Revive Our Hearts Radio

The Testimony of Iris Blue, Part 3

Leslie Basham: Few things grieve a parent's heart more than a child who rebels against God.

Welcome to Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss. It's Wednesday, July 31, 2002.

We all want our children to grow up and be in a relationship with God. And it can hurt a parent deeply to watch their child reject biblical truth. Today we'll hear that there is hope for hurting parents. We've been listening to the testimony of Iris Blue over the last couple of days and to introduce the final part of the story here's Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Over the past couple of days, we've heard from a woman who as a little girl, like all little girls, had a deep longing to be loved, feel valuable, feel accepted. But she went looking for that in all the wrong places and directions. In fact her rebellions against God lead her into a life of immorality, drug addiction and ultimately prison.

Even in prison, Iris said that dream she had as a little girl never changed. There in solitary confinement, Iris would fantasize that someone would open her up and inside they would find an attractive, valuable, sweet little girl, the lady that she wanted to be.

I first heard Iris share her story at a conference where several hundred women were gathered. And it amazed me to look around the room and see what she had shared and to see the extent to which women connected with her--not always because the background and details in which she shared were the same but because they related to that longing to be accepted and to be loved and to be a lady. Today we're going to hear the conclusion of Iris's testimony and see how the grace of God found her at the deepest point of her need and brought fulfillment to that longing and dream she had always had.

Iris Blue: I finally got out of prison. Seven years had come and gone. And when I got out my daddy was there to pick me up telling me how much he loved me. When I got home, piled on my bed were seven years of Christmas presents, Valentines, Easter baskets and my mom made all the other kids come and act like they liked me. And they came and they had a smorgasbord. We had a good time.

But within a few hours my younger sister said, "Come on let's go for a ride." She had drugs for me. I got back on drugs within hours of my release. Before long, I was back doing worse than before living in two lifestyles wickeder than ever because I thought that I was going to be a confused person for the rest of my life and there wasn't any way out.

I didn't know what was going on. But I know I wanted to be valuable to somebody. And all you can do is play the game everybody plays. I didn't think there was hope because I had met every kind of person there was. When I got out and got messed up again, my parents were sick. They knew what was going on but they didn't want to know too much. My mother was desperate, and in all those years she had never told one person in church that I was in trouble, even her own sister. My aunt didn't even know were I was. She thought...they all knew it...they just didn't tell her they knew it.

They kept it to themselves. And she kept it to herself. And finally one day she got honest and said, "I need prayer for my daughter. She's not sick, she's lost. She's not in another town working. She's been in prison and I'm asking you to please pray for her salvation." And she got honest and she said, " God I don't want You to keep her safe anymore, if it takes her losing an arm or a leg or going back to prison, whatever it takes I don't want to go to heaven without my baby."

I said, "You told God that?"

And she said, "Yes. I don't want to go without my whole family."

Man that's love! My mother said she lifted us up to Jesus. Just two weeks after that a young man got up at church one day and said, "God wants us to be witnesses. I want to be a witness; I want God to use me."

And so he decided I was going to be his first target. One of our famous evangelists tried to encourage him to leave me alone because I was a troublemaker. He said that I would cause him to mess up. That young man wept and said, "If Jesus can save me, He can save her." He told me Jesus loved me. I had heard that story before. He told me that whatever I had done, that Jesus could take away all my sins and make me brand new. He called the bar late at night and I would say, "Hello."

And he would say, "I just called to tell you that Jesus loves you."

And I would hang up on him.

He'd wait till almost closing time and he would say, "Hey I'm calling to remind you that I'm praying for you and Jesus loves you." He'd call in the afternoon and say, "Man, you'll never believe what I just found out about this woman. She had been married five times and was caught 'shacking up' right now."

And I would say, "Who?"

And he would say, "Oh, it's a woman at the well with Jesus."

And I would say, "Oh, shut up." And I would hang up on him again.

He would sneak up on me and suck me in. I would listen for a while and then he'd do it again. He witnessed to me from Sunday afternoon to Thursday. On Wednesday nights he would have people pray for me at church. Thursday night he called me, March 31, and he said, "I wanted you to come outside because I'm never coming back into that bar. But I'd like for you to come outside because I want to tell you, "Bye." I'm not going to bug you anymore."

And that kind of shook me up and I thought, Are you giving up on me or something?

So I went outside and waited for him. And when he got there, I went and sat in the car. And he started crying and said, "You think I'm not even a man because of what you and those girls are trying to get me to do. I know it would feel good for a moment but I'm more concerned about your eternity than a moment's pleasure." I had met men and women that would ruin anybody's life, even a baby's life, if it meant a moment's pleasure.

I think I would have ruined anybody's life; it really didn't matter to me. If I wanted something it didn't matter who I hurt to get it. And here he is more concerned about my eternity, at a time I can't understand and a person I can't touch. I just didn't understand.

He said, "You don't even know, but I made a commitment a long time ago."

I said, "You have been telling me that Jesus loves me and that every hair on my head is numbered."

He would tell me that Jesus was acquainted with all my ways, and that even if I hid in the darkness and thought that nobody saw me that God saw me and knew everything about me at my very worst and still loved me.

He even explained to me about going to court and said, "Remember what it felt like when the judge said that the wages of this penalty in this state is this." He said, "One day we'll stand before the judge, not just a judge; and the wages of sin is death, but Jesus loves you so much." Can you imagine standing in a courtroom and a man that's innocent says, "Wait a minute, I love her so much that I'll go in her place." Every prisoner daydreams stuff like that. But he said, "Oh, that doesn't even skim the surface of what Jesus did on the cross. He loves you."

He'd tell me these stories. So here we are in front of the bar and he says, "I can't see you anymore because I made a commitment that I wasn't going to hang around with tramps."

When he called me a tramp I wanted to cut his throat. I thought, All this week you've been telling me how precious I am to God and that I was valuable. And now in one word, I was garbage? What do you do with garbage? You put it on the ground and garbage men take it away.

And he said, "You don't even understand, Jesus can make you a lady." And when he said the word "lady", it was like something just exploded inside me.

And I thought, All I've ever wanted to be was a lady. And if He's real I want it.

He said, "You see, it's really like a marriage--it's not just believing. Because if just believing in Jesus would save you, you would have been saved when you first heard the truth. But it's a commitment of your life to Him, saying by faith, "I give You me." It's not just a one-way street. He gets all of you. And you get all of Him."

I said, "I'm ready."

He said, "Okay, I'm going to lead you in a prayer, kind of like a wedding." And he said," Jesus do You want her?" I didn't hear nothing, but he said, "He said, 'I do.'" And then he said, "Iris, do you want Jesus?"

And I said, "I do."

And he said, "Jesus she ain't worth it." He bankrupt heaven for you. "Now, Iris, is there anything you're not willing to give Him?"

And I said, "I'm ready." I remember saying that night, "Lord, I'd sleep in a ditch if you will really take away my yesterdays and make me forgiven. I'd sleep in a ditch if you can really forgive me. I want that."

And we took hands and there was a little girl dancing in the window. And they weren't playing "Just as I Am." We could feel the music on our knees--it was so loud, and he said, "Pray with me." And it's a sinners prayer but it's like a preacher getting a couple to repeat vows and saying, "I give you me." So that's what the sinner's prayer is.

And when he took my hand and led me in that prayer, it was like God pulled a curtain back in my heart. And I realized, my testimony that I have shared around the world is that on March 31, out in front an old bar, I knelt down a tramp, a loser, a zero. And I stood up a lady, clean, pure, forgiven, innocent, blameless, cherished, brand new. My life was different.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: I never get tired of hearing the power of Christ that can transform a life. Iris said, "I knelt down a tramp and I stood up a lady." Isn't that a picture of what Paul said, "If any person is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things are passed away, behold all things are become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17). You know even as we hear Iris's testimony, my heart goes out to her mother. She said for years her mother carried this burden of a wayward daughter in heart and never told one person. The turning point for that heavy-hearted mother came when she finally got honest and she said to some close friends, "I need you to pray for my daughter."

I think in that testimony we see the power of love and the power of prayer. And I wonder if there aren't some mothers listening to this program today who may be crying yourself to sleep at night over the spiritual condition, over a lost son or daughter or a grandchild. Could I encourage you not to carry that burden all by yourself? You may just need to take a step of humility and just open your heart to some other believers and say, "I need you to join me in praying."

Week after week, mothers come up to me and pour out their heart about a troubled son or daughter or grandchild. And I just wonder what would happen, if we would just link arms together as women of God and say, "We're going to lay hold of God and pray and wait on God and love each other. And we are going to love these children. And we are going to believe that God is going to supernaturally intervene in their lives."

I believe there are some miracles God wants to do in the hearts of young people, even as He did in the heart of Iris all those years ago. It may be the power of a praying mother that God uses to bring that child back to Himself.

Leslie Basham: That's Nancy Leigh DeMoss offering hope for hurting parents. If you know of a mom who would benefit from the story of Iris Blue, why don't you call us and get a copy. It's available on cassette for a $5 suggested donation when you call us at 1-800-569-5959. The tape also presents the testimony of Iris's husband; Duane Blue, which is equally powerful.

You can also order the cassette on-line. Our address is ReviveOurHearts.com. Maybe at one time you had a prodigal child and can tell the story of God's working in his life. Send us a letter at Revive Our Hearts.

We'd also like you to consider becoming involved in the ministry of Revive Our Hearts. Your prayers and financial gifts help make this program possible. Let us know how you would like to become involved. Now tomorrow Nancy will begin a new series called, Singleness, Burden or Blessing.

We hope you can be here for Revive Our Hearts.

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

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