Hello everyone, my name is Kevin. I started following Jesus when I was twenty years old, but didn’t truly follow him until I was twenty-one. As a traditional Vietnamese child, I was raised up in the Buddhist temple. I vaguely remember anything that happened there other than eating traditional monk food. I never really learned or followed anything there but considered myself Buddhist.
As I grew older, my family moved from Houston, Texas to Dallas, Texas because of a job. As I grew up in my new household, we stopped going to temple and I became an atheist. My household was rough. My father had a short temper and my mother chimed in whenever he would yell at me. Granted I wasn’t a great kid either. I was quite the troublemaker at home.
After high-school, I attended university and started dating a girl named Anna. She resided in Seattle, Washington, so communication was difficult. She was Catholic, so as an atheist, I challenged her on a lot of things in the Bible. She always stated that she didn’t have all the answers and neither did I.
As we continued dating, I stumbled onto a local church here in Northern Texas and started going every week to check it out. The first week, my life changed. The pastor that spoke completely changed the way I saw God and Jesus and I was hungry for more. I gave my life to Jesus after a couple of months in a Freebirds restaurant. I was to get baptized the next week.
Moving down a couple of years, I became more invested in my relationship with Anna. I would visit her at least once a year and enjoy Seattle. We went to church Sunday, but by then, that was the extent of my relationship with Jesus. I had forgotten how important He was in my life because of how invested I was in Anna.
However, in November 16, 2013, five days before my birthday, my life changed again. This time for the worst. Anna broke up with me because she felt stressed and accused me of being emotionally abusive to her. She changed her number and blocked me on every social media site we were friends on. I was devastated. I thought things were going really well. She showed no sign of having the intention of breaking up with me.
I would dwell on this depression for the next month. I started drinking and my grades tanked in class. My boss would send me home because I wasn’t “emotionally there.” My coworkers and regular customers would try to comfort me, but nothing helped. My life was turned upside down. I lost the thing I truly loved. I started going to therapy, but that didn’t help. I blamed Anna and I blamed myself for being so stupid. My depression really got to me in December.
I was coming home from a friend’s house one night in December. She was always attempting to comfort me, bless her heart. This night, I was driving home, there was previously a severe ice storm in North Texas. Everything was covered in black ice. Businesses were closed, accidents were everywhere, and only a few brave souls were driving at a time.
Halfway home, I pulled into a parking lot near a ditch and was in tears. I couldn’t handle living with the guilt as well as blaming Anna for our separation. I denied God that night. I told Him that I prayed and prayed for a better outcome than this and He didn’t answer any of my prayers. I challenged him and finally concluded that He was never real. This whole time, I was beating my steering wheel, stomping my feet, and yelling curses at God and in general.
Suicide popped in my head. I thought that if I didn’t exist, nobody would care. I thought that since God didn’t exist, I didn’t have a reason to live anymore. Nothing was going to help me. I was going to drive into that ditch and either the impact was going to kill me, or I was going to freeze to death.
I started my car and was a couple of milliseconds from planting my foot deep on that pedal when I was stopped. There was a faint glow to my right and I suddenly stopped feeling depressed. I look to my right and there was Jesus sitting in my passenger seat. I could not believe my eyes. He looked at me and said,
“Son, don’t do this. I have a lot more in life for you with big things to come.”
I just stared at Him and barely muttered an “Okay.” He continued, “I want you to be more generous, for the gift of giving is one of the greatest gifts I can give you.” After saying that, He disappeared. The swell of emotions that came afterwards was so impacting, I just broke down and sobbed for quite awhile. Jesus came for me. ME. A nobody in this world. A person who denied Him and cursed at Him. Somebody who didn’t truly follow Him this whole time. He came for ME. My life changed that night.
I called up all my friends, ones I haven’t seen or talked to in a very long time. I told them that I was going to get them a Christmas gift and that they weren’t allowed to buy me one back. I started paying for my friends when we went out and gave rides to people without a reward. I gave to the homeless and even more for the church. I felt like I was a new person.
Eventually, I was invited onto the worship team and played guitar on stage for about seven months. I met a wonderful woman named Leilani, and I am glad to say that I am happily engaged to this woman. I never noticed that I had this base of people who loved me for who I am and were there for me. If I had killed myself, I would have disappointed so many people and wouldn’t be where I am today.
We eventually moved churches to Hope Fellowship because God told me that He wants me to listen instead of perform. We are participating in a homeless children’s event sponsored by Hope called Royal Family Kids pretty soon. I couldn’t ask for a better life. I wake up and I think every day. It was God, it is God, and it will always be God. He is good and faithful and will go looking in the most despicable places for lost people.
Recently, God spoke to me through 2 Corinthians 1:3-4,
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.“
and I felt compelled to share my story with anyone who reads this. I urge anyone who is thinking about taking their own life, please reconsider and get some help. Life is so much more than that, and I have one thing to say to you. Jesus LOVES YOU. It is really cliche, but coming from a first hand experience, He does truly love me. Life can get bad sometimes, but in the end, if you have Jesus, you have everything that you will ever need. He is our rock, shield, and sword. He is the anchor for my soul. And He can definitely be all of these things for you as well.
Thank you for reading and God bless you all.