Finding My Way Home

Finding My Way Home

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Finding My Way Home

I was the king and master of my domain, and all that I saw was good. When I decided to write new chapters in my life in the world of College Academia, I entered a realm that was anything but familiar to me. Constant battles and trials raging day and night for each month of my freshman year became known as Hades’ Gauntlet.

The first challenge I faced was dealing with the seeds of conspiracy and betrayal. I was the leader in my church’s youth group for a few years, where I led my “friends” into a positive direction of peace and prosperity. Around the same time I started my college journeys, I was at my finest hour. I saw success, happiness, and admiration of many people around me. But what I didn’t see was the hidden jealousy and hatred a few people had towards me and storms over the horizon. I found myself in a dispute with a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and because his significant other at the time is the daughter of the head of the youth group, he decided it was best to banish me from the youth group and strip away my duties and sources of accomplishment and hope. He then handed over my reigns to his daughter, who treated me as harshly as the executioner to the prisoner. To add to it, he persuaded the Senior Pastor to prevent me from being in any leadership positions, in an effort to encourage/force me to leave the church completely. He also did this, because he, for some reason, resented my father, who decided to leave my church one month before I started my college life. What did I do to deserve this? Suddenly, the skies turned black, and this was a direct reflection of the pain I experienced. A perfectly good ministry turned into the vulture’s nest, then into a mockery of what was true and what was right. I felt that every time I walked into the same church I’ve been in my whole life, I now entered enemy lines. Each second the vipers gazed their eyes upon me, I could feel their venomous strikes invading my heart, filling it with poison. I was no longer home, and my church became a prison to me, where I was fed to the mob and the Triad of Traitors.

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Always a soldier at heart, I never back down from an obstacle or hide from the face of fear. Being a martial artist, infused with a rebellious, “tough guy” approach to trials only enhanced it. I was on my way to school on yet another 45-minute commute, and a tractor-trailer unexpectedly side-swiped me into a barrier. I was grinded into it so hard that he was able to pick my car up by my front fender with his bumper. I was dragged across a ramp for a quarter-mile that seemed like an eternity. I was uninjured physically, but my self-assurance was on life support. Never before have I heard the sounds of glass shattering in my ears or even seen solid steel twisting and searing to pieces, either. After the accident, I remember walking to my car to travel to school, and I felt as if I was heading towards the gallows. I was already in enough shock from the stabbings that were dealt to me the month before, but this was an experience that I relived over and over again in my dreams. What hurt even more was the news I received of a friend’s father from church and school, who was killed in the same accident that I had 1 ½ weeks after mine on the same road. How am I even alive? I saw the world differently than before, as it welcomed me with wide arms into its cold, spiteful embrace. At this point, my nightmares became dreams, and my dreams were fragments of what I once called hope.

Even 1 ½ months before I started college, my body started to suffer physically. It was ironic, because I have always been a fit and active person. I became diagnosed with a chronic sinus infection mixed with asthma, which for 4 ½ months prevented me from breathing, sleeping, and living. This caused me to get up early in the morning and late at night to cough profusely, until I would fall to my knees. I would cough to the point of nausea, which would last for two hours, and sometimes, more. In return, I began to skip breakfast to avoid vomiting in school. After a couple months of it, I began to cough so hard that I was bleeding internally. The first time I discovered it was when I passed out on top of the staircase with my backpack on, fell flat on the back of neck and tailbone, and hit my head off most of the steps until I reached the floor. When I regained my consciousness after a few seconds, I felt something in my mouth, and when I spit it out, I found blood on my shirt. I became an insomniac and would drive to school 1 ½ hours each day on an empty stomach in a car that almost became my coffin. Is there a way out of here? I reached the point where it literally hurt just to breathe. I didn’t understand at the time how and why my life was the epitome of one whose fate was sealed with doom.

My academic life wasn’t horrible, but because I couldn’t always drive to school everyday, it wasn’t possible to achieve excellent grades. I did well in my IST classes, which are for my major, but there were a couple classes that revealed to me all of my deficiencies and weaknesses. The Cold Winter Theory was in full effect and left me numb and helpless. I was fading away, and all of my triumphs and accomplishments from the Invincible Era meant nothing. I was a shadow of something that the world never wanted me to be.

When I couldn’t drown any further into this sea of pain and misery, a Hand reached out to rescue me from the Slavery Machine. “Come follow Me, Terry. I will help you”. I think I’ll grab ahold. Because I was being destroyed physically, emotionally, and mentally by the world’s many lashings, what spoke to me was so different that it made me realize that surely this Voice of love and kindness was not of this cruel, complicated place. As time went on, I began to see reasons for each and every trial I went through. After my exile from the youth group, I decided to serve in a different church for several months. I felt warmth there, something I haven’t felt in ages, as I was welcomed by many of my lifelong friends and relatives who have always been my lifelong friends. 9 months passed by, and during this time period, those who were responsible for the scars on my back began to treat me with respect and kindness. They saw that I wasn’t a person who was breakable, as I never left my church for good, nor did I bring myself to their level and look foolish. When I served in my other church, I did so via cyberspace, by having online-Bible studies with music every week. I then decided to use the skills that I developed in the other church to build my church’s website, which fulfilled my IST internship requirement.

As far as the accident goes, I was taught never surrender to fear and to always have faith, even in the darkest of times. I am fearless and now, not even thirty tons of steel and rubber can phase me. Instead of being captive to fear, I look to the future with excitement and confidence. The day after the Voyage of Death, I received an e-mail from someone who asked me to be a leader in an organization that promotes bands. I am an official band representative to this day, and this is one of the purposes of my life; to open hearts and lead others to find the Truth.

What I learned from being miserably ill for nearly half a year was the fact that I needed to end my selfish desires and live for the One who created me. Since then, I’ve been using a special kind of medication that has kept my sinuses so strong that I can no longer become sick. I feel that this is my Savior’s way of keeping me steadfast, so I may prosper and enjoy the gift of life that was given to me unselfishly.

From each trial that I endured, I did suffer for a time, and while they did seem so hopeless, I gained so much more from them later on. It is odd how my life radically changed from pure excellence to sheer agony and brutality. Yet, through it all, it makes perfect sense how and why my life changed once again to one so good that I never imagined possible. Reborn. My eyes are opened, my heart is filled with joy, and for the first time, I feel that I have finally reached the place that I’ve been looking for. I’m home again.
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