Read’s Story

It all starts back when I was six years old living in Salem, OR. On a cold, rainy morning I crossed the street to play with my friends as my great-grandpa watched me from the kitchen window. A car sped around the corner and hit me head-on. My parents threw me into the back of the station wagon, and we headed to the emergency room. When we arrived, they told my dad surgery was not possible because it was a catastrophic brain injury and the anesthesia would kill me.

I’m not sure what exactly happened, but I remember my dad was able to distract me for the first two hours of surgery and I made it through. But the road to recovery after that was tough and my memory was not so great and pain from the neck up was constant…When I was 15, I had my first sip of alcohol at a family Christmas party and all my pain vanished, euphoria came over me. I proceeded to deal with my pain through drugs and alcohol for the next 32 years.

In 2012, I went into recovery….After 28 months of recovery, I started to get some clarity. I was in the middle of a study on Romans when God clearly explained to me that all my burdens were really blessings in disguise.  My relationship with God started to change and I began talking to Him all the time.  My pain started to diminish and my relationship with my wife and kids improved!

I finally decided that I needed to give it all to God and completely surrender, give my life to Him. Surrender sounds completely counter-intuitive but the more I surrendered to Him the better I felt. I remember watching Passion of the Christ one day and I just couldn’t believe Christ would die for someone like me. I cried for hours and although I fall short of the Glory of God every day, I know that Christ died for me and He took my sins with Him.

My pain and memory problems still exist, so I continue to just focus on Him, and my comfort is knowing that God works all things for good for those who love Him, and I am a beloved son!

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