From a Transient Headed For Eternal Destruction To A Thankful Soul Now Redeemed Through Jesus Christ
By: James R. Smith
As a young child, I attended Catholic Church where I eventually became an alter boy. When I was at church, I was at peace. The church was my sanctuary because it was where I felt safe because of things that had transpired in my life. Between the ages of three and seven, I was brutally and repeatedly molested by family members. I had a mother who was transient and people who didn’t care about me.
After some time had passed, I left church and decided to never look back. Things at my father’s house were a shipwreck, and eventually, as a result of things out of my control, I was involuntarily removed from the home. This was when things really took a turn in my life. I was in and out of different foster homes, skipped school, shoplifted and just became an evil seed of a child who didn’t care about myself or anyone else. I never had a stable environment where I could learn right from wrong and learn about life.
As a result of my conspicuous ways, I ended up serving four years in a juvenile facility. Upon release, I still had no one or anything and had to do things (that I learned at an early age) to survive. I became a transient myself and held several different jobs for a while. I became involved with heavy drugs, and no one even noticed or didn’t care. That life of drugs and other stresses of life caused me to commit a vial and heinous crime for which I am currently serving in excess of 100 years.
During this incarceration (since 2000), I faced a hurdle of life’s challenges, as one would imagine being in prison, but it was on December 24, 2004, as I contemplated suicide because I could no longer carry the burden (guilt). I remembered the peace I had felt when I was in church, and I fell on my knees beside my prison bed and literally cried unto God and asked Him to please forgive me, a wretched sinner, and to come into my heart, to give me peace and to take away my burdens.
From this day forward, I never looked back, but that doesn’t mean I am without trials and tribulations because the devil is a roaring lion seeking to devour someone. Based on His mercy and grace, I am a child of God who seeks His Word, and as such I have I have taken numerous Bible correspondence courses to learn more. I was even able to obtain an Associate’s Degree in Biblical Counseling and one in Biblical Studies (currently working on my Graduate and Bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies). I have also earned several Biblical diplomas, but all these degrees and diplomas are earthly. It’s what I have spiritually that is what matters. I have a spiritual Father who loves me no matter what.
Now my days are filled with wanting to learn more about my spiritual Father and wanting to share the Gospel instead of wanting to pound my fist into someone. What a complete turnaround.