I was both fortunate and crippled by being raised in Church. i attended services with my family 3 times a week all my life. It was a blessing that i was able to be so saturated by good examples of true believers. But i was spiritually crippled by being so near to people who had a relationship with God that i took it for granted. i mistook having knowledge OF God, for having a true relationship WITH God. So it wasn't until i was sitting in my room at 16 years old, praying to whatever power would answer, that i realized just how far gone i was.
So i tried to change, i tried to "clean" myself up. I stopped reading books with magic in them, stopped watching bad movies. Stopped listening to bad music. I tried it all. But i was still empty, so empty that when i looked in the mirror i could see the darkness of my soul seeping through. Every night crying myself to sleep while holding my ears as i heard laughter from inside my head. Every service i prayed, every chapter i read in the Bible, there was that same strong voice telling me i was too far gone.
But like i said, i was blessed with being raised in church. At 17 years old i found myself sitting in the middle of a Christian youth Camp in Echo(kaiser) West Virginia as a young minister wrapped a young man up in a bed sheet and began preaching about "Hope Never Ending". He preached about Lazarus and his death, he preached about the affects of sin, and the world, and the hopelessness of a life without Christ. But i couldn't here him, i was too withdrawn into my shell of self hate and hopelessness.
I'd given up all hope of being FREE. Then it happened, so suddenly i bolted in my seat. From the darkness of my heart came a bursting light that burned so brilliantly it physically felt like my insides were on fire. Just as suddenly as came, it went and left behind a pulsing glow like the beat of a heart. I opened my eyes and in that moment they met those of the Preacher and he stopped in mid sentence and stride and gently said these words. "Hope Never Ends Until God Gives Up. God Never Gives Up." The rest of the sermon flew by and when i made my way to an altar all i could do was cry. So i knelt at that altar and cried, and tried so hard to pray, but could do little but cry. an hour passed by and then another and i felt that surely like every other time i prayed i'd look around and be alone.
So i became angry and ashamed for being angry with God and people. and i managed to whisper "God, why do you always leave me alone when i need you?" I'd had enough so slowly i lifted my head and looked behind me, only to see thirty or forty young men and older men kneeling around me and praying for me, my dad and brother were the closest to me and they had not moved since i had gone up to pray.
Now 10 years later, a called of God minister and Sunday School teacher, I dedicate all the time i possibly can to letting others know that Hope Never Ends.
thanks for reading guys and gals.