Tiffany Koehler: Something to Live For
By Rod Thomas
The 700 Club
Tiffany Koehler fondly remembers her childhood; the days at the beach and going to church with her family. But one day, the good memories came to an end. She recalls the tragedy that changed her life.
“My brother got sick with leukemia when I was 15. Watching him come in and out of the hospital and chemotherapy and radiation - it was horrible,” Tiffany said.
Watching her brother suffer was too painful for Tiffany, so she found a way to deal with it.
“My way of coping with it was partying, just trying very hard to numb my feelings. I started going to Grateful Dead concerts when I was 16, and that introduced me to a lot of drugs and a hippie culture of hedonism,” Tiffany said.
Her brother died three years later. The family was devastated. By then, Tiffany’s drug problem was out of control.
“After my brother died, I knew that I was in bad shape and I had told my parents that I needed help, and they put me in rehab and I had stayed sober for awhile,” Tiffany said.
But Tiffany just traded one addiction for another.
“A lot of promiscuity and staying out all night; when I was 16, I got pregnant and had an abortion. Then moved to Texas and started dating another boy and within six months I was pregnant and had another abortion,” Tiffany said.
The abortions laid a heavy guilt on Tiffany, and she went back to drugs. As she got older, the addictions got worse.
“From the time I was 23 until I was 28 was probably the worst of the drugs. And really, the worst of those was ecstasy and speed,” Tiffany said.
Tiffany went in and out of rehab, but she couldn’t stay clean.
“The only person that really mattered was me, and my pain, and my needs, and what I wanted. Of course, at the time all those things add up and you just feel destroyed inside. I was full of shame, and full of guilt, and full of remorse. There was many times I contemplated suicide; many times that I knew if I just took a few more pills or just drank a few more – another bottle of wine, I would not wake up. And I would have been okay with that,” Tiffany said.
All the while, Tiffany’s parents kept telling her how much God loved her.
“I put them through hell. Stealing from them and stealing their cars and using their credit cards. They just never stopped believing in me. My mother just never stopped believing in me. She would just say, “You know, Jesus loves you, Tiffany, and He’s got a plan.
“I believe it was in ’98 when I started watching The 700 Club. And I would catch it late at night, at like 2:00 a.m. I’d be up, you know, smoking pot and watching TV,” Tiffany said.
Often she watched Gordon Robertson, and saw in him someone she could relate to.
“I’ve heard him say on the show too that he’d had a little bit of a wild past too, so I always felt like, ‘Well, he gets it.’ You know? ‘He’s not naïve. He knows what’s going on,’” Tiffany said.
Tiffany watched the show night after night.
“Gordon was talking about how you can come to know Christ. There was something in me that just said, ‘You know, you can do this.’ That was the night I gave myself to the Lord. He did the prayer of salvation and I just prayed with him. I felt the relief of it because he was talking about your sins being as far from the east as to the west; and especially something that still to this day means very much to me is that you’re made white as snow and that you’re made clean,” Tiffany said.
It took time for Tiffany to fully accept God’s forgiveness for everything she had done. But as she studied the Bible she found new freedom.
“I really believed that Jesus loved me and that he can make me new. I find so much comfort in that He sees the big picture. Because I would have given up on anyone like me a long time ago,” Tiffany said.
Tiffany is now married and has a family. She and her husband Jeff keep busy making happy memories of their own.
“God had healed my spirit enough to believe that I’d always wanted children and a family and a husband to love. He can take someone like me and make them a wife, make them a mother, make them somebody you would want to be friends with. You know? Make them new again. It’s true. It’s really true,” Tiffany said.Can God change your life?
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