These are things God has done. These are Redemption Stories.
Wednesday, 16 November 2011
Redemption Story #1 - The Shadow of Death
Throughout my life, I’ve always had difficulties looking back at my past. I still had difficulties until recently, but I have come to realize the power of testimony. So, I’m going to get right into it then.
During my later years in middle school, I lost one of my good friends to a car accident. It was just after our Christmas break and it was really the first time I had experienced a real sense of loss in my life. I was having a very difficult time coping, but of course I never told anyone because I thought I could handle it on my own. I could see people around me hurting as well, but we all did the same thing, kept our feeling to ourselves. It wasn’t too long after that I realized how damaging this could be.
About one month after the accident, two friends (Darren and Courtney) and I had decided to meet up. We had just finished playing a bunch of video games all afternoon and were about to head home, but Darren stopped us for a moment. He turned to us and told the both of us how much we meant to him and how much we always will. Then he said goodbye and hugged both of us as if we would never see him again.
I still remember the look in his eyes. It’s as if he believed there was no hope left for him. After he had walked away Courtney and I both knew something was going on. We had this terrible feeling, so we walked to his place. When we got there we found him lying on the bathroom floor with both wrists slit. I have difficulties getting that picture out of my mind. Even as I type this out, the image comes back to me plain as day. I didn’t know what to do.
I left after the ambulance had arrived and yet again, I kept everything inside. I thought I would appear weak if I showed any emotion. I felt alone. So, instead of opening up, I started drinking, heavily. It’s as if it would give me that temporary solution to all my problems, but of course they would all flood back the next morning. It all eventually caught up to me to the point where I could not take it anymore. So instead of asking for help, I asked for a gun. I found myself holding this thing and just not caring. I looked at it and saw a permanent solution, not a weapon. So I stuck it in my mouth.
I paused for a moment, and in that moment my phone began to vibrate. I debated not picking it up, but something made me do it. On the other end was Courtney. I immediately broke down into tears. I look back now and thank God for that phone call and that moment of hesitation. Even after all of this I could not shake that feeling of loneliness.
So, I continued to drink. Even more then I used to. I would even come to school with a few in me from time to time. Not only that but, I had also become a serial dater. I would date one girl for usually around a week maybe two and leave. And then a couple weeks later do the same thing over again. This went on for a couple years. I was reliant on girls and alcohol to keep me from feeling alone. And it did. It gave me a false sense of support. It wasn’t until my final year of high school that I realized I was wrong.
I remember a friend lending me a CD. It was Southern Weather by The Almost. (Great band by the way) I remember listening to it and loving every song on it, but there was one song on it that always stood out to me and that was “Amazing because it is”. I remember hearing it and crying. It was always the chorus that got me. “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found. Was blind, but now I see.” Most people have heard these words one way or another, but I didn’t actually know what they meant at this time in my life.
Soon after this I stopped drinking. I didn’t know why, but I didn’t feel the need for it anymore. I actually felt good! It was weird at the time for me. It was a few months after that when I met a group of friends I’ll never forget. They asked me to come out to their church with them one Sunday morning. I was hesitant (mainly because I wanted to sleep again), but I went. It was there that I had realized the meaning behind that song and why it had helped me change my ways. It was there that I had realized I was never alone.
From that point on I believed in God our saviour. I felt his changing power first hand and know that He will never forsake me. That is why I will gladly give all my days to Christ. It's odd to think that only a few short years ago I was alone, depressed, suicidal even! And now I lead worship at Revolution Church and I love it. It was a song that God used to reach out to my heart and change my life, so I remember that every time I lead. I want to do the same for others. I want God to use me in ways I would have never thought possible. I want to see lives redeemed just as mine was.