How To Save A Life

Everything Happens For A Reason…

We’ve all heard it countless times.  How many of us actually believe it?

I can tell you that I’ve always wanted to believe it, but it wasn’t until last week that I experienced for myself the truth of this statement.

I think the best way to tell this story is to start at the end.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

It was a wednesday night, and I was at  a weekly Christian worship service held  on campus called “Crosstalk.”  I had gone a couple times before and the music was phenomenal, which was a good enough reason for me to come back.  Honestly though, I didn’t care to be there too much that week as I had a lot of homework to do, but I had invited one of my friends to go for the first time, and essentially had made a commitment in advance to attend that week.  The service opened with an amazing set of music like always, but then things got a little uncomfortable (for my taste).  The speaker that week did some things that I definitely wasn’t expecting, and kept on preaching for a VERY long time.  I don’t want to say that anything he said was wrong, because it wasn’t, it was just not what I was expecting, and the whole time I could not help but wonder what my guest of the evening was thinking about the service.

In my discomfort, I decided to pull out my cell phone (discreetly, of course) and text my friend Kevin to see if he was at the service (I was curious to know what he thought of the speaker).

“No I’m not. Sorry man. I should be there. I’ve just had all kinds of awful situations blow up in my face recently and I’ve been internalizing everything and withdrawing from people instead of the alternative. That’s just an honest admission of where I’m at right now.”

I texted him back, asking if he wanted to meet up after the service.

“My phone has minutes left to live and I have no charger. So don’t worry about it man.  Some things in life just can’t be fixed, no matter how hard you try… I do appreciate your concern though. Thank you for being there. I require a massive miracle from God tonight, and I must wait and see if he is able to follow through.”

To this text I believe I responded with something like, ” :/ well I’ll be praying for you.  Let me know if you change your mind.”

Without knowing how serious (or not) Kevin’s situation was, I felt that I should take it very seriously, and for the remainder of the service I kept Kevin in my thoughts and prayers.  The speaker finally finished speaking, and the band proceeded to take the stage.

I can’t say that I’ve had many personal experiences with God in my life, and although I’ve always done my best to believe, I had been feeling a little doubtful of my faith.  Amidst the blasting worship, I prayed to God, asking Him to reveal himself to both Kevin and Myself, admitting that I needed the reassurance.  I prayed this from the bottom of my heart.

Then, the service ended.

I had felt nothing.  Nothing out of the ordinary that is, which would include pleasure from the awesome musical performance and sound quality, and awkwardness from not knowing many people well.  I went with a large group of Crosstalk goers to Jones dining hall, as was the routine.  When I got back to my dorm room, I checked my phone and saw that I had received a text from Kevin about an hour earlier.  He had changed his mind about meeting up.  I texted him a reply as fast as my thumbs would go (feeling bad for having missed the text by an hour).  We decided to meet at Jones to talk.

Here’s the scary part:

When I had texted him, Kevin was on the top of the Matthews Street Parking Garage (6 or 7 stories high), legitimately contemplating suicide.  He said that he felt like such a failure; that he had repeatedly failed himself, his friends, his family, and God.  A couple of ridiculous parking fines that week had sent him over the edge.  His rationale atop the garage (which he admitted was ridiculous when thinking back upon it) was that he fails so much and so often, that he might as well fail once more for the last time, to spare everyone of his inevitable future failings.  “Life is just a game you can’t win.  We all die in the end, so I might as well just end it now,” he thought.

Now, Kevin has been a Christian for five and a half years, so he knows that Jesus died to atone for our sins and the times we fail!  Given that fact, there is no doubt in my mind that this “rationale” was a lie straight from the devil.

Kevin told me that had it not been for my text and prayers, he might not have decided to come down from the garage and calm himself down.

Here’s the awesome part: (the insane chain of events that led up to this moment)

I would have never have even thought of texting Kevin had the crosstalk service not been as different as it was that night.  I would not have even attended crosstalk that week if I hadn’t invited a friend to go earlier in the week.  The only reason I met the friend whom I invited that night is because I wanted to go to a Switchfoot concert (I posted on facebook about it, and she commented on it saying that she had an extra ticket and needed someone to go with.  There’s really no possible way I would have met her if it wasn’t for this concert).  And last but most definitely not least, I met Kevin in probably the most random way you can imagine.  About a month earlier, I was at Sewell park (on campus) playing guitar at about 1 am with some friends, and I was singing “The Coldest Heart” by The Classic Crime (If you listen to them, let’s be friends.  They are not very popular) when Kevin comes up to me and introduces himself, saying that he knows that song and that he didn’t know anybody else listened to them.

When Kevin and I realized this, we were mind-blown.  Had it not been for this seemingly coincidental exact chain of events (not to mention the existence of and the songs written by Switchfoot and The Classic Crime, the events leading to the selection of the speaker at crosstalk, and even everything leading up to my decision and acceptance at Texas State University), there’s a chance he might not be breathing today.

I am extremely humbled and grateful to know that God would use me for his glory.  Keep your heart open.  God has plans for you.

Thanks for reading and sharing a little bit of this experience with me.

-Nathaniel
P.S. Every bit of this is 100% true, feel free to share this with anyone you would like!

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Restless Nights

If you care to know, which I’m sure you don’t, for the past few nights I’ve been going to bed feeling extremely restless.  I have a pretty good idea why, and if you really want to know, just keep reading.

Thanks for visiting the dark corners of my mind, those of you who don’t want to know.  Come back soon, or not.  You actually didn’t even really get inside my mind.  You kind of stood on the doormat, but left before I answered the door.  You pretty much ding-dong-ditched my brain.  How does that make you feel?

If you’re still reading, you don’t have to answer that question.  Back to my restless sleep.  The reason why is simply because I have a dream.  Not a dream you have when you’re asleep, and much more than a daydream.  This dream is more comparable to that of Martin Luther King Jr. (ish).  I have a dream that one day I will be in an awesome band with awesome guys that I will become my best friends.  I have a dream that we will tour the U.S. (or world, even) and spread love, hope, and the message of Christ through our music.  I have a dream that I will be able to write and play music for a living.  I have a dream that I will get to do what I have been dreaming about for years.

I’m restless at night, because I can’t stop thinking about it.  I know that the next morning I’m going to have to wake up and get ready for school.  While taking Music Theory and even “Recording Practicum” among many other music courses is great, as they no doubt will help me become a better musician, I can’t help but be extremely jealous of artists who got signed straight out of high school.

They* always say that you should never give up on your dreams, and that is exactly what I am doing.  I know that I may not be meant to be in a touring band, or in a band at all.  I just haven’t accepted it yet.

Don’t stop believin’!  I guess I’m talking to myself here, aren’t I? 

I know things will work out if I put my trust in God.  If you feel like me, do the same and let’s discover this together.

“Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.”

                                                    – Psalm 37: 3-5 (KJV)

*In no way do I endorse the collective viewpoint or all the things that “they” have said by quoting “them” in this blog.

-NJG