Rich's Story

Having hit rock bottom, Rich decided to explore faith with the help of a friend

Having hit rock bottom, Rich decided to explore faith with the help of a friend

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00:00
I was very insecure.
00:02
And alcohol just did such a superb job.
00:06
It made me feel confident.
00:09
My name's Rich. This is my story.
00:12
Did well at school.
00:13
I was quite hard-working.
00:15
Hit teenage years and the teenage syndrome came in
00:19
and it made me think that's when people like me.
00:21
They like me when I'm drunk.
00:23
I stopped going to church when I was
00:25
somewhere around 13, 14.
00:29
As a teenager, I did still ask those questions.
00:32
I did wonder why are we here, what's life all about.
00:36
But, the picture I had picked up
00:39
of any type of God figure,
00:42
was one who definitely disapproved of me,
00:45
and disapproved of my way of life.
00:48
So it all started to unravel when I woke up one morning,
00:51
I'd been on just a standard night the night before,
00:54
gone to the pub, couple of beers.
00:55
Woke up the next morning in agony.
00:57
Didn't know what was going on.
00:58
Ended up in hospital, put on a ward,
01:00
tubes all over the place, and I was very scared.
01:03
I was told I had this thing called
01:05
severe acute pancreatitis.
01:07
Which basically meant my body was eating itself,
01:10
and I had a 50-50 chance of survival.
01:13
And I really didn't know where I was gonna go if I did die.
01:16
And I really was questioning what sort of life have I led
01:19
and what legacy am I leaving.
01:23
I'm then in and out of hospital
01:25
quite a lot for the next three years.
01:28
Tragically, my eldest brother committed suicide
01:30
New Years Eve 2006.
01:32
There are not really adequate words to describe the feeling.
01:36
I gave up, really.
01:39
I was like, do you know what, this is too tough
01:43
and too painful.
01:44
There was one girl on my course, a girl called Carys.
01:48
She was a vicar's daughter, really.
01:50
But she was also like, she was normal.
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Something in me just said, you should go meet up with her.
01:56
So, I texted her and arranged a night out,
01:59
and I just blurted out my life story, really.
02:03
And Karis was just very patient and very kind,
02:07
but she shared her faith as well.
02:09
She talked about Jesus and she talked about him
02:13
in a way that it was clear to me, as I observed her life,
02:17
it was clear to me, this makes a difference.
02:21
I ended up going on holiday with another mate called Pete.
02:24
We were island hopping in Croatia
02:26
and I thought I'd try something out.
02:28
Every time as we came into the port, every island,
02:32
I was gonna pray, keep us safe.
02:34
So, that's what I did.
02:36
We got to about the third or fourth island
02:38
and I looked back and I was like, do you know what,
02:40
we've been kept safe.
02:42
That's interesting.
02:44
We ended up having this conversation, me and Pete.
02:46
In that conversation, I said,
02:49
"Do you know what mate, I'm a Christian."
02:53
And that's when I became one.
02:54
It's when I owned it.
02:57
And the thing was, Pete accepted me.
03:00
I'd always thought he'd reject me as a friend,
03:03
which was all my perception and not the reality at all.
03:06
If Jesus is real,
03:09
and if he actually reveals to us who God is,
03:12
because he is in himself fully God and fully man
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it changes everything.
03:20
He doesn't wait for me to be good and nice and kind.
03:25
He takes the moment that I'm most ashamed of
03:28
and at that moment he says, "There, you're worth dying for."