By: Tom Sprague
I wrote this several years ago, and it testifies to Gods working in my life. The God, who works all things after the counsel of His will, chose to stay my hand from suicide. Jesus is a wonderful Lord and Savior! He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother is!
The following is a maze of events that will boggle the mind and, I hope, will reach many that are on the verge of giving up on life without God and without hope. One of the strongest things in the world is the human will. When we lose our will to live, we lose everything.
This is my story, a man who lost his will to live. In February 1975, my life was never to be the same again. But first I will give a brief summary of my life up until that time. I am the oldest of eight children, seven boys and one girl. We lived in Starboard, Maine. My mom did not go to church. Someone would pick me up and take me to Sunday school. At around the age of 8, I remember coming home from Sunday school, and telling my mom–
“Mom, Jesus wants me for a sunbeam!”
Many years went by, and sin took its hold upon my life.
During my high school years, I began to drink and smoke cigarettes. I quit high school in my junior year. It wasn’t long before I received my draft notice from Uncle Sam. Two years were spent in the Army: one year in the States and one year in Vietnam. During this time I was drinking more and more. I was an alcoholic but I wouldn’t admit it. Alcohol will strip you of your self-esteem and will eventually destroy you.
When I was 22, I married a girl whose life was as troubled as mine. A year later, we had a baby girl. During this time I was a self-employed clam digger and made very little money. In the summer the money was good, but the winter months were very hard. There was never much food around, but I always made sure I had beer and cigarettes.
This brings me to February 1975; at which time my life took a very strange twist. How far will God go to save those that He has chosen? It is my hope and prayer that God will convince you that what He has done for me, He will do for you. When all your relatives and friends step out, God will step in!
One night in February, around nine o’clock, while I was lying in bed, a strange thing happened. I began having hot flashes through my head and my heart began racing out of control. My wife was in the living room at the time. I told her what was happening. My thought was, “I am going to die and I don’t want to.” We got in our car and went to my mother’s house. During this time my heart was still racing out of control. My mother called our family doctor in East Machias, Dr. Karl Larson. He told her that I should take two aspirin and go to bed. It was about one o’clock in the morning before my heart slowed down and began to beat normally.
After this, it was like I was living under a cloud of depression. I began not caring whether I lived or died. A short while later, I went on my last drunk. One morning, after drinking heavily the night before, I couldn’t believe what I saw in the mirror. It was like looking at an animal, and I said, “What are you? Are you some kind of animal or what? From then on, I drank no more booze, and began going to AA meetings. They kept telling me at AA that my life would get better, since I had quit drinking. Boy, were they wrong! I continued to remain depressed and nothing meant anything to me.
This went on for about six months. Then one day my mother said, “Why don’t you go to church with me tonight?” I always thought that church was for old ladies and people who had nothing else to do. Yet my reply to her was, “Why not? I have tried everything else.”
The church my mother attended met in an old Grange Hall, and there were about 20 people there that night. The Pastor talked about Jesus, and said that Jesus could give anyone a brand new life. At the end of the service he asked if anyone would like to come down front and ask Jesus into his or her heart.
At that time I went down front, got down on my knees and asked Jesus to come into my heart and give me a new life. When I got up I told the Pastor that I didn’t feel any different. He said,
“Tom, you aren’t saved because you feel saved. You are saved by trusting in Jesus.”
Hearing this made me feel much better. He also told me how the Holy Spirit would lead me and help me. The following morning, when I woke up, I realized that I was 100% free from alcohol!! I lay there , thinking about that, and I noticed two flies buzzing in the early morning sunlight, and I had peace for the first time in my life! I knew that Jesus was real, and that it was He that had set me free from alcohol.
About a week later, while lying in bed one night, I said,
“Lord, I have made such a mess out of everything. Holy Spirit come in and take over.”
At this time I heard a voice that said, “Jesus,” in both ears. Directly following the voice was the sound of a jet plane cruising at 30,000 feet. It entered the top of my head and proceeded down, down, down. After this experience, strange things began to happen. The depression got heavier and I began hearing and seeing different things.
One night in church we were singing a hymn, and bar room music began playing in my head! I looked around, but I was the only one that heard it. It only lasted a few seconds and went away. Then once while I was reading the Bible, all the words went squiggly on me.
On a different occasion, at night, I was almost asleep when someone or something screamed inside my head. Another night, while lying in bed, it felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest. I lifted one arm and said, “Jesus – Lord!” The second I said Lord, it lifted.
On another occasion, late one night, I heard something thrown hard, at the kitchen wall. Our bedroom door was partially open and there was a dim light in the hall. I knew that something was coming down the hall toward our room. Psalms 34:7 came to my mind, which says:
The Angel of the Lord encamps around those that fear Him, and rescues them in time of trouble. I spoke this psalm out and said, “Stick your head out devil, and the Angel of the Lord will take care of you!”
At that moment I saw a shadow on the wall, and I spoke that psalm again. It disappeared and I fell asleep. I want to say here, that at no time did my wife hear or see anything. On yet another occasion, also at night, I was praying on my hands and knees, and I sensed little creatures come into my room and surround me. As I was praying, I could clearly see Jesus hanging on a cross, suspended in mid air. I was telling Him over and over how sorry I was for the rotten things I had done throughout my life. This continued until daylight, at which time the little creatures left.
Below our house there is a little island about as big as a football field. One can get to it by walking across a beach with water-worn rocks. One night I felt strongly led, to go to that little island, so down I went. There was no moon, and I could just barely make out the island. As I walked across the beach rocks, I could hear someone walking several yards behind me. When I stopped, it would stop.
Who do I think it was?
There was no doubt in my mind…it was the devil! I kept repeating Psalms 34:7, which I shared with you earlier. I went on the island and walked completely around it. Just before I walked back onto the beach, there was a big spruce tree, with branches hanging low, and at that moment, one branch just above my head, shook fiercely. I felt the hair stand up on my neck and I quoted Psalm 34:7 again. Once more Satan had confronted me, and I had stopped him by using the Word of God.
It was at this time that things got really crazy. I got up one morning, with the noise of that plane still in my head, feeling very depressed. I told my wife I was going to the store to get some milk, and that I would be right back. I lied to her. I had no intention of going to the store. I was going to my mother’s house and take a gun out of the closet and blow my head off. Demons were controlling my thinking.
When I got there, there was no one home. As I got out of the car, I looked up and the sky was filled with planes. Car horns were honking all over town and I could hear sonic booms going off everywhere. I said to myself, “This is it. It is the end or the world. It is all over.”
I went into the house and got the key to the gun closet, but the key wouldn’t work. (the following day, the key easily opened the gun case) I drew back my fist and was about to break the glass when the Lord touched me. I began to cry and say, “What will my mother think if she finds me laying in a pool of blood? And – I thought, “This would surely kill my wife.” The devil wanted me bad, but the Lord said, “NO!
I went back home and told my wife what had happened. I told her to get me an appointment with our doctor, so that he could get me into the mental hospital in Bangor, Maine. I told her that I had to do this because I was afraid of what I would do to myself. We went to the doctor and I explained what was going on. At that time he made arrangements with the mental hospital.
About half way to the hospital, I began to go numb all over and I was losing my memory. We were close to a regular hospital and I told my wife to get me there quick! We went to the emergency room and I explained my troubles to the doctor. I told him that I thought my brain was going to be crushed, due to the tremendous pressure upon it. I told him we were on our way to the mental hospital in Bangor. He told me that there was nothing he could do and that I should go to the mental hospital in Bangor.
When we got there, I signed myself in. They led me upstairs to one of the wards and assured me that a doctor would come soon and give me a shot. They told me that he should be here at any moment. I really thank the Lord that He held the doctor up, because if he had given me that shot, I would probably still be there.
A couple of hours later, I began to go numb again, and I felt the plane inside my head was going to leave and take me with it. I gave away all my money and all my cigarettes. At this point, even the patients thought I was crazy! I wrote a note to my wife saying that I wanted her to marry a Christian guy and raise the kids in a Christian home. I had no idea that the Lord had me in mind for that.
“Where is she,” I kept asking myself, “why doesn’t she come?” In those places the doors lock as soon as you enter. When someone came in, I grabbed the door and hurried out to find my wife. My body was still numb and I kept thinking the plane was ready to leave, but I had to say goodbye to my wife.
Her mother lived about two miles from there and I hoped that she would be there. With every step it felt like I would collapse in the gutter. As soon as I reached my mother-in-law’s, I explained what had happened. I began to pray, and had a picture of the Lord in my mind. The plane fired a missile and shot the picture out of my mind. Then I went ice cold.
I told my wife that I didn’t love her or anyone. There was no love in me, whatsoever! We began to sing that song that Kris Kristoferson wrote, “Why Me Lord?” At that moment I said, “Devil, if you are going to get me, I am going down singing praises to God!”
That night my Pastor came up and got us and took us home. He kept telling me to trust the Lord and to stand on His promises in His Word. On the way home I could hear cars racing around us and squealing their tires and voices cat calling at me. No one heard this but me.
A few days later my mom said, “Tom, I heard about a man on Beals Island that God has used in casting demons out of people.” I called him up and told him what was happening to me. He told me to read Psalms 103 over and over and to believe it. He said that he would be at my mother’s house at six o’clock.
He was quite a guy. The first thing he said when he came through the door was, “What’s for supper?” He asked me if I read Psalms 103. I told him that I had. He asked me if I believed it, and I assured him that I did. He told my mom and dad not to be scared, but that he was going to get loud. He laid his hands on my head and shouted, “In the name of Jesus Christ, come out of him!” I felt a stirring deep down inside of me. I could feel them tare at my neck as they came out. I knew then that I was free.
By the way, the Pastor ate supper with us and ate the biggest potato we had. My dad still jokes about him eating our biggest potato. He had a right to anything he wanted!
A few days later, while at home, I was praising the Lord, with my hands in the air, telling Him how much I loved Him and that I so wanted a touch from Him! At that moment a pitcher of pure love was poured down upon me and flowed through my whole body. All I could do was cry because I was so filled with love. I felt like I was going to be raptured out of this world, and I was truly ready to go.
A while later, while lying in bed, my wife looked at me and asked me what was wrong? I told her that fear was circling me and wanted to come back in, but the Lord said in Hebrews 13:5 that He would never leave me nor forsake me, and I told her that I believed it. Upon saying this, the fear left and has not returned.
Several weeks later my wife and I attended a concert at a local college. The singers were called the Continental Singers. They sang using voices and sign language. When we went in we had to go down a flight of stairs. After going down the stairs I told my wife that I could hear chains dragging down the stairs behind us. The devil wanted to chain me again. Yet during one of the songs, while we were all standing, with our arms stretched heavenward, I saw the most beautiful cross! It was 3-D and made up of 12 perfect cubes. Each cube was a different color. It was the very heart of God, pulsating before my very eyes! With every thrust of Blood, it became brilliant!
It has not been easy over the past years, but the Word of God has not failed me once. Nor will it ever fail anyone that will but TRUST!