Dropping Truth On a Life Defined by Lies

As a young boy, Dermon believed everything his stepfather said about him.  

“I was fat, I was dumb, that I wasn't wanted, that my life on earth was not wanted, that I wasn't a gift from God or that my family didn't want me.”  

His stepfather was an alcoholic and drug addict.  What made it worse was his mother, a regular church-goer, never took up for her son.

Dermon said, “I was very mad and very angry, and I was very alone. I even felt the connection with my mother. I felt that that was gone.  I felt like the only person I had was myself.”

Hoping for some word of encouragement or praise Dermon worked hard to earn good grades, but they never came.

“And at times I even felt like God wasn't there,” said Dermon.  So I was this young kid feeling alone and feeling like no one in the world loved me or wanted me or I was this mistake.”  

As Dermon got older he stood up for himself, which led to arguments fueled by hate and anger.  He was 16 when, after another fight, his step – father kicked him out of the house and he went to live with his older brother.  That same year he graduated from high school, and also started hanging out with a crowd who liked to drink.  It didn’t take long for him to discover that drinking helped ease the anger and pain.

“I'd literally drink anything that I could get my hands on.  I mixed clear liquors with dark liquors, I didn't care what it was as long as it got me out of a depressive state of mind or made me feel happy and cheery, it didn't matter to me what color the liquor was or what it was.  As long as it can help me get through this night or this day, I was drinking it.”  

Slowly, Dermon became just like his stepfather, an angry, bitter alcoholic who verbally abused and threatened those around him.  Dermon came to hate himself, at times cutting his arms or hitting his head against a wall.  

He said, “No matter where I went, the pain was following me.  The pain was with me.  So I felt that if I hurt myself in some kind of way that I’m in control of that pain that I caused that.”

Also that year, Dermon was in a minor car accident that left him with some bumps and bruises.  He was prescribed painkillers that he soon found did more than take the edge off his injuries.

“And once I realized that,” said Dermon. "Hey, these like little pills can give me a greater high than drinking alcohol or anything could, and it actually helps me cope.”

After two years of abusing alcohol and painkillers, Dermon, now 18, decided to down a handful of pills.

“And I remember as I laid down, I began to my heartbeat really loud and everything seemed like it was going on in slow motion.  So I felt that I was dying.  Inside I was trying to scream.”

“And I heard my heart beating really slow.  And I said, ‘Lord, please, if you save me tonight, I will never do this again.  I will never take another prescription medication that I don't need.  I will never do this again.  Lord, just please save me.’"

“And all I remember is I blacked out. And the next morning I woke up and I just said, ‘thank you God for saving me.  I will never do this again.’"

With a glimmer of hope, Dermon stopped using painkillers as promised, and even enrolled in college.  But he still needed alcohol to cope with the anger and bitterness that he desperately wanted to be free of.

“I wanted to change more than anything in the world,” said Dermon.
“I wanted to be someone else more than anything in the world.  I didn't want to carry all that with me.  I didn't want to have that hatred.”  

Having tried everything, Dermon accepted a friend’s invitation to church.

“I've used alcohol, I use prescription medications, I used hate, I used bitterness, I used everything and I thought to myself "why am I trying to fix it?  Why not use this Jesus that everyone is saying that can fix the problems, that can turn everything around, why not try him?”

“I was thinking, ‘Lord, you're going to have to take this from me.  You're going to have to help me.’"

At the end of the service, Dermon prayed with the pastor and asked Jesus Christ to come into his heart.

He said, “I felt relieved.  I felt new.  I felt the weights were gone.  I felt that I was a new person.  I felt that I can be happy.  I didn't feel that root of bitterness anymore.  I didn't feel that heavy burden of hatred anymore.  I didn't feel it. And I was amazed.”

“Well, I just praise God, I cried out to Jesus, I said, ‘thank you, Lord, you know, for my deliverance.  Thank you for my healing.’"  

As Dermon studied the Bible and prayed, he began to understand God’s love for him.  

“He made me feel that I was His child, that he was my Father.  He told me that I was the apple of His eye.  He validated me in ways that no one else could.”

Today, Dermon is married to Sabrina and they have a son. Together they have a life in Christ that looks nothing like Dermon’s past.

“Jesus set me free,” said Dermon. “He took all of my brokenness and He made it into something.  I was shattered and He put me together, He molded me, He shaped me and He made me into, I feel, a new creation.”

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