It was the summer of 2016. I’d just turned 42, celebrated my 20th wedding anniversary in Cana with my wife during a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and was about to end my life. I’d failed to find God, connect with my life’s meaning and purpose, and was otherwise a substitute teacher, a failed writer, composer, and artist. I had three fat life insurance policies in place, and the method of my self-execution at hand (two full veterinary doses of phenobarbital disguised in an Aquafina water bottle). As a result of all this and other mounting circumstances, my wife and I decided to devote ourselves to prayer during two weeks of house-sitting for a friend.
One morning I just decided to lay myself down onto the bathroom tiles and said, “Lord, I’m so ashamed. I’ve failed as a provider for my wife. If You bless the work of my hands, I’ll swear off pornography forever.” I knew in my heart this was a promise I couldn’t keep. I’d been addicted to pornography since my dad had walked out when I was twelve. The Lord heard that prayer and answered me. It was the first time I’d heard the voice of God in such a long time. Then the words “broken soul” pressed very urgently into my heart. I typed the two words into Google, and the search result at the very top of the page was Hope Preserved Ministries. After reading through Mark and Risa’s website, everything came rushing over me like a tide. Doctors heal broken bones, but nobody had ever told me that we can break our souls too. This tiny insight made all the difference in the world to me./p>/span>
Needless to say, meeting Jesus in the ministry of Hope Preserved saved my life. What transpired was both an immediate as well as gradual release of Satan’s grip over an enslaved soul, releasing the captives held prisoner within. Completely unbeknownst to my conscious, waking self, these alternate personalities had been crying out for help within the recesses of my innermost being. Each instance of broken boyhood, shattered adolescence, and depressed young adulthood had created parallel persons warring for recognition and healing. They knew me, but I didn’t know them./span>
Upon returning home, Mark and I continued to seek Jesus via long-distance Skype chats, and more and more pieces and personalities that years of darkness and disappointment had crafted began to find their Savior for the very first time. Jesus met each wounded part of my soul by name, healing me of a thirty-year long addiction to pornography with literally a single word. Truly this is the Son of God, whose power to forgive sins and bind the brokenhearted is just as sure as the day that blind man stood before Him two thousand years ago. He has not changed. It is we who change when our hearts encounter Him.
West coast resident. Name withheld for privacy reasons.