I’ve been through a lot in 19 short years. My parents discovered a potentially fatal disease in my gut known as Celiac disease. Years later, we found out that I was autistic, lactose intolerant and ADHD prone. I am no stranger to disappointment. However, I never blamed God; He was not the cause of my problems. He was my confidant, the one I could trust. He loved me and that was all that mattered. The fact that I was alive was a true blessing.
This feeling would not last though. On April 26, 2006, my grandpa died of congestive heart failure. I was only 11.
The loss didn’t affect me like everyone else; everyone thinks that I handled his death very well. Unfortunately (for me), they were very wrong. I tried to deny he ever died at all. I tried to say, “It’s a joke,” and shove it off. But the eventual truth sank in: my grandpa, my friend, teacher, and fellow pool player, was dead. Gone forever.
The rage I felt at his death was nothing like I had felt before, nor do I think I will ever feel that angry again. I literally wanted the world to burn. This was all God’s fault! If He was so “all powerful” couldn’t He have prevented this? Couldn’t He have saved my grandpa from the arms of Death? But He didn’t, so I steered my wrath in his direction. I kicked God out of my heart and made it a haven for my demons. This, however, wasn’t the worse thing I had done to Him.
I wanted to make it absolutely certain to God that He was not to be welcomed back into my heart. So I thought to engage in the sin that I thought He would find the most disgusting. If I could make my heart filthy enough then maybe I could keep Him out as I drown myself in my misery and pain.
I looked to internet porn. I have never told this to anyone ever. The fact that I sinned against God to get BACK at God…I can’t think of anything more shameful. I can’t think of any reason for any Christian to get so mad, so livid at God that they would willingly hurt Him. As shameful and disgusting as I knew it was, I definitely kept God out. For 5 years in fact! That’s a long grudge! Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore; I didn’t want to stay angry about the past. I apologized to God, literally cried all night long, when I came to my senses. I finally realized that it wasn’t God’s fault. In fact, He is the reason I came back to myself in the first place. I realized not only that it was not His fault, but He was actually doing me a favor! My grandpa was old, tired and sick. He was ready to see the Lord and in my selfishness, I tried to hold on to him, no matter what he wanted. So when my grandfather died on August 6th of this year, I just let him go. Yes, I was sad; I love him. But he was miserable, he couldn’t hunt, fish or do whatever else he loved anymore. I wouldn’t be doing him any favors by holding on to him. Sometimes, you just have to let go of the people you love, no matter how much pain you suffer.
After my nosedive into porn, I decided to make a covenant with God. I could promise God anything, I decided, but a covenant would mean more. Plus, to bind it, I poured all of my shame and remorse into the words I spoke in my heart. God was good to me. Not only did He forgive me, but He gave me a new life. A life I have been living for the last 4 years. I have never been back to any of those old sites since then. The images though, will never leave me so long as I live. I still have nightmares about them.
Here are my words of wisdom: do not stay angry, especially with God. The pain it will cause you will not be that noticeable at first but believe me you will feel it. And never, EVER blame God for your problems like I did. He does not want to see you in pain. Rather, He would like to see you joyful and full of the Holy Spirit. I would like to share with you one of my most favorite passages from Ephesians 6 10-18:
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
Gregory P. Reinhardt