His Saved By Grace Story

His Saved By Grace Story

⚠️ WARNING: This story discusses struggles with depression, suicide, homicide, military service and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) ... but a little spoiler alert...it has an AMAZING ENDING!

My Testimony -Michael Eli Williams

I want to tell you how I have been saved by grace. Before I was saved I was a wandering soul. I was serving in the Army as an infantry soldier and I was full of confusion and hate. There is no excuse for the people that I hurt or affected negatively during my time in Iraq. We dehumanized an entire country of God’s creation and declared them our enemy. When we returned home we attempted to cope with our transgressions in the stereotypical way of alcohol abuse and seeking pleasure in the flesh. After finishing my three-year contract in the Army I was able to suppress most of my negative memories and feelings which acted as a terrific bandaid for the time being. After a year of civilian life, I met my wife and my life began to improve. Her father was a retired minister and they were very strong in their faith. I was a non-believer. I began going to church with her on Sundays to appease her wishes. After about a year of attending services with her and still not believing in God’s existence, on a normal Sunday service where nothing extraordinary happened or was said, I decided I wanted to give my life to Jesus. I was saved by grace. I was baptized a month later by my Father-in-law and I had a fire burning inside me for Jesus so strong, as every forgiven and redeemed Christian experiences. I walked the path and read my bible every day for about a year. I was feeling great. I later began to stray from the path. I began reading a little less and drinking a little more. My intrusive thoughts of the people I hurt and the sins I committed began to become more and more frequent. I felt unworthy and I convinced myself the world would be a better place if I were not in it. Standing in front of the mirror with a loaded gun to my head, I didn't pull the trigger. I was saved by grace. I talked to my wife and decided that it was time to seek help from the VA (Veterans Administration). I attended weekly visits with psychiatrists and psychologists but my mental state continued to worsen. It almost seemed as if I was doing better keeping my memories repressed and not acknowledging my feelings when speaking to the doctors about the things I have seen and done. I was just stirring the pot. 

Fast forward through a year of attending regular therapy sessions and trying different mood stabilizers, depression medications, and anti-anxiety pills, and here I am again, back to square one of feeling unworthy and hopeless. The only different thing, we now had a one year old son. I was drinking heavily and began having visual hallucinations. I felt as though I was nearing the end of the road. I couldn’t take any more pills or talk to any more doctors. One morning with my psychiatrist I told him that I didn’t want me or my family to live in a world so full of evil and strife. He then told me I had two options. I could volunteer to go to the hospital voluntarily or would have to go against my will. I went voluntarily and was put in the back of a police car and taken to the VA Hospital. I was in a locked psychiatric ward for ten days where I was mentally sedated so I did not cause harm to myself or others. After ten days in the locked ward, I was released to another level of the Hospital where I would be for an additional three weeks to ensure I was safe to return home. Out of nowhere, the last week in the hospital I wanted a bible. I asked staff member after staff member until someone was able to get me one. All I wanted was to read the bible and immerse myself in the word. The fire inside me was reignited and I was Saved By Grace. 

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith- and this is not from yourselves it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10 NIV

Notes for Ephesians 2:8-10 From NIV Tyndale Life Application Bible “We become Christians through God’s unmerited grace, not as the result of any effort, ability, intelligent choice, or act of service on our part. However, out of gratitude for this free gift, we will seek to help and serve others with kindness, love, and gentleness, and not to merely please ourselves. While no action or work we can do can help us obtain salvation, God’s intention is that our salvation will result in acts of service. We are not saved merely for our own benefit but to serve Christ and build up the Church. 

We have all been saved by God’s grace in our own way. God has a mission for each one of us. There will always be a purpose in the pain, and living through painful experiences we will now be better able to minister to those in need who may be in a similar situation. 

Consider the pain in your life that you came through and now better able to serve someone in need going through a similar circumstance. 

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