One night, I was so angry, I started the chainsaw in the house to scare my wife. So I got taken away by the police, and this is when I knew that I was at the bottom. I'm about to lose another family. It was nasty.
We would be drinking and shouting, screaming at each other, fighting. I've chucked knives at her before. There was no peace between us. We were just like drinking buddies, and God's changed all that. Now we can love each other with the love that we are meant to have for each other. We can go on the journey now as one with God and be in peace and have that loving relationship, but also for the kids, which is very important. If my life didn't change and my wife's life didn't change when God intervened, my life now would be completely over.
For me, when I was a young kid, I was around five, six, around that age, I found myself having a near death experience, when I fell into the rough side of a wharf. Dad didn't know where I was. It was a complete miracle they found me and I was still alive. So they managed to drag me out. From there, I started having spiritual encounters. As the years went by, yeah, quite strange. I was so young, I didn't really pick up on it that it was weird. It was just normal for me. At that stage in my life, I was quite depressed and didn't really have a lot of friends. I found myself going to a youth camp and that's when I first encountered the presence of God. Went forward, got saved, just had this amazing spiritual encounter where it's hard to explain what it was, but I still remember to this day. I say it was like pure honey, just this pureness.
And it just went down from my head all the way down through my body. It was the most amazing thing that ever happened. Better than any drug I've done. It was just so pure. As the years went on, I found myself walking away from God, got myself into drugs and alcohol. I fell into a really dark place. I had the thoughts of suicide. I tried to commit suicide once. It was just a really dark depression that went over me.
I had two kids during this time. I ended up leaving my kids, my family, because of drugs and alcohol. Took me on a very, very long and dangerous path. As those years progressed, I found myself into my 30s. I got deeper into drugs, started doing meth and all sorts of stuff. Became very angry, very twisted. One night I was so angry, I started the chainsaw in the house to scare my wife. I was up for days. I knew this whole time, God was real, but I just didn't want to change my life. I didn't want to give him it all.
So I was working at the Clocktower in Hornby. I found myself really at the bottom of the barrel of my life. I cried out to God and I asked God, I was like, "What church do you want me to go to? Because I'm going to hand my whole life over to you now." And he dropped into my head, "Thrive" and then it just said again, "Thrive, Thrive, Thrive." So throughout that day, it was like God just popped it into my head like 30 times, man. It was insane. I rang up Emma at the time and I was just like, "I think God wants us to go to Thrive." I fully surrendered my whole life over to God at this time. It was just, go to church, go up front and be vulnerable.
I know now when I'm vulnerable, it's a strength of mind to be vulnerable. Because when I'm vulnerable, I can bring out the stuff that's deep in my heart. Because unfortunately, as the years go on, our hearts get harder. And the Bible explains that our heart, it goes hard. So it took years for my heart to be softened. My anger's gone. I don't have the anger. The swearing, the drinking, the drugs has all been completely healed.
I have a loving wife now. I've been married for about four years. I've got two lovely children to Emma, and I've also got two lovely children, one in Glenavy and one in Alexandra now. God has changed my heart so much, I can be the father that I never was to my kids. Now, I can be the loving father to them because of God's love towards me. When I started letting God in, which was amazing for me because I'd turned my back on God. I basically wiped his face in the mud and his grace still let me in. In that journey, I had four or five near death experiences on my way. Even to be alive is just amazing. If my life didn't change and my wife's life didn't change when God intervened, my life now, it would be completely over.