imageWhen I was only four or five years old I realized that I was born into a Christian based family, with all the good morals and a good idea about faith and God. I was always taught about God, so I grew up knowing the things my mom and dad had taught me.

Soon the day came, which began the start of my downfall. I remember as I was watching a kids show, which I assume was Blue’s Clues, my mom and dad had gone into a different room than where I was watching TV. Being the curious child that I was, I decided to find out what they were doing, so I spied on them. I remember peering through the crack in the door and watching my mom and dad silently argued. I was to young to understand at this point, but looking back I understand that they were talking about my dad cheating on my mom.

Eventually the day came when my mom grabbed both my sister and I, and with only a handful of toys, she stormed out the door, threw us into the car and attempted to drive away. However, my dad chased us in his car, until my mom called the cops on him and they pulled us both over. I remember crying and thinking about how I didn’t want my dad to go to prison. The cop talked to my mom, and assured us that my dad wasn’t going to go to prison.

After that, my parents got divorced, and then came a long period of going back and forth, from one parent’s house to the other. My mom and dad was fighting constantly every time they talked. I would go over to the girl’s house, who my dad cheated with, on my mom. She wasn’t exactly nice at all. She was only nice to me and my sister, when she had to be. Eventually, my mom made plans to take me and my sister, and move in with my grandparents in Missouri. I can’t recall how old I was, though I believe I was eight or nine when we moved. The three of us lived there until I graduated into the 4th grade. And during that spanned of time, I wanted to please my mom, so I decided since my mom and my grandparents always talked about God and being saved, I decided that I should get saved to make them happy.

Shortly after my mom met a man named Virgil, they got married and moved back to Evansville Indiana. Virgil was not a good man. At first he was nice to my sister and I, but during the second year, he started arguing with me a lot. By the third year we would argue with me everyday over subjects that didn’t matter. Then by the fourth year, he started physically abusing me and verbally abusing my mom. Though he would praise my sister for every little thing. He tried everything he could to make her love him more than everyone else.

After all that, my mom considered divorcing him, but when Virgil got wind of this, he talked to me and my sister privately, saying how it was our fault they were divorcing.

Soon after that my mom grabbed me and my sister again and packed our bags and we left to go back to my grandparents for a week. My mom had left a note telling Virgil that she was divorcing him and that he needed to leave the property. When we came back to the house, he had locked most of the rooms trying to make things hard on us, even though he was kicked out. We eventually had to rip off the doors from there hinges to get them opened.

Virgil began stalking us. He kept making the same excuses by saying he needed to pick up his stuff. But he would only grab a small portion of what was his, so he could come back and talk to my mom again later. He repeatedly called my mom and would drive by our house everyday. He even had his mother come to our house to try an talk my mom into marrying him again. Finally one day she filed for a restraining order and he wasn’t permitted to be anywhere near us. However he broke the restaining order several times, so we ended up going to court with him several times.

One day he confronted my sister in a store when she was with my dad. At this point my mom and dad had ended up being friends again and he moved to Evansville for his career. We took him to court for that and we haven’t seen him since. During the time Virgil was stalking us I “fell in love” with a girl I had met. We had dated for a month and she broke up with me, which broke me. Not too long after this I got into pornography. I was addicted to it for about two or three years. My dad caught me multiple times and would tell me that it was wrong, but I was to deep into it, to think I could just stop.

One day my dad set me and my sister down and told us that he was diagnosed with cancer. With all of this happening to me, I started becoming suicidal. I literally would pray that God would kill me, to end my suffering.there was one time when no one was home, I picked up a knife and held it to my stomach. I played the mental video in my head of how it would go if I stabbed myself. Everytime I would see a knife, I would play this video in my mind. I started telling some of my friends how I wanted to kill myself or run away or something.

Then one day I was shattered. I was talking to these two people how I wanted to die and they both snapped on me and told me just to go ahead and do it already. They told me how I should just kill myself or runaway, and they continued to say stuff like, “I have a can of soup for you to runaway with.” This was my true braking point. I cried and cried, and I told my mom everything. I told her that I was suicidal and how the two people told me to kill myself. I called my dad and talked to him about it too and they both helped me through it. I said some unnecessary and awful words to them both one day. They tried making contact with me and tried texting me, but I refused to respond. Finally I answer one of their calls. I continued to curse them both out and yell at them, as we talked for the longest time. We came to a point where we settled everything out and we all became friends again.

I remember talking to my mom, and Asking her why all of this awful stuff was happening to me. She told me something that, soon afterwards, became one of my many Godly philosophies of life. She told me how, if she never met Virgil, I would have never moved to Evansville and I would never have had the people in my life that I do now. She then told me, everything happens for a reason, and everything bad, God will turn into good. I used this to fight through many of my hardships, including the biggest one.

My dad as I said before was diagnosed with cancer. A couple of months after this, my sister and I were finally told how my dad only had a year too live, beginning from the time he was diagnosed. My dad was a strong man, even when he went through kemo therapy he was still able to roof our entire vacation house. But after a year, my dad started showing awful signs. The strong man I once knew became nothing but skin and bone. He looked like he was dead, but some how still walking. I feel as thought those last few days I saw him, I was slowly watching him die. Finally on May 23, 2012, my dad died.

At his funeral as I stare at his body, while I gave him a silent promise; I told him I would become the man he was, and the man he wanted me to be. I made it my goal to comfort my mom, sister, and step mom. And then I carried my dad’s casket to his burial spot, along with his best friend and his brothers. I placed a flower on his casket.

I changed after that. I stopped being mean to my sister, and I started being more mature. I showed love to my sister and my mom, more than I did before. And to this day I regret not showing more love to my dad and not spending more time with him. I became the man of the house and the protector of my family. I protect them with everything I have and I would die for them.

After all of this happened, I remember something my dad had told me. You see, before my dad died, he told me he wanted me not to date for one year, so that I could focus on God. After his death I ended up talking to a lot more girls than I wanted to. I switched from one girl to the other and I did this a total of three times.

So, in honor of my dad and for myself, I decided to go a year without dating anyone. Not only did I make it my goal, but I completed it. And in the middle of my year of no dating, I thought long and hard about my faith, struggling with the haunting question of whether I was truly saved or not. Then one day after walking home from school, I had come to the decision that I wasn’t saved. So I called my Pastor and told him. Later that evening he picked me up and took me to the church parking lot. We talked for a long while and on that night I gave my life to Jesus and my heart has never felt so much peace or freedom in my entire life. I now feel that I have made my God and my father every proud, and that finally I had a light in the darkness, messed up world.

Tyler Mills
Evansville IN

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