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La Cristo de Dalí (recorte)

La Cristo de Dalí (recorte) (Photo credit: Arkangel)

A JOURNEY FROM BONDAGE:

 

 

This is a brief testimonial of my transformation from a servant of darkness to a loving child of Christ. I will attempt to illustrate the struggles and hardships I have endured and the miracles I have since experienced. This tale will take you from the depths of my personal hell in to my becoming, and finally, thru my awakening and current life as a follower of Christ. My hope is that this brief essay may touch at least one person who reads this.

 

My Life before Christ:

 

I was born into a loving Christian home the oldest of three children.  My father was an officer in the army and my mother was predominantly a stay at home Mom. We moved quite frequently as a result of my father’s occupation and thru this I experienced a good bit of the world and its culture and people. I only recall brief instances of being comfortable in church as a child, and remember feeling a disoriented and somewhat empty and spiritually unfulfilled. I also had an inferiority complex and suffered frequent periods of depression. I can remember having numerous conversations with God begging him to take my life; then followed by outright disdain for his lack of response to my requests. At an early age I became attracted to evil, mythology, and the occult. Even among friends and family members I felt unloved.

 

As I mentioned in the above paragraph I never felt comfortable in a religious setting.  However, I kept seeking. At the age of 14 we moved to Memphis Tennessee and we attended Winchester Heights Christian Church. I became active in youth group and served as a youth counselor for underprivileged children and attended a number of spiritual retreats.  However, during this period of my life the feelings of inadequacy progressed and I sought out drugs and alcohol in an attempt to numb out these feelings as well as the obsessive thoughts of suicide and death. After living briefly in Germany, I moved back to Memphis to go to college and continued to attend Winchester Heights Christian Church. At this time I was living with the family of a friend whose brother (Charles) recently committed suicide after murdering his girlfriend. During one of his sermons the minister stated that the family and all the friends of Charles were going to Hell, and that Charles murdered his girlfriend as a result of the sinful environment he lived in. This statement, as well as continued drug use, led me to question the existence of God and Christ and eventually I developed a true hatred of Christ and everything Christian. I became actively involved in Paganism and continued down the road of self-destruction. I dropped out of school moved in with a rock band and basically lived for self-gratification and sin.

 

 

In a matter of months the sickness tied to drug abuse and overall reckless abandon took its toll.  I called my parents seeking a way out, moved back to Germany, and started a period of recovery. Ill from drug abuse and spiritually empty I attempted to straighten out my life. This was somewhat successful, but after two years I once again sought drugs and alcohol to ease the discomfort of a maladjusted life. I began associating with drug dealers and lure of easy money led me to make a decision to smuggle drugs. After coming under suspicion for criminal activities I decided to move back to Memphis. On the outside I was successful but internally I was still lacking, I eventually fell back into addiction and became a full-blown alcoholic.

 

 

My Christ Dependency Revealed:

 

Within five years of return to Memphis my life was slowly deteriorating. I joined Alcoholics Anonymous trying to obtain some sense of stability but no matter what form of progress I would make towards recovery, any short term material gain I would achieve, any gratification sustained from relationships or any form of material success I would achieve, I felt cold and empty inside.

 

While in AA I slowly let go of my self-centeredness, my self-destructive behavior, and eventually became receptive to the idea that there may be some sort of spiritual entity in charge of my life. I once again became involved in paganism and witchcraft and sought out philosophy and religion in an attempt to fill the void I felt deep inside my soul. Although things were slowly improving I still felt disconnected from my fellow man. I had numerous relapses and slowly drifted into atheism. After a vicious bought of alcoholism I returned To AA and once again sought out New Age concepts to fill the ever-increasing pit of despair that was inside of me. I eventually had a break down and was diagnosed as Manic Depressive. However, I continued to seek out philosophy, worldviews, and religion in an attempt to become stable. I also investigated numerous churches but to no avail. Self-reliance and self-sufficiency was failing! Philosophy and religion was not providing any solution what was the answer to be?

 

 

After continuing with my independent studies of man and his beliefs I had another relapse. That night I was awoken from a nightmare and had a vision of a demonic presence of Native American origin followed shortly after by a visit of an angelic sort. The angel spoke to me saying “You will be returning home and that soon you will find serenity.” I also started hearing a soft gentle voice saying,” Be still and know that I am God”  From then on whenever I would sink into depression, mania, or agitation  I would start reading the Bible. I mainly studied Proverbs and the writings of Solomon. It should be mentioned that during this time I was involved in an ongoing battle with Social Security and that my bipolar disorder progressed to a level in which I no longer could support my self. After one more relapse followed by an attempt at recovery it was time for me to step away from the situation. I planned a trip and visited my parents in Hampton Virginia.

 

My Conversion Experience:

 

While visiting my parents I attended Harbor Pointe Community Church, and a few of the Thursday night refuge group meetings. I had an opportunity to meet some of the people with in the church body and I felt welcomed and connected. For the first time in a long time I felt like I had arrived home. Unfortunately, my vacation ended and I returned home to Atoka Tennessee.  I remember wishing a church like this existed near my home in Tennessee. God heard my prayers and had other plans. I was turned down for disability and after speaking with my parents made a decision to move to Hampton Virginia.

 

My Spiritual Growth:

 

While living in Virginia I became actively involved at Harbor Pointe. I attended three refuge groups a week and served on the worship technical team.   I co- design and install the sound system, lighting and stage and was part of the leadership committee. I served as Lead Sound Engineer for several years and assisted with the youth briefly. I no longer felt like an outsider and regained my serenity and inner peace. My relationship with Christ edified daily I could feel and sense his Love, Grace and Peace around me constantly. I had a purpose! I was reborn! My journey from bondage was drawing to an end!

 

In the fall of 2006 my Great Uncle passed away leaving me an inheritance I planned a visit back to Atoka, Tennessee and while on vacation decided that I wanted to relocate back to Tennessee. I purchased a three bedroom mobile home on a .5 acre of land. After returning briefly to Hampton while the home was being built, I moved to Millington TN in April 2007.

 

I lived in my trailer in Millington from April 2007 until December 2011 and continued studying the word but did not actively attend church. I ministered independently to a few friends with alcohol and abuse issues and in January 2011 moved in with my fiancé’ in Munford TN.

 

I married in April 2012 to a longtime friend and we continue to grow and support each other daily through God, Christ, Prayer, and Devotional readings and scripture. Sheryl (My Wife) and I believe in the power of the Holy Spirit.  Although our first year of marriage has not been easy, Christ strengthens and guides us daily. We try to spread the message of his Love, Grace and Salvation to those we meet and to teach his Great Commission to those who will listen.  We believe firmly in his teaching and strife to live by the standards outlined in both the New and Old Testament.

 

My Prayer is: If anyone reading this is going through tough times, feels lost, hopeless, or just out of place, or in need of direction May they continue seeking out God and enter into a friendship with Jesus Christ to be reborn in his Salvation and be wash clean of all sin. In Jesus name we Pray Amen.

 

God bless,

Trent Rindoks

 

 

 

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