From Death to Salvation

“Nothing went through my head as I pulled the trigger. Not fear, sadness, or anxiety. An overwhelming emptiness had long past settled. The rigidness of the trigger startled me at first, then immediately found myself overcome with the feeling of failure. I was unable to even get that right; I had left the safety mechanism on safe. I could not even commit suicide with success. I was not able to see that the Lord had blessed me with another shot at life.

It was during the planning of the second attempt, that I posted a dark cryptic passage on Facebook. I received a few, “Is everything ok?” messages, which I simply responded, “Yeah, bad day”. That was enough to repel all but one. To my surprise, the only one I didn’t know reached out. She wouldn’t give up or take “Everything is fine” for an answer. Before I had realized what had happened, she was able to keep me engaged in the present 5 minutes at a time; then one hour, then one day, and so on. What I still could not see is that the Lord had again intervened.

We agreed to meet for the first time at the Duluth Grill. After a brief introduction, I hemorrhaged tens of thousands of words explaining to her what I had become, what I had lost, what had been taken, and what would eventually be taken. I was losing everything worldly, things I once idolized. When the words stopped rolling off my tongue, I excused myself and went to the restroom. I starred at the mirror in disbelief trying to figure out what had just happened. After a few minutes had passed, I walked back to the table and was astonished to find that she was still waiting patiently for me at the table; she had not left. She should have ran in fear like the Israelites had from Saul when he marched in to town. Instead, she stood fast. The atmosphere had changed. There seemed to be a radiance around the table as she smiled awkwardly and invited me to church. I was confused and angered by the purity and simplicity of the question. “What does she want from me”, I thought. I tried to say, “No”, but was unable to form the word with my lips. Uncomfortably I said, “Yes”, and felt even more uncomfortable driving in to the parking lot. But there I was, at church for the first time. Once again, I had failed to see the gifts God was blessing me with. I had failed to recognize His presence at the table.

As days turned to weeks, I began receiving Bible verses via text from her. Frustrated, I googled these verses and read them with a darkened heart, trying to justify why they wouldn’t apply to me. I remember thinking, “What God would allow this much suffering”? I was angry at God. I was angry at her for texting me those verses… But I read them anyway. I started writing those verses inside the front cover of a Bible. As I read, I began to realize that I was lost. I began to realize that I had no direction. In that season of my life, I looked forward to that simple text from her containing a new verse. I didn’t understand why, but I desired those words. The sharpness of each syllable seemed to cut through the darkness that consumed my existence.

Fast forward two years: I feel blessed being able to experience this new season of life as it is full of hope and healing. I am working towards an intimate relationship with Jesus, and have been baptized. I have been learning how to create and sustain healthy God centered friendships. I have turned away from sexual immorality and no longer idolize money or amass possessions to measure my self-worth. Diane not only selflessly reached out her hand in faith to save my life, she has become my best friend. We are now engaged and are looking forward to what God has in store for us as a husband and wife. Our relationship is God centered, and feel that we have been drawn together by God’s Love. He has shown mercy on me and has shown that I am nothing without Him.

Thankfully, some things have not changed: She still glows with an aural radiance, and those verses are still written inside the front cover of that Bible.”

-Jeffrey