The God Who Stays

“I prayed almost every day for Him to bring me out of this hell, out of Satan's world.”

The God Who Stays

Ben:  I grew up in a Christian home going to church every Sunday, being involved in AWANA and Youth Group, and going to Bible camps based on the Bible. The broken chapters of my life started before age 14. I was a Christian then. I believed hard on God, He was my Savior and He loved me. In 2017, when I was in the 6th grade, the garage of my house went up in flames. That was really tough for me and my whole family to go through. I hated God through that. It was about a year of moving around, and not being in my own neighborhood.
Further into my life starting around age fourteen is when I fell apart from God.  I got introduced into pornography. That was my biggest struggle. A lot of changes happened. I hated God and felt like I didn’t belong with Him. Satan took me over and I felt what he could do to me. Just to be living through that, though, is how I saw God. I became an addict to pornography and that was really harsh. Going though that, plus still going to church was a struggle. I believed that God didn’t want me and that He left me. I hated God for writing my life like this. And yet, I prayed almost every day for Him to bring me out of this hell, out of Satan’s world.

Skipping forward in my life, I am now two months from my 16th birthday. In late February 2021, I moved from my hometown of Naperville, IL to South Nashville, TN. This was the biggest move of my entire life. I was confused and scared of moving so far away, but during this time I was doing better with God. I felt Him closer to me and with me more often. As life moved on during February, I came to realize that God has made my life for a purpose and He has drawn my path. So I just had to trust God that He knew what He was doing in my life. In June 2021, me and my family took a trip back up to my hometown to see friends and family and the community. About halfway through the trip, I was fishing at one of my favorite lakes and started to talk to God. I fished there that day for about 2 1/2 hours and during that time I was having a conversation with God. I felt really close to Him and loved Him. I poured out my fears and thoughts.

During week three of the trip, I was in bed one night thinking of my strong fear of death. It scared me so bad, something happened between me and the Lord that I fell apart again. That time was one of the closest times I came to taking my own life, but I never did because of God. He came into my thoughts and blocked that idea. I was so scared of death, I couldn’t do it.

In week 4 of June, my family and I made our way to Gull Lake Ministries, in Hickory Corners, Michigan. The Friday of that week, I was out on the fishing dock at night about 10:30pm and was listening to my Christian music playlist and the song ‘Way Maker’ came on. I poured out my heart to The Lord Jesus Christ asking for forgiveness. After that night, I asked God to come back to my heart.  I prayed and I cried happy tears knowing I had been saved.

The week before school started, I joined my school’s marching band…lots of hard work balancing that with my studies and with God. A month later, I was greatly in line with God. A month after that I met this girl who was in my instrument section for marching band. She is a very strong believer and a true Christian. She is one of the main people that brought me back to Christ. We prayed together and we both shared music, verses and Bible plans to know Jesus more. Finding a church is one of the harder struggles along with finding a youth group that can be of fit for me to be more connected.
One week, she invited me to her youth group and I liked it. I was able to become closer to the Lord and know that community.

Two days later, the thought of killing myself and hurting myself came back. I fell apart from God again. I talked to my friend about this, and she seemed really worried. She tried to talk me out of it. She talked to her parents and gave me music and Bible verses about how God wants me, loves me, and knows me. This lasted about two weeks which is the longest I have had in my life yet. The struggle with the aftermath –going through that was the hardest. Reconnecting myself with God, I found this song by Matthew West called ‘The God Who Stays.’ I put this song on repeat and listened to it about 100+ times. The lyrics of the song are really powerful and meaningful. After about a week, I grew closer to Christ, and during worship in a church service, I poured my heart out to the Lord. I felt him right next to me and knew that He was with me. Over the last couple months, I have been in line with Jesus, asking for forgiveness, talking openly to friends about Him, and being involved with church leaders. Now I see and consider myself a Christian, after three years of on/off with God. I am back.

I got baptized on February 18, 2022. I love Jesus and I never want to lose Him again.  Amen!

“I felt him right next to me and knew that He was with me.”

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