God's Mercy Is Rich

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My name is Zach White and I am the youngest of 5 children. I was raised in the Pentecostal Church. We were there every time the doors opened and if they weren't open my parents had the key (literally they had the master keys). I was taught right and wrong from the time I was old enough to know the difference. I was in children's church, youth, youth choir, church band, sang in the choir, taught Sunday school classes and youth groups starting at age thirteen. I was......."that boy" in the church. I was given a prophetic word that God had called me to ministry before I was twelve. I was baptized in the Holy Spirit in Middle School. From the outside looking in, there was no doubt who and what I was going to be.

          My greatest struggle and pitfall that Satan uses against me is self doubt. And he began to use it at a very young age. I doubted my abilities because of my size, I doubted my calling because I didn't feel "good" enough to preach. After all what could I say God brought me out of? I had both parents at home and they were both excellent parents. I never knew failure of any kind until after high school.....so how could I witness and preach to anyone in a struggle? And with that single seed of doubt Satan had his foothold in my mind. And he began to carve out a nice little comfortable living area in my mind that to this day he still tries to occupy. 

      Once Satan gained this hold in me he used it to warp and distort everything God had used me for and the blessings that He had provided me with. I began to see my family and upbringing as a fault because it didn't give me a "good redemption story". He convinced me that I needed to experience the world so I would be able to show the world I was delivered from something. Then he began to turn all the things God had done through me into things I had done for God. (And yes, there is a huge difference.) Soon my ego and pride made me useless in God's plan and kingdom. But Satan told me it wasn't my fault. It was jealousy from church leaders and my family and they didn't want me to succeed because it made me a better Christian. So I walked away from the joy and acceptance I felt and received in my Kingdom work and began to look for and find it in the world. That began a spiral fall that should have left me in the ground and busting hell wide open.

        Some people say that God saved them from death and hell as a generic description....I am not one of those people. When I turned my back on the plan and destiny God set aside for me, Satan seized the opportunity and put me on a fast track to death. I began to use women, to run from relationship to relationship. Some of the same gifts God gave me and used through me were the same ones that, once I handed myself to him, Satan used to make me appear to be the white knight to any woman who was unhappy. I didn't care who I hurt, how many families I destroyed or what damage I left when I walked away for my next conquest. All that mattered in the end was if I had temporarily filled the void in my heart that grew larger every day. 

       But Satan had a strange way of using God's promises to bring me to even darker places and more dangerous situations. I knew that as a child He had called me out, marked me as different and Satan knew it too. So when I would find myself facing down an angry husband, boyfriend or just some poor sinner that was having his puppy strings pulled too, I didn't hesitate to become a ball of rage and violence. After all, Satan said, "God has his hand in you. He won't let anyone hurt you. You are special remember?" And for awhile I wasn't hurt, physically anyway. But eventually the mental and emotional injury of the physical damage I had caused others began to catch up to me. And as I would be awakened at night by memories, faces and things I had done I wished I could trade them for physical scars and pain that would have eventually healed. 

        So, I began to numb the pain and voices in my head. Thanks to constantly playing softball and fights, a very complacent doctor was more than willing to give me a running prescription for pain pills and it didn't take me long to need them to wake up, go to sleep and function in general. Soon I learned to work the doctor, clinics and hospitals for stronger pills. I learned that I could keep enough for me and sell the rest or use them to get what I wanted from people. Soon I was making more money from drugs than I did from my jobs. I was living high, literally and figuratively. Then, I had a repeat customer who needed some pills but didn't have the money so I ended up on the wrong end of desperation, and again found myself in a situation that only God's hand brought me out of alive. 

    The pages I could fill of where a small foothold of doubt and pride would amaze most people who didn't know me until the last few years. God has brought me through and out of so many things. I cannot tell you that I don't have struggles. I can't tell you that I don't still have days that I have to plead for mercy over my thoughts and feelings. And, I won't tell you that the devil never wakes me from a solid sleep in a cold sweat from flashbacks. But I will tell you that when all these things start to happen, the void that I once used the world to try and fill, is now running over with the love, mercy and grace of Christ who has never and will never let me down. Even though there are times I have failed and continue to fail Him, He has never let me go. And He never will. That simple truth delivers me daily. And I thank God for it. 

 

Amanda Singleton