“Peaceful” is not a word Amanda would’ve used to describe her life prior to 2020. Even though she grew up going to church, she had a very difficult childhood that left her with no interest in following Jesus. Without a spiritual anchor, she began to drift. Soon, she found herself in a life that she describes as “miserable—a complete wreck.”
In 2005, Amanda was living in Marietta, Georgia, with her first husband and their two sons. While they were in Georgia, a downward spiral began in her life that continued over the next decade. Seeking fulfillment in anyone or anything else, Amanda had an affair, filed for divorce, and lost custody of her boys. The following year, she was remarried and had a baby girl. As she continued to try to fill a void in her life, the cycle repeated itself as she had another affair and began trying to numb the pain through drugs. Ultimately, she divorced for the second time and lost custody of her daughter as well.
“My life was a train wreck,” she shared. “By 2011, I was twice divorced, without custody of my children. I got sober from the drugs in 2012 but quickly turned to alcohol, and by 2015, I was drinking heavily every night… Every day, I was either drunk or hungover. My life was complete chaos, and I remember thinking, ‘Why am I choosing this life?’”
Remembering the truths she learned as a child, God began to stir in her a desire to seek something deeper, but her old life kept hanging on.
“I knew my whole life what God wanted,” she said. “I knew what to do. I just wasn’t going to do it. I knew that if I wanted to change, I had to give up everything. And I wasn’t ready.”
On a Sunday night in 2020, Amanda and her boyfriend ended up in church. She deeply wanted to see this relationship work, so she went to church with the purpose of changing her boyfriend’s ways—God had other plans. During a time of worship, before she knew what was happening, she felt tears streaming down her face as she surrendered her life to Jesus for the first time.
“I just stood there and I told God, ‘Okay. Whatever You want. I just want to be different. I just want to change.'"
Through tears, she shared about the immediate change she experienced as God took over her heart. In total surrender, she began removing everything from her life that had been pulling her away from a peaceful life in Christ.
“The next morning, I started reading my Bible for the first time. I quit drinking. I quit smoking. I broke up with my boyfriend. I stopped watching TV and began using all of that time to just read my Bible. I was all in.”
When her relationship with Christ began, and as her relationships with her children began to be restored, she sought help from an old family friend.
“When my daughter was coming to visit for the first time since I had been saved, I had questions on how to parent and questions about strongholds,” Amanda shared. “I reached out to Suzan on Facebook, and she answered every question I had. She started discipling me from there.”
“It’s hard to explain what He has done in my life… He saved me. He took me from this life of chaos and He is untangling it. I feel loved. I belong. I don’t have to put anything on. I’m so honest with Him, and He bends down to listen to me. I feel so secure and my identity is unshakable.”
Amanda desires to share with other people the hope and peace she has found in Jesus alone. God brings light into other people's darkness as we share our stories—God's power is revealed as He untangles our mess and gives us His peace.
“He’s done something in me that I can’t explain,” Amanda said “He has captivated my heart… My hope is that someone might want a piece of peace and see it in me.”
“Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story—those he redeemed from the hand of the foe.” Psalm 107:2
Watch Amanda’s story here.
If you would like to speak to a minister about how to find true peace in your life, text “Jesus” to 901901. We would love to connect with you.