Amelia grew up in a rough and tumble New York neighborhood. She saw her mother constantly beaten by her violent, alcoholic father.
At age 9, she became the object of his abuse. He began to molest her every night and did so until she reached her teen years when she dropped out of school and ran away to marry a young Puerto Rican boy. He introduced her to LSD, cocaine and heroin and the marriage lasted only a year. When he left her, she went from man to man and stayed high as much as possible. To support her habit, she ended up dancing in a nightclub. She hit rock bottom when she found out she was pregnant and could no longer work as a stripper. In great despair, she tried to cut her wrists.
Racked with guilt, she realized that she was a failure as a mother too. She was planning to jump off a bridge into the East River when some friends invited her to church. She felt as if the pastor was preaching directly to her. She shared her story with the pastor, “Pastor, I’m really messed up. I’ll be honest with you – I feel really dirty.” By the time the evening was over, she had given her life to Christ and been absolutely cleansed from her lifetime of sin.
Amelia went home and told her mother, “Mom, guess what I did tonight! I gave my heart to Jesus Christ, and He saved me! He cleansed me!” The pastor wrote of this incident: “…no matter how thoroughly the Devil messes up a life – no matter how early in childhood he starts, and how frightfully he corrupts the human soul – God can take back this stolen property.” I am going to spend several days writing about God’s forgiveness. We are all dirty to some degree and in need of forgiveness.