My Story (How My Walk with Christ Began)
I come not to judge but to repent. I am here because of God’s grace and nothing else. I love you all, and I write this to make amends that are long overdue.
There are many of you whom I have hurt, and many more of you who have truly cared and yet I took for granted.
My life has been a journey of good choices and bad alternatives, a marathon through Hell and Heaven and everywhere in between. I am responsible for many of those struggles – not you.
When Jesus found me at the age of 19, I was wrathful, suicidal, angry, and envious. Those emotions blinded me to the point where I forsook everyone who ever loved me – even Yahweh, the One-and-Only True God.
I hated myself for having autism, depression, and for every attribute that distinguishes me from everyone else. I desperately wanted to be normal, and I wanted to get rid of all of my gifts and differences to do it. After years of reflection and constant bombardment by the Truth, I now realize that I bullied myself more than anyone else. That aggression toward myself became depression, while the envy became the fuel for that self-hatred.
The first time Jesus found me, He did so when my despair became the lies that I believed about myself and the automatic self-denigrating thoughts that led me to learned helplessness. I hated myself for being different. For many years, I wanted to achieve physical and spiritual suicide. Yet, He saved me from Death’s clutches at every corner. He loved me. When He was not apparent, you – my family, my friends, even strangers – caught me and saved my life. The second time He found me – two years ago – I let go of my stubbornness and let Him into my life.
Before then, I had appealed to God, and then to the Devil, and then to others, to take me out of my misery because I saw myself as a hideous abomination. This was the case since I was 8, when I began to notice the effects of autism on my life and the ways in which I was perceived by others. I internalized a lot of bad experiences, only to fight them later in life. This battle pervaded every corner of it until I found friends and then God, who I now realize is Jesus Christ (and vice versa). It has taken me this long to realize the damage that I have done to myself and others out of self-hatred. It also took me this long to realize how good life is, how good you were and still are, and how baseless hatred truly is.
As Jesus stated, hatred is murder conducted by the heart. Vengeance is a poison that consumes the soul until it is utterly destroyed. Those who live by the sword die by the sword. Forgiveness, however undeserved (it is never inherently deserved), is the antidote for that venom.
Please forgive me for envying you, for hating you, for not loving you enough, for any of my offences against you. Please forgive me for your sake – not mine. God will not forgive you if you cannot forgive others. Forgive them and abandon all of your grievances, because hatred feeds Evil more than anything else. You need not look further than the Holocaust to see how hatred dismantles the entire planet.
I am sorry for the way I treated some of you in my pre-Christian life. The Holy Spirit has now pushed me past my fear of disclosure. Using some of the obstacles from my own life, I want to share with you how much God cares for even His most prodigal children (including myself). This is where a life of unrepentant rebellion and self-hatred can lead you:
- I have been on psychotropic medications for 20 years and counting
- I have been in and out of therapy for nearly just as long
- I had a serious addiction to video games
- I was Baker Acted four times – twice voluntarily
- I burned bridges to the point where only a few select people could deal with me
- I buried myself in religions, which only brainwashed me and made my situation worse
- I became so hateful toward myself that I could not control my anger, and it led me down a dark path that had no visible exit…
Yet, somehow, I lived through these chronic situations and all of the temporary ones in between them. God found me and sustained me when I deserved none of His love or direction. My family sustained me, too, through every hardship that came our way. All of you cared, too, even as I resisted all attempts to change my self-hatred. All of You loved me anyway.
At every corner, at the bottom of every downward spiral, Jesus has been there for me. So has my family; so have you. I cannot explain this Absolute reality to you if you disregard the Bible’s veracity. There are no other explanations for it except this – God is the source of all miracles, and He is actively doing them everywhere on Earth all of the time.
This is because He loves you too. His love is endless and reckless and bountiful and sincere. There is no barrier He will not break to save you if you sincerely call on Him. He broke every rule for me and He will do it for you as well. I know this because He already did this. For you. For all of humanity. A relationship with Jesus is the only thing you need to feel Everlasting Joy. This is completely different from religiosity, but that discussion is for another day.
He can transform broken hearts and restore broken lives as new creations. He is merciful and just, as I hope you are too. He is faithful and answers all prayers. Ask and you shall receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
Jesus gave me a second chance and He will do the same for you! I have seen it happen firsthand. A life of hatred is fruitless and will only leave destruction in its wake. Hatred robs the mind of all clear judgment to the point where it can hijack one’s free will. I pray that you will learn from my experiences and avoid that fate.
Thank you for your attention, for being there, for living, for being positive change-makers in our fallen world. May Forgiveness and the Truth set you free!