My Story

This is a letter from my heart to yours; an invitation to restoration, hope, and unparalleled peace. Sounds pretty inviting in the world we live in today. But for me it was not always so. My story starts as a young child living in a home with turmoil and strife, an alcoholic stepfather and a mother dependent on antidepressants just to make it through each day. My heart had already been broken at the tender age of five when my real daddy left us for good. I was my mother’s second child out of wedlock and the years that followed were a blur of pain and a deep gnawing sense of utter hopelessness. By my teens, my mother had been divorced and remarried six times. The anger and sorrow of my heart traveled with me through a string of group homes, foster homes, and juvenile detention facilities. My life was out of control. As I turned to boys to fill my desperate losses in life and need for love, approval, and affection, my choices mimicked those of my examples.

At age seventeen I was engaged and planning a future with a nineteen year old alcoholic. He was living in a halfway house, already had a lengthy record, a two year old son, and a failed marriage in his life résumé. Seemed just fine to me and certainly provided me with the familiar sense of relational chaos I had come to know so well. I had already weathered two suicide attempts in less than two decades of life; one at around age eight when my drunk stepfather threatened to take his rage out on me once again and the last while trying to escape an abusive foster home at the age of fourteen. I came very close to succeeding in the second try. After swallowing over forty pills, I realized that day that I really didn’t want to die; yet the pain of my young life was becoming too great to bear. I remember promising God if He saved my life, I would seek Him. You see, God’s loving and watchful eyes had been on me from the very beginning. Still on a dead end path with destructive relationships and an empty heart longing for peace and true love, little did I know my life was about to change in a very incredible way.

One Friday afternoon my fiancé said he needed to break our usual date night of partying and promiscuity because there was this guy he worked with that had invited him over to his house. He said he was always happy and smiling, so he wanted to go check him out and find out what kind of drugs he was on! So there I was, stood up for some goofy guy with a smile! I sat home and stewed all night wondering how my boyfriend could trade all of our worldly fun for a visit with this guy!

The next morning I hurried over to the halfway house where he was living, and he met me on the front porch. I took one look at him and said “What happened to you!?” Indeed it was my fiance, but his very countenance looked so different. I remember just staring at him with utter amazement as something about him had drastically changed. 

The words out of his mouth were confusing. “Monette, I got saved last night.” Saved? I thought, what do you mean saved? With a new enthusiasm he said, “You gotta come talk to this guy; he wants us both to come over tonight.” 
With a mix of curiosity and apprehension I spent the rest of the day pondering it all. He was so different and I just did not understand it. A peace and joy I had never seen seemed to radiate from him. I decided I would give his co-worker, Scott Jones an audience - but just out of curiosity.

That Saturday evening was a typical cold, damp, and dreary October night in Iowa. Entering Scott's house, I was captivated by the ambience of peace I felt; nothing like any home I had experienced.

I was introduced to Scott and Margaret Jones and learned that they were missionaries with Campus Crusade for Christ and currently home on furlough from Brazil.

We sat down and Scott asked me about my family and life; two subjects that were not my favorite things to share. Then he asked me this question, “If you died tonight, do you know where you would spend eternity?”

"Wow," I thought. No one had ever asked me that! I pondered the question for a few moments and said, “You know, I would hope I could get into heaven but I have to be honest and tell you I really don’t know.” Scott asked, “If I could open God’s word, the Bible, and show you how to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you could be sure you would spend your eternity with God in heaven, would you want to know?” I still remember my answer, and without hesitation I said, “Of course! Who in their right mind would ever want to go to hell?”

Scott opened his Bible to Romans 3:23 and had me read it. “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Ok, I thought-that’s pretty clear. The word was not “some”, or “just the bad folks” it said “all.” That “all” obviously included me.

He turned to Romans 6 as he explained that we are all born into sin, and the consequence of our sin is separation from God. “Here Monette, please read Romans 6:23” I read, “For the wages {or payment} of sin is death…” Scott explained that this death meant an eternal separation from the Lord.

I remember thinking this doesn’t sound very good. I had been to church on and off with my grandpa, I had been nice to all people most of the time. I also knew a lot people who said going to a priest each week might raise my hopes for going to heaven. Scott interrupted my thoughts and said that God made a way for man through Jesus only. Then he said, “Please read the last part of Romans 6:23.” “…but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” I pondered this verse… gift… through Jesus… Then asked, “But, can’t people be good enough or do enough good deeds?” “That’s a great question.” He turned to Isaiah 64:6 and read, “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” 
“You see,” he said, “Ever since the fall of Adam and Eve into sin in the Garden of Eden, man has tried in every way possible to win back God’s favor. So God sent Jesus, His only son, into the world to be a sacrifice for the sins of men. We see this in Romans 5:8, “But God commendth His love towards us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus became the only accepted substitute for our eternal penalty of sin. God, out of His love for us, invites us back into a perfect relationship with Him through His Son by our repentance Acts 17:30, “God…commandth all men everywhere to repent.” When we repent, we have a change of mind; agreeing with God that we are sinners and also accepting that Jesus died on the cross for us.”

“You mean it’s not from being a good person, going to church, getting baptized, or relying on a priest to gain forgiveness?” “That’s right.” Scott said, “These are things man does in futility to try to save himself.” 
Scott told me, even the vilest of sinners, no matter what is held in their past, can be saved.

Then it all became clear to me. I had heard the opinions, thoughts, and reasonings of people (some very religious people as well) but now I was hearing the truth from God’s Word. I only had one question left for Scott ”What must I do to be saved?” And he said, Acts 16:31 tells us the answer, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved...”

As we sat there in Scott and Margaret’s living room it all made complete sense to me for the first time. Scott didn’t have to tell me any more. I said, “I want this salvation through Christ and a restored relationship with God.” We all bowed our heads and Scott led me to pray to the Lord a prayer like this: 
* “Oh God, I know I am a sinner, I believe Jesus was my substitute when He died on the cross, I believe His shed blood, death, and resurrection were for me. I receive Him as my Savior and I thank you for forgiving sins. Thank you for this gift of salvation and everlasting life, because of your mercy and grace. Amen.”

I remember feeling a weight removed from my shoulders when I prayed that prayer. All those years of hurt, anger, and deep hopelessness were removed from my heart and replaced with the most all consuming peace and joy I had ever experienced.

Scott explained that in this new life of mine, the Bible said in II Corinthians 5:17, “If any man be in Christ, He is a new creature. Old things are passed away, behold all things are become new.” That verse summed up exactly what I knew just took place in my heart.

He explained to me that I had become a child of God and to grow strong in my spiritual life, I would need to do three things. First, read the Bible daily. Regard it as food for my growing soul and God teaching me about His plans and direction for my life. Second, pray often to God, speaking to Him like I would to my dearest friend, because He loves me and desires a close relationship with me. And third, tell others what God has done in my life by saving me and giving me a new life in Him.

My heart was so full that night and as we left, I walked to the porch and opened the front door to leave. I stopped and stared in astonishment at what I saw. While we were inside his home, a fresh snow had fallen covering the dreary ground. Under the streetlight the pure white snow glistened like a sea of radiant diamonds. I saw at that moment the beautiful picture of what Jesus had done in my heart. I later learned that God’s word says in Isaiah 1:18 “…Though your sins may be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow…”

I invite you my friend to look honestly at your life. Do you have a complete peace and a deep sense of joy? God says in his word that a personal relationship with His Son is the true path to forgiveness and a life restored. Don’t waste another day in the false hope of your own strength and righteousness. If you have never repented of sin, asked God to forgive you, and accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, do not hesitate. None of us know the number of days God has appointed to us. He loves you and calls to your heart today.

If this testimony has caused you to know that you too need God’s forgiveness and new life in Jesus, just pray with a sincere heart to God the prayer* like mine. Believe God and the promises in His word to be true. 
If you would like to email me at restoredlives13@aol.com or to share the good news that you have accepted Christ as your Savior, I would be thrilled to hear from you!

Since that incredible night back in 1978 God has walked with me every day. He has given me a hope, peace, and joy in both the blessings and the challenges of my life. He has given me the desire and strength to live a life that is pleasing to Him.

It is no coincidence that God has placed it on my heart to share my story with you. What will you do with His invitation to give you new life in Him? 

Sincerely, Monette Demuth

 

 

Monette Demuth lives in Conifer, Colorado. 
She and her husband Hal are blessed with 
eleven wonderful children.