My personal testimony summarized:
I grew up in the country, a small town in Nova Scotia. Went to Sunday school on a regular basis, until my father was offended with a statement made by church leaders about his best friend. So, at the age of 8, I was no longer allowed to attained church.
My father was and still is an alcoholic, who when under the influence became very violent. He would beat my mother, me and younger brothers because he seemed to enjoy looking at the fear within our eyes. It got worse as the years progressed; it was becoming common that I would have to go to the hospital to be stitched up. Being the oldest, I got the worse of his uncalled for punishments. By the age of 13, suicide was a common thought within my mind, I became very depressed and slept away most of the days, crying to God, Why God, Why!! Even coming to the point of overdosing on a sleep aid, and sleeping for 3 days straight, only to awake and see that you were still alive.
By 14, I myself started a new habit. Stealing beer whenever I could just to deal with this so called life I was given. Then, it was occasional, just a weekend type thing. My father was still beating us almost it seemed on a daily basis. But by this time, such behaviour seemed normal to me, I became callous to such. By 15 I started dating, and getting into much premarital sex, me and my father would fight on a weekly basis with our hands. Throwing punches at each-other, just hoping one of our heads would just come off of the shoulder.
By 16 after 2 years of me and my father physically fighting each other, he finally pushed my last nerve by grabbing a girl I was with by the throat. Needless to say my temperament shot like the lightning in a storm, never was I ever so mad. I remember hitting him, not caring if he lived or not. By the end of that night we both were in the hospital and facing assault charges. These are the days I would love to forget.
That night I moved away from home, only 16, to face a world that I never knew existed. Living with the girl that my father physically harmed and her parents, trying to figure out where to go next in this life. At 16, your mind is weak, you are ignorant, not knowing what road to take, not even knowing that there are other avenues in life. MY ONLY THOUGHTS WERE SERVIVAL, this animal like instinct that lives deep down inside us, telling us to pursue a life. I would like to tell you that I chose the right road, but I didn’t, things only got worse.
My relationship with this girl shortly ended, and I found myself homeless, living on the streets of an uncaring society. But I never lived there long, I soon meet some people who took me inn, never did I know what would come next. This guy seemed very nice and we became good friends, study partners in school, each others coach and partners in every day life. But the problem was his mother; she seriously thought she was Satan himself. She would speak to you as a woman, and then her voice would become deep like a man, speaking in an unknown tongue. Needless to say, I was scared, this is the first time I had met a lady that had a so called mental disorder and not just a mental disorder, she thought she was the devil. So when I would sleep at night, I would drag the wardrobe in front of the door to my bedroom. I don’t think she could be trusted.
But one day, this so called friend got very upset for no reason at all. I don’t know if he was jealous of me and my new friends or what it was, but we all just finished smoking some weed. The first time I had ever touched the stuff, so I didn’t know what was going on. Then this so called friend grabbed a knife and swung it at one of my new found friends, for no apparent reason. I then stepped in to protect him, that’s when the blade came at me. About 2 inches from my shoulder, when I grabbed the blade that would of harmed me physically. At this time I am laughing uncontrollably, as a side affect of the weed. He is now becoming madder, and madder at my laughter, thinking it is directed at him, not knowing it was a result of me being high. So then because of my laughter he started grabbing objects from around the home and casting them in our direction, so we took the opportunity and left the premises.
Luckily, one of my new found friends and her mother took me inn. For they knew the family personally, and knew what they were like and capable of. My friends mother, we will call her Ann, had personally looked after the knife bearing friends mother. For Ann was the R.N manager of a Mental Health unit, in the town’s local hospital. So she had much experience with this family. She was also a caring individual, who took in many strays when necessary.
I lived with them from the age of 16 to 19, while attending school. By this time I had meet many more people who I had become friends with. Drinking has by this time become a huge problem, I would start drinking at around 6:A.M and continue until night or when I would pass out. Even drinking while in school, just to escape the reality that I had now made for myself. The Law also was not a stranger to me, I had no cares for anything or anybody, receiving charges for things like assault, mischief under $5000, breaches of probation and undertakings, resisting arrest, break and enter etc, etc. My life was now going from bad to worse.
I soon found myself in a serious relationship; I thought at the time that I truly found the love of my life. By this time I am around 19 or 20, not exactly sure. Drinking on a daily basis and into drugs like marijuana, cocaine, exstacy, speed etc. I don’t even know what reality is at this point anymore, my reality looked like this. Wake up, drink, smoke and sniff anything that could be consumed through your nose without death. My lifestyle was catching up to me, losing approximately 40 pounds of body weight and looking like a walking dead man.
Me and the girl I am with are now selling drugs just to support the addictions we both have, hauling in almost a $1000 a week. And that is with being picky about who we sold too, not wanting to draw attention to such dealings. I am now at this point beyond depression and now in the realm of defeat. What I see through my eyes at this point is NO HOPE, what I see is a life that has become like those you see on TV. A life full of nothingness.
6 months after my relationship with this girl she becomes pregnant. I now face being a father. Many thoughts are going through my mind, how can I be a father, how can I bring up a child, how can I, this man of NO HOPE show hope. I feel nothing at this point, these thoughts bring no resolution, and they only make me realize even more the pitiful state that I am in!!!!
Shortly after the birth of my daughter, my common law relationship starts to plunder. She becomes major depressed and our fighting has now come to the point of hatred. She soon starts seeing another man and I soon get jealous.
I and my friends one night came back to my residents, only to find her with another man. My heart just burned within me, I took his car and pushed it into the ditch, then proceeded inside. Well I tried to proceed inside, but the door was locked. So my friends pushed me up to the window and I opened it from the outside and proceeded through. Then opened the door for my friends to come in. Around that time, her and her boyfriend came from the bedroom. Not what I wanted to see, I remember grabbing him by the throat and threatening to kill him as he picked up a baseball bat in defence. I had prior to this incident drunk a 40 ouncer of whiskey and was not in a clear state of mind. Needless to say that night the bat hit me, and the next thing I remember was being in jail.
They released me on the condition that I would not enter back into this town. They told me I was a threat to the general public and that many people were scared to be in my presence. So I had to hitchhike 70k.m back home with a shiner that took up about 30% of my face and a hangover that made me gag with thirst and dehydration. I remember getting to the point, where my legs didn’t want to walk another inch and praying to God saying if you are really on your throne in heaven show me a sign by giving me a drive home.
Maybe 5 minutes after this prayer, a car came barrelling down the highway and stopped to pick me up. Believe it or not this man was a minister, who had Biblical literature strung all over the seats of his car. We spoke for a bit, not about God, But about life. I found it strange though. (Considering my prayer and this man). Once I arrived home to my mother’s residence, she told me that she left my father because he beat her to the point where she no longer could handle such a life and that he was sentenced to 1 year in prison.
After getting settled in, my brother came to me and spoke to me about Christ. I said what are you crazy, you go to church now? Yes he replied. I said when did you start going to church. He replied 6 months ago. I’m like thinking what in the world is going on, everybody is now going to church.
After about 2 more months of my drinking and drug use, my thoughts were beginning to get worse. My mother could not be around me, because I reminded her to much of my father. The way I acted, and the amount I depended on the bottle to get me through life. So every time I would come home drunk, the police would come behind me. I totally understood why she didn’t want me in her presence, it was because I became who I didn’t want to become, my dad. This realization caused my heart to burn even more than ever, my eyes even burned with tears, my mind even burned with the words, you are TRASH! But it wasn’t just me who was burning; it was my poor little mother also. I know she loved me, but she could not accept who I became and neither could I.
I was now at the point in my life where I would kill, I wanted to kill. I wanted to kill so I would no longer hurt those around me. I wanted to live my life in isolation, in a place where I could not touch those who were around me. I wanted life in prison, I agree this sounds crazy, but these were my actual thoughts. Just think I am in bondage to a lifestyle that I can’t undue. I don’t know how to escape…I just don’t…………..
So then shortly later, maybe a day or 2 after thinking such thoughts. I decided to take my brothers offer about going to church. I remember sitting there in the service, listening to the pastor and laughing within my mind. But then something happened, something grabbed me by my filthy confused heart. I went home with my brother after the service and asked him about salvation. He passed me this tract that portrayed 911, and I felt compelled to pray to God.
Lord God save me from this life of sin. I believe that you died for me, I believe that you took my sins on the cross with you. I want your peace, I want your love, I want you in me. Forgive me Lord…..Forgive me Lord for the sake of Christ….It was at that moment that I felt a stream of warmth flow threw my entire body, I felt a weight being lifted from my shoulders. I believe at that very moment, Christ himself breathed His Holy Spirit into my body and took all my burdens and put them on himself…At that very moment my addiction to alcohol, drugs and sex were taken away. This was God; I know it for a fact. I’ve seen so many addiction counsellors, and never could I overcome these addictions. But that day, at that moment and that hour Christ himself took them away from my body. I lie to you not; the Lord also bears witness with me and also my conscience. It was GOD on Sept. 7/2003.
So whenever anybody asks me why I believe in Jesus, here is my answer. ..I experienced His power firsthand in my life.
Amen (So be it)