Aug 31 , 2020
My 29th birthday was almost my last. Having struggled with depression from the age of 10, I found myself alone, drinking, and sinking deeper and deeper into the abyss of suicidal thoughts. I had heard about Jesus before and was even attending a church near my home from time to time. But, I had a hard time believing in a God who cared for me when I was alone on my Birthday. There I sat sitting in a dark house that represented outwardly the state of my heart within. It was the most alone I had felt in my entire life.
Truth be told I lived for myself and used everybody else in my life for what I could get from them. That’s how I wound up in that terrible situation on February 11, 1995, in my rented home, contemplating how I would end my life. My thoughts had drifted towards suicide at various points in my life. But, the thought had become all-consuming that night. My mind was made up, and I had decided that I would put my depression behind me once and for all. I grabbed a large butcher knife from the kitchen drawer, affixed it in such a way that I could fall from a chair onto it and it would be over. “Simple,” I thought, “close my eyes, fall forward, and this life of pain is over.”
I was addicted to alcohol at the time, I decided to finish the bottle of tequila I was drinking before ending my life. Somehow in my distorted mind, it was worse to waste alcohol than to waste my life. I went back to the living room, finished off the bottle and passed out. The next morning I awoke, without a buzz or hangover. I was, in fact, up early enough to go to the church I brought my daughter to every other week. So, upstairs I went to shower and get dressed.
As I turned the corner to head out the door the sunlight caught the edge of the knife in the kitchen drawer as it flashed in my eye. At once, a flood of recall came over me and I said, “Wow I almost did it this time!” I thought I had better be more careful and I headed off to the church.
On the drive to the church, I began to think of all those “Christians” at the church. They seemed to be happy and were either good liars or they really were happy and had something I wanted. But God would never want anyone as messed up as me. I am determined to clean up my life so Jesus would want someone like me. I listed out 5 things in my life that I felt I would have to change.
I needed to quit messing with drugs.
I needed to quit drinking.
I needed to quit smoking.
I needed to quit cursing.
I needed to quit chasing after women.
I felt that if I did those things then maybe Jesus would want to care for me. I had determined that the reason He didn’t was because of those things in my life. I would try and I walked into the church to begin the work.
As the pastor taught from 2 Corinthians on the simplicity of the gospel. He said, “Before I knew salvation was all about the grace of God, I made a list of the things I needed to change.” His list matched mine completely! From that moment on it seemed like only he and I were in the room, though it was filled with thousands of people.
At the end of the service, there was no altar call, no sinners prayer, just a quick request from the pastor that if we needed prayer we would go to the people at the front of the platform. I don’t even remember walking up front, but I do remember that my shirt was stained with tears as I arrived there. A nice man by the name of Oscar asked me why I had come down. I told him, “I don’t even know.” He said, “I do.” He then proceeded to tell me the gospel of Jesus Christ and led me in a simple prayer.
I walked out of that church free, I never went back to drugs or drinking, and eventually went on to become a minister of the grace I had received that day. God’s grace saved me, and he can save you too!