Feb 2013 11

Mark and Val

My name is Mark Duvick and I am currently serving as the Freshmen Ministry Associate for The Salt Company. My main responsibilities are overseeing and shepherding the music and arts team for Freshmen Group, raising up future musicians and music leaders, as well as occasionally preaching at Freshmen Group.

Before Christ saved me, my life was best described as selfish, lonely, and angry. Although I grew up with great believing parents in a good, Bible-teaching church, I didn’t understand the Gospel and I wanted to maintain my current status as “lord of my own life.”

I was selfish. As a young boy, I believed that the world did in fact revolve around me. I was only concerned with my desires, my needs, my plans and expected everyone else to accommodate me. I didn’t care about who I hurt as long I got my way. Naturally, I was not a very fun person to be around. I pushed away everyone with my self-focused life and was completely unaware of what I was doing. I began to notice my siblings and pseudo-friends did not want to be around me, they only tolerated my company.

I was lonely. I was sad. I was in deep pain as I perceived that the world and everyone in it had rejected me. I was in need of love, but found none that would satisfy. I continued down my selfish road, but now my selfishness was manifesting itself in self-pity. My loneliness lead to a depression and I began to believe the lie that world was not only against me, but that the world and everyone in it hated me. What do you do when it’s you against the world? I chose to respond with hate.

I was angry. I bought into a lie and as a result I hardened my heart by growing in anger, bitterness and hatred. I hated everyone. I was still lonely. I was still in deep, agonizing pain, but I would not repent. I was still selfish and still responding in sin. The pain was overwhelming and the hatred was taking over my heart. In a moment of darkness, I believed that the only way to end the pain was to end my life. I felt alone and unloved, but thought, “this will teach them. If I take my life, then they will miss me and finally love me.”

My mind was so clouded with lies; my heart darkened by hate. I went into the kitchen and took hold of the large chef’s knife and slowly put it up to my throat. I stopped short to think and all that could come to my mind was that I did not want to spend eternity apart from God. I didn’t even know God, but I believed that a life without Him was worse than what I was currently going through. I put the knife down and though I walked away physically alive, I was still dead inside.

This was all before middle school. I continued to wrestle with depression, hatred, and suicide until something finally changed. I don’t have a day or a moment that I can look back on and tell you precisely when Jesus saved my soul, but I do know that after 6th grade my life started to change. There was a host of godly men who pointed me toward Christ and helped me understand the Gospel. I started to notice that my anger was subsiding. Instead of selfishly trying to find love, I started to find those who didn’t have love and started to show it to them. I don’t know if I even realized it then, but now I know that I was able to start loving others because I had the everlasting love of Jesus Christ.

Christ is transforming my life. He was transforming me then, He is transforming me now, and He will continue to transform my heart, mind, and soul until I meet Him in Glory.

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