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Letting Go in a Shattered World
In this true story, a young man with a broken life and a shattered heart shares how Jesus accepted him and took his hurt away.

I'd like to share a letter that I received from a teen last year. His story illustrates well how difficult the spiritual journey can be for young people growing up in a shattered world. I hope anyone who is struggling to cope will find comfort in his words:

She thought I would eventually kill her.

When I was five years old my parents were divorced. Though I had no idea what that word meant, I knew that I would no longer have both a mom and a dad in the same house as I [did]. Even at five, I was deeply hurt and scared because all I ever knew, all I ever saw were my parents together, and having that taken away brought a lot of sadness. After that I went to court several times to try to figure out with whom I wanted to live. I chose both. Being hauled back and forth three times a week is very hard. But because of the love I had, and still have for both parents, I couldn't just stay with one. I needed the foundation of both in my life.
I was about nine years old when my whole attitude and mindset changed. After the divorce I was never a good kid. I yelled and screamed and said that I hated my parents numerous times. Around this time is when my walls caved in so to speak. I pulled a knife on my mom and I hit her with a phone for no apparent reason. I would scream at her and tell her how much I hated her. She thought I would eventually kill her. I was very violent and had a short fuse. Anything set me off. My mom took me to a shrink to find out why I was so tweaked. They did some tests, and all that, and basically told her that I had a "chemical imbalance," or depression. This was true. I always felt alone. I hated life and everything that had to do with it.
I went to church, but by the time I was around eleven I hated God. I never said it, but deep down I felt anger and betrayal. I heard how much God loved me, but if He loved me so much, how could He do that to me? Despite my pain I still attended church and put on a good face for everyone. I was the good guy. I was living a lie for who knows how long. I wanted to end my pain and my hurt but I couldn't find a way. I didn't know how to give it all to Jesus, and I didn't want to because of what He "did to me."
All my hurt and all my pain I shoved inside and ignored it. Last year it all resurfaced and I basically broke down. I was so messed up inside that I could barely think. All the pain surfaced and it tore me apart. Never had I felt so much hurt all at once. And with each tear I blamed God and turned my back on Him even more.
But then something happened to me. I felt God's presence in a way I never thought possible. I finally said, God … I give this to you. Please take it away. Please take the hurt. He did … right then and there I started laughing. I was like rollin'. It was so rad. And when I came back I had a fresh fire, but more important than that, I had a deep relationship with Jesus because I finally let it go. I finally let Him have my burden.

Even through my hatred for Him, He never let me go.

Today I still struggle. Each day I have doubts just like before. But each day I praise God, for I see what little pain I have left as a mere glimpse of the pain Jesus felt for me. I put up so many walls that I've yet to break down. I won't allow people to get too close, and when they do, I either hurt them or stop talking to them in fear of losing them or the fear of them seeing who I have been, and then running. But each day God helps me through the depression. Each day I feel a new happiness just to be alive. A huge burden has been lifted, and by myself I could never have done it. By myself I would be dead by now. God has always been with me … and that amazes me. Even through my hatred for Him, He never let me go.
The hurt inside of you will only be taken away by one thing. You can't hide from it. You can't just live with it hoping that it will go away because it won't. Jesus is the only one who can take that hurt away. His light can shine on our deepest and darkest places. No matter what you've done or who you are, He will accept you and He will love you with a love that mere words could never begin to describe. Only He can restore that joy and that peace that you once felt and long for.

Russell Hunter is media manager for Worldwide Church of God Canada

Originally published in the Northern Light Magazine, July/August 1998.




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