My name is Harvey. I'm 43 years old, yet a mere child in Christ. I
was born of the Spirit on February 21, 1995. It has been difficult
for me to share this testimony with others, due to the pain and
shame it recalls of the life I lived. That life was filled with drugs,
crime, violence and sexual perversion - even beyond the imagination
of most people still trapped in this fallen world. I was raised in a
small town. As a child, my home life was picture perfect with an older
brother and sister, loving parents who raised us with strong moral
values in honor, respect and God. We attended church each Sunday and
was involved in many of the church activities. Most of my fondest
memories are of this time. I can not recall my parents ever arguing
or even raising their voices to one another or us. Soon after my
seventh birthday, I watched as my father packed his clothes and headed
out the front door. I cried, "Where are you going Daddy?" He never
turned around. He never answered me. He just kept walking. My brother
and sister both crying, tell me that "Dad is leaving and is never
My sister married later that year and left home. She was only 15. My
brother began using drugs and ran away from home shortly thereafter.
I did not understand, nor could I grasp what had happened to my family
and to our home. I began to resent my mother and hatred grew within my
heart. Now, left in an empty and broken home, I blamed her for the
destruction of our family and I alienated myself from her. I could not
and would not have anything to do with a "family' or "home".
As I got older, I too began to use drugs and rebel against all authority.
I soon hated everybody and everything. I started smoking pot early in
High School and by the summer of my Junior year was "fixing" brown
Mexican heroin on a weekly basis. The next summer found me 3,000 miles
from home, in jail on charges of possession and sales of marijuana. I
was 18 and sentenced to state prison for a term 5 to 40 years. Because
of my age, I received a conditioned sentence of deportation from the
state and one year suspended sentence. In an effort to get off the
streets and evade the 5 to 40 year term, I joined the U.S. Marine Corps.
To my surprise, drugs were now more readily available and in larger
quantities here. I stopped using heroin and but began using cocaine. It
was not long before I was arrested on base and through process, sent to
a regional drug rehabilitation center. After months of evaluation, I was
sent to a national center to serve eight more months. I was released and
discharged from the Marines in 1978. Just one month later, I was arrested
again, this time for armed robbery and headed to prison with no hope of
release. I was convicted and sentenced to 5 years. It was here that I
began to look for help. For some one to show me a way out of this life.
Out of the drugs and crime. I started reading the bible but could not
understand it. I knew there was a God, but where was He? Who was He?
A man from the streets came in once a week for meetings. I began
attending their weekly sessions. I soon learned how to meditate and
chant, to calm my spirit. I was given books on Transcendental Meditation,
Eastern Philosophy, EST and the occults. I read everything I could get
my hands on about the spirit world. I soon found my spirit guide and
this, I believed, was the way to heaven. I studied and immersed myself
in new age religions. There was a change in my life, but not in what I
did or how I thought, only it was now ok to be who I was. I could work
my way to a better life, and if not in this one, the next life. I had
plenty of time and a lot of fun to catch-up on. I left jail without
much change of attitude. I was right back into drugs and soon meeting
people with a lot of money and a lot more drugs. I began to sell and
use large quantities of cocaine and crystal meth. With my connections
to new age, I soon found myself in a cult that grew and distributed
hallucinogenic mushrooms. I learned the art of cultivation of psilocybin
mushrooms and taught by those "higher up", how to pray and chant daily
within the grow rooms to god, to the god that blessed us with these
"children of light", in an effort that those who would eat them would
see the "light".
During this time, I met my wife and together we grew in new age religion,
intravenous drug use, sexual deviation and immorality. The years past
and our children were born. I began to know that our lives would soon
have to change. This was not a life that I would condone or leave to my
children. They were getting old enough to understand the things we were
doing. They were so innocent and dependant upon us for what we were making
of them. I knew this was wrong, even though my spirit said it was ok. I
did not want my children to grow up to be like me! We moved from state to
state and town to town in an effort to avoid the law from drug sales and
production. We decided to stopped selling drugs and make an honest attempt
to quit using, but to no avail. We slowed our use, but could not stop.
As I was now in my mid-thirties, I learned to function in society and to
hide my daily drug use. I held onto jobs for only a year or two, but quit
time after time. I could not support a growing family and hovered in and
out of poverty. Surviving on welfare and unemployment, I moved my family
back to my hometown, where my mother lived. I met an old friend of mine
and he asked if we would like to go to church with him. As an effort to
conceal the life I led, I said "sure, we would love to". After all, I
felt I was a "Christian". I knew who my God was. And I had changed my
life for the better, a little bit anyway. After all, these people didn't
understand all the things I knew to be right, how my new age beliefs were
so far above what they could understand. But that was ok, everyone has
their own plane of spiritual growth. It would be good for the kids too.
True, I went to church when I was at their age. This would be good for
the family and my position in the community. We didn't go to church that
Sunday and he continued to ask every time I saw him. I really wanted to
go, and at the same time something in the back of my mind kept telling me
that I was headed toward something much different. I couldn't explain this
feeling, but I knew something was happening to me.
Several weeks later we were with some of our friends on a Saturday night
smoking, drinking and doing drugs. Suddenly, something came over me and I
stood up and said, "This is it !! I'm sick of this! I'm sick of this life!
We're going to church in the morning." That next morning, we dressed the
kids and headed for church. There was something very different about me
that morning. I spoke very little and to my surprise, my mind was clear.
Clearer than it had been in a many years. I was headed . . . somewhere. I
wasn't really sure where that was, but something was driving me.
Something was pulling hard at my mind and heart. My wife and I sent the
kids into their Sunday School classes and we sat down next to our
friends. As everyone began to sing, I could feel the love that was in
this place. A deep and honest love, something I hadn't felt in
a long time. The words I heard were sharp and cut deep into my heart.
I began to cry. I knew how sick I was. My life was filled with sin and
I couldn't stop. The tears never stopped. They just keep coming. As the
service came to an end, I could no longer stand the sickness that
controlled my life and my family. The pain of this life I lived was more
than I could stand. Yet, in the all sorrow I could feel the love of
someone standing very close to me. Someone who cared more for me than
anyone ever had. He allowed me to feel the pain in my heart that He had
carried for me for so long. My eyes were closed and my heart utterly torn
into. I kneeled at His cross. His blood began to flow down over my body.
I shook and trembled as the words came from deep inside and crossed my
lips . . . . "Jesus, I am so sorry, please forgive me". He looked down
from where He hung, pierced hands and feet, then gently spoke my name.
Softly He spoke to my heart . . . "That's ok my son. I forgive you."
I remember raising my hand as the pastor asked, "Is there anyone who
would like to give their life to Jesus?" I opened my eyes. Everyone was
clapping and seemed so very happy. They were all looking at us. I
turned to my wife. Her hand was raised and her face flushed with tears.
She too, had given her life to Jesus. I had never seen her so beautiful
before. Her face was aglow, with a love I only now began to understand.
I had now, for the very first time, understood true love.
The life I described above is but a shallow glimpse into the reality
and sickness of my life. It spans more than twenty years depravity.
Yet, this testimony is not to the life I tried to destroy or the depths
of sin which I obtained. It is a testimony to the Love of Jesus Christ
and the Grace of our Father, who reached down from heaven and took my
hand in His, pulling me out of the depths of darkness. He rescued me
from an eternal life of pain and anguish and delivered me out of a
nightmare that would have never ended.
My life is not my own, but His. He paid the ultimate price for my sin
and wickedness and willingly took all of my sin and sickness upon
Himself and submitted His life unto death. He did this to take the
punishment that is rightfully mine. The "Lord of Lords and King of
Kings", with power over all things, left His heavenly riches and glory
to become a man, to humble Himself before His own creation. He washed
the feet of those He created and died in our place. That we might live
forever with Him in paradise.
This is the truest of all love.