During the time of B’s early adulthood, he spent some time in a city that never sleeps. B had been raised partly in a large city, and partly in a small town. To leave home to go to a city that virtually anything goes was a major culture shock. B went from practically knowing everyone where he lived to a place where knowing everyone would have never happened, even if he wanted it too.
While B lived in this city, he found himself encountering much of what he did back home as in the form of the crowd that he hung with. What did make the difference is that he was in the military. The military toned the young men down and turned them into young men that took life much more seriously. While an adolescent, B had gotten involved in alcohol and drugs very early. He experienced lots of alcohol in this city. There was a night life that B had never experienced. Where he grew up, most people would be in the bed by 2:00 am. In the city that never sleeps, B and his friends would find themselves still up and heading home by 7:00 am. They would ride through the city, go to clubs, go out to eat, go to movies, hang at pool halls, etc. B wasn’t even legal yet at the time. He was the youngest among his peers but was no stranger to doing adult things. He would even experience women much more frequently while in this city.
After a while of living this life, it had gotten old. B became reminded of a promise that he had made when he was 9 years old. When B was 9 years old, he got on his knees and prayed to God that if he would allow B to see the age of 20, that he would give his life to him. Well, the age of 20 had come around. During much of the year that B was 20 years of age, he danced around it and pushed it off and kept doing what he was doing. But the age of 21 was nearing. B had begun around the age of 19 to have sleepless nights where he would go through extreme levels of depression. He would cry like a baby before he would fall asleep. As the age of 21 neared, the tears began to flow even more. B would find himself wanting to be alone more. Not only was B crying myself to sleep, but he would beg God to take his life. B no longer had any desire to live. He cannot remember what triggered this feeling and expression. He did remember that earlier in his life he did go through something similar. But now it was paramount.
Sometime later, while at work, a young man who delivered the mail had come in and began to as they say it in the Christian community, witness to me concerning Jesus Christ. About a week or so into it, B was convinced that this was God using him to talk to me, to let him know that he had danced around it enough. It was time to get saved, as they say in the Christian community. Getting saved is a concept where you have a real-life experience with God where you decide to commit your life to God and live for him as a Christian. Some people experience feelings, some don’t. Some people go through real-life, as it would appear, religious experiences where they can enter a feeling of peace like they never had. Others go through something that causes them to walk away from habits, addictions, etc. This would come known to B as deliverance, which is the Christian concept of one being freed from sin and addiction. He had tried to have this experience alone one night after work. Nothing happened and B didn’t feel anything. Since he had often heard that when you get saved, you are supposed to have this experience, he was convince that nothing happened. The next evening, the young man agreed to come to B’s dorm room with him and assist me him in praying to God for life and salvation. Salvation is another Christian term for giving your life to God through Jesus Christ. This evening something did happen. This evening B would go to the toilet after prayer to spit up or out something or somethings. Nothing physical came out. What did happen after about seven times of dry heaving, is that he walked over to his pack of cigarettes and balled them up. He never smoked again from that time and never desired them again. B felt a peace like he never felt. He even began to think different. B no longer hung around his friends like he did before and he had no desire for alcohol and took a different look at women.
But what came next would be the greatest struggle and most bizarre time of his life. It took place within a matter of days. Literally days. Still before he reached the legally responsible age to drink of 21. He would be introduced to someone that he would spend the next 16 years of his life with. They would be introduced to each other through an institution that they would later find out that was in no way suited for their best interests. This would make everything that happened, the experience with God and the deliverance, seem as though it was for nothing. The depression that B went through, especially leading up to his salvific experience, would fail in comparison to the depression that he was yet to experience. This would be the storm of his life. B’s greatest challenge yet.