Part 2 - Desperate for Help. Part 1 can be found here.
Desperate for Help – The Downward Spiral
Everyone looked up to me, except my family, who once bragged of what a good Christian boy I was. I was now the bad boy with the muscle car, a cross necklace, and all the ladies I could want. I had to go deeper into the pit of hell before my heart would understand. I experimented with many drugs, I drank, and cursed like a sailor. I even started pretending to be a gangster and hung out with the real deal at a high cost to my health and sanity. This life is what I perceived “cool” to be.
I got to experience the military and a marriage somewhere in that whirlwind and ended up losing my wife and a child to my violent choices of addiction. My attitude was different. My personage in its entirety had changed for the worse. I became unrecognizable to many and even my family eventually shut the door on me. Satan had gotten exactly what he wanted. I was no longer powerful in the world. My word no longer carried any form of intelligence. I had become useless to God. I was absolutely destroyed. Or, so Satan thought. Had you asked me then, I’d have agreed with him. I was nothing. I lived for myself and would use people and then throw them away when I was done.
My emotions were worse than even the most extreme cases of manic depression. I would violently kick through walls and use my marital arts training to break people. Then, I would find myself in a ditch whaling in horror of all I had done. A quick pick up of some meth and I was back on top of the world.
The cycle got worse and worse until I was living in my car, which was falling apart and was as illegal as I was. I was no longer the bad boy who everyone wanted to hang out with. I had no friends. I had only one pair of clothes and that had holes throughout. My heart was empty. I knew it. I could see what I had become. I was a drug-addicted beggar who would do anything to get his next fix. This was the end of the line for me. There was nowhere left to go. Nothing left to try. I knew the end would come soon, either by my own hand or by one of the many enemies I had made along the way. I was no man. I was a child who was experiencing an 8-year temper tantrum. In my wake was a great path of destruction and loss.
Desperate for Help – God Help Me
I was desperate for help -- pain, agony, and sorrow poured out from my heart in the form of a voice that must have been heard for miles and miles. I cried out with a loud roar of emotion. I could no longer hold it in. Over and over I roared, waiting for the pain to subside. And then a calming came. I felt a release that was greater than emotional. I cried to the Lord aloud. I gave up. My spirit was not my own. My life wasn’t mine.
I went to a local Red Cross shelter and found a Bible on my bunk. That same night, I came to the Lord in a prayer of repentance. I was humbled. I felt so undeserving. I was slow in my approach to His throne. Each word was carefully watched before I eventually broke fully and began crying as a child does to their parent. I had a deep desire to really understand; to really be free from my sin and know Jesus Christ.
At first, I didn’t understand how it happened, but after some time in prayer that night, I was reminded of a prayer I quickly said several months previous. I had told God that one day I would come back to Him. I had come to realize that I just couldn’t do it in a thought. I had quickly told God that I had too many distractions in my life to turn to Him and that I needed His help to get back. God had answered that prayer! Over those next few months, I lost everything. That explains it. I got it. It made since. I prayed for less distraction and God allowed them all to be taken away. Every possession and every friend was gone. Even my addiction seemed to just disappear. There was no desire to go get more drugs. I hadn’t noticed it as I lay soberly and silently on my bunk in prayer.
I had no desire for sinful things. I didn’t have a desire to be large and in charge anymore. I didn’t want to go and get a woman to take to a hotel or break any laws or hurt my family any more. It was as if a cloud was lifted from me and for the first time I could see. That heavy yoke was gone!
Before my prayer was through that first night in the shelter, I asked God to grant me an understanding of His Word, not so that I could impress people with vain knowledge, but so that I could understand how it applies to my life and how it could help others. I opened up the Bible for the first time in a long time and began reading and listening to what God was telling me.
It was absolutely amazing! Every word of every sentence made sense. It all applied to me and to those around me and to the entire world. I read and read until I fell asleep on the good book. When I awoke the next day, I felt 100 percent different. I didn’t feel guilty or with heavy burden. I didn’t even feel like myself. I saw everything around me through new eyes. There is no better way to describe it.
The world laid open and plain and obvious to me. I could see every snare of Satan as I passed people on my way to the local soup kitchen. I could hear the birds and they sang a different song. I felt love in my heart that was unable to be contained. I honestly felt like skipping, but I was too busy just looking around in amazement. How could this be the same world I was in yesterday? How could my eyes have been open and yet not seen this? How could I not have heard all that was going on around me? This was a different world than the one I had lived in because I was no longer of it. I had heard of this before and bragged a great deal of knowledge in how it worked to be filled with the Holy Spirit, but actually having it happen… Wow! So different than the stories I had told. This is what love is. This was what deliverance is. My words are far too feeble to describe that first day of walking with God.
I was so excited, that I began to bring the Bible everywhere with me and read it at every idle moment (often aloud). God began to use me to influence people who were in need. My testimony didn’t only cause others to break down in tears, but even I could not hold back from crying as I shared it. I cried for others often and felt an immediate need to help them. “They don’t know the truth! I must tell them before it is too late!” I was no longer a puppet of Satan, but now a tool of the Lord.
Desperate for Help – God is Using My Desperation
Today (almost five years later) I’m no longer desperate for help – I’ve found peace in my heart. I am very happily married with two kids and currently run a ministry the Lord has placed on my heart and ordained me for. I am able to use all that the Lord has blessed me with to reach out to those in need in my city. I hope (Lord willing) that the ministry will grow. I believe this ministry will grow because I have had dreams since before it began, and I saw large warehouses with separate rooms for counseling, kids playing, media/skill building, Bible Studies, many bedrooms and restrooms, and more. All of these places were full of the homeless, drug addicted, sex addicted, the lost and hiding, the beaten, and the poor. These warehouses were located across the world. Each filled with men and women of God who were willing to serve where needed. Not a warehouse with my name as founder, but simply the truth that we are in purpose, “God’s Helping Hands.”
Now when I tell someone they can be free from their addiction and they respond with, “How do you know?” I can say, “Because God delivered me from that same place.”
Glory be to God that He will complete a work begun. Glory be to God that we can be molded and developed into a new creation. Glory be to God that despite our wretchedness, He allows us to be used in His will. Today and always may praise be on my lips and in my actions that He may know my thankful heart!
As we all know, there are children desperate for help throughout the world. If you would like to help save children from desperate situations, we highly recommend our friends at Compassion International.