Some days I didn’t want to move,didn’t want to get up out of bed. Other days I wanted to die. Sleep was my only friend as the depression consumed my soul. Thanksgiving was here, I wasn’t thankful for anything, I was angry because I was alive. Alone, I walked out to a field, very secluded area and fell down on my knees, begging for relief, something, somebody, please take this hurt. Please take the shame and guilt from me. I wasn’t worthy to even cry out to God, I wasn’t even sure there was a God. If there was a God he didn’t show up that day, but believe me, the Darkness was close by. I wept for what seemed like an eternity. I was ringing my hands that day, picking my scabs, that day I was lost. Thanksgiving 2013 was a dark day. There were many a dark day ahead, I just didn’t know.
The battle for my soul led me down a dirty road. A road that I am not proud of. I have heard that God isn’t this or he isn’t that, or there is no God and that is ok that one believes that. Reality is, there is a battle going on, a battle for my very life. You see, I knew God, I have to look in the mirror everyday and see a Fallen Down Man of God, that’s not easy. Not too mention, a disgrace of a husband, a father that walked out of his families life, I am a brother that didn’t cling to his siblings, I am a son that was estranged from his mother and father. I was an employee that took advantage of one of the greatest opportunities and the greatest man that God had ever put into my life. I blew it! I was a friend that didn’t stick closer than a brother. You see I was a drug addict and then I started drinking because I couldn’t get drugs when I needed them. There is a battle going on for my soul! I was suicidal because I let darkness in. I had begun to cut ties with my family, eventually I was gonna kill myself. I listened to the lies of the evil one that told me I was all those things. Let me say this, not one time as a follower of Christ did I ever feel those ways or do any of those things. Even if he isn’t real, the goodness of life is worth the change. Scientifically, he is the great physicist, there is no explaining with our simple minds. Sure, I could rationalize this, but there is no need for rationalization when I can smile today! It wasn’t that long ago that I couldn’t smile.
In April of 2007, I decided in my mind that I was no longer gonna listen to, believe in a God that allowed me to feel hurt like I felt. I did not want anything to do with him or his people. They had hurt me and my family. Why would I wanna associate with something like that? My kids are almost grown now, well, one is right on the precipice of being grown and one is still a little short of it, though she thinks she is grown. They both are very hesitant of God and his workings, but they will get there. It was that month, in 2007, that my life would never be the same. At 33 years old I took my first hydrocodone, in a way that was not proper, or Dr prescribed. My life and use rocketed from there. I couldn’t control it, but it took my hurt away. That’s all I wanted it to do. I had failed at something I felt was my destiny, my calling, my ministry and those little pills became my mistress. They became my life, as I would go to whatever length or pit I had to do to get em. They were my God. Now, at this point in my life I was not an atheist, because I believed there was some kind of spiritual being out there, but that he was no longer interested in me because I SUCKED! He was for other people, why would he want me back? Maybe I had become agnostic, but again, I do not think so because I believed in a Higher Power (God), he just wasn’t for me. I guess I was indifferent, or I thought claiming to be agnostic was a cop out and I certainly am not a “coward”, I gotta believe in something. I was to afraid to call Satan, my God, because I was terrified of that whole scenario. I have seen the Exorcist. I was a speck of dust just searching for something. Everywhere I turned led me to more darkness. I just think that we as human beings should believe in something. Heck, I even thought about Buddhism at one point, great idea there, some of it!
Christianity, today, seemed so unstable, it involves so many different aspects of belief (religion). We have Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Pentecostal, Evangelicals, Holiness, etc etc. You understand what I am saying. Let me clear this up, I am not bashing any of those. I grew up Pentecostal (Church of God), I say do your thing. I just wasn’t sure the whole religious identity was for me. I didn’t get it anymore. There should be a Christian organization called Hypocriticals, I believe they would be the largest group involved with religion, if they would admit it and form it, just kidding, don’t get your briefs in a wad, that was a joke. Seriously, I felt like Gandhi when he said, “…..I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” That is were I was, DONE!
Back to 2013, my life had spiralled out of control. My marriage was failing, at this point I had left the house, I was addicted to pain killers, I was burning a couple trees, I was pretty good at drinking beer, I was depressed beyond anything I have ever felt before, I had lost my job (which is a story in itself; how the greatness of God had even given me that job), I was picked up by police and put in a hospital because I literally felt like I was losing my mind, suicidal. I felt alone, I felt my kids hated me, I felt my wife hated me, I felt everybody hated me. I didn’t have any hope, but there were days I remembered what Andy Dufresne said in The Shawshank Redemption, “Remember, Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies.” I clung to that occasionally. I certainly had blocked out all the love that ever existed, full of anger and hate, regret, shame, guilt and Alone. While in the hospital, I even blocked calls from my wife, I didn’t want to hear her voice, after all, “She put me in there”. I laugh now, at the time it was far from funny. I put me in there!
My wife was dealing with issues of her own. I will let her fill you in on that if she so desires. However, I will tell you, I went to rehab on November of 2007 and again in May of 2008, her father passed away in 2009 and her mother passed in 2010 (May they both RIP in Heaven). She had a hysterectomy in 2010. She had a lot on her. After I left, in November of 2013, she did a whole lot of soul searching and a bunch of work to get herself mentally where she felt she could function. Let me tell you, she went to work, her and God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Throughout November and December and into January, I wanted nothing to do with her. I didn’t want to talk to her, see her or even think about her. However, she and God had other plans. Don’t get me wrong, we have loved one another since we were kids at church, teenagers really. She was the one I saw and I knew that God had plans for us and I would always love her but the marriage was over, as far as I was concerned. There were days she would text me the kindest words, loving words, words that started to penetrate my heart. I was a stone though. I was not gonna let her back in, after all she was the reason I was hospitalized. HaHa! Joke was on me! After a while, and occasionally those few months we would talk and I could tell she was no longer the same person that she was when I left. She was so kind and loving toward me, so caring and even supportive of me, not the choices or the life I was making and living, but my heart and soul. She was supporting the man that I was and I never wanted to be again. She was loving towards me, even after all I have done and said to her. She loved me and believed in me when I felt no one should. She saved my life. She will tell you that it wasn’t her and I know it wasn’t her, but she was a willing vessel that was being used by God. I could never thank her enough. Today, she is better than the girl that I married 22 years ago. She is the most beautiful person I know.
Today, I write this with a new heart. Today, I am home, our marriage is reconciled. But, early this morning (30 April 2014) at 0130 I woke up and couldn’t go back to sleep. I believe it was a divine awakening. I felt a baseball sized lump in my throat and I knew what I had to do. I talked to God. Sobbing, I told him what I thought and he listened. I asked for forgiveness for all I have done and I asked Jesus Christ into my heart and to be the lover of my soul. He graciously welcomed me back. I know how the prodigal son must have felt, because, I was him. Today, my slate is clean. I am a new man with a new heart. Why is this such a big deal for me? Because, I said I would never do it again after he failed me. He didn’t fail me, I failed him. But, Thank God for second chances, third chances or even fourth chances.