I turned 30 today. I hardly ever go on Facebook, but thought I’d reply to the bday messages piling up on there.
When I was 16, I ran away from home. I’d been living with my single dad for 10 years, and my mum was an alcoholic/addict. As I type this now, my sister, brother, nephews and nieces are all either alcoholics or ice addicts.
I was surrounded by drugs and alcohol in my rural community. It was everywhere – in the homes of my best friends who id visit, in my school, and also in my own homes.
But when I was 16, I dropped out of school, and ran away to Sydney, Australia with the little amount of money I had, and started completely from scratch. A month later, my mum died by crashing her car a hundred metres away from her home. She was drunk..
Since then – and although it took me a long time to get the hang of things – I’d reform my life. I came to Christ when I was 21, quit drinking, quit my violence and wild temperament, and enrolled into ministry at 24. Since then, iv preached in 4 continents, been used by God to bring other people to Christ through my testimony and preaching ministry, and am currently living in China doing things with my life that I never thought possible… and though I still struggle with a lot of things and have plenty more room to grow, I know that I am ok.
Back to Facebook… I came across some pictures of my old best friends from the town I escaped from. And what I saw just gave me so much sadness. They all (all) look like the heroin addicts I used to pass by everyday on my way to work in Sydney. The pruned face, the sunken cheeks, and the dead eyes… the emptiness. Surrounded in their photos by paraphernalia and alcohol.
It really hit home. My mum, my dad, my best friends – everybody throughout the course of the first 16 years of my life – fell to it..
Everyone except for me.
It makes me sad, but it also opens my eyes. It made me see behind the vale, of how God protected and guided my fragile life through the vast mine-field of crime, alcoholism and addiction that I was living amongst… it makes me see, that although iv had my share of moments with God where iv doubted Him, and even been angry at Him, that behind the scenes He’s always been my ever present help in danger. He’s always held me in the palms of His hands, and kept me away from monsters that would eat me up..
And today, I’m 30 years old. I still look youthful. I’m fit and healthy, and my mind is sharp and powerful. I have amazing friends, and fulfilling relationships. I’m clean from the harm that should have succumbed me. I don’t say this to brag or gloat, but only to call attention to the bleak reality that could have (should have) been…
I’m so grateful for my God.. and I love Him so much for what He’s done for me.
I hope that anything iv shared can also help you to reflect on God, and also help you to see His working in your life in a clearer way.
Thank you, Jesus.