Revive Our Hearts Radio

The Testimony of Iris Blue, Part 2

Leslie Basham: Heading down a road of rebellion will lead to tragic consequences.

It's Tuesday July 30, 2002. Welcome to Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

No one intends for their life to end up a mess, but a small amount of rebellion can lead us to places we just don't want to be. Today we'll hear about a young woman who grew up going to church and dreamed about being a wife and a mother. Her rebellious attitude pointed her toward a life a drug abuse and prison instead. Let's join Nancy Leigh DeMoss as she introduces the story.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: You're about to hear a delightful person who is a good friend of mine who shared a story about how far rebellion against God can take you. Her name is Iris Blue. And as we heard yesterday, (as a little girl) Iris was angry with God because she felt, in her own words, big and ugly. In fact, you may remember that she said, "I just wanted to feel that somebody thought I was valuable, special."

Iris grew up in the church; in fact as a little girl she made a profession of faith. She came to realize later that she had never surrendered the control of her life to God as the Creator. And perhaps that's why she had such a struggle accepting the way that God had made her.

Ultimately that rebellion against God lead Iris to make some very wrong choices as we're going to hear today.

Iris Blue: I didn't start out with ambitions to be a mess, but I ended up a mess coming from a good home. When I was 13 years old, that's the first time I ran away from home. I got out there and I found out that you don't have to be far to be a long way from home or to be in a mess. I went out there and within days got on drugs and just did a lot of garbage at 13. And I should have been playing with dolls.

The man that I met, that I thought was finally giving me some attention... (I'd never had attention from guys, the only attention I got was to fight or arm wrestle) so this guy who gave me attention was noticing how I had never danced, except in the mirror while I was brushing my hair. But I'd never really danced or been out in the world and done stuff.

I had not really drunk or done drugs but all of a sudden I'm right in the middle of that world at 13. My parents had come to look for me. And one time I was standing behind a bar in the daytime, it was about 5:00 p.m. And the sun was going down so it was really bright outside. And my mother opened the door and she could not see in. But I could see her and I just dropped down behind the bar. My mother came up to the bartender. And he leaned over me. And my mother started crying and said, "Have you seen my daughter?" And she told him my name and described me and told what I had on when I ran away.

And he said, "No I haven't seen her."

And she handed him a coin and said, "Well just let me know. Here's my phone number. If you see her just let me know if she is alive or dead because I don't know were she is."

He said, "If I ever hear from her, I will do that." When she left we just laughed, but I'm going to tell you that it's one of those things that will haunt you later on. But I'm so glad that the blood of Jesus can even take away the guilt of that kind of stuff and can heal those kinds of things. No matter where a young person goes, God can even put a family back together.

What ended up happening was that I got strung out on heroine. And finally when I was 17 years old, I got arrested for robbery. When I went to jail, I thought that I would get out quick. But they decided to keep me there and try me as an adult. When I stood in front of that judge, I thought he would send me home. But I remember that horrible feeling when he hit that hammer down. And I had waived the right of a jury and accepted his charges because there were so many witnesses that I wasn't gonna try and fight it. That judge sentenced me to eight years in prison. And I remember getting that feeling in my gut saying, "Whoa!"

Then all of a sudden it hit me, Big deal if I do the whole thing, I'll still be younger than you--looking at that judge and I just had such an ugly attitude. And I got in that prison and there were things going on in there that I wouldn't even try to describe. But I walked in with the attitude saying, "Now look there are certain things that I won't do, I might do that"--and see, I'd never changed. From the very beginning, I always thought I had to draw a line and say, "I'll do this but I'll never do that."

And I always realized that I could step over that line and once I had stepped over that line, it didn't seem so bad. And I could look back and say, "That isn't nothing." But I'd always find another line to draw no matter were I was. At my very worst, at the very pits that I had ended up getting to, I could still compare myself to other people. And at one point my biggest comparison was that I would say, "Well at least I'm not a hypocrite. I just do it. I don't do like a lot of those church people that go and claim something and go and live like other people do out in the world."

Even at my worst I would always find somebody to compare myself to. And I would always draw lines. And I always thought I had the power not to go any further. What ended up happening was that I stayed 7 years on that sentence--I should have stayed about 41/2. And I stayed in solitary a lot of times because I would get in fights or get in trouble. When you get in trouble in prison, they don't call your parents. They lock you up.

And when they would lock me up, they called it segregation away from the other inmates. And I would fight and curse--the matrons wouldn't deal with me because of my size. And I liked to fight--they would call the guards. And the male guards would come. And I would fight them. And I mean we would fight. I would hold on to them all the way down and curse and spit and talk about their mothers and be so filthy.

They would leave me in that place and I would rattle those bars and act like I hated it, but I loved it because down there in that cell where nobody could see me--my dream never changed. I still wanted to be a lady. My dream was that I wanted to feel valuable to somebody. I wanted somebody to like me. I wanted somebody to open the door for me, just to treat me like I was somebody.

I didn't mean everybody, if I could find one person just to like me. So down there in that cell I learned how to escape prison, not by picking locks or knocking down walls. I learned to fantasize and daydream. I used to think that was one of the strangest parts of my story (if people really grabbed hold of what I learned to do) was that I could look you in the face and be off building houses or having birthday parties for children I didn't have--all those things.

I would sit in that place and I would pretend that a doctor would operate on me for some emergency reason, maybe I got shot or run over. And when he would cut me open, inside of that big body there would be a little-bitty pretty girl. And I would be so sexy. Men would fall at my feet. Now men had fallen at my feet before but it was because I had decked them, not because I was so pretty. And I just daydreamed of being a lady, gracious and beautiful and feminine, having children, a husband, a home, just all those things.

Then I would get out after 30 days or 60 days. And after a while I kind of started to miss my family. And somebody would walk by and say, "Good morning." I'd hit them for lying and I'd be back down there. They'd lock me up again.

I stayed a total of three years locked up in that solitary cell daydreaming my life away. You know why I think it's so strange (part of my story) is because I found out that even sitting in some of our churches are people who can look you in the face and they are fantasizing that they wish they could be somebody. Only Jesus really makes us somebody. And I found out that a whole lot of people daydream and try to live in a world that's not real because the one they live in hurts so much. And they don't even want to face it, and I saw that a whole lot.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: You know I think that Iris's story really isn't that different from many of our stories. In fact as she described the pain that she felt within and the longing to be somebody, to be special, to be loved--then daydreaming her life away (as she said) to escape that pain--I wonder how many of us behind the masks that we wear to church and when we get together with our friends are really covering up the pain and the deep heart longings wanting to be loved and wanting to be accepted, wanting to be somebody.

Iris found her escape there in solitary confinement and found that if she was combative enough she could end up by herself where she could be alone with her fantasies and her dreams. Now we may not escape to a literal prison, but I find that many women today are escaping to other kinds of prisons and other types of solitary confinement. For you it may be in books, in romance novels, magazines, television programs, videos, work or perhaps even housework or maybe even relationships, maybe with a caring man outside of your own family or someone who will just listen. You hope through this relationship or through this means of entertainment, you hope to mask or dull some of the pain. Perhaps you are looking for an antiseptic. But in the meantime, the disease goes untreated.

Iris said her dream never changed even when she was in solitary confinement. All that fantasizing didn't make it a reality to her. She was going to find that only through Christ could she find the fullness and satisfaction she was looking for.

Let me just say to you that you will never find the fullness, the life, the reality that you are searching for as long as you are living in that dream world. When you run to those places of escape, we actually end up forfeiting the mercy that God wants to give us--mercy that He has provided for the real world. As Augustan said in the fourth century, "Our hearts are restless, until they find their rest in thee."

Iris was searching for something that she was never going to find apart from Christ. Is it possible that today you are searching for something in all the wrong places? Let me encourage you to turn to Christ and in Him and only in Him will your heart find the rest of the reality that you are searching for. In fact let me invite you wherever you are right now to bow your heart before the Lord and express to Him your longing and your need. In words perhaps something like this:

"Lord Jesus, I know that only You can meet the deepest needs and fulfill the deepest longings of my heart. Forgive me for living in this dream world and for daydreaming my life away. I come to You now to find reality, hope and perspective knowing that in You only will I find my heart's true rest. Thank You for being the real Savior with real grace and real mercy to meet me at my real point of need. In Jesus' name I do pray, Amen!"

Leslie Basham: If you prayed that prayer with Nancy Leigh DeMoss we'd love to hear your story. You can write to us at Revive Our Hearts.

You can also contact us through our Web site at ReviveOurHearts.com. While you're on our Web site, you can order a copy of Iris Blue's complete testimony on cassette. You'll hear some details that we didn't have time to air on the air today, and you'll also hear the dramatic testimony of Iris's husband, Duane Blue. The cassette is available on our Web site ReviveOurHearts.com for a suggested donation of $5 or you can also call us to order at our new toll-free number at 1-800-569-5959.

When you call, we'd like you to consider helping Revive Our Hearts with a financial gift. This is a listener-supported ministry, and your gift can help us continue spreading the message of God's grace into the lives of women.

Today we heard about the downward spiral that landed Iris in prison. Tomorrow we'll hear how God stepped in and changed her life. We hope you can be with us tomorrow for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss is a ministry partnership of Life Action Ministries.

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