Jesus Turned My Life Around
June 1, 2004
by Jennifer Ogilvie
I made it through college without doing much partying. But that ended June 10, 2000, my graduation night. I was drunk, and a friend convinced me to try drugs. Soon I was going to clubs and getting drunk Wednesday through Saturday.
I was miserable. I couldn't get out of bed. I was drinking, getting stoned—and thinking about suicide. After months of aimlessness, I took my roommate's advice and got my real estate license.
In 2001, as I took a client to see a house, he played music that I'd never heard before. He told me it was Christian music. He said that he had become a Christian eight months earlier and that Jesus had saved him from a $350-a-day cocaine habit.
"Wow," I thought. "He was deeper into drugs than I am, and Jesus helped him!" I'd never heard the Gospel before, but I knew that I had a problem. I wanted God's help, so I began asking Him to reveal Himself to me.
I began listening to a Christian radio station, and in October 2001, I heard that Billy Graham was going to be in Fresno, Calif., to talk about Jesus. The last night of the Crusade would be Sunday, October 14. I knew I needed to be there, but I lived 100 miles away in Bakersfield. Also, I held real estate open houses every Sunday until 4 p.m.—and I would have to stay later if the house sold. The Crusade started at 7 p.m., which didn't leave me much time.
That Sunday I showed a beautiful house, but it didn't sell. I believe God prevented it. When it didn't sell, I knew I could make it to the Crusade. A friend agreed to come with me. We were late but found seats at the top of the stadium. As Mr. Graham preached about how Jesus Christ died for my sins, I felt a tug at my heart. This was the first time I had heard the full Gospel—that Jesus Christ came to earth, died for me, rose again, loves me and offers me salvation.
As soon as Mr. Graham said, "Come down to the field," I got out of my seat and went down. I prayed, "Lord Jesus, send Your Holy Spirit. Come into my heart and change me. I don't want me anymore. Make me new." I felt so alive.
I started reading my Bible every day, but I was still immersed in my old lifestyle. I just wasn't strong enough to resist being sucked back into my addictions. I wanted to be free, but my friends would talk me into doing drugs again.
In February 2002 God led me to a solid church where I met friends who eventually became my roommates. They prayed for me and cared about me. At long last, I gave my struggle to God. "I need You," I prayed. "Please convict me every time that I start drinking or using drugs." The power of addiction finally broke and I have been drug- and alcohol-free since January 2003.
Today I work full-time at my church, serving God with all my heart. I was a counselor at the Franklin Graham Festival in Bakersfield in April, and three people who I had been praying for made commitments to Christ at the Festival.
It's amazing that I could go 24 years not knowing that Christ died for me. I am so grateful for that October evening when I first learned how much Jesus loved me.