When I ended Part 3 of this story, a few posts ago, I was losing myself and didn’t know how to stop. My life had been a rollercoaster of ups and downs. Not just downs, but pitfalls. Deep dark ones. Pits impossible to climb out of alone. I was stuck in the darkness I’d created for myself and I was terrified. I didn’t know what was happening to me mentally or physically. I was so scared and alone, or so I thought.
The year 2014 wasn’t just difficult, but deadening. I’d experienced a series of hardships that, at the time, I would have called tragedies. Today I recognize them as necessary. Perhaps one day I can write about them. Certainly they were life-altering, and something had to give.
What gave was me. I gave up.
For almost three decades I’d tried to do life on my own, without a spiritual reference point, but there I was completely lost and hardly able to breathe, let alone imagine how I’d take my next breath. Just making a decision to get out of bed, eat, or brush my hair was nearly impossible.
Then the unimaginable, unimaginable for me, happened. I gave God a chance. God, who previously was not a blip on my radar, suddenly became my sole focus.
So why God? I couldn’t tell you that. All I know is that I had no other ideas, nowhere else to go. I’d exhausted all other possibilities. I guess I was depressed. But I’d been depressed before and this was so much more.
I wasn’t just depressed, I was disappearing.
I didn’t grow up in church. I’d never read the Bible. In fact, all my life I’d said the Bible was just a fiction story written by men. I knew nothing about faith or Jesus. But I thought maybe, just maybe, I was missing out on something. If there was a God, maybe he would help me.
So how was I, the depressed atheist, going to find out about God? I wasn’t going to scrape myself up off the floor of my life and just go to church looking for Him. And so I thought about Sarah.
I knew Sarah in middle school and high school, and I knew her father was a pastor. In school we were best friends, though we hadn’t spoken in 20 years. I found her contact information on Facebook.
Then the night came, where in the darkness of my hotel room and the darkness of my mind, in between giant tears and great gasps for air, I called Sarah out of the deep dark blue.
She answered. She had time to talk. And I had one question. The second-best words I’d ever say;
“Tell me about Jesus”.
The first best words I’d ever say were yet to come. But as soon as I asked Sarah about Jesus the door to my heart was unlocked. The walls I’d built so high and impenetrable around me started crumbling. And soon, so soon, I would find a comfort like no other. Not in a friend, not in a family member, but in a Savior.