Jeremiah & Holly - Two soldiers find meaning together
Jeremiah was raised in a typical poor neighbourhood in the US, in circumstances often referred to negatively as “Trailer Trash.”
He describes his “Dark world”, growing up and says “I never knew what being a child was like.”
Because of the negative effect of his drunken father and his surroundings he recalls - “I was afraid of who I would grow up to be.”
From a very young age Jeremiah became involved in drugs. He also smoked and drank heavily. “These things helped to numb the feelings I had, a way to escape them.” He was regularly in trouble with the law and he felt like his life was out of control, with no purpose or direction.
While he was still young, he joined the Military. He thought this would bring some stability and authority into his life, and even perhaps some self-respect.
Holly recalls her teenage years being “A difficult life.” She turned to drugs and alcohol and other destructive ways to cope with life. Yet, she realised after some time that “None of these things were making me happy.”
Holly was a very lonely young person. She felt that no-one knew her and no-one cared to know her. She remembers feeling “So lost. I was trying to fill this big hole in my heart, with so many things.” But the drugs, drinking and casual sexual relations failed to fill that hole - “None of it worked” she recalls.
Finally, after being jailed for one of many drug and drink-driving accidents, Holly was forced to take a look at herself. At one of the lowest points in her life, she says “I felt like a hopeless mess!”
In an act of desperation, she joined the Military. “I thought it was going to be the positive, great change that I needed.” But, after some time serving, she came to the realisation that “It was not what I had hoped for.”
Meanwhile, serving at the same time, Jeremiah again began to “Spiral into my anger, alcohol and drugs.” Eventually, the Military had to release him from duty. But before he was discharged, he met Holly. The two of them moved in together. Yet, even though they now had each other, they were “Still searching together for something to fill the emptiness we both felt in our lives.”
While working as an engineer, Holly made friends with a lady who was training her. Because they had a lot of down time between operating the machinery, the lady offered to let Holly read the various books she kept in her toolbox. One of the books was the Bible, and another was a free publication called “What Does The Bible Really Teach?” What Holly read touched her heart immediately. She says “Here were the answers to all the questions I had been searching for all my life.”
With her new friend's help, Holly began to read and study the Bible. She describes what she learned as “Something very different.”
Jeremiah was apprehensive about Holly's new interest. “I stayed and watched to make sure nothing got weird” he says.
Holly learned so many things, that the Bible urged people to “Let anger alone” and that God wanted people to “Beat their weapons into ploughshares.” The Bible promises that those who love God and their neighbour “Will learn war no more.”
Holly joined a congregation that live by the Bible's noble principles. Her first experience among them was “Warm and inviting.” As she got to know them better, she says she knew that “These were the people I had been searching for my entire life.”
In time, Jeremiah decided to find out for himself about the Bible's teachings. He had always been a stranger to love and compassion. He felt that he would always be the same kind of person that he was, the product of his environment and those influences around him, even if he wished to change. But what he read in the Bible completely changed his mind. He was particularly affected by the words of the 145th Psalm which says “He satisfies the desires of those fearing him. He hears their cry for help, and rescues them.”
“All of a sudden” says Jeremiah, “Change was possible. God was able to see through all of the “trash” that was there in our life, was able to find something.”
The Bible's teachings transformed Jeremiah and Holly's lives.
Holly says “Now I have a true, inner sense of joy and happiness.” And Jeremiah adds “Jehovah (God's name in the Bible) did that for us.”
You can watch Jeremiah and Holly's experience at the following link -