Testimony of Don Shearer
My parents divorced when I was eight and my stepdad moved in when I was nine, not knowing that when he moved in my life would set the course and my life would never be the same again. At age twelve the violence began. He was addicted to marijuana and when he was out he was completely another person. He started with the belt then as I got older belts weren’t enough so he began to use his fists. It would come from stupid reasons but never stopped until he saw blood from some part of my body. I remember one morning before school, I was beaten badly. I told my counselor at school and the police were called in. I told them what was happening and he gave me a ride home to get my stepdad’s side of the story. He denied the beatings and the cop left then my stepdad showed me what child abuse really was. Some beatings my mom didn’t see and some she watched. She never intervened or made any effort to stop them. This continued until I was fifteen years old. Therefore, I spent many nights outside finding a warm place. The next several years I barely talked to my mom. It has been 12 years to this day and I have had no communication with her. I have no idea why she has disowned me.
At the age of seventeen I found that getting drunk eased the pain and hurt. When sober, those feelings were still there but worse. My life consisted of three divorces, jail time, low self esteem, hurt, and anguish. I have 5 kids and 3 grand kids. Of the 5 kids, one is all that talks to me. I don’t blame the other kids, that is from being an awful dad. My experiences led me to numerous suicide attempts. It wasn’t luck that saw me through that, it was God’s hand saying he had more life planned for me. Many times in the past I had prayed to God for help and when they weren’t answered I gave up trying.
1 John 5:14-15 says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God; that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.”
On December 17, 2012, I surrendered to God and asked that he take over my life so that I may follow him. I was in jail for child support and desperately wanted to spend Christmas with my son. I went to court that day and my bond was denied. This is where I would have given up in the past, but this time I prayed. I continued to pray and on December 24th a friend bonded me out so that I could spend Christmas with my son. I was put up in a motel for two nights. As I left the motel I had absolutely no where to go. On my way to Seward, I stopped in the E-Free Church and the Pastor happened to be in and he led me to the Living Water Rescue Mission. I was still thirsty for knowledge about the Lord Jesus Christ. As an overnight guest I put in 4 job applications a day for a week. During that week I was intrigued by chapel services and devotions and had many conversations about that New Life Program. On January 10th on not only my biological birthday but my re-birthday as well, I entered the New Life Program.
Throughout my life people pushed me towards Jesus Christ but I pushed back harder in denial.
James 4:7-8 reads, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the Devil and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.”
So that’s what I did. I had attempted treatment centers and church before but always did it for someone else. My mind has opened now and I am doing this for myself. My son brought tears to my eyes when he told me that he was proud of me. Just him saying that gives me strength to be the man and father I want to be. Chaplain Dave, Chaplain Hawk, and Bill Richards have been tremendous mentors and inspiration for my walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. Another friend and child support officer, Michaela, has also been so encouraging and inspirational. They are all giving me the tools I need to help me move towards a better life, an eternal life. Every day I wake up I have new hope. Even someone like me can enjoy eternal life and walk with Jesus Christ. I look forward to the journey ahead of me letting God take me where he wants me to go.