My little boy, Creed, is seven months old and a joy to my world. As I write, he is playing on the rug, trying hard to crawl. My sweethearts, Emrie and Edyn, ages nine and eight, are away at a sleepover. They just finished a fantastic first year of Bible quizzing by winning second place in the Colorado District UPCI, enabling them to go to national finals in Branson, Missouri. My husband is sitting here with me on the couch. He’s my knight in shining armor! I can’t imagine my life without him. He really does complete me! We pastor in Loveland, Colorado, and are very involved in the Colorado District. Currently we are working on plans to spend Christmas in Dallas, Texas, with my parents. I mention my parents because they are one of the special blessings related to my conversion, but I get ahead of myself.
Sixteen years ago I would have never imagined that the marriage, family, and ministry God has given me were possible. I was just out of drug rehabilitation and was living with my grandparents, who were the only people who would have me at the time.
As a young girl,I loved God and had a childlike relationship with Him. In my teen years, my family stopped attending church. Then, when I was seventeen, my parents made the decision to get a divorce. I became angry—angry at life, angry at God—and so I ran. I began to make unwise choices.
Not long after this, I found myself pregnant and scared. I went to an abortion clinic and aborted the child in my womb—my child. Suddenly, I was not only dealing with hurt and anger, I was also dealing with a tremendous load of guilt and shame. My partying entered an entirely new phase, because I now had something to try to forget.
I had a high tolerance for alcohol and eventually drugs, and I took advantage of that. Fast forward nine years, and I found myself addicted to crystal meth. It took me down a hard path: I lost my job, my car, my home, and many friends. At a loss, my family came together and made the decision to place me in rehab. It was there I realized something had to change.
After getting out of rehab and moving into my grandparents’ home, I heard about a guy I had known from the drug world who was now “on fire for God!” I drove three hours to where he was working in Alexandria, Louisiana, and asked him what had happened. He told me he had been filled with the Holy Ghost at The Pentecostals of Alexandria. Whatever this was, I knew I wanted it!
During my first service a few days later, Pastor Anthony Mangun walked down to the front row, which he called Cocaine Alley, and asked different people how long they had been delivered. As they answered, I wanted to run up and scream, “One day!” At that night’s service, I sat on the front row. I was baptized after service in the beautiful name of Jesus Christ. Holy laughter came over me in the baptistery. This was a joy like no other—so pure and so real. Within a week I was filled with the Holy Ghost. Just a few weeks later, I began sharing my story and seeing other addicts come to church and receive the Holy Ghost. I love to tell people, “I’m not in recovery, I’ve been delivered!”
I would love to tell you that living the blessed life has always been an easy journey. I was always hungry for more of God and gave myself to prayer, but God did not instantly heal me emotionally. He wanted to heal me from the deep wounds in my life. The healing process from the deep pains of my parents’ divorce, the abortion I chose to have, and ultimately facing the reality that I had been violated as a child was a challenging road to travel. Yet, my God gave me grace and mercy through it all!
God has been so good to me! He saved me. He called me to ministry. He gave me a godly husband. He has blessed me with three beautiful children. When my first child Emrie was born, God also gave me one of the greatest miracles related to my conversion. When my parents came to the hospital for the birth of their granddaughter, something amazing happened. While looking at my newborn baby girl for the first time, they looked at each other through forgiving and loving eyes and fell in love again! A few months later, my husband remarried my parents.
I thank God for what He saved me from and also am extremely grateful for what He saved me for!
… when I say we are planning to go to Mom and Dad’s house for Christmas,
… when I watch my girls learning the Word of God and praying deeply when God moves on them,
… when I watch my son laughing and learning to crawl,
… when I sit with the Colorado District Ladies Ministries committee planning a conference,
… when it dawns fresh on me that it is my husband preaching on Sunday at the church we pastor, it touches something deep within me. It makes me want to sing this old song:
When I think of the goodness of Jesus
And all He has done for me,
My soul cries out “Hallelujah!”
Praise God for saving me.
Jamie Albritton and husband, Greg, pastor in Loveland, Colorado, and are the proud parents of Emrie, Edyn, and Creed. God has used her testimony of deliverance, forgiveness, and healing to minister to many lives.