I became a Christian in Year 12, and it was a choice between committing suicide and becoming a Christian. It came about like this.
In year 10 my parents divorced and I spent the year trying to help my family survive. At the end of the year, as my Mum recovered, I started to grieve and became depressed. The previous year my grades had dropped from 1 in every subject to 5 or 6. So, I decided that I’d fix the black hole inside me by becoming Dux in Year 11. I worked furiously and succeeded in topping multiple subjects, and as soon as it was announced the despair rushed back in. I hadn’t changed anything, I was still me and I was still despressed!
At that point I decided to commit suicide, but I reasoned it had to look like an accident so I didn’t destroy my mother. I spent many months trying to work out how to do it.
One night I mentioned my intention to my Mum. In her distress, she said something that reached me. ‘You’ve got to have faith in something outside of yourself, because if you don’t, when life goes bad, you’ve got nothing’. She also asked me to go to church the next day (a strange request since we weren’t Christians).
At church the next day, I felt totally lost. Stand up, sit down, stand up, sit down: make up your minds! But in the middle of the sermon the minister said: ‘You’ve got to have faith in something outside of yourself, because if you don’t, when life goes bad, you’ve got nothing’! I was stunned! Exactly the same words. My mind descended into a whirl: ‘Maybe there’s a God! What do I do with a God? I can’t just ignore a God!’
So I set out to investigate. I found a Bible and started at the beginning of the Bible because I didn’t understand that the Bible is not a novel, but a library. So I read Genesis, Exodus and half of Leviticus. I read every footnote trying to understand. But I just couldn’t figure it out! All I understood was:
1. God was god, and I was not! (I wasn’t in control of everything)
2. If God was god, then he was not happy with me (I knew I didn’t reach my own standards, let alone God’s).
3. If God was god, and not happy with me, then he had to fix the mess, because I clearly couldn’t fix myself.
And that was all I understood!
So I went back to church and didn’t understand a thing! Afterwards, a few of us went out for dinner. They were talking about Jesus returning- some scared, some excited. I sat at the end of the table with my arms crossed, refusing to participate! In the middle of the conversation, a light came on in my head ‘Jesus is how God fixes the mess!’ And so I went home and prayed ‘God, I’ve screwed up my life, you can have it if you want. (and then I thought… ‘I think Christians say Amen’) … Amen! And God filled me with joy! He saved me both spiritually and physically.
That was the moment that changed my life completely! I still suffer from depression, but in spite of that I have hope and purpose.
Jesus is how God fixes the mess!