Dark Times With The Holy Spirit

Posted: February 12, 2016 in Uncategorized

Just a word of warning before I start this post. It might get a little dark and I may have told at least some of this story at some point in time. But I feel like I should share it again.

I just finished reading Francis Chan’s book Forgotten God. It’s a great book about the Holy Spirit.

While reading it I started remembering a certain time in my life and how, I now believe, the Holy Spirit gave me a vision that has helped keep me going all these years since then. I’ve also felt compelled to share this story here and now.

Most of you have probably heard me talk about my struggle with depression. Some might even say that I talk about it too much. But it has been one of the biggest defining this of my life so far, and I believe that God has called me to share what I’ve been through that it might help someone else.

The story I want to tell today starts on September 14th, 1999. I was in my freshman year at South Dakota State University. Most people don’t even know that I went there for a little while before going to MidAmerica Nazarene University.

I chose to go there for some not really good reasons.

I just wanted to get away from home and had heard that SDSU was a pretty good party school. I wanted to go there and be the stereotypical college kid in movies. I thought it would be parties and drinking and anything else I could get my hands onto.

But I got there and quickly found out that things aren’t always like the movies.

I was completely out of place.

Had no friends.

I found myself drowning in people and wanting to let myself drown.

I was already pretty low before going to SDSU, so I don’t want you to think that was the reason for my downward spiral. It just pushed me down even further.

For the first time I felt completely alone and helpless.

I didn’t want to go on anymore nor did I think that I could.

I didn’t feel like I could talk to anyone about any of this either. Which I can see now was probably mostly due to the depression isolating me more than nobody being there.

So, as I was laying in bed on Sept. 14th, I was listening to music loudly on my headphones, which was the only way I could get the voices in my head to be quiet long enough for me to go to sleep.

I looked up at the clock as it turned to midnight.

It was now the 15th.

My 19th birthday.

I didn’t feel like living anymore.

As I lay there crying in my bed as quietly as I could, so as not to disturb my roommate, whom I had only know for a couple weeks, two images flashed before my eyes.

Two images of me laying on the floor of my dorm room dead.

Not to get too graphic, but in one I had slit my wrists and the other my throat.

I lay there for a while just absorbing those images and still crying.

This next part is going to sound pretty corny, but it is truly the way it happened.

I had put the Bon Jovi CD Crossroad into my discman to listen to while trying to sleep.

While I was absorbing these images the song “Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night” came on.

It’s a song about being down but not out. That you may be in a bad place now, but someday you will be something bigger than what you are. I let you search for it if you want.

But as this song was playing it was like I heard a voice say, “I’m not done with you yet. Don’t give up. I’m here and I love you.”

I can’t say that my life completely changed in that moment. But I can tell you that those images have stuck with me over the last 16 years, and the voice that spoke to me that night has been with me the whole time.

The 3 months or so that I was at SDSU were some of the darkest of my life. But I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

I still feel down at times, and it’s hard to keep going some days.

But I know that God isn’t finished with me yet, and that He loves me and will never leave me.

And because of that, I keep going and try to spread my story to help other people know that they aren’t alone.

  1. Cheryl says:

    We each experience life differently. I am thankful God has promised to walk through every day with us, taking us where we are and prompting us to make good choices. It fills me with with joy to think how He calls us to himself – to become more like him in every way. His calling keeps us on the path of light.

    Especially this time of year I think of the gift of salvation. The Lord gave his Son for our sins. With that in mind, it should not surprise me that He truly wants me to live my life as his child and has promised to shepherd me along the way.

    Thanks be to God for all he has done and continues to do.