Growing up, I had a pretty normal childhood. I was born and raised in a Christian family and we attended church on a regular basis. It wasn’t until I went to highschool that life turned into a downward spiral that I couldn’t get out of on my own. After numerous suicide attempts, I was finally HEALED of clinical depression.
I grew up in a Christian family. For a kid, I thought about my future a lot. I wanted to secure my future here on earth and in heaven. This meant I’d have to do well in school so I would have a great job, and that I had to be a Christian. But I wasn’t sure what would define me as a Christian, I thought as long as you’re forgiven of sin and are involved in church and ministry, you won’t go to hell.
And I knew I had to make sure I’d never sin – or at least that I’d be forgiven of sin, but how would I do that? I decided to pay close attention to the testimonies of older kids in my church, and I noticed a pattern.
It seemed that everyone lost their salvation when they wanted to fit in, they wanted to be like the cool kids, so they started drinking and smoking. So I thought; if I want to keep my salvation, I shouldn’t try to fit in. And that’s what I did. But once I went to high school, and the other kids noticed I wasn’t trying to fit in, they began to bully me. The whole school knew me, and everyone thought I was weird and different, and it didn’t help that I was particularly small for my age. I began to feel different, so different in fact, that I no longer believed I was human. I began to doubt that my parents were really my parents, and started making up all kinds of conspiracy theories as to why my life was a lie. But there was always one question that remained. If I wasn’t human, what was I?
In my sophomore year, the bullying became increasingly worse and turned physical. One day a bully held me up at knifepoint. I went home and I told my mom about what happened. The following morning when I arrived at school, he walked up to me in the hallway and asked if I had told anyone. I was scared that if I told him the truth, he might kill me. So, I told him I hadn’t. One of my classmates, who was a muslim, was standing behind him, and said, “He’s telling the truth, he’s a christian.”
The following weeks I received online death threats and I was soon transferred to a christian school.
"He's telling the truth, he's a christian!"
In my new school I got bullied again, but more in a physical way. Getting into fights wasn’t very uncommon for me, and I usually didn’t fight back because I feared I wouldn’t stop and would accidentally kill someone. In my junior year, my father’s health rapidly declined and he was soon hospitalized. The doctors put him on a treatment of Ribavirin together with a new antiviral to fight his hepatitis. The list of side effects is long, and suicide and murder are actually listed as possible side effects. I witnessed my father change because of the medication. I soon no longer felt safe at home; the one place I had always been safe.
Between that and the bullying, I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere. I didn’t do well at school. I developed social anxiety to the point where I was too scared to raise my hand in class, talk to a group of more than five people, or talk to girls. I also developed a form of dissociation which led to partial amnesia as well as severe depression. There were times where I got so depressed that I tried to drown myself, but I couldn’t stay under water long enough. I turned to gaming, music and writing as an escape. It was a way to express myself and escape the real world without disturbing anyone. I began to feel an immense hatred and bitterness towards my bullies. Eventually, I hated everyone except for those I knew. I developed a lust for blood and wanted to kill anyone who had ever done me wrong. When I graduated and went to college, I was bullied again.
Within the first two weeks, I got into the school’s first-ever-fight. One day, I was riding my bike home from work. I felt sad and depressed, and wasn’t in a hurry to get home. Everything that was happening just became too much for me to handle. There was a train track to the right of me, and in a split second I decided to ride in front of an oncoming train. What I didn’t realize was that there was a side track at this particular spot. So, the train drove right past me.
Had God interfered?
Because of this, I began to think about God’s plan again and the purpose of life. I wondered: was this a coincidence? Or had God interfered? I had known of God’s existence all along, but depression had devoured me to the point where I didn’t care what happened if I died.
I chose to let Jesus back into my life, and to no longer try to fight the war on my own. After I prayed the sinner’s prayer, I made the decision to join the drama team and the Youth Choir in my church. Bear in mind that I was that shy kid with social anxiety who nearly shat himself if more than five people looked at him at the same time. Shortly after joining the choir, I was given a solo to sing in front of thirteen hundred people.
But I still didn’t know what it meant to really BE a Christian. I was trying to secure my salvation through works of Christ once again. Every time problems arose in my life, I’d pray if God would help me through it. When He did, it was almost like I was telling Him: “Thanks God, I can take it from here.”
I didn’t want any uncertain factor in my life, and because I couldn’t understand God, I wanted to live life MY way.
This meant I tried to live a good life, but eventually ended up a hypocrite with a double life.
I have never smoked, I’ve never done drugs and I never drank alcohol. But I didn’t need to do these things to commit EVERY SIN in the good book.
Everything I once looked down on, I became. And my life turned into the biggest nightmare I could ever imagine. I had already tried to end my life a couple of times and concluded I’m not very good at suicide, so I decided not to try again.
Through everything I’ve been through, those I looked up to, failed me. Those who were my friends, betrayed me. And Christians I attended church with, gossiped about me behind my back.
So I began my journey of seeking God, I no longer wanted to rely on my works in ministry and church to secure my salvation. I wanted a relationship with the living God Himself.
But my whole life, there was this constant wisper in my head: I would never fully surrender to God. I feared God, because I couldn’t understand Him. But at the same time, I knew God was the only one who could fix my life and give me true fulfillment.
So, I surrendered to God. I told Him: “God, I surrender to You. I lay my life in Your hands, and I recognize Jesus as my Savior.”
That was when God truly saved me.
Trying to live a good life without surrendering to God could never give me the peace, fulfillment and joy I’m experiencing today.
God led me down the path to forgiveness, this was one of the toughest struggles I’ve had after I got saved. But I’m glad to testify I have forgiven each and every person who has ever done me wrong.