it is a huge responsibility.
So…back to last night at Bible study. We discussed how Jacob wrestled with God and would not let go – refused to let go – until God gave Jacob his true, legitimate blessing. In reality, God had been pruning Jacob for 20 years so he was ready for that wrestling match; so he was ready for that blessing. It dawned on me last night that in my own 40 years of struggle, God was pruning me, too, to be ready for the blessing He has handed me with such care and trust.
The bottom line in all of this is that He changed me. Because He loved me first, He changed my heart. Changing my mind, changing my behavior – that was easy.
Don’t forget to check out more other people’s journeys.