I’m a Christian. I also suffer from severe, debilitating depression. I decided to become a Christian because I thought that Jesus loves me. I still think that.
To better understand me, I need to explain my story. While I grew up with some learning problems like ADD and had certain idiosyncrasies like Aspergers, I would say I had a happy childhood. I enjoyed reading, playing video games, watching my favorite shows, and exploring outside. I was a normal kid, more or less. Sometime around my senior year, however, I began to notice a change. I didn’t enjoy anything anymore. The things I loved became lifeless and empty.
Once the structure of high school ended, it got worse. Much worse. I hopped around from one entry level job to the next, with no prospects in sight. I failed out of college. I gained over a hundred pounds. My social circle deteriorated. I felt alone.
I decided that I had enough with life. I saved up my money and went to Greentop Sporting Goods. There, I purchased a Beretta 9mm with hollow point rounds. I kept the gun under my bed for days. Then, on September 13, 2010, I went up to Belle Isle to commit suicide.
I was about to do it when my best friend, Ross, called me. He pleaded with me not to do it, and told me that he loved me. I listened and put the gun down.
Two years later, my depression was still there. It’s important to mention that at this time I was a staunch atheist. I not only believed God didn’t exist, I believed Christians were homophobic, women-hating, scientifically illiterate, Jerry Falwell worshipping idiots. My life may have been terrible, I thought, but at least I wasn’t a Christian.
Yet as someone who had heard a bit about Jesus, I knew that there was something different about Him. When I thought if someone loved me or not, Jesus kept popping in my head. Not the Dalai Lama, not Muhammad, but Jesus. When I lay awake one night contemplating suicide again, I knew I had to act.
I went to the library and started reading the Gospel of Matthew. It didn’t take long. As soon as I got to the Sermon on the Mount, I knew there was something real there. The concept of a God who actually died for me, not because He wanted me to measure up to society’s standards, but because He loved me unconditionally, finally hit me. I got up, went to my car, and prayed a heartfelt prayer. I was now a Christian.
While it may have made for a better tale if I stopped here, that’s not the end of the story. Just two weeks ago, I attempted suicide again. I went to Greentop and tried to buy another handgun. Thankfully, I was denied. Still, I can’t lie; I was very close to death once more.
So, how do I end this on a positive note? Well, all I can do is tell you that if I didn’t have Ross Lawrence or Robby Christmas in my life, I already would have been dead. I believe that a simple act of kindness is the face of God, and that He works though ordinary people to show His love. I can end this message by telling you that above all, Jesus helps me. When I think I’m worthless, He says I have worth. When I think I’m hopeless, He says I have hope. Finally, when I think I’m unlovable, He says He loves me. God loves you, too.