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Resurrected from a Dead Life

By Zsa Zsa Palagyi
The 700 Club"I wrote my first song when I was 12. When I was a teenager, I would always write songs when I'd break up with a boyfriend because then I was depressed," explains singer-songwriter Beth Champion Masion. "My brother joked one time, 'A couple more boyfriends and you'll have an album!' "

Life experiences - Beth has had lots of them, and when she was younger, she had lots of boyfriends, too. Beth distinctly remembers the guy who captured her heart at 14.

"He was a parents' nightmare - really. Here I was a straight-laced girl, and I brought home a guy who had a purple Mohawk and wore leather and chains and liked to wear black lipstick."

Beth had been raised in a Christian home and had been given a set of rules to live by. But Beth's boyfriend led her down the wrong path, and she couldn't let him go.

"I basically thought, 'If I can't give him up, I can't make myself do that, then I am sinning. And you know what? If I've already messed up, then I'm condemned anyway, so I could do whatever I want now.' "

And that perspective opened the door to everything else, including heavy drinking and using hardcore drugs like acid, speed, coke, and pot - some on a daily basis.

"I did things that endangered my life and that were just plain stupid," Beth says.

Beth felt that she needed to please people to earn their acceptance and love, a concept built upon her image of God.

"I just felt like God was kind of a judgmental, vindictive God, I think," she says. "I think I had this image of God standing there just kind of waiting for you to mess up, and then He was going to pounce on you when you did."

With Beth's track record, she figured it was only a matter of time before her judgment came.

"I think I reached a point where I thought I had gone too far," she explains. "I don't think I had any life plans. It was completely 'live for today.' I could not see the future. I couldn't see beyond next week, next month."

On the outside, Beth looked like she had it "together".

"I was getting high and getting drunk all the time and partying," Beth recalls, "but a lot of people didn't see that. I mean, I was still getting straight A's in school."

But underneath it all, Beth was severely depressed.

"There were a couple times that I really seriously contemplated suicide. I got to the point where I really didn't think there was a whole lot of hope for me," she says. "Everybody that I knew was into drugs. And when your whole lifestyle is that, you feel kind of trapped. I mean, how do you get away from your whole life? How do you go back to a God who you think hates you after all you've done?"

Beth's questions were about to be answered.

It was Easter morning when Beth's mom barged into her room and insisted she come to church. Beth was initially resistant.

"I was thinking, 'Man, I just don't need this guilt trip. I know I'm not living right. I don't need to go and have somebody tell me that,' " Beth remembers.

But it was Easter, so Beth gave in - on her terms. She drove herself to church and smoked a joint on the way.

"I wanted to get high before I went because I didn't want to sit through it without something to take the edge off," she says.

Beth slipped in and sat as far away from people as she could, paying no attention to the service. Was she in for a surprise!

"The most amazing thing happened," she says. "I was sitting there and I was high, and all of sudden, it was like -whoosh! - completely sober minded, clear minded. I did not feel high anymore in the least. My heart was pounding, and I just knew that was my day. It was like God was looking down at me and saying, 'You still have a chance. There is still hope for you.' "

Beth made her way to the front of the church and had a conversation with God that went something like this…

"Lord, you know I have messed my life up so bad. I've just basically thrown it away, and I don't even know why You would want it anymore, but if You want it, you can have it. Please take it and make something of it."

Beth knew something had happened. It was a defining moment.

Says Beth, " I felt in love is what I felt, in love with God. I don't know how else to describe it, that feeling when you first fall in love and you're just excited and you're nervous and you're elated and ecstatic all at once. I felt like I had been resurrected from a dead life."

Walking out of the church Beth says she felt peace being poured over her. "I just felt like a burden of a million pounds was lifted, and I knew that He didn't have His back turned on me anymore. I just knew."

Beth says that while it took time to completely give up her drug habit, she knew her relationship with Christ was secure.

"I felt like He was saying, 'It's OK, you know, baby steps. It's okay. I'm still here.' "

Today Beth is happily married and recently put out her first CD. Beth now understands that she doesn't have to earn God's love and acceptance. These things are hers for free - that's why she has such a deep appreciation for Easter and for Jesus' sacrifice on the Cross.

"The Bible says the wages of sin is death, so the price for what I did, the price for what I've done, was death," says Beth. "I deserved that. It's overwhelming. When I think about what He did, what He took for me, it's overwhelming. It's amazing that He would make such a sacrifice for somebody who completely turned her back on Him. He paid that price for me? Wow!"

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