DISCLAIMER! When you read this please know that all of these events happend to me about 8 years ago. This is also one of the most RAW moments in my life and there is only one reason that I am sharing this. The reason is I am Honoring a Man I respect, admire and have looked to for advice in some of my most vulnerable moments in my life. Do not PANIC by about what your about to read. I survived with his help and am now a better person for it.
And now for the show, Mr. MC please do the honors and draw back the curtain, Conductor, please cue up some Wagner, dim lights and let's roll....
Salvation Comes Home
I had lost control. I could not see any way out of the mess I had made of our lives and I believed that there was nothing I could do to make things better for me, my wife or our 2 year old daughter. I felt hopeless. The world had beaten me down so much that I had decided that I had lived my last day and that before the sun rose on a new day I would not be part of that world. So I prepared.
I made sure all my things were in order at work and that everthing would be ready for at least a week. I made sure all the household bills were taken care of and, when I felt all my Civic and Home responsibilities were completed I went to the store and purchased 2 bottles of sleeping pills and then I stopped at the liquor store and picked up a pint of bourbon. I felt like garbage. I loathed myself. I could not even look at myself in the mirror. I was defeated.As I left work that evening and I turned out the lights to my office for what for what I believed would be the last time I said a quick goodbye and attempted to sever all emaotional tiesto the best job I had ever had. I walked out of the building and got in the mini-van with my wife and we went to go pick up our daughter. I really tried to enjoy what I felt were the las hours on earth. My wife, who has always been quite tuned in to my feeling s knew there was something wrong and with only 4 blocks to her parents' house she as me what was wrong. I tried to ignore th question. I tried to stay strong and play it off but I could not. I broke down. I told her how I had messed up our lives. How I had lost control. How I had failed. How I planned to end things.
She cried. She yelled. She got us back on the road. We picked up our daughter and went home.
After an evening of tense pleasantries and intense broken conversations I still felt there was nothing I could do. Then she aske the question tha tliterally changed the course of my life "Do you want me to call Pastor Shannon?" I did not know what to say. I was on our couch with my head in my hands crying. I knew that if I did not get some help I would not make it through the night. I knew that if I were to even try and think about any kind of hope for a future I need to toalk to a person of Faith and Hope. All I could do was nod my head.
Within an hour Pastor Shannon was at our house sitting on our couch and praying with us and for us. Counseling me. Explaining to me how our "Adversary" had used outside influences to try to destroy my life. How God Loves me and wants me to Live. He prayed some more. He listened to me. I listened to him. I Prayed. I changed my mind.
Over the course of the next six months I met with Pastor Shannon on a weekly basis and we talked. Which is to say, I talked and he listened and prayed. I worked through a lifetime of garbage that had built up in me. He listened and prayed. He was there the whole time. Listening and praying. Holding true to his Service and Calling to God. Teaching me how to be a better Man and a better Christian.
Now, today, I know that I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Pastor Shannon for assisting me in that period in my life but also for the times that I received a card or phone call from him stating simply "I was thinking about you Bro, everything ok?"
There were other things too; whenever I had a question of faith he took time for me. When I was being attacked by an atheist about the existence of God and the Faith that I have, Pastor Shannon was there. Whenever I felt I was straying off of course I knew I could look toward Pastor Shannon and know that he was keeping his on on God and that he would help me over whatever obstacle I was facing.
I am alive today through the works of God and the instrument that God has used on earth to save me is Pastor Shannon. I am sad about his departure from Faith Alive Ministries and I will miss him every time I walk through our doors. I will miss his emotional sermons and honest faith that he carries wtih him. He is going to be missed and not just my me but also by countelss others in our Church Family.