A Divine Interruption

Danny was very much at the end of his rope.

He had grown up in a rough home in Chesapeake, Virginia. His dad passed away when he was five and shortly after his mom began a losing battle with alcohol addiction. A little later, Danny’s mom began dating a guy and things grew worse. While his mom struggled with alcohol, her boyfriend became physically abusive. Danny, understandably, became angry.

Angry at his mom. Angry at her boyfriend. But mostly, angry at God. Danny wasn’t sure God existed. But if God did exist, Danny was mad at Him.

Danny fought his way through middle school while battling depression. When he entered high school, he was prescribed anti-depressants and wrestled with the reality that his only source of hope came from medication.

A Change in Plans

One day while skateboarding, Danny met a guy named Chris. Chris was a college student who knew some of Danny’s friends. Danny assumed Chris just needed guys to skateboard with, but Chris was a Young Life leader, who hung out with Hickory High School students. Chris continued to run into Danny — at school, sports games and while skateboarding. Danny knew Chris cared about him despite the fact Danny had never been to a Young Life meeting.

Meanwhile, the violence in Danny’s home continued to escalate. One night following a fight with his mom’s boyfriend, Danny had finally had enough. He grabbed a knife and left his house — with every intention of walking to a field to end his life. While he was walking down the road he saw a familiar sight — a busted-up, purple, two-door Chevy Cavalier. It was Chris.

Chris had been trying to find Danny to invite him to the Young Life Fall Weekend. He pulled up to Danny, who unbeknownst to Chris, had both a knife and a plan. Chris asked him if he needed a ride. Danny climbed in and proceeded to break down. He told Chris everything. Chris proceeded to tell Danny about a God who loved him more than he could possibly imagine. Danny listened.

That night all of Danny’s plans changed. Danny realized there was more to his life that he was so close to ending. Instead of taking his own life, he surrendered it to Jesus in Chris’ car.

The next day, Danny got on a bus to go to Fall Weekend in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Danny heard more about this God who loved him and His son who died so Danny could live. Danny continued to fall in love with the One who has always loved him.

More to this Life

Since that weekend, Danny has continued to grow in his faith. He attended Young Life Leadership Training in the hopes of becoming a Young Life leader in Chesapeake. In the spring of 2016 Danny did in fact become a leader at Indian River High School.

Danny desperately wants to tell hurting kids in Chesapeake about a God who loves them. He wants to show them there is more to this life than they could possibly imagine.

As the area director in Chesapeake, I’m so thankful that Chris drove his busted-up, purple, two-door Chevy Cavalier down to Hickory that night. My friend Danny is alive because of it.

Life and death collided that fall night on the side of the road in Hickory. A Young Life leader simply showed up, changing the trajectory of a life forever.