I nearly lost all that is good and pure in angry reaction, says Lee
Suicide was the simple explanation for her best friend’s death, but for Lerion Luttig the lack of apparent meaning to her loss sapped her interest in life and drove her to thoughts of self-harm.
She had just finished school, full of the assurance that she had the power to mould her future, yet now it seemed life was a hopeless quest.
“I lost interest in life, in my family, friends, job or future and I began thinking about self-harm,” says Lerion, who is known as Lee.
“I also hated God. I could not understand why God allowed sadness in the world.”
Preferring anything that was far from God, Lee befriended Satanists and took to drinking and drug-taking.
“This impacted on my life, and affected my ability to control my temper and to think rationally,” Lee reflects.
After her step mother asked her to leave home, she drifted into a lifestyle of partying, late nights and connecting with anyone who wanted her company.
One of these connections became a relationship that Lee knew was harming both her and her boyfriend.
“There was no love,” Lee admits. “One night I realised that I was going to die, not physically but spiritually.
“I knew I had nothing left in me that was good and pure.”
In a moment of desperation, at 1:40am one morning, Lee talked to God for the first time in her life.
She recalls her instinctive prayer: “God, if you are real, please help me. I don’t know how to pray and how Jesus fits into prayer, but I know that I need Your help tonight.
“Please send me the right man so that I can find purpose in life. Amen.”
After breaking off with her boyfriend and moving in with a female Christian co-worker, just a few weeks later, Lee met her husband.
“I know that God brought him into my life,” Lee explains. “I was no longer anti-God and I wanted God to bless our marriage. We were married by a Christian pastor.”
After accepting a friend’s invitation to a course that explained Christianity, Lee remembers that she began to feel overwhelmed by God’s love and peace.
“Following one weekend in which we learnt about the work of the Holy Spirit, I cried for days and couldn’t believe the freedom I felt.”
As she learnt about God’s nature and forgiveness through Jesus Christ, her perspective of life was so greatly changed that Lee decided to turn her life over to Jesus.
“One night, in my bathroom at home I looked in the mirror and yearned for the person I saw to be changed by God’s power,” she recalls.
“I asked God to forgive my sins, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour, and asked for the Holy Spirit to live in me.”
Now fifteen years after this decision, Lee thanks God for helping her face and overcome many giants, including many addictions she once loved.
“I had times when I worshipped other things and struggled with addictions, but when I repented and turned back to God, He would hear my cry from heaven.
“He let me know that I have already been forgiven through Jesus’ sacrifice and He healed my heart.”
In times of temptation and failure, Lee says she was comforted by the fact that “Jesus would never leave me or forsake me,” as the Bible says in Hebrews 13, verse 5.
In dealing with temptation, Lee says, “I have learned to confess each one and surrender it to God.
“This could only be done through the Holy Spirit as the temptations were non-stop.”
She lists “prayer, Bible reading and trusting God” as the ways God helped her overcome her addictions.
“I asked myself, ‘What causes a war to rage in my spirit?’ as the Bible says in 1 Peter 2:11. Whatever the Holy Spirit revealed to me in prayer is what I asked God to remove from my life.”
Although still busy with this process today, Lee believes that her transformed life and the promise of eternal life means it is worth it. She says, “I now love my husband, love my family, love my job, and I am so blessed to have real friends in my life. All praise to God!”