My name is Russell, I’m from England UK, and where God has brought me,I could never have dreamed of.my childhood was very bleak and painful. I was fostered at a very young age by two lovely people who loved me dearly, they fostered a few children, and being so young I couldn’t understand why brothers would come and go, but eventually I did have a Foster brother who stayed for many years. At the age of nine mum and dad took me to a seaside town were my mum worked in a little guest house owned by two men that I looked upon as uncles, we always went there weekends and school holidays, things were fine for a while, I was always made to sleep in my uncles separate house in the same room as them, that’s when my life started to change, they started to show pornagraphic books at the age of nine, and would ask me to get in bed with them, almost forcibly, where they would make me do things to them, and then forced anal sex on me, this went on for a number of years, I was to scared to say anything to my parents, then there was another man a friend of my uncles who also forced himself on me, so I ended up being sexally abused by three men, every time my mum and dad took me there. I found out later in life I wasn’t the only child abused. But as I got old the abuse took its toll, I became angry and nasty, and took it out on my parents. I got into a lot of trouble with the police, started drinking and taking drugs at an early age, and could never hold down relationships. But to cut this journey short. About 12 years ago I was a full blown alcoholic not so much drugs just alcohol, I tried suicide many times, extreme self-harming, I witnessed my girlfriend dying in front of me. became homeless, lost everything I owned, was married for ten years had two amazing children in 1985, but drinking took all that away from me. but going back twelve years, when homeless I was offered a chance to go to a Christian rehab called Bettels known world wide. But I certainly wasn’t interested in being a Christian far from it, and was definitely not a believer in God. After all I had been through I thought where was God then, when I was being abused and suffering. But I made the call to this Christian rehab, and they explained it was a working rehab, medication free, so there would be no help with the alcohol withdrawals, there was no smoking you not allowed money or contact with the outside friends or family, so this wasn’t impressing me at all, the lady at the rehab said they had one bed left so I would need to give her an answer as soon as possible. To be honest I wasn’t bothered I certainly didn’t want to become a Christian by no means. So I said can you give me half an hour to think about it. She said yes and I agreed to call back, thinking to myself that it’s not going to happen I’m not going to be ringing back that’s for sure. All I had my mind set on is to get alcohol in me.so I left the church office and quickly found a shop to buy alcohol, cans of beer in my hand I went to sit over a park opposite the church. I sat on a bench and opened a can, as I opened it I noticed it had a strange smell to it, which I never experienced before the can wasn’t out of date, I then took a sip of it and it tasted vile bitter and sickly. I couldn’t understand it. I then got up to throw it away in the trash bin, but as I stood up, hand on heart something scared me, I felt someone’s hand on my shoulder pulling me back in the direction of the church where I made the phone call, I was about to hit somebody but there wasn’t anyone there but felt something pulling me back to the church, I know you may not believe me but what ever was happening to me I felt no control over and found myself back in the church office and ringing the lady back at the rehab, and booking myself in with them when u knew full well that I certainly didn’t want to go there. But this all seemed planned some how, the salvation army paid for my train fare to the rehab. And I truly can’t remember how I found the place I’d lost the address and only knew the station to get off and the name Bettels rehab. I remember buying more alcohol before the train. But some how arriving at a large house where two men were waiting outside. But how I got there is clear now but certainly wasn’t then. I remember them telling me I can’t take the cigarette in that I was smoking and I think I lost my temper a little bit. But agreed, I was in a mess I had wet and soiled myself on the way as I always did when drinking. they took me to a shower and I cleaned myself up. the next morning I was awoken at 7am and felt very ill. I needed a drink but not so much a cigarette which was strange. I was then led to a big dining room with lots of other men there It was very difficult all I wanted to do is run out. After breakfast I was told it was prayer and worship time. The urge to leave was extreme. I thought to myself I cannot stay here with these bible bashers(apologies) I walked into a big room where they were all praying out loud. Thats when I cracked. I had to leave and get out of this place, I ran to the main entrance and went to walk out, but as I opened the door I heard a loud soft voice, and thought it was one of the carers, but no one was there. The voice I heard said, Russell if you leave now I can’t help you. It was as clear as someone talking in my ear, and it truly scared me. Hard to explain but I couldn’t leave through fear, and I returned and stayed for 3 and a half years, and in that time God seemed to have pulled me apart and put me back together again. The feeling that God who I didn’t believe existed had remade me, never ever in my life have I ever felt such contentment and such a feeling of being loved. It felt like God had operated on me and cut away everything that was bad in me, and restored the old decaying furniture in my mind and replaced it with amazing new furniture that I truly needed replacing. Now looking back on my darkest days although I didn’t believe in God he was with me constantly. He saved me from my suicide attempts and stopped me from bleeding to death from my self harm. And the journey I have been given now leaves me breathless sometimes. From the depths of darkness and pain and loneliness that I existed in years ago, to a beautiful home a beautiful part of the country amazing people, now I’ve been blessed with a brand new car for my mobility due to physical health and mental health issues. Seriously God our Father has blown me away. I never ever feel lonely. I’m constantly loved and cared for and my heart is full of love for my dear Father God, I know now that my life was planned and God waited patiently for me to open the eyes of my heart and I’m so truly happy I did. All them year’s of suffering wasn’t spent on my own. God was by my side every step of the way. That I truly believe with all my heart

Shared by Russell

May 2024