Warcry: The real me
Haylee Jager says she was snatched from near death, just in the nick of time.
I have spent most of my life trying to be someone else; someone better. Someone I would rather be, someone who I thought you would rather I be—anyone but me. I may have even looked at you and tried to be you at some stage.
Eventually the lies of living a double life caught up with me. I was undone and it was time to return to God.
I first began a relationship with Jesus when I was 14. I was on tour with the Australian Rosny Children’s Choir, in Rockhampton at the time. Any doubts I had about the existence of God were smashed. For the next four years I walked closely with God and was embraced by a loving church family, as my own family were not ‘church goers.’
The cracks in my faith began to appear in my first year of university. I became seduced by the things of the world. I compromised my faith and spent the next 13 years trying to have a relationship with God on my own terms.
During these years I completed two bachelor degrees, a post graduate certificate, lived in the UK, travelled, worked, got engaged and then called the wedding off seven weeks before the event, bought a house and looked to have the outside of my life together (for your approval).
On the inside, I was slowly being taken hostage by alcohol and had fallen captive to a new master and commander—the bottle. Alcoholism is a progressive illness and I was slave to its demands.
On 5 December, 2011 God removed the desire for alcohol from me. I didn’t even ask him to. I think he just got tired of seeing me suffer. I can tell you the exact moment of the event. I was standing in line at Perth Airport trying to change my flight. My flight had been delayed by 12 hours due to an electrical storm. My life had gone down the drain and I was trying to get home to my mum. I had every excuse to drink, but absolutely no desire to do so.
A month later I was admitted into Selah (Salvation Army Recovery Services, Bridge Program) on the NSW central coast. Here I began my walk back home to God and he came running out to meet me with open arms.
Every time I’m asked to share my story there are tears, as God heals another part of the deep wound I have. I’m crying as I write this now because I know that even when I was at my most vulgar, God still took delight in me, though not in what I did.
Someone told me the other day that the Greek word for delivered means to be snatched from near death. I agree. I was snatched from nearly being physically, emotionally and spiritually dead just in the nick of time. I dare not think of what I would have become.
The trick for me now is to stay close to God. It is now over two years since God did a miracle for me in the Qantas queue and most days I don’t recognise my own life. Thankfully, when money, friends, possessions, status and the bottle had let me down time and time again, my everlasting Lord was there to catch me.If you take one message away from this story, may it be that God is always there, so there is always hope. We are never so far away from him that we are out of reach of his love. He is not angry with you and he wants, more than anything else, to be with you.
Other stories from Warcry
To read other stories from past issues of Warcry click here.