Ex-hooker and homosexual Pam Sullivan found joy when she realized she no longer had to carry the burden of her past.
Pam worked briefly as a prostitute and served years in prison for robbery, but things really got out of hand when she found herself standing in front of a man with a gun, ready to shoot.
The man had been stalking her and making threatening phone calls to her several times a day.
"Now I don't think men should go around shooting each other willy-nilly. But if a woman shoots a man because he won't quit pestering her, I don't think it should be called a crime. More like creative thinking," she remembers thinking.
She borrowed a .22 pistol and went to his house, at first thinking she could reason with him.
But Pam felt trapped. She says the man knew people on the force, in the sheriff's office, in the mayor's office, and in the prosecutor's office.
"I felt there was nowhere I could turn to for help," she says. "And that's what he told me: 'Who would believe you?'
"Dad always said if you're scared of something, face it. I was scared alright, and I was about to squash it right now. I told him in a calm, quiet voice I just wanted him to leave me alone, pulled out the gun and pulled the trigger."
The man charged at her, but he hit her hand just as she pulled the trigger, so the bullet angled upward and shattered out through the top of his skull. Then he ran out of the room.
"Since it looked like the time for talking had passed," Pam says, "I made a dash for my car.
"Just as I rounded the front end and almost reached the driver's door, there he was with the biggest gun I had ever seen aimed at my head.
"It never occurred to me that if you shoot someone they might shoot you back."
The time she stood there, helpless in the face of death, seemed to last an eternity, though Pam reasons it could only have been seconds. When nothing happened, she ran to her car and got away.
Her near-death experience understandably led Pam to reflect on how she was living.
"My head would have been blown clear off my shoulders," she says. "I would have gone straight to hell.
"My thoughts concerning my life were, I'd ride it until the wheels fell off. When I knew I was going to die, I'd call on Jesus to forgive me.
"Yet when it actually came down to that moment I was so stunned I couldn't even think the name Jesus."
But even this event was not enough to make Pam fully re-evaluate. She was charged with Attempted Manslaughter and received a 10-year sentence, of which she served five and a half years.
Pam says she came out even more determined that no one was going to change who she was.
She spent ten more years in homosexual relationships, drinking and smoking crack, and only at 44 years old did she call out to God saying: "If you can do anything with my life, then please do it."
broken”"This short conversation with God only took place in my head but He honored it as if I was at the altar," Pam says.
"That's the beautiful thing about God. He will meet you wherever you are."
She says she has been on an upward journey since then; that God delivered her from her addiction to crack, opened the door for a job, and blessed her with an apartment.
Pam says she has become a completely new person, the new creation talked about in the Bible in 2 Corinthians where it says: "Therefore if any man (woman) is in Christ he is a new creation, old things have passed away, behold all things have become new."
"He washes away all our sins, all our inadequacies, all our failures— in Him we are a new creation.
"You feel like shouting yet?" she says. "For me this is shouting ground! Because all of a sudden I no longer have to be a billboard of my past. I am a new creature in Christ!"
"That's what I thought I was: nothing, broken, unredeemable.
"It turns out, only God can take nothing and turn it into something.
"Only God can take a broken vessel, make it whole again and fill it with living water. Only God can redeem the unredeemable and give them a new life in Jesus."•