United States (MNN) — A painful childhood can have a powerful hold over an entire life. It can be the springboard for many issues — depression, anger, dependency on drugs, or even more blatant spiritual prisons. Set Free Ministries exists help believers see that God is more powerful than all of these things, and that He alone can set us free.
Today, we’re bringing you part one of Jonathan’s story. He recently went through Set Free Ministries for counseling and wants to share his story so more people can know there is hope.
Jonathan’s childhood was difficult. He remembers going through physical and verbal abuse when he was young. The spiritual precedent set by his parents wasn’t exactly stable. His mother dabbled in New Age spirituality and other occult practices like fortune-telling and communicating with the dead.
Eventually, Jonathan’s dad got custody of him. But there was a lot of pain.
“My mother left when I was six-years-old, and it really left me broken. I didn’t get over it until I was probably 18 or 19-years-old. So you know, my whole life, I went around trying to fill this void with anything you could really imagine.”
Later on, his father became a freemason, a decision that brought more upset into Jonathan’s life.
He says, “When he joined the masons, I initially saw a huge change in him. He became very manipulative and controlling. Really, it scared me because everything about my dad had kind of changed. It was almost like he wasn’t the person I knew anymore.”
Jonathan had heard of Jesus. In fact, his grandfather was a minister. He even attended church with his dad for a while. But he didn’t run to Jesus with his pain.
Instead, he got involved with the wrong group of friends. Looking back he even recognizes the influence the music he listened to had on his life.
“I don’t care what anybody says, what you listen to is ultimately going to define the type of person you become. It’s no different than what you watch — the books that you’re reading. What you put in is what you [ultimately] get out.”
Jonathan was looking for comfort. He wanted to get his dad’s attention. So at a very early age, he began turning to cutting. Not long after, at age 14 or 15, Jonathan began experimenting with drugs. However, when they didn’t work, he turned to heavier drugs.
“A little curiosity, it’ll really take a huge hold on your life — just that little bit. And the next thing you know, you’re spiraling out of control. It seemed at the time that you — you know, you feel like you know what you’re doing, which really isn’t the case at all.”
Things get a little darker from here, but God is in Jonathan’s story. We will share the second part of his story tomorrow.