You may have thought that God doesn’t hear you when you pray or care about how you feel. Maybe this email will change that for you.
I’ve been a listener to WAY-FM in Huntsville, Alabama for just about as long as I can remember, and this station has kept me company through some of the best and worst times of my life. In those years I have found myself enlisted, discharged, married, divorced, homeless, and of late, quite happily housed and gainfully employed.
So I guess I just want to share a story. It’s one part of my testimony, and there’s a lot more to my life than this, but I want you to know what a difference you have all made.
There was a time a few years ago when I’d been staying in my car for close to four months. I’d park in one of the dark corners of a Wal-Mart parking lot and sleep for a few hours early each morning, before showering at the YMCA and going to work each night.
I spent my free time wandering a local park, did my laundry at an extended stay motel, and I lived off of fast food, canned vegetables and beef jerky. I actually did such a good job staying clean and looking presentable that there was only one person that even knew I was homeless: my now-ex-wife.
At the time, she’d moved back in with her parents, my job didn’t pay well and she’d been unemployed for a year, so when we lost our place she moved back home, and her parents…well in all honesty, I was a terrible man at the time. They didn’t like me, and in retrospect they were right not to. She helped when she could, but…well, yeah. It’s hard being married to a homeless man.
Around month four, I got 56.25 hours in one work week (yes, I remember the exact number), and I realized I had the money to purchase a cheap firearm.
I’d been a soldier, once, and I knew how far I could hike out into the woods, and how far I’d need to go to simply not be found. I cashed my check and went to a local pawn shop, and got a hold of an old, used 9 mm Beretta, picked it up after a few days wait, and realized to my surprise I had enough money to get a cheap hotel room for the night, a pizza and a 6 pack of beer.
So that’s what I did. I ate my pizza, watched TV, took a real shower, and picked out my best set of boots and clothes for my walk the next day. The next morning, I drove to a rest area outside of town, and turned on the radio to listen to one last song before a very long walk.
The song that was playing spoke to me, that day. As the radio turned on, I Need a Miracle by Third Day was playing, and God humbled me. I had already broken, but that day sitting and listening to that song, I shattered.
I wept and wept. I cried out to God.
I’d like to say my prayers were answered right that minute, or that I was housed a week or a month later, but that isn’t what happened. It took almost 4 more months in my car, and then 4 more at a homeless shelter before I had a roof over my head again.
What changed that day was that I bought a candle.
By its light I started reading my Bible before I went to sleep after work each night, for the first time in years. I found encouragement and hope in God’s word that carried me on long enough to play the prodigal son, and find my way back to my parents and then ultimately back onto my feet.
And your station was the tool that God used to keep my heart beating that day. My life isn’t perfect, and I barely make enough money to get by at all. I can’t afford to donate even a dollar a day to your station, so instead I pray for you guys and the jobs you do.
I thank God with all my heart for what you guys allow Him to do through you. Wally, none of you have ever met me or heard my voice, but you have each done me the greatest kindnesses any person ever could. And I love each of you for it.