Learn how God changed Tony from thinking about death to a fulfilled life.
I always thought that God was real, and that a man could get an answer for any question that he had from the Bible. Being brought up as a Catholic I also believed that I had done my dash with God because I’d broken some of the Ten Commandments.
At the age of 32, my life got to a very low point. I had already been through a divorce with a harsh custody battle involving my two-year old daughter. I later lost a girlfriend to a car accident and wasted another relationship because of drugs. Stable relationships were proving elusive.
When I was 16 my mother committed suicide. I always said that suicide wasn’t an answer and that I would never do it, but at this low point I found myself seriously considering it. I took myself to my mother’s grave and began talking to her – someone who couldn’t even hear me. But God heard because I immediately felt a calmness come over me. I went home and asked my christian stepbrother if I could go to church with him. He had a poster in his room that faced the doorway and I read it every time I walked up and down the hall. It said a lot of things, but the one thing that stood out for me were the words, speaking in tongues. I didn’t understand what that meant but my stepbrother’s eyes lit up at my question and he said, ‘yes.’
The weekend arrived for going to my first meeting and I confided in a friend what my intentions were for the Sunday. He was my dealer and he proceeded to offer me drugs for nothing. ‘Here’ he said, ‘take this bag of dope, your guitar, go bush and get yourself together’. Ordinarily, I would have accepted this exceptional offer, but something stopped me. I wasn’t going to be swayed.
I went to the meeting that Sunday not knowing what to expect, but when the time for prayer came, I found myself already in the prayer line. When I was asked what I wanted prayer for, I said, ‘for all this weight to be lifted off me.’ As we prayed, I said hallelujah twice and out came this fluid language that I hadn’t learnt. I immediately knew I was filled with the Holy Spirit because I spoke in tongues and my stepbrother’s poster finally made sense. I was later baptised by full immersion and my whole life turned around from that day.
For a month I floated around town like I was taller than everyone else, which is really something for such a short man as I am. That was 31 years ago. The Lord also blessed me with the relationship that I always wanted; a stable marriage that is now 29 years strong. I’m even a grandfather.
The Lord is my rock and when I am down, he lifts me up. The scriptures say we must be born of the water and of the spirit to enter into the kingdom of God where we’ll live forever. That’s what I believe, that’s what I have done and that’s what I’m waiting on. His promises are all true and God is real.