He Made My Life Beautiful

April 11, 2017

Tami thought there was no way to change her lifestyle, until the night she attended an Easter concert.

By Tami Gaston

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t the age of twenty I was married and working in accounting, which I did for many years with different companies. My husband and I had no children and did not want any. My focus was my career and becoming successful, and I always told myself that kids would just get in my way.

My husband and I partied every night, and drugs and alcohol were a normal part of my life. While working for a large insurance brokerage downtown, my co-workers and I would go out after work for happy hour and it was all-or-nothing. We did not leave until late at night, and sometimes I could not remember how I got home.

When I was a freshman in high school, my parents had become Christians, and I had seen a dramatic change in their lives but did not understand that it was the result of a personal relationship with Jesus. The thought of becoming a Christian didn’t cross my mind; it wasn’t for me. Occasionally I would go to church with my parents to make them happy, but my perception of people at church was that they were fake and old-fashioned. I thought they were in no way facing reality and that they did not have problems like mine.

On the outside it may have appeared as though everything was fine in my life, but as time went on, the partying got old and there were more and more fights with my husband.

On the outside it may have appeared as though everything was fine in my life, but as time went on, the partying got old and there were more and more fights with my husband. I wondered, Am I always going to live this way? Am I still going to be doing drugs in my fifties? That thought seemed ridiculous to me, yet I wasn’t sure how to change. One night my husband and I were both arrested, separately, for driving drunk. At that point I knew things were bad. We told each other that we would not drink anymore, but that didn’t last long. We continued to carry on with the same lifestyle.

Every Easter I would try to make plans to go to brunch instead of going to church. One Easter, when I was twenty-nine years old, my husband and I were fighting. Feeling miserable, I just wanted to get out of the house, so I attended the morning service at the Apostolic Faith Church where my grandparents, parents, and other extended family members attended.

After returning home my brother called, asking me if I was coming back for the Easter concert that night. I had no problem telling him no, yet miraculously, I ended up getting dressed for church and driving myself to the concert. The music was so beautiful and I cried through the whole service. I remember thinking to myself, You’ve got to get a grip and stop crying! But after the concert, I ended up praying alongside my dad, not knowing what to say but desperate for a change in my life. The Lord heard the cry of my heart and made a miraculous change when He saved me that night.

My life dramatically changed after giving my life to the Lord—there was no desire to drink, smoke, or carry on like I had done previously. The Lord also gave me a new mindset so that my thoughts were totally different.

When I arrived back home I told my husband, “You’re looking at a brand new Tami.” My life dramatically changed after giving my life to the Lord—there was no desire to drink, smoke, or carry on like I had done previously. The Lord also gave me a new mindset so that my thoughts were totally different. I had been very selfish before but now I cared more deeply about others and their well-being. Soon, I also discovered how powerful prayer is, and at church I developed wonderful friendships with people who really care about one another.

Although I had not wanted children previously, my heart changed when I found out I was expecting my first child. Andrea was born less than two years after I was saved, and Nicole came along a year and a half later. My husband was scared to be a father, but also so excited when our girls were born. We have been married now for thirty-four years, and God has blessed us. He has made my life beautiful.

In the years since I was saved, God has taken care of me, guided me, and taught me lessons. He continues to teach me, and the most important lesson has been to continually keep my hand in His. He is always so faithful to show His love, and His gentle arms steer me in the right direction.

Shortly after my mother passed away from cancer, I realized that life goes by quickly and decided to return to school. I had not been sure what exactly the Lord wanted me to do with my life, but for some reason my normal, everyday routine just didn’t seem enough. Being a creative person, I entered a graphic design program, and after taking a few painting classes discovered a love for abstract painting with bright, vibrant colors on large areas. Through this, I have found that the Lord sometimes uses us in ways that we never imagined possible or necessary. I compare His work in my life to a big colorful painting: sometimes there are huge, bold brush strokes and sometimes small, intricate details, and somehow it all makes a beautiful picture. If we surrender to Him, we will see that He has the best plan for our lives.

About the author

Tami Gaston attends the Apostolic Faith Church in Portland, Oregon, and in recent years has helped with design work at the headquarters church office.