I appreciate the fact that you led a thug life. I know you sincerely believe that the only thing that saved you from that Hell was Jesus. But it's much more personal than that. You made the choice to change your life first, then you found Jesus. He was the answer but I am here to tell you that He is not the ONLY answer.
I grew up in the Church. Accepted Jesus as my personal lord and savior at the age of 7. I went three times a week. I played an instrument in our church orchestra and was a member of the puppet ministry team for children. I went on several local mission trips, even put on shows for inmates at the state prison.
Despite all that, at the age of 13 I found myself with a loaded shotgun in my mouth and my toe on the trigger. I sat there in that position for several hours. I thought about a lot of stuff. How the world was totally fucked. How my life was miserable. How I couldn't bare to go to high school to be made fun of by even more kids. Then I started thinking about the consequences of what my action might be.
I figured nobody would even attend my funeral because I was such an outcast. I was so completely consumed by depression that I couldn't see all the friends I had. I couldn't see my family. My father left us when I was born. My mother...mom...she loves me. What would it do to her if she came home from work to find my brains all over the living room? No matter how miserable I felt, she doesn't deserve that. So I slowly pulled my toe out of the trigger guard, unloaded the weapon and put it back under her bed.
I decided to give my life exactly one more year and then, if nothing changed I would do it.
Well, since I only had a year left to live I decided to be more open about my experiences in life. I began to explore. Later that summer a friend from church invited me to spend the night at his house and camp out in the back yard. He gave me my first hit of LSD. I realized that night and the next day that I was extremely foolish to think that I knew anything about the world. It gave me a new lease on life. During my freshmen year I had sex for the first time and got drunk for the first time.
I was having fun and enjoying life.
Richie, Jesus didn't save my life...my mother's love and LSD did. As I got older I saw how drugs CAN ruin peoples lives and slowly but surely took myself out of the drug scene. I didn't need Jesus to help me...it just took a little common sense and some self respect.
Don't get me wrong. It's okay if you want to give Jesus credit for what you did. My hope is that at some point you realize that you and you alone have the power and authority to change your life...for better or for worse.
Welcome to the forum. I am glad you decided to stay.