Grieving Musician Questions Life With God

“There was a large part of my childhood that was enveloped by a feeling of not really belonging to something,” says Michael. “It was just a pure sense of belonging that I really was craving.”

Michael was seven years old when he found out his mom’s husband, the man he called dad, was not his real father.

“I remember lashing out.  I remember running away.  I remember threatening suicide,” Michael recalled. “I remember laying in the middle of the street just hoping cars would hit me. I really wasn't sure how to cope with that feeling of emptiness, that feeling of something that I didn't have.”  

A short time later, a friend invited Michael to church where he prayed to become a Christian.

“And at that moment I had the Creator of the universe as my father.  And that was just an amazing feeling. I just became plugged in to a huge family.” Michael said. “And that’s what I really wanted was that feeling of being part of a big family.”

While the church gave Michael a sense of family, playing worship music brought him closer to God.

He recalled, “Music for me was another dimension, like another world that I could enter into and worship God and nothing else mattered. Everything faded away.”

Then, when Michael was 18, a close friend was killed in a car accident.

“It really made me question God for the first time. ‘How can a believer in Him just be gone, just like that?’  I didn't get it.” Michael says, “I was angry at God, but I was more so really confused about why God would let something like that happen.”

The night of the funeral Michael went to hang out with mutual friends.

“The way that we coped at that time was basically just getting drunk.  Basically just getting high; getting drunk. Trying to get the numbness so that we're not feeling the pain of our friend that just passed.” Michael recalled,  “And that was the first time in my life that I'd been stoned; that I'd been drunk.”

And it wasn’t the last.  Before long Michael left his home and his church. He got into the local music scene where he found another family… and plenty of drugs.

“I was trying to get that feeling again through drugs and alcohol that I was when I was worshipping God. I knew in the back of my mind that it's going to wear off. I'd wake up the next morning – I would still have a hole.” Michael continued,  “I'd still have a hole in my soul that I didn't fill. So I’m just going to have fun. I’m just going to party, I’m just going to pretend that I’m someone who I’m not.”

But the party came to an end when a flood destroyed his musical equipment. And set off a chain reaction.

“I lose my apartment. I lose my car. I lose my job. It all happened at once.  All this happened in maybe a month.” Michael says, “I lose my friends, because when I didn't have drugs, I didn't have an apartment, they were just gone.”

Michael felt he had nowhere to go and no one to turn to.

“I slept in the back of cars.  I slept in abandoned homes.  I just slept wherever I could. I had done so much wrong. I was so tainted. I was so dirty. I was so filthy.” Michael thought, “God's not going to want a tainted child back into his kingdom. I mean, I was a homeless drug addict, that's what I was.”

One night Michael met a youth pastor on the street who gave him a room in a church attic. He found a Bible and started reading.

“I felt like it was a pit and I was sitting in the bottom of the pit.  There's no ladder, there's no rope and I put the Bible on me, over my heart.  I just said, ‘God, how did I get here?’ And I remember Him saying to me that He didn't leave.” Michael says, “Even though I had tried to run away, I had turned my back on Him, He really let me know that He never left.  He was there the whole time and He kept me alive; He never tore up that contract, that offer of salvation.  He never tore up that agreement.  He was just waiting for me to come back. I felt like I was home again.”  

Michael stopped doing drugs and rediscovered God’s grace and peace. He eventually became the youth pastor in the church where he had been staying. Today he is married and no longer has to question where he belongs.

Michael says, “When I came back, I said, ‘Look, I've done all this stuff, can I please just serve you?’  And then He puts a robe around you, and He puts a ring on my finger and He puts shoes on my feet and God just said, ‘Look, Mike, I've been waiting for you to come back.  You've always been my son and I've always been your father."

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