A night I will never forget

“But in my distress I cried out to the Lord; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from my sanctuary; my cry reached his ears.” Psalms 18:6. I can’t believe this is happening to me again. My head was throbbing and I was pacing back and forth with my fists clenched and my teeth grinding hard. They should have been completely flat from the years of anger abuse. It feels like all my problems are combining again, creating a horrible weight on my shoulders. At any moment I’m going to lose it; I’m going to lash out at someone and hurt them as bad as I hurt. Why can’t I just talk about it, just tell someone my problems and get it off my chest? No, No, No, No!!!! You can’t let anyone know that you are weak and need help – you’re better than this. Like a piece of gum, just chew up your problems and swallow them. No one wants to hear you whine and sniffle. No one’s gone through what you have been through; they wouldn’t understand. I lay down in bed trying to calm my tense muscles. It felt like they were going to rip apart from the constant strain. My heart was pumping so fast and hard as though I was a horse just finishing the Kentucky Derby. Just sleep, go to sleep; if you stay awake you will just say or do something you’ll regret. You will overcome the devil! Don’t let him win….just go to sleep now! I was new in my walk with Christ; I just wanted something better for my life and was struggling with how to be with God. My whole younger life I never felt as though I could talk to anyone about my feelings. I couldn’t tell my friends without fear or ridicule, being called a sissy or baby, and probably beat up. My parents were good at listening but they were old and wouldn’t understand. I would just bottle up my feelings like the devil was telling me to do and ignore it, hoping that it would go away. That was ok for a minute, but as I grew older my problems were turning into anger and I was lashing out at others, even loved ones. It didn’t take long before I turned to the bottle and drugs for instant gratification and that only added fuel to the fire. I’m not a small person – I lifted weights quite often weighing in between 260-280lbs and could handle myself well. When I drank, my problems would fizzle up and would look for someone to pound on. Often times I’d pick a fight with a group of people, trying to get them to beat me on me so bad that it would take the focus off all the other pain going on in my life. At times I was hoping they would end my life so I didn’t have these thoughts that were slowly destroying me. I was spiritually bankrupt and felt no love or real purpose to my life. I was finally able to calm down enough to go to sleep. I saw myself walking down a dark alleyway with a faint light at the very end. Looking to either side only able to make out the dark silhouettes of industrial buildings. My focus returned to the light, but I also heard a voice saying, ” over here, this way, come here.” The voice was low and welcoming so I started walking, looking around, trying to figure out where I was. I reached the end, only two notice that the alley turned right and the light was a lot brighter. I heard the voice again urging me even closer. As I approached the large open space I realized that I was in a shipping yard with many loading docks. In one of the docs was a crowd of around a hundred people, just standing there all wearing the same clothing. The Voice guided me to the center of this pit in the middle of the crowd. I looked at every face: they were mirror images of me but without any expression. They started closing in on me, not violently, just rather constricting. I started elbowing, pushing them to get away. Resorting to my violent ways, I punch them in the face, breaking their jaws and watching their teeth fall out. Everyone that I dropped produced 10 more. I received an energy boost that was so strong that I was finishing off three people every second this in turn kept producing morphos. My energy lasted well over an hour before I started sweating and the feeling of fatigue set in over my whole body. The feeling of failing again crept into my mind, then I’m not going to fend them all off. I was scared! I started yelling at God,” Why aren’t you protecting me? Why are you doing this?!” In utter exhaustion I fell to my knees, squeezing my hands together so hard that both of them were completely White. Closing my eyes, I focused on God, ignoring all that was around me. I prayed,” Lord, why is this happening? Why have you placed me here? ” I heard God’s voice telling me, “I did not lead you here. It was the devil! The people around you are all of your problems combined. You can be saved if you just ask me and give me your burdens, completely letting go.” “Please Lord, save me,” I cried out, ” I give you all my burdens and never want them back. PLEASE take them.” A quiet and calm feeling flooded my body, as I slowly opened my eyes, everyone was gone. I woke up from my dream sweating and crying, thanking God for releasing My Chains. I wept for a good hour, feeling so loved and stress-free. Praise God. I told a friend of mine about the dream and he said he remembers reading that in Psalms chapter 3. O Lord, I have so many enemies; So many are against me. So many are saying, “God will never rescue Him!” But you, O Lord, are a shield around me, You are my glory, the one who lifts my head high. I cried out to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy mountain I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety, for the Lord was watching over me. I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies Who surround me on every side. Arise, O Lord! Rescue me, my God! Slap all my enemies in the face! Shatter the teeth of the wicked! Victory comes from you, O Lord. May you bless your people. (NLT) I’m so happy that God taught me to give my problems to him completely and trust that he will work through them. We as humans want to be in control and will do anything to be the boss. Sometimes we give God our problems only to take them back, thinking we can take over and take care of them. Our feelings start to control us again and overwhelm us. When you give to God, give completely and forget about it, it’s a total game changer. God has given me strength by me telling him I need him.

Published by Matthew, Karen, and God

Karen Guthrie, a retired Bank Manager, Vice President, and Matthew Moore, who works in construction, are members of the same church. In March 2014, they both joined the Oakdale Rescue Mission Board of Directors. They started sharing their stories with one another on how God has greatly impacted their lives.

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