I love meeting people for the first time that right away I know that God has done amazing things in their life and their allowing Him to use them to do amazing things in His Kingdom. Shelly Quartieri is one of those people! I've gotten to know her through numerous PBR events and bucking bull futurities through the last 9-10 years. God's love just pours out of her and if you don't know Jesus before meeting her, you'll for sure know Him after speaking with her. Addictions run rampant in this culture that we live in and I truly believe that God is waiting to help each and everyone of us who suffers from an addiction, we just have to ask and seek Him. He might bring us to a rehab center, AA classes, the hospital or take it away in an instant, but for all of those things to really set us free we must lay our lives down at His Feet and seek Him. Shelly has a beautiful story of redemption from the stronghold of addiction and it's an honor to share her Brave Story of how God is bigger than any addiction out there.
Today I am fearless. I am fearless of what people are capable of doing to me physically, mentally and emotionally. I am fearless of the mistakes I might make today and what the future has in store for me, because I know God’s got this! No matter how badly I mess up, His will always prevails for me. I am fearless today but it didn’t start out that way.
It has never been an issue for me about not believing in God or knowing that there is a God. I’ve never doubted. As a young girl, I would lie on top of the car in our drive way in west Texas, talking to God and asking why my life was so crappy and if He even cared about me. My Mom was an alcoholic and the responsibility of that weighed heavy on a six year old little girl. With such a broken upbringing I wondered how God could allow my life to be so bad. When I was 19, I was caught driving under the influence of alcohol. I spent the night in jail and had 2 years of probation with a suspended license. This was the beginning of my battle with alcoholism. I continued to drink heavily going to bars with very little consequence for my actions. The alcohol ultimately controlled my decisions and I was not able to be the woman God called me to be.
When I was 23 I met my current husband, Danny. He was currently going through his divorce. This was a difficult time for me living in a different state, learning a different culture (Texas to New Mexico) and missing what was comfortable to me. Danny had two young boys ages 14 months and 2 ½ years old. We dated for two years then married. I instantly became a co-parent with many responsibilities.
The next 10 years I hid my addiction well, actually functioning in family life and work. And one day I had to come to terms with my addiction. No one, not family or friends thought I had a problem. I’m pretty sure needing a drink by 10 am justifies a problem! So I checked myself into a rehab. Then 1 year later the same rehab facility again! Alcoholism ran in my family and it is a difficult cycle to break. Getting sober was the best thing that ever happened to me and it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life. It was not easy for my family either. The trust was gone. The events that occurred and the things I had done seemed unforgivable. I attended an AA meeting every day for years. This is where I learned to pray. Yes, AA taught me how to talk to God and clean up my past. When I quit drinking I gradually began to learn who I was and what I actually wanted. I wasn’t the same person anymore. I was a better person and my husband could see these changes in me. Actions do speak louder than words.
In AA you have sponsor which is a person whom you go to for issues you are having in life. Ten years ago we moved to the ranch to raise bucking bulls and there were no AA meetings and the business around for miles, is a bar 3 miles from our home……ironic? Yep! So, this is when God became my sponsor. He's the best sponsor I ever had. The things God has done in my life, especially in the last 10 years have been amazing, beyond anything I could even imagine.
As I look back today, I can see how God was working in our lives. At the time that wasn’t so evident. We became Christ-followers, learning to have a relationship with God without the guilt, shame and condemnation. It was an awesome time in our lives and I’ll never forget the memories of watching my husband become a man of God.
I’m thankful He brought us into unity as a couple and as a family. Because of Gods’ mercy and grace our family has grown. We are living grace-filled lives and making healthy decisions. I have learned to trust wholly in God in everything --- my finances, my home, my family. Without Him I wouldn’t have any of it. That is the plain truth.
As God calls me to do things for Him, I do some willingly and excitedly and some not so willingly, dragging my feet, but He never fails. Once I obey, and fulfill his wish, the blessings areunimaginable. I know now, that He knows what He is doing and I trust His covering for my life. I trust that my obedience will render enormous blessing, this is His promise.
It is hard to step out in faith at times, but please know that God equips His callings and doesn’t give us anything we can't handle, because He can handle everything!
So as I clear all this up for you, I now own the bar 3 miles from my home and am able to fellowship with folks I normally would not have been able to. We also run a ranch, that has hosted for 8 years, the non-profit bull riding/bullfighting & Bronc riding camps called “Riding on Faith” Camp. I know there are more in the future to come too! HE told me so………. Today I am fearless!
I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts, living within you, as you trust in Him…..Ephesians 3:16