This is my lifes story and some of the things that have happened to me that have led me to a personal relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ. I was born and raised in St. Louis, MO and had a wonderful childhood, always happy and traveling around to places like Colorado, Florida, or one of the lakes in Missouri where I grew up. One day, when I was fourteen, my brother and I got into a huge argument and started arguing and fighting and cursing at each other. It was close to bedtime and our dad broke it up. My brother tried to leave the house and dad had to forcibly stop him at the door. We all went to bed really angry that night.
The next day I came home from school and noticed that dad had the day off from work so I went into his room to talk with him. Instead of being able to apologize to him, I found him dead on the floor from a heart attack at age 42. There were no signs of sickness or anything else, although he had smoked cigarettes for many years.
For many years I allowed this single event to control my life. I went into a clinical depression where I lost my will to live. At that time I started reaching out for anything that would make me feel better. The summer after my father passed, I started drinking alcohol heavily. It was not long before I would spend every weekend drinking, often even skipping school to hang out with friends and get drunk. A friend of mine had a neighbor that would supply us with all the free alcohol we could handle. We all went over there everyday after school to drink and party until it was time to go home. This went on for a long time. The newness of that wore off and the depression went deeper. That was the time that I became a high school dropout.
So I turned to taking drugs. It was something new to block out all the pain I felt by being abandoned by my loved ones. One experiment with LSD left me sitting in a chair for 12 straight hours having remembered only bits of what had happened, not even being able to move. It wasnt long after that when I started smoking pot. I was still heavily depressed and it got worse and worse. I was put into the hospital for observation due to my extreme moods and depression. My friends were always distant from me, mostly due to my mood swings, and constant dependency on others. I did nothing more than exist because I had no sense of purpose or direction in my life.
I met a girl at a pizza delivery restaurant where I worked and we started dating. But it wasnt long before I found out that she had started smoking cigarettes and I couldnt deal with it, having convinced myself that they were the reason for my fathers death. So I had a constant struggle with having such strong feelings for someone that did the thing I hated the most.
One day my girlfriend and I went out to my moms house to have fun and visit. I heard them talking about how all her family smokes and in my mind, I thought that she was trying to justify her actions and all the pain it was causing me. I got extremely angry and blew up at her. I used much profanity and told her that we were leaving right then and there. So after her reluctantly agreeing, my mom put our (uneaten) dinner in a Tupperware container and put that in a plastic bag. We got into my car and she blew up at me saying that I had problems and that I was the one to blame for our arguing (which of course was the truth but I didnt want to hear that). I stopped the car, turned around and told her to get out. She finally did and she grabbed the plastic bag and walked up to the house. I got out of the car to get the food. When I did, she said some hurtful things and it was more than I could deal with. In a futile attempt to turn it around to her fault, I completely lost control. I went up to grab the food, took it and flung it, baseball style, toward her. The bag ripped open and I went to go get it. Instead, I grabbed her and shoved her down to the ground and kicked her as hard as I could. Then I got back in my car, and drove home. I started crying so hard I could not even see the road, which was curvy and hilly.
The only thought in my mind was to drive my car into a tree. After nearly a decade of severe depression, I could take no more. I was desperate for a solution, any way to end the pain. I had absolutely no emotion at this time--just desperation. It would be quick and painless, I told myself. But better yet, it would be a final end to my problems, or so I thought.
I kept driving but became unable to see the road anymore, due to my emotional state and heavy crying and weeping. I had no idea what was happening. While I was trying to convince myself to commit self-murder, I could feel all of the depression leave me and I felt a spirit of calmness and peace come over me. God was with me and filled me with Himself. I truly believe that at that time, Gods presence was so strong, that I was no longer in full control of driving my car. Was He assisting me as I drove down the road? Only He knows exactly what had happened that day. All I know is only by the grace of God did I get home safely that night.
And I realized that things HAD to change. I could no longer do it on my own. I had to have help and the only one that could do that was GOD!!
So I checked myself into a hospital to determine if I needed to be on medication for depression or if I needed to be tested to see if I was bipolar/manic-depressive. I stayed there until the doctors told me I could leave. It wasnt the first time I was in the hospital, but it was the first time I was willing to do what the doctors told me to do to get better.
While I was in there, I realized that I had been fighting a battle I had no chance of winning. I remember a guy going through the hospital wing trying to tell people about Jesus Christ. After I got out of the hospital, I started going to church. I was no longer trusting in my efforts to change my life; I was trusting in God and needing the help of the Lord Jesus Christ. I finally began to submit my life to Him. There was nothing that I could do in and of myself to bring about such changes.
With Gods help, I had beaten a depression that drove me to within seconds of suicide and therefore eternal death in the lake of fire. This was only by giving my life to Jesus Christ. Many long years of only existing and not living had been erased by only one thinga personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ and my full submission to Jesus as Lord of my life.
I still had a ton of work to do, and I still do, but I now realize that God has plans for me. I feel that I can help people by what I have gone through. I am good at talking and expressing my emotions, and I can also feel compassion for others. I want to say to everyone that only by the grace of God and by following the truths clearly stated in the Bible can we go to heaven. This includes repenting of your sins, confessing Jesus as the Lord of your life, being baptized, and preserving in the faith.
If this testimony of a changed life because of Jesus Christ can influence one person to accept Christ, or even rededicate their life to Jesus, than I would consider all the pain and suffering to be worth it. How can I be so selfish and keep Gods word away from people I meet? I want nothing more than the will of God to be done in my life.