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Before I received the salvation of Jesus Christ, I was in a very dark place.
I remember back in 2008 or 2009 I was working as a Chief of Police for a small city. I had a lot of responsibility, and it was tough as I was a new chief. I had never had the experience of being in charge of a police department.
During the time I was trying to adjust to being the new chief, some things started to happen that would bring me to the end of my rope
The first thing that happened was I got my first suicide call. I arrived on the scene and was met by a woman in panic, screaming save my husband. I tried to save her husband, but it was already too late.
As a police officer, you get to see a lot of grief and pain. They teach you how to survive a gunfight, but they teach you nothing about how to deal with the pain and sorrow you witness.
So what do you do with that pain? You cant share it with your wife cause you don't want that image in her head. So you suck it up and store it inside.
The second thing that happened was the result of two fatality accidents I worked. The first accident was a female who fell asleep behind the wheel and went head-on with a big pickup truck carrying a trailer. She had her seat belt on, but she had a seat laid back so far as went she hit the vehicle she slid under the seat belt and died instantly.
I had to go notify her family and as you can imagine what you have seen on TV. Knock at the door at 3:30 am, and there is a police officer at your door. A scene nobody wants to see and everyone dreads.
I am sorry to tell you your family member has passed away in a car accident. To see their faces and watch them break up inside tears at your heart. I am human, and I have a heart too that empathizes with them.
What do you do with that pain? Suck it up and store it away. Out of sight, out of mind, right? "Wrong,"! The second fatality accident was worse than the first one I worked.
A Young lady was out for a ride on her motorcycle with her husband and a group of church friends. She rounds a curve but is going a little to fast to make the turn in her lane and crosses the center line and strikes a jeep head-on.
She was dead on impact. Husband and group turn around, and the lady in the jeep was a nurse but could do nothing for her. I arrive on the scene, and people are walking around crying, which is understandable.
I go to the location of the body and the one thing that sticks with me to this day is she was wearing pink toenail polish. She is messed up pretty bad, and we cover her up.
We are waiting for the Coroner to show up to retrieve the body. Suddenly the parents of the young lady show up, and the father is trying to reach the body. I do not want the father to see what I have seen and have that memory of his daughter for the rest of his life.
He starts to yell; he wants to see his daughter, and I try to explain to him that he doesn't need to see her that way. I finally talk him into not going to the body, and he stays with his wife.
We get the body loaded onto the transport van and the coroner talks with the family to make arrangements. I am standing were they just loaded the body looking at the blood pooling on the ground, and the father walks up.
He kneels to the ground and begins to cry, and he touches the blood of his daughter. He cries; my daughter was here. At this point, I am holding my hands in my pocket, jabbing my keys in my hand to create pain as to stop me from crying with the man.
I feel his pain, and my heart is breaking along with his. I cannot cry. I am the calm in the chaos. I am supposed to be like a rock and show no emotion. So again suck it up and store it away.
I am working day shift, and I decide to do some public relations at our local golf course. Its lunchtime so I order and look for a place to sit. An older man says, have a seat at my table, and I do. We have about an hour of conversation, and he tells me he is from Arizona.
He says he has been married three times and all of his wives have passed away with illness. He says he was working for a city in Arizona and they made him retire. We talk for a little while, and then I say, see you later, and I leave.
The next day I am working day shift, and get a call about a suicide that had occurred at the golf course. I respond and find this same gentleman that I had spoken to less than a day ago. I work the scene and get everything processed, and the day comes to an end. My head starts messing with me.
Why didn't I see that he was suicidal? I am a trained police officer. Why didn't I pick up on the small details he was relaying. Wife is dead, just got forcefully retired. Hint Hint Red Flag but I didn't see it.
This stuff goes over and over in my head. I wasted the time I was given to help this man for small chit chat. I felt guilty that I didn't see his desperation and help him.
So days go by, and I suck it all up and store it away, but it starts to get to me. I start to feel a dark empty void where my heart should be. I begin to have nightmares and to drink a lot. I start having panic attacks and start to get hives on a regular basis. I just start to feel dead inside.
It was all the pain and suffering I had tucked away that had eaten my soul away. I didn't know what to do, and I couldn't get past the idea that maybe I could have helped that man by talking about God or Jesus and maybe save his soul or at least his life.
Depression becomes my new friend, and I start to have bad thoughts. I get to the point where I think if I don't get some help, I am going to eat the barrel of my gun.
I decide to go to church the next Sunday, and the preacher hit me like a hammer on a nail. I now know that the Good Lord had something to do with this.
The pastor gives the altar call, and I am ashamed to admit I was embarrassed to go forward. I waited until everyone left, and I approached the pastor and told him I needed help. He sat and talked with me and lead me to the lord.
I got saved that Sunday, and it was like like someone removed all the darkness from my soul. I found true peace, and I was happy for a change.
I want to say I lived happily ever after, but that would be a lie. I still struggle with many things in my life, but I found someone who I can take all my burdens too. I still work in law enforcement, and I still see bad things.
The only difference is when I see the bad stuff I give it to Jesus, and he takes it away from me. Jesus says, Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
Sometimes I mess up and burn the food, but he still comes in anyway and is always ready to listen to me. I am truly blessed to have such a loving heavenly father.
Rick: United States