My Encounter with Jesus Christ
I never thought I would end up talking about Jesus so much. My name is Jesse and this how I met God. I tried to keep it this short!
I put myself in a self destructive pit with occult practices, drug abuse, and suicide. I was feeling like the world was out of reach with me and losing touch with reality was a daily experience that stretched for three depressing years. At age sixteen through nineteen I had life changing experiences that started with trying find out why I was alive. In the series of events below I never thought I would get as lost and confused as I did
In these years I did not have the understanding that I learned later, so throughout this I am very ignorant.
Drastic Changes in Behavior
I was thinking about suicide, and a man gave me a prophesy from the Lord saying: "You are going to go through a deep walk with Jesus, possibly with drugs." I never had a prophecy before, I didn't know what it was. I was never near drugs and never thought I would be, so this surprised me.
I grew up with Christian parents but I did not go to church a lot. I believed in God because it was easy to accept. At age sixteen, I decided in my pride that the Bible was not real, and God did not exist. I quickly forgot that prophecy weeks or months later..
My downfall all began when I started getting anxiety attacks at school by being around a lot of people. Extremely anxious feelings made it difficult to focus in school. My palms would sweat, and my heart pounded rapidly, the anxiety gave me a rush of fear and the need to use the bathroom. Many times I brought Pepto Bismuth, Cola Syrup, or a pill to school as a remedy but they didn't help much. I had a big problem feeling normal in school. I began skipping classes' everyday because I could not handle the anxiety and fearful feelings. Some times I slept in a cornfield to pass the day before I could go home. I eventually transferred to another school after I failed the previous year in hopes that a change would fix my problem. Unfortunately, I still had the same problem at the new school and it was worse. I was on the verge of panic attacks everyday. I did not know what a panic attack was back then. I had thought something was seriously wrong with me. The same pattern returned, so I went into a "Home Bound Program", where I did all my school work at home while a teacher came by each day.
It worked out well for a while, but I felt so different than everybody else I let myself become depressed. I didn't have any real friends anymore so I never did anything. I became boxed in my room with music. I felt lonely inside having nobody to be friends with or have anyone that could relate to how I felt about these odd troubles. I was the only dropout out of everyone I knew. That can be a big deal to a sixteen year old.
My dad offered me to work at his business full-time and I did. It was a nice job but I was still depressed and lonely, I felt like I was working for nothing.
Open Doors to My Soul
While at work I picked up a can of duster; which is compressed air in an aerosol can, and I started inhaling it through my nose. I inhaled it until I passed out on the office floor, where I had a vision of something strange (I won't mention too much about these because they aren't the focus). This was where my deep walk with Jesus began. I woke up and an employee asked what I was doing. I told them I was sleeping, they always thought I was a weird so it didn't matter.
I had inhaled this intentionally being curious and experimental. I don't know where I got the idea. I began a habit of bringing these cans of duster home, then I would sit in my room and listen to the band Tool while inhaling, passing out, waking up, repeat. My nose would bleed a lot. The band Tool is anti-Christ, it encouraged me to hate God. Not believing in God is one thing, but it's absurd to hate for what I chose to disbelieve. The music had a bad effect on my young impressionable mind. I believe this was where the spiritual doors opened to explore more on drugs and anti-God music.
Practicing Occult Beliefs
Since I had no faith in God and did not read the Word, my mind was going to be filled with something else. I became very open-minded to anything. A thought manifested in my mind that I have no reason to live, I'm depressed anyway's, so I should kill myself.
I would sulk in my room alone and angry. I was certain I must commit suicide to cure my emptiness, though first I was conveniently seduced into occult practices. I began doing activities and practices alone to tap into the supernatural realm, wanting to see what was out there. There was a drastic change in personality and behavior. During the early stages of my occult practices I lingered into some very bizarre pornography and fetishes. I had started listening to hypnotism recordings, I believe this influenced me to want to become a slave of satan. Again, you would think by not believing in God I wouldn't believe in satan either but I never considered it. Something was so appealing about the occult at that time. The hypnotism recordings of sexual-like mind control started scaring me so I stopped listening to them. (I have to leave a lot out here, I don't want to make it sound interesting because it's terrible evil).
I began calling satan the "angel of death" in my prayers. I used to talk to this angel as if he were my friend, in reality he is the enemy, I believed a lie and that is the only way the devil can have power -- if you let him have it. I spoke to the "angel of death" and I asked him to possess me with the strength to commit suicide. I little while later I felt real feelings of a demon "controlling" me. In a way it controlled me, but I can't say it possessed me because that isn't possible with free will. I submitted to these dark powers, and many times I didn't feel like I was controlling my body. It felt like I was watching my body from my mind while going out to harm myself. It also made the time rolling by feel like a big blur stain because I wasn't really "here", though I was physically here. Many times in my room I felt spirits, one was hanging over my bed or watching me and I couldn't sleep. I remember one weak spirit and one extremely strong one.
I became fascinated with violence, blood, and death. Also I began drawing on my face with permanent marker. I'd make an upside down crucifix between my eyes or an X at times. I did not think of this as rebelling against God, I did it because the thought just "came to me." During these times my mom said she felt like she didn't know who I was. I was at the point where I hated everyone, and everything, I had never asked for this life, so I was going to end it. I had all the opposite fruits of the Holy Spirit.
I thought the easiest way to kill myself is with the duster because of the warning on the side that said: "Harmful or Fatal if Inhaled." I would inhale the duster like always until I'd pass out but instead of catching my breath I would keep repeating until the can was empty, which is a lot of inhaling. I would come conscious with a bleeding nose. If I had nothing to inhale, I'd go find a chemical around the house. The feelings I got from these inhalants were not a good feeling, not like a high the average drug user would enjoy. Overall, I consumed about thirty cans of duster.
Note: Inhalants are terribly dangerous. Any "one" hit can be your last, this is known as Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome (SSD). It also permanently damages brain cells.
I was on a mission of self-destruction. I began midnight driving while getting high on inhalants in preparation to crash my car but I couldn't because a fear lived in me about what will happen when I die. When I was about to crank the steering wheel into a tree or concrete wall, I would get a tingling feeling inside my heart that felt like God bugging me, I had never felt it before then. The God I hated who I didn't believe exists was bugging me. I refused to let that little feeling stop me.
For the next three months I drove on the highway with inhalants, relying on some evil power to give me strength to kill myself. I don't remember every event because I was so hollow inside, not only from inhaling things but from the spiritual occult that cursed me. Several times I woke up in strange places, once a parking lot an hour away from home, Another on the grass beside the highway. I had tried this so many times, and I was still alive; it was as if I was invisible running red lights, swerving on the highway, and passing out on the side of the road. For three months nearly every single night and not once did anyone notice me. Police saw me driving reckless at times and I saw them, but they never stopped me, I find that very strange.
I kept seeking out the easiest way to die, even through alcohol. I wasn't dying off inhalants so I tried some other things, but I usually ended up sick for a while.
My Invincible Drug Addiction
I started snorting crushed pills and taking large quantities. I also got into hallucinogens and stacking them with smoking marijuana every single day. I was seventeen at this time; fearless in my youth it felt I was invincible. I still wanted to die so I didn't care about overdosing. I mixed many different drugs whether illegal, prescription or over-the-counter. Sometimes having "out of body experiences."
I felt invincible, so I started shop lifting. I ended up with one to two thousand dollars in value of stolen things, not including over-the-counter drugs from the store. Every night, I'd trip on drugs and steal things. It became an addiction. That was literally all that I did. I had been brought home by the police several times, on some occasions being completely lost while I was tripping. Police never suspected a thing.
One time I had walked out my friends buddies trailer because his very presence freaked me out. I started walking down the road having strong hallucinations in the rain. Trees were bending, witches were flying and laughing. It was like a Halloween nightmare movie. I absolutely hated these trips but it wasn't enough to make me quit. I had gotten lost and ended up at some random people's house where they were having a party; after a short while I had to leave so I slept under a church. I went to a random house and asked the man inside to call the police for me, I needed a ride home because I was 30 minutes away from home and I was lost.
I'm not going to write all my stories about tripping on drugs because they mean nothing to you, but an example or two shows how it was for me.
Suicide, First Close Call
One of my two unforgettable suicide attempts was an evening when I woke up one around 9:00pm. I wrote a letter to God and said; "If you are real, please help me." I then prayed to the devil to give me power to kill myself.
I went to the cabinet upstairs, took all of the pills I found and swallowed about sixty pills, including; Xanax, Aderoll, Paxil, Zoloft, Valium, Tylenol. Uppers, Downers, Anti-Depressants. I laid in my bed and wrote a song on the guitar called "My Funeral". Then I turned off my lights, and went back to sleep. I woke up 8 hours later. In the natural, I should have been dead with the combination of pills in me for so long, but I wasn't. I went to the bathroom, and I estimate about 90% of the pills didn't dissolve by what came out of me.
The pills kept me up for another day and a half, I think it was the Aderoll. As I was awake I had vivid hallucinations and heard voices from past memories in my mind. It was so strange.
Suicide, Glimpse of Forever
The other of my two unforgettable suicide attempts was a while later after my 60 pill scare. I was upset again and I took twenty sleeping pills. Something in the pill really screwed me up. I was hallucinating and stumbling. I called a friend and told him what I took. I decided to make a bad decision and drive to his house 20 miles away. I barely had control over my car. I got to his house and fell in his yard because I could barely walk. It was not like being drunk; It was as if gravity multiplied against my body. While inside I was sitting and shaking, his sister gave me water, she seemed scared for me. I was very scared and didn't want to die because of the things I saw. This was the scariest thing I experienced.
Time was stopping, then flickering back again, I can't explain it. I believe I was flickering in and out of eternity, I can not describe it any other way. I saw a tall dark spirit waiting for me and not talking. I heard terrifying voices of tormented screaming from behind me like the strength of a lions roar, it was very loud. I asked if my friends sister was talking or heard anything but she didn't. I was trembling with fear, I had never seen or heard anything like this, this was not the same as a bad trip on drugs. I can't go as far to say I saw Heaven or Hell, but I saw and heard some terrifying things.
My friend called poison control anonymously but I promised to puke if he didn't call an ambulance, it was very serious. I put my finger in my throat but nothing came. I did this for a good thirty minutes. The pills had already dissolved. In his bathroom I heard many other things, but I never understood them. The first extreme overdose was "blocked", this overdose was not and I felt closer to death than ever before. This put the fear of God and judgement in me.
Efforts of Repentance and Turning From Sin
At this point I had no choice but to believe in God after seeing and hearing what I did. I wrote letters to God pleading for his help. I needed someone to save me from the mess I got in. I entered into rehab as an out patient for drug abuse. I was going through withdrawal from drugs again. A few years of non-stop drug abuse on my body felt horrible to come down from during withdrawals. When I tried sobering up I wished I never did any drug.
The shoplifting finally caught up with me and I went to jail for two weeks. I thought to myself, "How in the world did I get to this place? Almost three years passed and had I dropped out, made an alliance with satan, denied and hated God, terribly abused drugs, attempted suicide; almost died numerous times and now I am in jail." I was ashamed of myself. That's when the prophesy became real to me, this was the deep walk with Jesus.
Psalm 86:10 For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God.
I tried quitting drugs and attempting suicide, I was thanking God for sparing me. I tried to break my habits but I kept falling backwards. It took me too long to realize I can't change myself. I needed God to change me.
In winter I got into a car accident and totaled my car. On the highway I spun out facing oncoming traffic at 70mph and the car halfway hung on the concrete median of the highway. I jumped out of the car and ran across the highway an moments later another car hit the camaro head on. As I was standing outside I felt like I was going to leave my body from shock, it was the beginning of the panic attacks. (I did not know what panic attacks were until later.)
Terrible Fear and Panic Attacks
A second revelation came from someone that e-mailed me, they told me; "I am on my knees praying and shaking and trembling for you. I don't know why. The Lord wants me to pray for you, I don't know why. I am almost in tears. God wants you to stay strong. Trust Him no matter what and do not lose faith." When I read this I didn't know what to think, it freaked me out a little bit. Two weeks later I began getting panic attacks non-stop, all-day, constantly. My body felt like a numb dream. Doom and fear all around me. You will not understand how bad panic attacks feel unless you get them. I went to a therapist, trying to get help. I thought I was permanently damaged from the drugs I had done.
I had to sleep in the living room with my sister by my side for a month until I could sleep on my own at nineteen years old. Even worse was that I couldn't fall asleep at night. Every waking moment of the day, I was freaking out. I had lost my mind. Panic attacks and Disassociation at all hours of the day was the worst time of my life, I would not wish it on my worst enemy. I had to be around my mom or sister all day, all night, they were the only people that cared. I cried everywhere I went.
The Hand of God
Nobody would go with me to church so I went out of impulse alone. This was a very big deal for me to do at that time. I sat in the back and as they were playing music a man walked up on the stage and had a Word from God that stated my situation in ink. It's not out of coincidence I heard that at the right time, I know that message was meant for me. Out of the many times I'd gone to church the one time in desperate need I get a message applying to me. It was the Holy Spirit speaking through him, not the mans own words.
I went home with some hope, I kept trying to trust God to help me, but still everyday my heart and mind were freaking out. My mom was so supportive, she made a chart on how I was feeling and she helped me keep some sanity. A week passed and again I went to church, God was all I had to rely on. No person could save me, nor any man made remedy cure me. I was bound up, reaping what I had sown from all my sin.
I sat in the back again shaking as they played music. The Pastor got on the stage interrupting the music and said that there are people in the room who need healing and deliverance from past addictions, the Holy Spirit was speaking through him. I would never walk in front of a big church, but as he said that I felt the Holy Spirit grab my heart and pull me forward, it was something I could have resisted, but I wanted God, I wanted to see his power in more than words. As I was standing there with a lot of other people, he spoke in tongues then then laid hands on us. I felt the Lord's power, I could not stand, I fell on the floor and cried until they told me to go back to my seat. Remember how I used to go to church as a young one and nothing applied to me? It was same church, it applied when I needed it. Desperately. God was moving. The church by the way was Resurrection Life in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Psalm 86:15 But you, O LORD, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
I went home and told my mom what happened. The Lord answered prayers. I never realized I desperately need The Lord, I must have God, without him I am empty and dead. Besides God sparing me through my recklessness, once He touched me my entire life changed. Jesus Saved my Life.
The panic attacks were something I dealt with for a few years longer, God healed me of panic attacks at another church as I fearfully stepped forward for healing. I still battle extreme anxiety, but a barrier was put up and I've never gone past anxiety into panic since that day.
Conclusion, God is Awesome
I had backslid a time or two between some of the events above, it didn't all happen at once. God has totally changed my life, I can't begin to compare the difference. I am so grateful for Jesus and the cross.
This was a terrible life changing experience over the course of three years that couldn't be learned through a week. It's true that only certain passions are learned through pain. My words only lightly outline the experiences I went through, the colors in between the lines were great pain and torment that I wish upon noone. The blood of Jesus covers me and He saved me. I am only alive because of who the Lord is.
God became real to me and God loved me when I hated Him, He was faithful when I was unfaithful, He showed mercy when I never did, He had compassion when I had none, He cared when I didn't, He was mindful of me when I didn't consider Him. I don't know anyone as awesome as the Lord.
There have been many great things small and large He has done in my life after this and still does today. Because of the cross of Jesus Christ I now have a purpose, I have been saved, I have been spared, Glory to God! I'm just glad to know Him, I don't care about having a great name in the world I just wanna love Him.
Thank you for reading this, maybe it gives you hope in God. I hope you meet Jesus Christ if you haven't because the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.