Hello everyone, I am recent employee to the church, under the title of ministry associate, John Conner. I’ve been of attendance of this church since I was young, coming here when I could between moving to other states. Recently, I was given the pleasure of having an internship with the church over the summer before my parting to college at Eastern Kentucky University. With Chris on vacation this week, he asked me to take over the blog posts for the week, and that left me wondering, “what should I write about? Scripture, religious basics, why I’m even here working?” After pondering for a bit, I decided to write on something that’s unique to me: my testimony.
I grew up attending church all through my life, whether I was 14 months old or 14 years old, I was there, but religion didn’t always come easy for me. As a child, I wound up getting abused by my father, which planted a seed of hatred, depression, and self-worthlessness to grow and become what would eventually be the thing to bring me to Christ. After this incident, we kept going to church, but I was always in pain. I never understood why God wouldn’t just cure me of my depression, so I wouldn’t have to struggle. Eventually, my mother and father divorced, giving him a restraining order and giving mom full custody of my brother and me. However, things got worse, as I developed a speech impediment that would hinder me throughout the rest of my life and contribute to my anxiety and depression disorder.
Mom has a memory of me, as a kid in kindergarten, saying I was going to walk in front of a bus, and I can’t imagine how much that pained her to hear. One of her two sons, struggling to live at such a young age. Eventually, she wound up getting remarried to who would have been my stepfather at the time, and he was a good father for a while. He spent way more time with my brother than me, but I was okay with that, because he still would care about me at least some. I just wish things would’ve stayed that way. He became an alcoholic, and an aggressive one at that. He threw a tv remote through my brother’s door, would constantly yell at me for staying in my room away from him, and would tell my mom how her kids were disrespectful, not their kids, hers. After this outbreak, and this anger every night keeping us all awake, I became suicidal, and lost all faith in God. I still had my bible in my room, but I was angry about why I was forced into this situation, and why I wasn’t given any help.
After dealing with this for years on end, I decided it was time to take my life into my own hands. I had plans to take my own life because I knew that would rid me of this earthly pain. However, before I did. I sat down with my bible in front of me and prayed “God, if you’re real, give me a sign to keep living.” When I opened my eyes, the bible was opened to psalms somehow. I didn’t touch it, nothing was around to bother it, it just was. So, I started to read the first chapter to catch my eye: Psalm 46. The first words I read that night were “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. This excerpt brought me back to feeling like everything happened for a purpose. That year, my stepfather walked out, we moved back here, and I went to church as often as I could, here at RSCC.
Christ can bring anyone to comfort and strength in weakness when you let him. The question is, will you let him?