Years of putting my faith into money, men, alcohol, drugs, the occult. My life was a disaster. But I can testify that’s when God can show up, and shine His light.
words + photographs JODEE DORROUGH
After many years, everything I learned, desired, strived for, everything I had sown in the darkness, the life I knew apart from God was coming into His glorious light. Bad relationships were falling apart, the freedom I thought I had was in jeopardy because of my criminal activity, the chaos from being involved with the occult; it was all coming to a head. I was in a place where I could no longer rely on myself or others. I had no peace, no joy, no freedom. I was living out of fear of losing the things I thought I could control. I was about to lose the only thing that truly matters in life: my soul. (Mark 8:36) says, “What good is it to gain the whole world, but lose your own soul?”
The Lord started drawing me away from this lifestyle by feeding my desire to know Him. I started attending Freeway Ministries in Springfield. He was filling the empty space with His truth. I continued to seek the Lord, attending Freeway and searching God’s word. He was faithful to meet me each time.
If you had told me five years ago God was going to deliver me from bondage and use my experience to minister to others, my response would have been: Impossible.
On a cool, rainy night in February 2018, God replaced my heart of stone with a heart of flesh and marked me with His beautiful life-giving spirit. I understood reconciliation came only through Christ’s redeeming work on the cross. It was the beginning of a relationship I had longed for. I felt an urgency. I could not wait to see what God had planned for me. I have wondered if the impatience stemmed from Christ’s soon return or the amount of time I wasted in the past. Either/or, I feel there is no time to waste.
My body was recovering from a 20-year drug dependency, cold turkey. But my spirit was willing. I was seeing what it was to live, and I never felt so alive. I was, and am, completely in love with His spirit leading me to walk differently. I submitted to all counsel, even advice I did not like. My heart was open. Everything I knew — the bad habits, the lack of structure, the lack of motivation and ambition — was about to be completely transformed by truth. As a young babe in the faith, feeding off milk as Scripture tells us, God knew exactly what I needed to hear at the exact moment I needed to hear it, and He sent the very person who would speak truth in love to me, show me grace, the person to hold me accountable. My time with each person held significant value because of truths shared and learned. The Lord was faithful to bring teachers, mother figures, brothers and sisters in Christ into my life. My faith and trust grew. This is discipleship. I thank the Lord for each servant who was faithful. If this encourages you, lift faithful servants who come to your mind in thankfulness to the Lord.
When I was new in the faith I worked in a factory. Out of place? Yes, that was me. For a very long season, I was the only believer, and all I wanted to do was talk about Jesus. Over time I was promoted to a trainer. I was the first person to have contact with each person hired. We had a high turnover, and each person heard the Gospel as each was trained. This is what God commands us to do.
A faithful servant invited me to go to a jail and teach women. Soon after, I was asked to apply for a chaplain position that was out of my comfort zone. I resisted, but the advisor kept encouraging me. I had no doubt I was unqualified, but I prayed, applied for the position, and put the outcome in God’s hands. I did not get the job, but I was offered a different position, giving me opportunity to learn office skills that I was lacking. God makes a way where there is no way.
The path has not been easy. I would be lying if I said I’ve never had doubts about God’s calling. If you had told me five years ago God was going to deliver me from bondage and use my experience to minister to others, my response would have been: impossible. What is God’s call? Isaiah 6:8 says, “And I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then I said, here I am, send me.” It’s in the waiting and serving we hear God speak. When God opens the door, be ready to walk boldly through with joy and gladness. JD
Jodee Dorrough was born in Rapid City, South Dakota. She was neglected, as well as physically and sexually abused as a young child. Until she was 14, Jodee was in and out of foster care. At 16, she began using drugs and alcohol and continued on the destructive path for 20 years. At 38, God sought her out, delivering her from the occult, drugs, herself. In His gift of salvation, God revealed to Jodee how precious time is and how there is no time to waste. Since the moment Jesus saved her, the Lord has opened doors no one can close. She is now the women’s restoration chaplain apprentice at Victory Mission + Ministry in Springfield, Missouri. “I sit on the edge of my seat in expectation to see what He is going to do next,” she says.
COVER: Sitting among friends after inviting people to a block party, Jodee was full of gratitude. “We had just finished praying and were thanking the Lord for His mighty work and allowing us to be part of it,” she says. “I use to run with people who did not know the Lord and had ill motives. I had no purpose.”
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