One of the main questions I had to ask myself when deciding to write a blog was, “Why would a bunch of strangers want to read what I have to say?” I still haven’t come up with a great answer. Instead of worrying about that, I have decided to let you get to know me as much as this platform allows.
What follows is the first of what I believe will be many posts about my past, about who I am and how I got here. My hope is that in getting to know me you will read the other posts on this blog with a greater understanding of why I have come to the conclusions that I have.
So…..here we go.
When I was 8, my parents separated, and I went to live primarily with my father because my mom could not discipline me.
When I was 10, my father died, and I was thrust back into my mother’s home. That was the first time I got a D on my report card.
When I was 12, my grandfather – the only other male role model in my life at that time – died of issues related to alcohol.
My mother remarried that year an Irishman with all the stereotypes that come alongwith it. Bythe end of that year, I had to start to learn how to take care of my sisters and I because alcohol and drugs had taken us off my parent’s radar. I got my first F thatyear.
At 13, I started dressing in a long black trench coat, carving words of hate and anger into my forearms, and listening to almost no one. I was introduced to the kid who would become my best friend that year as well as a teacher that would teach me how to love reading, but neither of them had hooks in me yet. I failed some classes that year.
In 8th grade, things at home were beyond horrible. Sometimes, there was no food to eat. There was always some kind of abuse going on. I didn’t escape it when I went to school either because I made myself a target by being SO different from everyone else and getting violently angry when people let me know it.
At the age of 15, I tried to hang myself, but my excess body weight and my lack of knowledge about the laws of physics prevented that from succeeding. FYI, if you think getting to the point where suicide is a good idea is the worst a person can feel, it isn’t. Realizing that you are such a failure at life that you can’t even kill yourself correctly is way, way worse.
Shortly after that, my best friend invited me to church. Oh, he wasn’t a Christian. He didn’t want to go anymore than I did. But, his parents wereseeking marital counseling at this church (which didn’t work btw), and he wanted to have someone to talk to during the sermons.
I sat outside of the sanctuary that first Sunday…I ended up going there for the next 4 years and giving my life to Jesus (sort of…not really) when I was 18.
Suffice it to say, God used that church and the people in it to start healing a broken, “Satan-worshipping”, angry, self-harming teenage boy.
I didn’t believe it could happen. But someone did.
The pastor of the church, who is still a great friend and mentor to me, he believed.
The adults in that church believed the Jesus who led them to offer me food when I was hungry and a place to stay when things got too bad would heal my heart while they healed my hunger and safety needs.
The other teens might have believed harder than anyone that I could be like them: fun, passionate about friendship, a little weird, and on FIRE for Jesus.
They all believed that Jesus could heal me and make me whole again even if they didn’t always know how or when it would happen.