by Gabriel Sebastian Hathaway
My search for God has been happening for a very long time. After spending years stuck in a great rut, I began to wonder, “Who is God?” and “Is he really there?” I can remember feeling alone in my trials, and I felt like no one really loved me. I began to run from my problems, and found that no matter how hard I ran, no matter how hard I tried, I could not overcome my issues and feelings alone. What I considered my faults started to grow incredibly large, and I started to doubt myself and my beginnings. Gradually, I was being overwhelmed by a sense of destruction. My body began to fight for ways to feel relief, as did my spirit. My soul was tormented continually. Fear entered its way into my heart. I was lost.
Or so I thought.
After years of spending life in chaos and pain, I wanted out so badly that my soul was starving for the things of God. I often wonder if God let me spend time in this torment so I could come to know him better. I started to search for him, so to speak. I mean, I have always known there was a God, but I must confess my testimony of that was wavering, as was my belief in the Atonement. I felt that no man could help me out of my situation. I felt that no matter what I did, I could not bring myself out of the darkness, so that I could even begin to see the light. My thoughts were very self-destructive. My soul was aching.
Finally, I could not take it any more. I needed healing, and I did not know where to find it. As I sought to run away from my addiction, I found I was powerless to overcome it by myself. I needed help. My soul hungered.
I found solace in visiting with the bishop in my church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As I visited with him, I felt something I had not felt in a very long time. Love.
Throughout all my suffering, I had not felt loved. This is what I believe caused me to sink so low. After meeting with the bishop, I felt empowered, strengthened, and fortified against what I knew was trying to destroy me. The bishop taught me that I could overcome anything if I had the help of the Savior, Jesus Christ. He told me that Christ loved me. He told me that God loved me. He forgave me of what I had done wrong, but also helped me to see what I had been doing right. I knew he cared about me. I began to pray after this meeting with him. I felt an overwhelming sense of peace and joy. I knew then that Christ would help me overcome my problems.
The next several months after this, I found continual improvement in myself. I could then see the traps that Satan and his minions had set to catch me, and I was able to avoid them. I know that I was able to overcome this because I had the help of my Savior. I testify that he lives, that he is the Christ. I know that he loves me, as he loves everyone. I know that he can help you. I know that all things are possible if we will turn to God. I know we have a being with immense and infinite power on our side. May we all turn to him.