It’s hard for me to believe that next week I will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the lowest point of my life. I know it seems odd to celebrate such an event, but for me, it was a turning point in my life. It was the moment when I refused to go any lower than I was and made the decision that I would claw my way out of the hole that I was in no matter how much effort it took and no matter how long it took. I’m still clawing my way out of that hole, but now I’m starting to see daylight.
Ten years ago, there was no light at the end of the tunnel. There was no hope of ever recovering from what I had been through. I was hurt, embarrassed and alone. Sure I had a few friends around me, but no one truly knew the depth of my pain or what I was struggling with. I made a conscious effort to never think about that time in my life. I felt that if I could pretend it was a bad dream, the pain would go away. I thought that if I never spoke of it again, then I could put it behind me.
I moved on with my life pretending that I hadn’t gone through a painful divorce, filed for bankruptcy, lost my business or ran away from those who cared most about me. I figured that the best way out was to start my life over fresh and new as if none of it never happened. The problem was it did happen. Underneath everything I was still a mess inside. I was still hurt to the core. I was mad at God for letting me walk through that. I was mad at others thinking my failures were somehow their fault. It all boiled down to bad decision making by me.
Once I was able to take responsibility for the things that happened, I began to move forward. It’s not easy to look in the mirror when you know the pain inside is caused by the person looking back at you. I know other people played roles in delivering the punches that knocked me down, but I made the decisions that put them there and put myself in that position. I left myself open for the gut shots that took the wind out of my desire to live or move on.
I hid the pain for over seven years as I moved on with life. It was then that God spoke to me through Dave Roever that I needed to expose the wounds and face them head on. Since that time, I have begun to share my story being open and honest about what happened. I have found healing for the wounds that were so deep. I still feel the pain like I did every time I open them up, but I know that through my wounds others can find help, hope and healing for theirs.
I don’t know what you’re facing today, but I know what it’s like to hit rock bottom and feel like there’s no way out. I know what it’s like to think that there’s only one way out of the pain and anger. I can tell you that there is another way out. I found it. It was through forgiving myself and others who hurt me. It was in finding forgiveness through Jesus for the unthinkable wrongs I’d committed. It was over the course of years, hard work, dedication and never giving up. If I can make it out of that hole, you can too.