I grew up going to church with my mom and sister. My dad stayed home most weeks, as Christianity wasn’t his cup of tea, but the words Islam and Muslim meant nothing to me, so I didn’t understand or think to question why. I accepted Jesus as my Savior when I was five, my mother waking me up one morning telling me about what He had been to her. I liked what I’d heard and so the next eleven years flew by.
Nothing really happened in those years other than a move and my dad falling away from his native faith, but things were about to change. My parents sat my sister, half-brother (from my dad’s previous marriage) and myself down and told us my dad had decided to move out. My world shattered in that instant and I was left shocked, a hollow shell. The very foundation of my life had crumbled without warning and I had no way of coping.
Substances are a great place to run for a teenage boy. Pent up angst, hatred, anger and confusion were confronted with nothing and having no other way of coping, I turned to partying. The day I got my license was the day I began to ice over the mountain of pain inside. I didn’t know how to question God, so alcohol, girls and pot were the next best things.
I wasn’t an addict, but I was out of control. I spent the rest of high school in this way, doing well enough to maintain grades, but taking as much time to go out and be reckless. Then, it hit me a couple of weeks before college while I was contemplating suicide.
There was nothing good in my life. The only thing that kept me alive that night was the thought that I couldn’t put my family through the pain of my committing the act. However, I realized that my life was empty. I had nothing going for me and I had tried just about everything I could think of up to that point. I made the decision that night to try a Christian organization when I got to college.
I followed through on my promise. I walked into the first meeting of the year and I felt in my whole body I was meant to be there. I spent the next four years exorcising some of my demons and grappling with my lack of faith. Few people understand the depths to which one sinks in this pursuit and I struggled mightily.
I graduated and applied for an internship with Campus Crusade providing tech support. I spent the past year living outside Philadelphia understanding how faith interacts with the real world and it was bumpy much of the time. However, I made some great friends along the way. This is where I learned the value of community.
I’ve since moved back closer to home with a full-time job and I’m settling into a church with community. I work a regular job, but I find music and blogging necessary outlets. A life not examined is a life wasted. I take what God is teaching me and turn it into a post or a song (or both) in the hopes that maybe someone else out there is struggling in the same way, or they just overcame the same struggle and have some insight for the rest of us.
Life cannot be lived alone. Therefore, I share because not to is selfishness. I want to share with ou my brokenness as well as my triumphs. I ask nothing in return, but I do appreciate your returning in kind. I hope God blesses you with the content as He has me.
The Wayward Journeyer