On a warm, summer day in the recent past, I experienced one of the most traumatic events in my life. The events of that day resulted in several subsequent occurrences that led to my eventual rock bottom. In a matter of a few months, I lost my professional license, lucrative business, marriage, daily duties as a father of a precious little girl, millions in potential career earnings, and reputation.

I often describe these incidents as my descent into Dante’s Inferno. Struggling with the thought of suicide and suffering in the agonizing realm of depression, I turned to my local pastor who referred me to the Stephen Ministry. Two weeks later, I had my first meeting with a man that I now consider my messenger from God. That day was the first day of my new life.

Sure, I had God and religion present throughout my life, but I chose to ignore him and worship materialism and status as the measure of my success. Through the caring and genuine interest in my story, my Stephen Minister was able to help me escape from the brink of insanity and possible death. He held my hand and was there for me as I grew as a person and a Christian.

I committed to a recovery program for my addictions, turned my focus to God, and trusted my Stephen Minister’s recurring message that God forgives us no matter the caliber of our sins. The ensuing year of reading God’s word revealed to me that by surrendering my own will over to the loving care of God, there was a plan for me, and I could be forgiven and redeemed.

Although life hasn’t always been easy since meeting my Stephen Minister, I now have the tools necessary to overcome any struggle I may be facing. My Stephen Minister has played a pivotal role in helping me become a trusting servant of God, and for that, I am truly grateful. God works in mysterious ways, and I believe in miracles. My Stephen Minister has truly been a blessing and miracle from God!

St. Luke’s equips and empowers lay caregivers—called Stephen Ministers—to provide high-quality, free, confidential, Christ-centered care to people who are hurting. If you would like to more about having or becoming a Stephen Minister, contact Reverend Bill Denham at 713-402-5156.