Overwhelmed by life experiences that didn’t make sense, Tim’s life became a blur of bitterness and pain. Despite many attempts to push God away, he shares his story of how you cannot outrun the love of God.
I grew up in the Midwest, in Kiora Illinois. Pretty much in the central part of the US. I didn’t have very many friends growing up. I had a couple. I was quite broken and quite sad. And so as I was finishing up highschool I had started going to a group called young life, which is a youth ministry. And that started really my journey with God. A few days after I got back I started getting a persistent headache. Woke up at about 2am and I was vomiting because the pain was just so intense from the headache. So the next day ended up going to the doctor and he said I think you’ve got viral encephalitis. Which didn’t mean anything to me cause I had no idea what that was. But I would wake up about every four hours screaming for the next shot of morphine for the first three or four days as the pain was just too intense. It just felt like my head was about to explode. The physical side effects of losing 35 pounds in three days, having to learn to walk again; and my immune system being compromised were huge. But also the mental effects. The mental fog that I was in afterwards. The short term memory issues. All that was from one mosquito bite. I decided I was mad at God. And I was not just mad, I was just absolutely livid at God. And I went on about a six year spree of, absolutely I was saved but I was hating God. And I was doing pretty much anything and everything I could. Drinking, drugs, all those things to upset God, because He had done this to me. He hadn’t really, he had allowed it. But that’s how it felt at the time. My anger and my bitterness it really just consumed me and I ended up in a point where I wanted to take my own life. I had myself committed to the psych ward for a couple of weeks because I knew that was not where I wanted my life to go.
I just was so broken at that point that I just said ok God, you know that my life is so completely destroyed that if you’ll still have me, I’ll come back. And so I started resubmitting my life to God. He started just in small gradual ways bringing restoration. In 1997 I ended up meeting my first wife. Her name was Lisa. We worked together at a customer service company and we dated for a couple of years. I really loved her and so we decided that we would get married.
She actually ended up in the hospital for 28 days. And at one point, she flatlined and they had to do CPR on her for ten minutes. On June the 6th I remember waking up that Saturday morning and she started vomiting blood. And I knew that was bad. I just knew that. I had my suspicions before then that something was really quite wrong. And so took her to the hospital and that night we got the diagnosis that she had ovarian cancer. And so, then we found out the following Tuesday that it was in stage four and she did not have long. On June the 22nd she passed away. And you know what, it didn’t make sense. The cancer, her dying, it didn’t make sense. But you really, you’ve got two choices at that point. You can either get angry at God, get pissed off at God; which I knew for me that led to destruction. Or you can trust God. Even though none of the circumstances make sense for you to do so. And so I decided to trust God through that. The couple of things that I would say absolutely I’ve taken away because I thought after my run from God, that God would be done with me. And I have learned that you cannot outrun God. That He will, if you’ll allow Him no matter what you’ve done, no matter how far you’ve gone from Him. If you’ll turn back to Him, He’ll restore you. In 2012 I met Debbie online. And just one thing led to another and it wasn’t that long that I knew I was pretty serious about this girl. The following april I came over to New Zealand and I was here for 7 weeks. And had an amazing time. But anyhow then it was way forward. It was a year before I was able to get back and so the following June I moved back and then that August we were married. I just knew that God’s hand was on this. No matter how far you may have gone from God you can still be restored. And that God has a plan and a purpose and a calling on your life.