Tonight was one of those nights when I have to pinch myself and say, “I can’t believe what I get to do.” I painted and preached a message on forgiveness. I claim no credit for it. God gave it to me, and I am grateful and I saw fruit from it. I’ll leave it at that. I am so blessed. I get to travel, serve a great church, paint pictures and tell people about Jesus. On the homefront, I have a wonderful wife, two great sons, a wonderful daughter-in-law and a grandson that just fills my heart with joy. I have a slew of great brothers in law and sisters in law. I have a lot of great friends, awesome opportunities. In short I am extremely blessed.

And I almost missed it all.

You see when I was 22 years old, I was at the end of my rope. If I wasn’t an alcoholic, I was extremely close and I was on a self destructive spiral that was about to end badly. I thought about ending my life many times and I tried at least once. That was the first time I remember crying out to God for help. I am here because he helped me. I call what I live now, the bonus life. You see there are other people in my life who are very important to me, my parents, my brother and sister, cousins, and aunts and uncles and other friends that I failed to mention. This doesn’t indicate their lack of importance, it’s just they were in my life before that day, the day it all almost ended. All the people in the paragraph above would have never even been in my life, had it ended that day. All the amazing opportunities I’ve had since then never would have happened, and anyone I’ve been blessed to help in the last 33 years would not have been helped (at least not by me). All these people and all these things are part of the bonus life and I am forever grateful.

Why do I share this? Because suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. When I think of all I might have missed, I shudder. Friend, if you’re in a dark place today, you need to know, it gets better. Give it to God and trust in Him.

The bonus life is so worth it!

  1. Anonymous says:

    What a gripping testimony! Keep sharing it, Dave, this one will “preach” and reach! So many young people just don’t have enough life experience to comprehend that there even could be a better life on the other side of the thick and heavy darkness weighing them down! Maybe even an illustrated “booklet “?

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