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Her former drug-scene friends say she’ll ‘get over it,’ b

COCHRANE, Alberta, Canada (BP)–After years of being known as a party girl, Susie Henley, 30, has a new life in Christ.
“A lot of my friends have pulled away from me. They’re freaked out,” Susie said. “I was the acid queen, the party girl. They think I’ll ‘get over it,’ but I haven’t.”
Susie leapt into the drug scene right after graduation. The next 10 years were a blur. Traveling the world, the only routine in her life was “wake and bake” — every day began with coffee, cigarettes and a joint (marijuana).
“I never thought a day ahead of the day I was living. My life was having fun. I just lived moment by moment. I could not imagine not doing drugs,” Susie said, describing her old mind-set. “Everyone I knew did them.”
She credits God with protecting her from the seduction of cults and Eastern religions during her extensive periods in the Orient.
“No matter what free-living scene I was in, I never got pulled into Buddhism, New Age or other stuff because Jesus was always there in my mind,” she said, although, “My life did not reflect Jesus.”
By the time she was 25, Susie had seen a lot of the dark side of life. She began questioning what she had always thought of as her dad’s religion. Her father, George Henley, was the only believer in the family for many years.
“Who is Jesus?” Susie asked herself. She would travel many more miles and have some horrific “bad trips” on drugs before finding peace in him.
During a season of despair after ending an eight-year relationship with her boyfriend, an artist in British Columbia, Susie found herself on her knees in front of a Billy Graham telecast. Weeping, she cried out to God and he answered her prayer, giving her the strength to go on.
Stuffing a Bible in her backpack, she left for Japan. She immediately fell back into her old party ways but two things had changed. She told everyone she met about Jesus and she quit using hard drugs. She wasn’t ready to give up pot and cigarettes, being addicted to both.
The Bible went with her from country to country — unopened. Until she got to India. The request of a young Indian girl to translate some verses made Susie read it for the first time. She was overwhelmed.
“When you fall so deep as I did and God reaches out to you, there’s no denying it,” she said.
Not long after, Susie received some much-needed reality therapy. She was rolling a joint while reading aloud from her Bible to a new friend, Sarah, who observed, “I want to tell you one thing. Your intentions are good, but your actions stink!” For the first time, Susie realized she was like the liar she had read about in 1 John 2:4. The shattering reality of the number of people she had deceived by living one life and proclaiming another gripped her.
“I quit [using pot] right then and there. I was hindering people from coming to know the Lord! I am completely drug-free now,” she said.
Susie finally realized she could never grow as a Christian without fellowship. Like the prodigal son, she went home in mid-1997 to be nurtured at Hillcrest Baptist Church in Kamloops, British Columbia.
After an incredible experience as a summer missionary in 1998, Susie recognized her calling.
“I loved the style of life in India. I want to be a missionary and work with those kids on the street there.” In order to be a missionary, she is pursuing a degree at the Canadian Baptist Seminary in Cochrane, Alberta.
“I want to be with God and do the right thing. I’ll just go day by day. I don’t want to run ahead of Jesus — Jesus is so amazing! What is life without him?”

    About the Author

  • Connie Cavanaugh