From Despair to Hope, Part 2
For the first time in my life I felt peace.
One day I tried to commit suicide again. In the hospital emergency room I met Dr. Nozaki. The nurses told the doctor that I was suicidal. “There is no hope for this guy,” they said. “One of these days he will succeed in killing himself.”
“Don’t say that,” I heard Dr. Nozaki say. “We are going to save his life.”
Dr. Nozaki operated on my wounds, and I awoke in a hospital room. I looked around and saw a Bible lying on the stand. I put it out of sight and tried to go back to sleep. When I awoke again, I saw another Bible on the stand. I put that one away too. By the time I left the hospital a week later, I had stashed away six Bibles in the bedside stand. As I was leaving, Dr. Nozaki urged me to read them, but I told him I wasn’t interested.
“Just read the book of John,” he said. Finally, I agreed to read just John, I don’t know why, but I took all six Bibles home. And I read John. I had to admit it was interesting.
Care and Trust
Dr. Nozaki did not forget me when I left the hospital. He called me every day, visited me, and made sure I had food and clothes. I wondered why someone would take so much interest in me when even my own family did not care about me.
I realized that Dr. Nozaki really cared,and in time I learned to trust him too. I started attending Bible studies with him, and my life started to turn around. He invited me to his church, and I learned that Jesus really does love me. It took awhile, but I surrendered my life to Him. One day I went back to the rock where I had tried to kill myself and thanked God for saving my life. I continued to study, was baptized, and became a Seventh-day Adventist.
I still felt lonely, but now I knew that I was not truly alone—God was with me. For the first time in my life I felt peace.
I started spending more time with my daughters, and when Dr. Nozaki urged me to reconcile with their mother, I agreed to give it a try. When she saw the changes in my life, she said she would give it another chance, and we remarried in Dr. Nozaki’s home. I was so happy that I had been given another chance with my family.
But things were not always perfect, and my walk with God was far from smooth. I needed work, and I struggled with temptation to play softball on Sabbath. In fact, for a while I stopped attending church to play. Then I realized that God was more important to me than softball. God worked it all out for me, though, and I was asked to coach the new softball team of the Adventist clinic.
My life was coming together. But one piece was still missing. I had never reconciled with my father. Dr. Nozaki urged me to speak to him before it was too late. It was tough, but I made peace with him before he died. At his funeral I was able to share how my faith in God had saved my relationship with my earthly father. I know that if God can save me, He can save anyone.
Jesse Laguña teaches middle school and high school physical education at Guam Adventist Academy.