Earth Shaking, Doors Opening, & Breaking Free! Acts16:26

 

 Gary's Testimony

      As a young boy in Kindergarten and all of the lower grades of school. I was never really able to "fit in," as they always said. I was the one who had the "Saddle shoes" and the hair parted on the wrong side. There was much torment, and a lot of pain, I was picked on, especially because I had glasses, big ole Coke bottle glasses. The other kids did not much care for me to be allowed near them and to have much part of anything but to be their "Scape goat." I was feeling as suicidal as they come from the time I was in kindergarten. All the way through school, whatever little bit I would go was miserable. I was close enough to the school that I was a walker, and when I was having so much trouble with the other kids hitting me, and poking me, and spitting at me and on me, knocking my glasses off, and pushing me down, I was allowed to leave early each day for the hopes of being gone by the time the other kids were let out. My sister, one year older than me was mad and went to bat for me while I was in school and boy did the make things worse. The truant officers would come to the house and always give my mom and dad a hard time about my missing so much school mom would put me on the bus I would get off the bus the next stop. Finally the school called the courts into it, and made the file a P. I. N. S. petition Person in need of supervision. against me. The judge ordered that I was to either go to school as I was told or that he would ship me off upstate New York.

         Things only grew worse, I went to court again, and they took me and put me upstate. I was 11 yrs old, I saw things happening to kids and things that they would do to one another and I was terrified. I did not attend school there either, by this time I was already out of the schooling long enough I did not have the desire to sit and try to get the understanding that I needed to continue with school. This place was a large institution; it held about 500 kids and staff members, from what I can remember. I was always running away per things were just not very pleasant there. I wanted to be home with my parents but they had no control over it any longer. Depression was my closest friend. I did everything that I could do to get thrown out and hoped that they would send me home from there. This did not work, I had a long journey in and out of these places, every once in a while going to stay with my mom and dad and it just never seemed to be right. I went from place to place, and from town to town, growing more and more depressed, and more and more suicidal. After many years of this happening, in and out of group homes, hospitals, and institutions I was told that after I graduated school I could return home. I took that as my only way out, finally I was of age to take my GED test, I did so, and passed it well over the base score for passing.

         During my stays in these places I was introduced to depressions buddies, Drinking and Drugs and cigarettes, smoking was a way to fit in, drugs worked better, and drinking was a filler when I could not find drugs. Once I was able to return to "Regular society," I was only worse than anyone thought off, for not being prepared to function. I could not hold a job, I was angry all the time, I was depressed beyond recognition, and it was just a failure after failure situation. I did not learn how to have relationships, I did not learn how to love, and I did not learn how to do much of anything but, hold all my pain and frustration in. Resentment built and harbored itself in my depressed mind. There was a paranoid feeling that EVERYONE was out to get me. No matter what I did, someone was using me, and people were just setting me up for the greatest fall of my life. I had trust in everything that was false and dangerous to me. I would go to AA meetings to find women; I would go to the crack house looking for acceptance. I would look for the women in the bars, places of the like. Take a drive looking for someone to accept me as I was without having to do anything special or have money to blow on Crack, Pot, Crank, and LSD ... or anything else I had done.

        I was miserable; I turned out to be the town mechanic on most of the poorer people‚Äôs wannabe street car/muscle cars. I would do work for a "Buzz" or cheap enough to get some weed or some crack, or whatever suited me for the night. Got mixed in with the crowds of what the town considered the "Dirt bags" of that day. Through all of that, I was in and out of work continually. There were some GREAT jobs that I had, and ruined them. I moved out of state to be with a woman that I thought was the greatest thing to happen to me. I stayed with her for about 8 mo. and things did not work out. I came back home, after a while I was in and out of relationships again. Then a Job came open in a carnival. I took the job; I was setting up and tearing down the rides, from site to site. There I met the mother of my daughter (daughter came about 4 yrs later). We hit it off well, and we dated for about 6 months. She had a 4 yr. old boy from another man. Pretty much the way things were for me, I had been marked wherever I went in whatever I drove, the law was always there busting my chops. Always getting tickets, in trouble for possession, and or something else. So we decided that we would move out of state, she happened to have a high school friend that she wanted to come see, her friend had just had a miscarriage, and she wanted to be there for her. So, in due time we married, and moved to Arkansas.

         Things were always rocky for us; we never had the same goals. I received many injuries, and was having a hard time with a lot of car troubles, jobs were not plenty, and money was tight. After a few yrs, my daughter was conceived, we had a lot of marital troubles, and had moved about 3 times already, and things had only grown worse and worse. We had split up, and gone our separate ways. During the year that my daughter was born, I was working a lot of hours, and doing well for myself, enough to buy a motorcycle. There was a fire at the duplex I lived in, (the shop building burnt), I took 3 days off of work in order to clean up the mess. I then brought my bike home, and during the cleanup process there was apparent damage to the Lincoln town car I was driving at the time. I took the m/c to work the next day, 03/09/96, when I was at work, (Chrome plating plant, temperatures above 100 degrees) there came a cold front in, and it dropped temperatures to 11 degrees. I attempted to ride home, and got hypothermia, blacked out, and awoke in the hospital a couple days later.

       My wife and I were separated before this, and she had moved her stuff in with me to help me as I was unable to tend to myself. I had snapped my Femur bone off (right side), jammed it into my pelvis, breaking it, and my sacrum, as well as breaking my hip. There were also head injuries. There was some question as to whether or not I was going to be able to walk, and if I did, it was going to be most likely with a limp. Our marriage did not do to well even in that time of need for us to be working together. After about 2 yrs of recovery and several surgeries, I was able to walk again, without crutches, and without a wheelchair, and without assistance. I returned back to the work force about 2 1/2 yrs after the wreck. Within the first 8 yrs of staying in Arkansas, we had moved about 19 times. This was unsettling; our marriage had not gotten any better. Things were terrible for our marriage had become a dreaded failure, it was inevitable. The end was going to have to come to all of that pain and anguish.

       Finally at the year 1998 I had come into the knowledge of the Lord, I was looking for the only way I knew to be done without making me live through it. I wanted to take myself out of this life. All that happened was bringing my lifelong failure streak to the surface again. This was something I did not want to do; leaving my marriage all the way and forever seemed too much to bear. I visited after a request of a man that worked in the area, my church that I now know as my home church. I went a few times, it was not for me, as I had allowed my hair to grow for about 15 yrs by that time, and was nothing even close to being what I thought would go to church. I decided to leave and not go back, it was about 2 yrs. and a few months later, that I was driving my car, and just started dreaming of how successful I wanted to be, that I wanted a home for my family, that was what we fought so hard about, we had nothing to show for our work but debt, and pain. I looked up one day, and asked the lord to help me become successful, that I wanted to be something that could leave behind a name for me, that I could be recognized as a great person that accomplished something within his life span.

         I was compelled to go back to the church, and try it out, this time I was seeking, I had no idea what was in store for me, and still look back thinking, how merciful God had been to me. Little did I know, my fight had just begun, my marriage finally collapsed, my whole life as I knew it was shattered, and all I could do was think, How come all of this has to happen to me, what have I done so wrong? I was baptized in Jesus name for the remission of my sins (Acts 2:38) rather quickly, I repented and was speaking in tongues as the spirit gave the utterance for about 2-3 weeks before I claimed the Holy Ghost. My journey for the lord was by no means easy, but nor was his up Calvary's hill for me, by his merciful, and precious grace, I am able to stand and say, I have not had a drink of alcohol, or done any drugs, and have kept clean (by deliverance) for 4 plus yrs, and I have been cigarette free for about 5 1/2 yrs, (cold turkey from about 2 packs a day). God has been so very good to me and given me custody of my precious daughter, and has blessed me more than words can EVER say. I Love him and want to serve him with all my heart, soul, and might. I have dedicated my daughter to him and look to serve him all the way through. I hope you have seen the grace of our lord through this, and that you will give him your all to find your name written in the Lambs book of life