This post is an open letter to people who used to know me before my Fox River days. The world of Facebook has made my "new" world and my "old" world collide. If you knew me before, you are probably wondering who this Bible thumpin' Jesus Freak is. Where did your party-loving, heavy drinking, man-chasing friend go? Without going into too much detail, you know who I was. You knew my reputation.
After I left the Hilton, I got remarried, had a baby, and got out of the race. I had a lot of time on my hands and thought I would be so happy in my new life. What I realized is that there was a giant empty spot in my heart. I had been so busy filling it with things that didn't belong there, that once all that was taken away, I had nothing. No friends, no social life, nothing to dull the loneliness. Everything I had leaned on to make me feel good was gone.
A neighbor invited me to her Bible study. I declined, not into that, I told her. The truth was, I knew what a mess I had been so I "knew" that I didn't belong in a Bible study. That is for people who are better than me, people without a past. It turned out her Bible study was more of a book club. They were reading a book called Next Door Savior by Max Lucado. It painted a picture of Jesus as Someone who was looking for someone like me. Someone broken, who had made mistakes, who didn't feel good enough to come to Him. As I read this book, I began to feel hope. He didn't want me to look for Him once I cleaned up my act. He wanted me right then, warts and all as the saying goes. He loved me anyway, in spite of myself. There was nothing so big that I could have done that He couldn't forgive. It was there for the asking. So I asked.
It has been a journey from the girl who found comfort in places she didn't belong, to a woman who knows her Savior. Not just in an off-hand, yeah, I know...He died for me sort of way, but to my very core. That empty place is full. If my life turned upside down tomorrow, that empty place would still be full.
So, to my old friends who see me on Facebook and wonder if that is the same Debbie Giese, the answer is yes. And no. Same face. Different heart. I have been absolutely set free. Jesus saves. He really does.