Rich Dixon continues his story:


Last time I said God sent people instead of lessons.

It’s the premise of Relentless Grace. Our best teachers are people who thought they were just being our friends.

After Leonard’s Hill, I’d like to report a radical shift in attitude and a commitment to rehab. Not what happened.

I stubbornly refused repeated suggestions to get some help with issues that clearly went far beyond my injury. I had a degree in counseling; I didn’t need anyone to help me pretend to make sense of a senseless situation. I was miserable. No counselor could alter the situation.

I wallowed in intense depression. As I continued to deny my obvious need, I was in an emotional free fall, mean and nasty to everyone around me, angrily rejecting efforts by others to help me adjust to the difficult life that confronted me. I spiraled deeper into a seemingly bottomless well of anger and isolation that grew exponentially as I made life miserable for family and friends who were trying so hard to help.

I was in survival mode at work, barely able to summon the energy and focus required to deal with 150 teenagers each day. I was drowning in despair, physical pain, and loneliness as I endured a wretched present and a future devoid of hope.

Still, I persisted – I didn’t need to talk to a counselor.

+ + +

As I reflect on those horrible years, an obvious question arises: Where was Jesus?

Why wasn’t I clinging tightly to the promises of this personal God in whom I claimed to believe? What happened to Jesus as I suffered in fear and depression? What good was this faith of mine if it failed to show up when I needed it most?

Where was hope?

Good questions. I didn’t explore the answers until I met Pete.

To be continued…

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