My Second Anniversary
Up until two years ago, I hadn't had a very good time in the previous 10 years or so. I won't go into much detail here – you’d be reading for ages and some of it isn't very nice.
Anyway, I had tried quite a few times to get back to reality; people had tried to help, but for various reasons it didn't work. It was nothing to do with how they helped, I just couldn't forget the past, which is the key - it won't work trying to fix the problem, you have got to work on the cause, and a few times when I stopped drinking I ended up in hospital because my body tried shutting down.
It's like being stuck in quicksand, the more you struggle to get out, the deeper you get sucked down. When you do start to dry out, you get another storm and you start to sink again. It's always going to storm, because you’re not tackling what's holding you in there, but if you dig little by little on the grains of sand you will be able to pull yourself out.
Then two years ago today - 7th September - I thought I would try again, after an encounter with the Holy Spirit. I used to spend a lot of time just sitting round South Hill Lake watching people having a good time and trying to forget the past.
One day I was sitting at the end of the lake on a bench and somebody said to me, "It's alright Kev, we can do it together." I turned round and nobody was there.
Since that day my life has gradually changed so much. I knew it was going to be hell, but I had had enough (in fact I wasn’t very far from being in a wooden box), so I talked to my friend the Holy Spirit every day. I started writing poems and this helped a lot because it's easier than talking about how I feel.
I felt something next to me
I felt the Spirit whisper to me, "I love you so,"
"Follow me, my son, good places we will go"
He knelt beside me and said a nice prayer
He wiped my tears and took away my despair
“I forgive you now for all you've done
Take hold of the love of God's only son
Receive his arms to keep you warm, bright and true
To have your soul completely renewed.”
The power that then fell over me
Was the love of the Lord as he carried me
I believe God has put me through all this suffering to make me stronger.
Moving forward, it has made a real big difference in me when I help others, either by doing Storehouse work and seeing the delight on people's faces, or just sitting in Refresh talking to people. I feel that the Holy Spirit is going to help me a lot in the future to build on this.
Kevin McCarthy, 7th September 2017