My Reckoning

by Kevin Bridget
July 2009

I grew up in the ghettos of Cleveland, Ohio. Our family was like nomads; we lived all over Cleveland and I went to so many schools. Growing up poor, my mom and dad were never married, meaning, we grew up as bastard children.

I have suffered physical and sexual abuse which, of course, will mess up any child emotionally. My mom never got us help as far as counseling or seeing a psychiatrist. All we were told was to deal with it. That’s what I did for everything that happened to me. I dealt with it by suppressing it. As you know, what is not dealt with properly as a child will haunt one in adulthood.

My brothers, sisters, and I used to go to school just to eat and find friends to freeload for dinner. Our mom slept all day and was in the streets all night. It got so bad that we used to eat out of the garbage cans in our backyard. My father was in and out of prison. He was a pimp and murderer. He would come around here and there, and we thought that he was God, but he never stayed.

I was first introduced to masturbation at the age of 14-years old, which has been a 20-something year addiction. I had sex between the ages of 6 to 8-years old. We were never taught about keeping ourselves until marriage; we were never taught manners. Our father never took us to a ballgame, fishing, or nothing. As a teenager, my aunt used to take us to church; we only went to eat and play, but I knew I was different early on, and that I had a calling on my life.

I used to go to school, fight, and cut out sometimes with a girl and have sex. With all that said, I finished and graduated from high school, never failed a grade. I went to the military because I was tired of the streets. The military trains you to suppress your pain even more. I was very promiscuous while in the military. I got married at 19; we were too young and had too much of the streets in us. We had two children, we were both committing adultery, and that is how we divorced. As a matter of fact, my second wife helped pay for my divorce. We also had a child together. We did go to church, but that’s it; I just went and played church. We both were into adultery and we eventually got divorced.

I got saved in my aunt’s apartment over one question: “Where is your soul going to be when you die?” And I was filled with the Holy Spirit. I didn’t know anything about fasting, but I shut myself in and went on a three-day fast. On my second day, I turned my Bible to the gospel of Matthew, chapter 10, verse 7. My mistake was that I did not get under any teaching, any training, or any pastor’s knowledge. So, I went to the streets trying to witness and got sucked right in.

I got married a third time to a saved woman of God. I know now that getting saved and filled with the Holy Spirit without totally surrendering to the Lord does not stop the pain, addiction, or baggage; and you don’t forget your name. As a matter of fact, it was in prison that I fully knew about sexual addiction and mental illness. So, in my third marriage, I dogged and mistreated my wife. I verbally abused her. I know now that my wife is a woman of God as reflected in Psalm 105:15. I betrayed her and hurt her in the most terrible way.

My sin led me to prison. Even after trying to kill myself for the third time, to God be the glory – I didn’t die. The doctor said when he was processing me that he didn’t know how I had survived from drinking all that bleach and taking all those pills. In prison and in the county jail, I didn’t ask for any Bible. After much thought (because I felt worthless and unworthy) I opened it up to Psalm 51. Now, I had read Psalm 51 many, many times, but this day in November of 2003 it was so different. You see, I’d been a runner all my life, from pain problems, the truth, everything – but I couldn’t run that day.
So, upon reading Psalm 51, God took me on a journey of my whole life, of everything.

They say men don’t cry in prison. After God showed me – me – in my fullness of sick self, a complete mess, I cried like a baby and for the first time in my 33 years of living, I truly repented, as it says in the Bible book of Second Corinthians, 10:7. I called my pastor and my wife and I confessed everything, everything. I used to be an usher, Sunday School teacher, and in charge of the young men in church; you see, I had a lot of blood on my hands. I confessed and wrote my whole church.

I began to read the Word I had, and then God really began to teach me. I received total deliverance from sexual addiction and mental illness. God began to teach me about what a man of God truly is. He began to use me in prison, allowing me to be a vessel to lead others to the Lord. I met with my father and we talked about everything; we became close, my father accepted the Lord, and we have been very close ever since. My family is in the process of getting closer to each other and the Lord.

I’m still a work-in-progress and I still have a way to go. God is still keeping my wife and me together; we have a child together. God has given me a word, a ministry for men. I see now that, without a man in the house, that home is headed for destruction. I see now how the enemy is attacking the family unit, the home. There are so many men, especially African-American men, in prison. That means many single homes. The world has taken over the church. So many Christians are in bondage and are miserable. I used to be miserable, but now, I know Jesus is real and he’s raising up many of us soldiers who will not bow down to false gods. I give God all the glory.

I would be dead and in Hell without him. Because of his grace, mercy, and agape love, I’m alive.

My prayer is that this essay will encourage someone else.