I want to share my complete testimony. I’m doing this now because I’m freshly repenting, so to speak. I feel the Holy Spirit. The Bible says that fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
I’m sorry I don’t know scriptures yet I’m still new in Christ, but I really feel like this is the time to share my story, and maybe I can help you find the Lord more, or maybe accept Jesus for the very first time, who knows. But hopefully this story will help you.
When I was eight years old, I didn’t know Jesus, we didn’t get it. My family and I didn’t go to church. So I didn’t understand the concept that we were all born into sin, and I started to play with myself sexually and play with the other neighborhood boys.
One of the boys had a Hustler magazine, you know, nude girls – and it was very raunchy.
I remember just kind of being excited about it you know and talking to my friend about it and we started talking about what we would do if we were with a girl – and that led to a little bit of playing with ourselves physically with each other.
But I knew I was attracted to girls at that point, that’s what aroused us so much, you know, was looking at the girls, and these centerfolds.
Later on, a couple of years later, around 12, my mom had a book about Jesus, it was the child’s version – book of Jesus and about heaven and I remember just sitting in bed and my mom was reading it to me.
We read it together and I was just so excited about the prospects of heaven and I was so blown away that there was a heaven and that there was a loving man named Jesus.
I was so excited I looked up at her and I was like I can’t believe heaven is real. I’m so excited and my mom’s an angel herself and she was like, I know it’s really exciting.
You know, her dad died from alcoholism and she was only seven when he died. There was a lot of alcoholism in my family on both sides. But that was much later, and I’ll get to that in a second.
But I also went to a camp for children around this time. I was 12 years old and I went to a, I think it was a Christian base camp because our counselor at that time, told us a story about Jesus:
Every day you get an empty jar, and every day if you do something for Jesus, you get your jar filled, and at the end of your life Jesus looks at all the jars and if they’re all empty, then you haven’t really lived for God, you know, and you’ll be punished.
I don’t know what the sermon was like, but I just remember that analogy every day you have the ability to fill your jar or not. It makes a big difference at the end of your life, and that really stuck with me, and I was like wow okay.
But certainly after that I must have ignored it because when I was 14, I wanted to impress some kids at school, and so I devised a plan to break into my neighbor’s house, and I had a list of stuff we could steal and I was trying to impress my friends, the bad boys in school.
I was like we could steal this we could steal that and they’re like, cool, let’s do it and I was like, okay.
We broke in one night when they were out at a restaurant and I freaked out and couldn’t concentrate – we just went in through the back door and tried taking stuff.
There were like three boys with me and they grabbed a couple things but we were so scared, their dog was barking in the other room and we’re like we gotta get out of here.
Anyways, I got arrested for that and that’s when my sweet little “Leave it to Beaver” family got destroyed and that’s the first time I really saw my dad freak out.
He charged me and he was gonna hit me and my mom had to run in and grab him and she started bawling at the door, she couldn’t look at me, and it was horrible.
I started crying, but I wasn’t really sad. I mean I was like I gotta cry or my dad’s gonna kill me so I felt like I was pretending.
Then, it just went from there, I ripped off a bicycle the next year and then when I was 17, I discovered alcohol and that’s when my life really spun out of control.
I couldn’t complete high school. I just wanted to listen to rock and roll. And, you know, when I was 18 my dad kicked me out, he’s like, Alright, you’re on your own.
I just slept on friend’s floors and I started experimenting with LSD and started drinking more and then when I was 20, I started dating a woman twice my age.
In fact, she had a child that was my age, she had children very young and she was into the same kind of music and she liked me because I was writing poetry and she invited me to live with her and we started drinking.
My role models at that time were the beat generation drunk, drunk writers, Hemingway, Charles Bukowski, Jack Kerouac and Neil Cassidy and all these guys and they all were just like Beatniks.
William Burroughs was shooting up heroin and he was bisexual and I was like maybe I’ll be bisexual to help my artistry, you know, drinking wine under the stars, writing poetry, maybe doing a little bisexuality on the side, because I understood that playing with myself, not only in the front but in the back, produced pleasure.
So, I was like why not just add a man to the mix, and I knew it wasn’t natural, it didn’t feel right, but I kept pushing it and I had to drink. I had to drink to do it, to experience it.
It got to the point where it didn’t matter anymore if it was boy or girl or whatever and it didn’t matter what drugs I was doing. I was basically just going crazy, and I started to hurt people.
I was very selfish and I only thought about myself and I quit jobs left and right and I quit relationships left and right, and I hurt a lot of girls. I hurt myself and I kept going that way and I had a dead end job and I wasn’t doing anything with my life.
I basically was just flipping burgers for a living and coming home to my place, which was a converted school bus and hanging out with basically homeless people or people that were on social security, because they were mentally disabled.
I thought they were fun. I thought they were the only people that could understand me. So I’d go and drink with them around a fire and they would yell up at the sky, saying crazy things, because they were mentally disabled and I thought it was funny.
I thought I could write about it because I was going to be the next American writer that chronicled the underground so to speak, The One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest type of writing.
Unfortunately, I started to become one of them. Then, I started to become unemployable and went to work hungover or still drunk, and drinking the cooking wine, you know, as I was flipping burgers for a living, sneaking beers while I was at work and it got to the point where I could barely hold a job.
Then I started to experiment with meth. Some of those guys next door, that were on Social Security, they would score some meth once in a while – and that’s when my perversion just really took off and got really dark.
I used to just play with myself all night long, doing weird things to my body. And actually, I even changed the smell inside the house. I was doing things that I never thought I would really do, really twisted dark thoughts.
It got to the point where I didn’t know why I was alive, I was just like, I’m a rockstar, you know, I was delusional. I thought I was a rock star. I thought it was cool to be an outcast and lose in society and not have a job and you know just be a bum.
And, you know deep down, I didn’t want to be a bum and I wanted to love people, but I didn’t love myself, I hated myself. I was a drunk. There was a lot of shame and guilt there.
When I was 32 the alcohol caught up with me, and I had a heart attack, and they flew me to the hospital and they put a stent inside my heart to open up the left anterior artery. I almost died.
But that didn’t stop me, I was like, oh, I’m fine. That was just a fluke. You know I’m only 32. That was just a fluke, so I kept drinking. In fact I started drinking heavier, even though they put me on medications for blood pressure I started drinking heavily. I stopped eating. I didn’t want to ruin my buzz.
You know, my girlfriend’s were getting crazier and more wild because I was attracting them. It got to the point where it was just tragic, it was like Sid and Nancy movie, it was like, we’re almost dead, let’s just keep drinking until we die. I didn’t have any hope.
Then when I was 36, I suddenly stopped drinking. I was like, this is ridiculous, and I was living with a girl, and I was just a drunk. I just stayed in her room. She had a job. I had to make sure I had beer in the fridge, and I was barely working.
She was basically supporting me and I just drank, and she had a son and I didn’t even talk to him. He was in one room. I was in the other. I closed the door because I wanted it dark. I wanted it quiet – and I just wanted to drink my beer.
I had these moments of just crying. I would cry for no reason, I guess because my heart was broken. You know I wanted a sweet life and I had these imaginary friends and I was really desperately lonely.
I started thinking about all the people that talked to me about Jesus, it really did matter, it planted the seed. I haven’t talked about those experiences, except for the 12 year old part.
But, when I was 18, one of the bad boys I actually broke into the house with took me to a Christian rock concert. The concert was Carmen, and it was a guy who battled Satan on stage and it was really theatrical and it was fun.
I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit there, but I didn’t know what it was, I was like wow I could really feel the energy here. I was like that’s cool. Thanks, you know, but I didn’t turn to God at that point.
Then, when I had my heart attack, the waitress prayed over me. I was on the sidewalk outside of the restaurant and trembling and turned white and pale and had vomited.
She was praying over me and she was born again, and I really liked her. She didn’t push it on me too much but she represented Jesus, she was a good woman, and I liked talking to her and she prayed over me before I was flown to the hospital. That stayed in my mind.
So, I got sober, and I started to get panic attacks and social anxiety because I never learned how to cope with it. I never learned social skills, I didn’t have a lot of friends and, and then I discovered alcohol and that was my friend.
So when I finally got sober, I had a panic attack around my parents, and then that made me scared of them. It made me scared of the dinner table, and then it made me hide at home even more.
So, I was like alright I’m sober. That’s great – and that felt good for like two years. I was like hey I’m sober. I’m still alive, and that’s great.
But, you know, the social anxiety was killing me. I was hiding at home and I couldn’t talk to people. I started to look into supplements and then I looked into meditation and then New Age stuff and nothing worked and I was like I think I need Jesus back.
So, that went on for a while, and then finally I was like, I was listening to a Christian heavy metal band, the guitarist for Korn. He became a born again and he was doing a Christian project and it was just called Brian Head Welch and a song came on called L.O.V.E
It was basically him singing like Jesus, and there was one line in the song that said, stop your running come home to me. Stop your running, come back to me and it was Jesus, and all of a sudden I got hit by the Holy Spirit, and it filled my heart and I started to bawl my eyes out for the next four hours.
I couldn’t stop crying, and it felt like my heart was being washed with this warm liquid love of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Finally, all the people that had talked to me about Jesus in the past finally made sense and I was like, wow, this is love. This is real love, this is what I’ve been running, trying to get to my whole life by using drugs, sex, money and rock and roll.
All that stuff I was trying to fill my heart, but nothing filled it. It was basically a lie and it was depleting my heart and making it emptier. And that love from Jesus was like, it filled the air and every cell in my body and I wanted more of it.
I was like this is it. But after that, I just kept living my way. I didn’t really, you know, I started to pray a little bit, but it still hasn’t been internalized.
So I kept going that way and I tried to go back to my old ways. I was backsliding, I was like I found, I had the Holy Spirit cleanse me but I went back and started doing the New Age stuff again.
I was like, let’s do Ayahuasca, let’s do plant medicine. Let’s heal that way. So, my Fiance and I were doing plant medicine, San Pedro, it was a cactus, and we were starting to have a bad trip, and I was like, I didn’t want to tell her I was having a bad trip because I didn’t want her to have a bad trip and then spiral out of control and have to call 911.
Because we’re living on someone’s land, and then the landlord would know that we’re on drugs. So I didn’t want to do that. I was like, What do I do? I was about to lose it. I was like, Jesus, please help me right now. Please help me right now.
And all of a sudden, I felt the Holy Spirit come into our house, our mobile home, and it filled the place with light and love, and all of a sudden I was instantly sober.
I had this utmost confidence that everything was okay. I had this peace that came over me, and there’s this confidence I’ve never felt I was like, God is here, and everything is okay and I was sober.
I had the Holy Spirit in me, and I looked at her (my fiance) and I was like Jesus is here. And she looked at me and she was crying and she’s like, I know. So we both felt it.
And at that moment I was like, this is it. This is it. I’m tired of running. I’m tired of trying different things. I’m tired of doing different things to try to find happiness.
God is the only thing that is filling my heart here with love, unconditional love. I was like this is it. I’m tired of doing all this other stuff, you know, the New Age, whatever, putting rocks on my belly and meditating a certain way and we don’t need this – all we need is Jesus. He is the answer. He is the Way. He’s the only way.
So, I hope you like this story. I’m not saying the battle is over in fact, it’s still just the beginning of me and the Lord, the relationship. I want to become sanctified. I’m still learning about him every day. I still know that he is the only way. So I hope that you liked this story.
Erik C Johnson