Lara Love Story
Please find below my miraculous personal story & a message of LOVE & HOPE for the world!
I was lost and broken beyond human hope for decades.
My life has been devastatingly, gut-wrenchingly, and heartbreakingly hard.
I considered suicide for about 20 years.
One day something miraculous happened.
I found THE GREATEST LOVE EVER and HOPE in the most unimaginable place and way.
Though my personal story is still hard, I am now filled with LOVE & HOPE, peace, joy, passion & purpose!
The world is in dire straits. Evil, darkness, & suffering seem worse than ever.
People are desperately longing and looking for LOVE & HOPE. Not the kind that flicker and fade away. They want something to hold onto.
I did not find something to hold onto. I found someone. And the most amazing LOVE RELATIONSHIP imaginable. One that is everlasting.
THE GREATEST LOVE EVER and the source of this LOVE & HOPE I found are available to all the world!
I Wanted to Kill Myself
For about 20 years I thought about killing myself and a few times made the decision to kill myself.
I was lost and broken beyond human hope for decades.
My life has not been nearly as hard as the lives of countless people worldwide, but for me it has been unbelievably hard.
I was desperate to find LOVE, HOPE, and help.
But the more I searched in this world, the more broken I became.
On one extreme, I was obsessed with men and alcohol and food and losing weight and thought the perfect man and relationship and weight and a zillion other things and people would make me feel LOVED and give me HOPE and rescue and save me.
On the other extreme, I went all out searching for professional help and self-help programs and techniques and a zillion other things.
On both extremes, I only grew worse.
I looked desperately to the world to save me.
The world could not save me.
Deep inside I knew suicide wasn’t the answer.
But what could the answer possibly be?
Really Hard Challenges
I have had plenty of things and people in my life for which and for whom I am incredibly thankful, but more than anything my life has been filled with endless really hard challenges.
Just a little of my story:
Sexual abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, flashbacks, nightmares, alcoholism, anorexia, depression, self-mutilation, anxiety, self-help books, psychiatrists, psychologists, emergency rooms, the psychiatric ward, a special hospital for the anorexia, counselors, medications, self-help groups, recovery groups, welfare, food stamps, charity care, disability, broken unhealthy relationships. An unbelievably tragic & excruciatingly painful situation for decades concerning my beloved family whom I love beyond measure. Being nearly raped, being what used to be called acquaintance raped though I blamed it on my drunkenness, verbal abuse and rage from a husband with addictions, abandoned by two husbands, two unwanted divorces. The closest female friend I had ever had found dead with a shotgun wound to her chest, the tragic death of my beloved pastor, the death of countless rescued dogs from my extreme dog rescue work days who were my little family, the tragic loss of numerous people, physical health issues, mental health issues, the death of my second husband with whom God had given me a beautiful bond after our divorce, mental health issues, and being assaulted in New York City by someone I reached out to in order to try to help.
I literally can’t remember all the really hard challenges nor the order of it all. It has simply been too much.
I have a miraculous personal story because despite how indescribably challenging it has been and still is, I have found the GREATEST LOVE EVER.
My heart and life will never be the same.
The Miracle That Changed My Life
Years ago, on a beach in New Jersey, I was so heartbroken over an unbelievable tragedy I hurried to the public restroom to cry in the bathroom stall.
“Please God help me!” I sobbed in total desperation.
I am 100% Jewish by birth and grew up in a Jewish family that practiced a few religious traditions but did not believe in God.
In my 20s I had asked a “god” I did not believe in to forgive me for my sins because I felt I should. I did not know who God was nor virtually anything about Him.
Most of my life I had believed God did not exist. For all intents and purposes, at one time I had been an atheist.
But as my life became increasingly broken, I had started wandering into church buildings usually when there were no services and the sanctuaries were empty. I would say the name Jesus. I might have tried to pray. I don’t recall.
I only know I was searching for something. I did not realize I was searching for someone. Jesus did not mean anything to me. He was a word. I knew virtually nothing about Him.
Yet somehow it was as though the Lord had been drawing me to Himself. Wooing me. Leading me. In retrospect I now see that was exactly what He was doing.
Now there I was in the public restroom calling on God without even knowing or understanding what I was doing. I was so desperate.
When I returned to the beach, there was a white crumpled up piece of paper that looked like trash near my feet.
I picked it up and opened it.
It was a prayer in someone’s handwriting!
“Dear Lord Jesus, come into my heart and be the Lord of my life. Let the Holy Spirit fill me with all your peace and joy. Help me to become the person you want me to be, to walk in your path, to do your will, and to glorify your name. Amen.”
That night, on my knees, in utter despair, I prayed that prayer.
I had such a supernatural, unbelievably wild, powerful, and beautiful, shocking, and miraculous experience I thought maybe I had gone crazy.
I had found THE GREATEST LOVE EVER. I had received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of my life. I had found the one true God and His love and the only way to heaven and a forever intimate relationship with Him.
I had found the best love relationship in the world.
I had found Jesus.
I had found someone to be loved by and to love and to hold onto and to live for and to lead me and guide me and protect me and heal me and comfort me and change me and grow me and provide for me and be with me and so much more forever and ever.
I had found LOVE and HOPE that will go on forever no matter life’s challenges.
God IS love! He IS the God of HOPE! He IS the LOVE & HOPE I needed! He IS the LOVE & HOPE this world needs! He IS the answer I needed! He IS the answer this world needs!
For the rest of my life and forever I now would be His and He would be mine. I would belong to Jesus and have His love forever.
I would ultimately learn to become a totally devoted Jesus follower and experience and enjoy a forever intimate relationship with God.
I would now be able to find and fulfill my life purpose.
I now had in my heart and life THE GREATEST LOVE EVER. Jesus Christ. Forever God! Hallelujah!
I Made Some Big Mistakes
Beginning a relationship with someone is one thing. Growing in that relationship is another. For a variety of reasons, my relationship with God did not get off to a great start. I made some big mistakes.
I did not have a full understanding of what happened to me when I received Jesus as Lord. I did not have people in my life to help me grow in my new relationship with God. I did not read the Bible, find a church and/or Bible study, house church, prayer meeting, etc. I did not spend time alone with God.
I kept right on living for self according to the world’s sinful ways rather than learning to live for Jesus according to God’s ways.
I ended up getting mixed up under false teaching that looked Christian on the outside but did not line up with the Bible. Then I fell under watered-down biblical teaching. I was very mixed up and did not grow in my relationship with God as I should have done.
The biggest problem was that there is so much false teaching and watered-down teaching about God in these times that I did not have the true teaching and guidance needed to learn how to be a totally devoted Jesus follower and to grow in my relationship with the Lord.
But God in His love, mercy, and patience with me set me straight and began to teach me by His Holy Spirit through the Bible and began to bring into my life His faithful followers to help me learn how to follow Jesus and grow in my relationship with Him.
My Life Purpose
The last things I ever would have imagined in my years of brokenness beyond human hope is that I would become a totally devoted follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, that God would lead me to start a ministry, that the Lord would ultimately call me to go on the road for my ministry work with my special needs ministry dogs, and that He would give me an exceedingly humbling and beautiful life purpose.
My life purpose is to help people to be totally devoted Jesus followers and to experience and enjoy a forever intimate relationship with God.
For decades I was so lost and broken it was often hard for me to imagine making it through a single day. I had no sense of purpose on this earth.
Now I live and breathe to love, worship, praise, honor, serve, obey, adore, and glorify God and to tell the world about THE GREATEST LOVE EVER. Jesus!
A Message of Love & Hope for the World
As the world’s woes and human suffering seem to worsen by the day, and as people desperately seek an answer, it is my privilege to share with others about THE GREATEST LOVE EVER – God – and how to have a relationship with Him here on earth and forever in heaven.
This world is filled with people, places, and things that offer us LOVE & HOPE – for a while. But everything in this world is temporary, and the LOVE & HOPE we find in this world inevitably come to an end.
But Jesus and the loving forever relationship He wants us to have with Himself and the LOVE & HOPE found in, from, and through Him go on for eternity.
No matter what we face in this life, we can rest assured when we have a relationship with God that He will be with us through it all.
And we can rest assured that as Jesus followers we can experience and enjoy our relationship with God even as we go through life’s trials.
And we can rest assured that as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ we can look forward to heaven with God where there will be no evil, hurt, heartache, sickness, sorrow, dying, hatred, suffering, etc. not ever.
Jesus IS and offers us THE GREATEST LOVE EVER, and there is no greater LOVE & HOPE than that found in Him and a relationship with God forever!
The Greatest Love Ever: The Only Way to God, His Love, Hope & Heaven!
There is only one true God, only one way to have a relationship with God, and only one way to heaven.
God is three in one. God the Father. Jesus the Son of God. The Holy Spirit of God.
Jesus Christ is LORD.
We are all sinners separated from God due to our sins.
The end result of sin is the punishment of death, hell, and the lake of fire in forever torment apart from God.
We will all end up in heaven or hell.
But God doesn’t want us to go to hell. He wants to have a relationship with us on earth and forever in heaven.
We do not deserve God’s love, forgiveness, and the promise of a forever relationship with Him. We cannot ever measure up to God. We cannot earn our way to God and heaven. No amount of good deeds will secure us God’s love, forgiveness and eternal life.
God in His indescribably magnificent love for us made it such that all of this is a gift He offers us.
God loved the world so much He sent His only begotten Son Jesus to the earth to live a perfect life, to the cross to die to take God’s wrath at us and our sin punishment upon Himself, and to raise Jesus from the dead.
Why? All who turn from our sins (repent), believe in Jesus as Lord and in His death and resurrection, and truly turn to Jesus Christ as Lord are forgiven, enter into a forever relationship with God, and the Holy Spirit comes to live inside us!
We must be BORN AGAIN!
We are BORN AGAIN spiritually such that our sins are washed away and we are given a new start in life!
We are SAVED from the punishment we deserve!
We are to TURN from a lifestyle of sin TO GOD AND HIS WAYS AND HIS WILL FOR US!
We receive Jesus Christ as Lord!
We are to humbly follow Jesus Christ as Lord!
We are to surrender ourselves to His lordship!
We are to live according to God’s ways no longer according to the world’s ways!
We are to live for Jesus no longer for self!
We are to live in obedience to God!
As we live for Jesus no longer for self, we blessedly experience and enjoy a forever relationship with God!
The LOVE & HOPE, peace, joy, freedom, fellowship, companionship, friendship, comfort, counsel, healing, wisdom, direction, and endless other blessings that come from God are immeasurable.
There is no greater love than God has for His children.
When we believe in and follow Jesus Christ as Lord, we have THE GREATEST LOVE EVER – forever!
How to Begin a Relationship with God
Confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord.
Believe in your heart Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead.
Turn from your sins and surrender yourself to His lordship over, control of, and rule and reign in your life.
Commit your heart and life to God going forth.
I encourage you to ask God for & receive the gift of His Holy Spirit who lives in believers in the Lord Jesus.
Pray from the heart!
A Big Warning
Saying a quick emotional prayer and just intellectually believing Jesus is Lord and returning to your old way of living with your back turned to God is NOT the way to a relationship with God and to heaven.
Your faith in Jesus as Lord and turning from your sins to the Lord (repentance) needs to be real.
You need to believe in Jesus as Lord and entrust and commit your life to Him and His lordship. You need to surrender your life to God. This means your life going forward should bear the fruit of living humbly and wholly for God as you learn to follow Jesus day by day & forever.
How to Follow Jesus
Jesus calls us to believe in AND follow Him.
How to follow Jesus?
* Make Jesus your first love and #1 priority in life.
* Spend time alone with God on an ongoing basis loving God, being loved by God, praising and worshiping Him, reading the Bible, praying, seeking Him, listening to Him as His Holy Spirit speaks to your heart in line with the Bible, seeking His forgiveness when you need it, and growing in your loving relationship with Him.
* Read the Bible and live by it.
* Live your life led by the Holy Spirit as He speaks to your heart in line with the Bible. The Holy Spirit will lead you, guide you, empower you, give you boldness and courage to tell others about Jesus, comfort and counsel you, lead you to repentance, be your helper, and more!
* Assemble with other Jesus followers in a church, Bible study, prayer meeting, house church, online fellowship, and/or outdoor gathering etc. as God leads that is God-honoring and stands on the truth of the Bible. Love, pray to, serve, praise, worship, and glorify God together, hear good strong preaching from the Bible, etc.
* Stay connected to fellow Jesus followers on an ongoing basis to love, serve, pray for, share with, encourage, teach, and help one another to follow Jesus.
* Tell others about Jesus!
Two Miracle Dogs
Years ago in my dog rescue work, God led me to take in a near-death German Shepherd in dire need of LOVE & HOPE and help. God used me to help save him, then used us to help save a homeless man, then used me and Red the dog whom I named after the homeless man to birth my ministry. I had a phenomenal bond with Red the dog for years. My heart broke when I tragically lost him. See the video “Red’s Story” at www.GoodNews.love.
I had tons of rescued dogs over the years God often used to connect me to people to talk to about Jesus and minister to, but Red and paralyzed dog Mr. Simeon really stood out. Mr. Simeon was with me for 9 years. He trusted me and depended on me for everything, and we had an amazing bond. My heart broke when I tragically lost him.
Given how incredibly hard my life has been and what indescribable blessings Red and Mr. Simeon were to me, I could not fathom making it through those losses.
I would have quit on life and ministry without God’s unfathomable love, comfort, presence and a beautiful and powerful lesson He has taught me.
This life is not about me. It is about Jesus and others and fulfilling my life purpose for Jesus.
Today, despite my ongoing challenges, I live to love, serve, worship, & glorify God with all my heart and to tell the world about THE GREATEST LOVE EVER. Jesus.
“We love Him because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
“Jesus said to him, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the first and great commandment.” Matthew 22:37-38
“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”” Acts 4:12
“But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.” Isaiah 59:2
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23
“As it is written: “THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NO, NOT ONE;” Romans 3:10
“Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”” John 3:3
“that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
“…how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” Luke 11:13
“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!…” 1 John 3:1
“And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” 1 John 4:16
“Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23
“and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” 2 Corinthians 5:15
“”If you love Me, keep My commandments.” Jn. 14:15
“”Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” Matthew 7:21
“”But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” Luke 6:46
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Rom. 15:13
This is excerpted from my pocket-sized The Greatest Love Ever Gospel tract (booklet). Our personal stories are ever unfolding, and the Lord has been doing a stunningly miraculous work in mine! But so very much more important when you read this is not my miraculous personal story but the message for the whole world that goes with it.
For help starting or continuing on in a forever personal relationship with God, please feel free to contact me at 843-338-2219 or lara@GoodNews.love.