Matt's Story of Suffering and Redemption
The major turning point for me was when my mother died unexpectedly of congestive heart failure.
I was living with her while going to college. My mom was so awesome. We were really close--she was my best friend. There were a lot of people at her funeral and they all said they would be there for me if I needed anything.
I would open the door to my room and see her door closed and know that she would never come out of there, again.
About a week after she'd been gone, I would open the door to my room and see her door closed and know that she would never come out of there, again.
I went into a downward spiral--drinking and a lot doing of bad things. I couldn't take it any more and I was getting suicidal.
One night, I was drinking and I knew that I would rather die than go on. I took a gun and was about to take my life and I called out to God and told him that I couldn't take it any more. When I squeezed the trigger, the gun misfired. It was at that moment I knew something was planned for my life--that it wasn't my call to end my life--God had stepped in. I put the gun away and sat and thought about it and that was the last time I tried to do anything stupid like that.
On the outside, I was always smiling and looked happy, but on the inside I was really hurting.
Reflecting back, I don't think anyone knew I was suffering like that. On the outside, I was always smiling and looked happy, but on the inside I was really hurting. On the reservation, suffering is hidden. You'll see a lot of people smiling, but you know they are hurting on the inside.
I think we go through suffering so that we can help one another by being able to recognize suffering in others. Since accepting Christ into my life, I am able to see suffering in others and lead them to Christ. I tell them that they don't have to go through the suffering alone.
I found hope because I had nowhere else to go. I had hit bottom. From the bottom all you have is to look up and while it took a few years to get better, I didn't ever have those thoughts again, because He was there for me.
I got a little glimpse of His glory and that was all I needed.
Matt is a member of the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribe in northern Wisconsin. Christ The Rock provides ongoing support to this tribe through its mission work.