Tearing The Veil

It’s still hard to believe that five years ago this very day something happened that changed everything, that changed my life forever, it was the difference between death and life itself, without that moment in time this could all be so different and I really do not believe I would be writing this, I am convinced my life would have ended soon after.

The 19th March 2012 was the turning point of life, where what had gone before was ending and something new sprang forth. The day before I was on the edge of myself, staring into a mirror questioning my own life’s validity, I was convinced it had none,not until a voice silenced the screams and told me my children needed me, now I had resolved to make a change.

I now had the number for Gareth, the Pastor at Victoria’s church, I had met him a number of times, I had just a year before spent the afternoon in my own living room watching football with him and other people from his church, now I knew I had to speak with someone and I knew it had to be him.

Victoria had taken the kids to school and I was alone in the house. I remember sitting there that morning on the top step of my stairs with my phone in my hand, Gareth’s number at the ready, but in a state of turmoil, part of me knew I had to make that call, I needed to start living, but the other part of me, the addicted part, just couldn’t let go of it’s hold and sought to keep hiding.

I sat there for over 20 minutes, I had set a time in my head of 9.10am to call, just enough time to get into the office and at his desk, but not quite enough time to be busy with anything.
It took all I had to press the call button, I had to force myself, I was still in turmoil. I had created this veil for myself, one which I could hide behind, hiding my true self from the world and a veil which stopped me from seeing God, part of me desperately wanted to stay hidden.

Thankfully Gareth answered and I tried to explain who I was, he knew me as Victoria’s partner, I tried to tell him that, but then I realised I didn’t know who I was anymore, I wasn’t her partner anymore, that was over, so who was I? At that point I just broke down into tears, I could say no more than it’s Wayne, Vict…. Thankfully he realised who it was, Victoria had warned him I may call, so he asked how I was and managed to say something like not very good before breaking down once again. Every time he spoke to me I managed a few words before crying once again. But the long and short of it was, he realised I needed help and agreed to come to see me that evening, he said he would confirm it with me later, but we were set for that evening at 7.30pm.

That night Gareth came over with Alex, I had known Alex and his family for some time, so I was okay with that. When he came in he made it clear he wasn’t there to preach to me or to try to convert me there and then, but to speak with me and find out what help it was I needed and how it could be found. He asked questions about my drinking and the situation at home, I tried my best to answer them all honestly, between outbreaks of tears, I cried so much that night. But when they had left I felt so much better, much more at peace. I didn’t drink that night, for the first time in so long I got by without alcohol and I can’t actually remember wanting or needing a drink either.

Although that meeting is a major moment in my life, a real big part of what was a big turning point in my life, but now when I look back at it five years later, I realised the most important moment happened that morning.

Things could have been so different had Gareth had been like me. When my phone rings, if I don’t recognise the number, I do not answer it, I guess you get so many cold calls, you tend to vet them, so my attitude is leave a message and when I get time I will respond to it then. I know many people who do the same thing, I think many of us, unless we use our phones for business, probably do the same thing. But thankfully Gareth didn’t, he sacrificed his time to take the call.

In truth things began to change as soon as I ended that call. I hadn’t really been looking after myself, I was a mess, I hadn’t shaved for weeks, I didn’t really do anything with my hair, I was wearing worn clothes, socks full of holes and torn underwear. So when I put that phone down, I cleaned myself up and headed off into town to replace my worn attire, I began the process of looking after myself.

After all, you can’t be anything to anyone, if you’re not something to yourself.

But from that moment also, the fight against the grip of my alcohol addiction began, from that day onwards I never brought anymore alcohol into the house or consumed any within these walls, note I was still drinking at the pub, but far less and I had an element of control and was even losing the taste for it, until ten days later when I took that last drink.

We know that the ultimate sacrifice was Christ giving His life for us upon the cross,
at that moment the veil was torn so we could all see God.

When Gareth made that small sacrifice by giving up his time to answer my call, my veil was torn too, I let the world in and from that moment I began to see God, only two days later I would Β pray for the first time and experience a peace I had never felt before.

Everything changed because of that phone call, had it not been answered, would I have had the courage to leave a message? I don’t think I would have, I think I would have bottled it that day, would Gareth have called back anyway? To be fair he probably would, but the impact and the moment may have been lost and the effect not as great as it was.

I truly believe that I was on a spiral to my own death, maybe the day before I wasn’t able to take my own life, but my health was a mess, my blood pressure was sky high, I have chronic high blood pressure anyway and without medication it rises to dangerous levels, but at that point I was on medication and it was still through the roof, almost as high as when I first went on the tablets, so I’m convinced I would probably have suffered a heart attack by the end of the year, had things not changed. Not only that, but I believe the episode of the day before would have repeated itself until the screams in my head had their way, that day wasn’t the first time I had considered taking my own life, but it was the last. So had I not made that call and had Gareth not answered, the consequences would be so different.

I got to share this in Church this morning, almost precisely five years to the moment that I made the call, I’m so grateful for getting that chance. My point was that so many people have their own personal veils, which stop them from seeing God and getting help, so what small sacrifices can we make that will tear the veil for someone?

BETTER LOVE by GREEN RIVER ORDINANCE
Faith is not an idle grace
Guide my fears and lead my way
Darkest heart that You have saved
I can’t find a better love

When I set out for ruined lands
Shadows heavy where I stand
You took death and called me friend
I can’t find a better love

You take me as I am
Now I understand

The greatest gift to give a man
Is to give him grace to live again

Faith is not an idle grace
Guide my fears and lead my way
The darkest heart that You have saved
I can’t find a better love

You take me as I am
Now I understand

The greatest gift to give a man
Is to give him grace to live…

My wages of captivity and death,
it waited there for me
You took me in and washed me clean
And gave me words and songs to sing

You take me as I am
Now I understand

You take me as I am
Now I understand

The greatest gift to give a man
Is to give him grace to live again

The greatest gift to give a man
Is to give him grace to live again

5 thoughts on “Tearing The Veil

  1. Pingback: Leaving The Past Behind | The Bottom of a Bottle

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