Photo by Jeff Rogers Photography
I was number seven of a ten-kid family. I started life out asking myself why everybody else had more than I did. What did I do to deserve this kind of life? My life of crime started. By the time I was 11 years old, I was sentenced to a place called Glenview School for Troubled Boys. Now it’s a golf course. We needed the golf course more I guess. I was there for six months and then they sent me back home. There was no change in me. I was back in and out of different facilities for years. One time I came home to find my family had moved away. At 11 years old, I picked up alcohol to ease the pain. Then came porn and drugs and older women, much older, which at the time I thought was cool. I was just a kid and having sexual fantasies with 35-year-old females. I didn’t know at the time that they were abusing me.
I would rob homes to fill my addictions. In that time, a lot of people left their doors unlocked, and the homes I would break into would have plenty of what I had need of. It consumed me. Years would pass without much change. More alcohol, porn, and women. I had alcohol poisoning twice. I married—one, two, three times—and had two beautiful children, a son and a daughter. But I continued to fill my life with sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Satan gave me everything that I thought I needed. I had a girlfriend 18 years younger than me when I was 55 years old. That gave me an ego boost. I would sleep in her bed six nights a week and go bar hopping every night. Sometimes I got on a plane and would go to another state to party. I had a job and money in the bank to support my lifestyle. One year alone I spent $80K partying.
A wife and a girlfriend was not enough. I would visit streetwalkers. I found out later that I did not have girl problems, I had sin problems.
I still felt it wasn’t enough. Things started to get way out of control. I would try anything to satisfy the hunger in me.
BOOM!! Depression set in. My wife of 35 years or so started going to church and got saved. She started praying with the church for me. It got to the point where some people stopped praying for me. They told my wife to give up on me. They told her, “It’s not working. He’s not coming in. He is too far gone. Divorce him and move on.” My wife reminded them of God’s promise to her, “Your husband is coming in.” She would not quit. My depression got worse. I would be in a club, elbow to elbow with people, bouncing off of them, and I felt all alone.
One day I made up my mind to take my life. I went to everyone I loved (a very short list) and told them what I was about to do. I didn’t want them to hear about it on the news. I wanted to give them a chance to say goodbye. I have a two-drawer file cabinet, and while I was sitting in my chair, I placed my feet on top of it. I leaned back in my chair and placed a .44 Magnum deep in my mouth. I didn’t want to relive another day like so many days I had lived before. I tried hard to pull the trigger, but I could not. I couldn’t do it not knowing God or His plan for me.
I used to think harshly of people who took their lives. I thought of them as weak, sissies, punks. I found out that taking my life was one of the hardest things I have ever tried to do.
I called out to God.
He heard me.
I started going to church just to get my wife off my back but fell in love with Jesus. I invited Him to visit me in my dreams. I gave Him full control of my life. I trust Him in all things. Because of Him, I can face tomorrow. Because of Him, I have been set free.
If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.(John 8:36)
Through Him I preach His gospel in jail every Sunday. I have contact with inmates almost every day. It has been nine years and counting. I have had no depression, no drugs, no porn, no alcohol, and only one woman (my wife). I have no desires of this world. Thank you, Jesus Christ.
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.(Philippians 4:13)