The testimony of Bill Greguska ultimately turned out good, but there were many times in my earlier days that was not the case by far!
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Life is like a basketball game; it is not over until it is over, there is always hope that God gives every one of us to hold on to. I am so glad that I could hold on because of my life by giving it over to God.
I am so thankful that I reached out for help. Because the direction that drugs and alcohol were leading me, could have ended in death. ~ Bill Greguska
Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
We all have our story to share. I hope my story can be an encouragement to you.
My parents took me to church when I was a kid, I knew a little bit about God, yet going to church did not affect my life much. Even though I did believe in God, I did not live my life for Him. I lived selfishly and focused on what would make me happy, and how I could gain attention from others.
I had a problem with reading in school, which set the stage for me to get into trouble a lot regularly. My mom transferred me from public school to private school in 4th grade (St. Gregory’s) because I needed more help.
The Lord used basketballas my mom’s strategy to assure that I would behave in school, and get passing grades. I excelled in basketball from 5th grade all the way up until my junior year in high school when it started getting pretty bad.
My sophomore summer I got heavily involved with alcohol and drugs and life got crazy. I got into trouble with the law often, from disorderly conduct to more serious things. Problems and sin started to snowball in my life, and as hard as I tried to be good, I did not have the power in me to do so. These darker days lasted from 16 years old until I was approximately 26 years old. I was not a so-called “bad person,” yet I did many foolish things mostly because of alcohol and drugs and to seek approval of others not God at this point.
I Did Not Save Myself, God Did!
2. How Jesus Came Into My Life.
The part of my story that I like the best because things got better in a very bizarre way! In 1986 I was frightened to death that I might end up in prison, which made me come to my senses. Terrified, I prayed, begging God to give me another chance to get my life back together. Thank God he answered my prayers! Instead of prison, I ended up in longterm alcohol and drug treatment, which was just what I needed to break the chains of my addictions since high school which was almost 10 years.
When I was 26 years old, on June 25, 1986, at Gemini alcohol and drug treatment program, that is when I gave my life over to Jesus and became born again. Many people in my life tried to help me over the years — kind of like links in a chain. I got involved with both N.A. and A.A. for about ten years which helped prepare me to accept Jesus Christ into my life.
After abusing alcohol and drugs for all those years when growing up, I realized that my life needed some major overhauling. God did not wave a magic wand over me to make my life perfect, but with hearing His word, and reading His word, and by submitting myself to His will, I was frequently getting samples of how life was going to be better with God in charge. I started to find inner peace and contentment that I had not experienced before.
I confessed all my sins, and He forgave me of all my sins (1 John 1:9), yet with some of the sins, there were still consequences I had to deal with, but even with the consequences, I can again say that God was with me and working in me.
My Testimony Is A Story Of Hope And Faith!
3. How My Life Changed Because Of Jesus.
I realized that I did not have the power in myself to fix my life, so surrendering to God out of desperation. Since then I have been entirely abstinent from alcohol and drugs the fuels that messed up my life in the first place. God took away that powerful desire to use drugs and drink, which was a miracle! I started thinking more clearly, and it was no coincidence that life got better!
I started going to Elmbrook Church. I could see that their ways were affecting me positively, and could see myself starting to grow, which was very exciting! I always knew deep down that I always had a big heart and a good sense of humor, but now I use those gifts to glorify God and help others. Elmbrook Church helped me to dig deeper into God’s word, and over time I started to understand that my life had real meaning. I realized that God had a plan for my life, and part of that plan was to have Him as my Lord and Savior.
Now that the Holy Spirit is living in me, that does not mean I am sinless, but being a Christian now means that I do sin less. I still have some struggles in my life and even in my faith, but now I know who to go to for help God and His Word. I have been blessed that God put three extraordinarily loving and dedicated people in my life to help guide me: my dear Mom; my good friend and brother in Christ, Mark Mallwitz; and my friend and big sister in Christ, Sue Sauer. God has sprinkled a few others in my life, that I am very thankful for also.
For some years now I have had a quiet time each morning when I wake up. I read my Bible, do some journaling, and pray to start the day off right. That is very important to me. Also, it is vital for me to go to my Bible study on Wednesdays and church on Sundays. God has been leading me to hand out encouragement cards to introduce people to Jesus via my website NeedEncouragement.com.
I was saved by God’s grace. It was not anything that I did except to confess Jesus as my Lord and Savior, and believe in my heart that God raised Jesus from the dead and that I follow Him the best I can.