‘I could barely speak or think anymore’
Leah’s story | A life turned around by Jesus
“In 2006, I was with a guy who was a drug dealer. We were on his farm, just outside of Coffs Harbour. The relationship was over but he kept supplying me with drugs. I felt like he was trying to kill me. I’d been using drugs since I was a young person. At 18, I’d moved out of home and gone down the wrong road, pushed into adult entertainment to earn drug money. I’d had a string of horrific relationships and overdoses. I’m surprised I lived through it.
But that particular night, I was really scared. It felt like I was surrounded by evil spirits. I was a real mess. I could barely speak or think anymore. Then I had an encounter with the Lord. God’s presence suddenly appeared at the end of the bed – not visually, but it was his presence. He said to me, “Leah, you are a child of the light.”
I knew in that moment it was all over. I didn’t want that life anymore. I didn’t want drugs anymore. I needed to get out of there, but I didn’t have my driver’s licence. I managed to survive the night. The next morning the roads were all slippery and I still couldn’t get out, so I had to wait another day. But then the guy who was the drug dealer drove me into town.
The first thing I did was find a church. I had it in my head and my heart that I wanted to go to church. I remembered there was a little Baptist church that I’d seen before, so I went and checked the time … and the next day I went to that church.
I was a bit late, but the guy at the door was actually great. I’d put on my amazing green ball gown. It was the nicest thing I owned and I didn’t know what they wore to church. I thought it was beautiful. I said to the guy at the door that I thought I needed rehab. He said “Hang on a minute,” and he asked me to sit down. When he came back, he said, “I think you’ve come to the right place.”
We went in. It turned out that the exact same day I visited that church, they were actually sending out a young couple to work in a new women’s drug rehab centre. It was phenomenal – it was perfect timing. They’d had the vision for a rehab centre for a long time and they spoke about it that day. I started crying uncontrollably. I was 26 years old and I hadn’t been in a church since I was 12 years old. But it all came together miraculously. God reached me. I never thought that I could come back.
Afterwards, the guy at the front door gave me the name and number of the young couple running the centre. Some months later it all went ahead. I was the second girl in the door and I stayed there for six months. I went from being a hopeless drug addict to being transformed by God. I learnt how to have devotional time with God and to worship the Lord. I started walking with the Lord.
And while I was there, my dad came and saw me. I was still a scattered mess, but I told him I didn’t want to do drugs anymore and that the Lord had met me. He gave me a Bible. I opened it and I found a great story. It was all about ‘the poor widow’. It meant a lot to me. I was definitely poor when God found me, but I saw that God’s currency was belief in him. I had nothing left, but God had more than enough resources for me. He saved my life!
That was 15 years ago. It’s all God’s work. He’s amazing. He saved me for his glory. And I’m thankful. I can’t not tell the story. Since then, I’ve moved around quite a bit and I’ve been in some lovely churches. I’ve learnt to sing hymns. I’ve learnt about taking a Sabbath rest. I’ve learnt to read the Bible and to trust in God. I’m blown away by him!
“He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. ‘Truly I tell you,’ he said, ‘this poor widow has put in more than all the others.’” (Luke 21:2)
Leah’s story is part of Eternity’s Faith Stories series, compiled by Naomi Reed. Click here for more Faith Stories.