I wrote this up since my Pastor asked me to give my testimony to the church one sabbath, and I know there has been some of you that have asked me about it.. so here you go. Obviously it’s only a tiny part, but anyways.. without further ado…
Dear Father God, guide my words so that my brothers and sisters may see you and not me. Open their ears and hearts to your life changing power, so that we may become a people of jubilation that the world will wonder what it is that we have. Thank you God for your faithfulness, in Jesus’ name we pray.
I am going to tell you a story of pride, of depression, of suicidal tendencies, of self-mutilation, of alcohol abuse, and anger, A story of failure that through the power of the Holy Spirit transformed the journey of failure into a journey of restoration. It is, hopefully, a short synopsis of my life so far.
Before highschool I had a problem with depression and anger. I grew up in a school where seeing someone crush up speed in the locker room before going out to PE was pretty normal. Drugs were rampant, you either did them or got beat up by those that did do them. We would make gangs to protect each other from each others differences, since if you did not think the way I did.. there was something wrong with you, but nothing a good beating couldn’t help. Fear and anger were the driving forces for us. If I wanted anything, I would do it myself, I depended on myself for everything.. I was in control of myself and those around me.
When my parents got a divorce it was more than I could handle. Both parents would dump on my brother and I, ask for advice on things that we could barely grasp, cry in front of us, we were asked to deal with more then our minds could handle. I was losing control of my world.. I had to get out, so I left and went to Academy.
I went from being an “angel” in the school I went to before, mostly because I could talk my way of out anything, to getting in trouble for things I took for granted before. If I was angry, I went for a walk because I did not want to fight and hurt people anymore, but I was not allowed to, so I took it out on myself instead. I would hit brick walls, I would hit trees. It took weeks, months for me to heal.. I was angry so often that my hands wouldn’t heal in between times, so I started hitting glass because it would make me bleed without the broken knuckles and to me bleeding was anger, the more I bled the more the anger left me.
I was a private person and the only person I would tell things to was whoever my girlfriend was at that time. I would bare all, and when I broke up with them it was due to incompatibility, but when they broke up with me, I took it as pure rejection.. I let them in, let them know me.. and when we split up, I would blame it on that I was such a horrible person they couldn’t be with me.. regardless of the real reason for the break up.
I became suicidal, things were piling up to the point that anything that went wrong I would think about suicide. Two times I came very close to going through with killing myself. The first, was due to a breakup and because I knew God wouldn’t want me to commit suicide.. I grasped onto that until I got through it.
Here is my favorite part, the part I look back on with thanksgiving, the highlight of my life, the life changing part where God shows me who I am and I have a choice to make.
I found a woman I considered my soulmate… she was a girl version of me and I was a guy version of her. We were very passionate about each other, but she was dating someone else.. I was the guy, hoping and praying that she would leave him for me. My life was planned and invested completely in her.. everything I was, was wrapped up in the package that was her. When she called it off to go back to her boyfriend, I broke down completely, I couldn’t stand, I could do nothing, but sob, I couldn’t even scream… when I finally got my strength back I took off walking to the nearest bar, a good 5 or more miles away. The only parts of that walk I remember are people honking, the screaching of breaks and me praying that someone would please hit me and stop the pain. I remained drunk for 2 years and when I was not drunk I was angry, so angry at everything and everyone.
During those 2 years I worked on a suicide note to my family. I would work on it at nights, I would plan how I was going to do it. I couldn’t get the wording just right though.. no matter how I worded it I knew that my parents, grandparents, brother would blame themselves. So I kept rewriting it because I had to get it right, I loved my family so I could not let them have that guilt.
I see now that God gave me an impossible task, the only thing that kept me alive. I had to go through everything that I did, to get over myself, to be shown what happens when I am in control. I had to be broken down so that I could be remade into God’s image instead of my own.
After the 2 years, when the extreme anger finally passed. I was nothing like the person I had been before, there was not much left of me. Being angry for 2 years, 24 hours a day 7 days a week takes a lot out of a person, breaks you down until all you are is angry and then when that is gone, there is nothing left.
That’s when God can finally get to work. Because I have no confidence in myself, God can now fill me up with the confidence that is in Him. He needs me because I am a nobody and He can make me a somebody. He does not care about my past, He only cares about the future that He plans for me. I look back and see a truly loving God, one who did not answer my prayers the way I wanted, because God is not concerned with preserving me in time, He is concerned with perserving me for eternity.
To look back and see this, helps me to look forward and put my complete trust in Him, to allow God to do His work in me, regardless of my surroundings or what is going on in my life. On a side note, I lost my brother to suicide after this time, and I do wish that I would have been able to share all these revelations with him.
I would like to read a small part of a sermon by Henry Wright that speaks volumes to me and I hope that it does to you also:
“Until you are willing to be totally broken you will continue to fail. The difficulties will increase according to your need to be restored. God will not stop until you are ready to be fully restored, he’s not concerned about your feelings, he’s not concerned about your fears, he’s not concerned about your reputation, he’s concerned about saving your soul for eternity and he will do what he must do until he accomplishes his goal in you.
Don’t let the devil make you think that because you tried and failed that God is through with you. Your failure is His step to your success. That is when God can do something with you, since your ego is now out of his way.
There is power in Jesus Christ, it may not come when you want it, but it always comes on time, it is this power that transforms a man full of his own strength, tears them apart and builds them back into a man full of God, a man totally dependent on God for his strength.”
I still get depressed periodically, and pride likes to peek it’s ugly little head out once in awhile. At times a bit of steam if seen coming from my ears as my temper begins to boil, but now there is a joy in my heart and joy in my soul, that shuts out the devil’s accusing voice. Nothing can take the joy from me because my hope does not lie here on earth where things are ephemeral, but in heaven with my Savior Jesus Christ, where things are eternal. Only God can take us from our path of failure to His path of restoration! God is good all the time!