The Boxer gave up
My dad died when I was 12 years old – and everything changed. The grief was deep but we continued our lives with my mom and my little sister. I felt like I was left alone with my grief. Alcohol became my comforter at an early age.
I found my way to a boxing gym and my coach became an important father figure to me. I was impressed by the atmosphere of the boxing gym and I trained hard. I found my way to extract the pain I felt. I got a good self-esteem back. I won men's Finnish championship twice but my career ended as early as 21 years of age.
Work, boxing and drinking made me exhausted. I lost my ability to control my drinking as early as 17 years old. The emptiness and restlessness made me seek happiness everywhere. Nothing was enough . The fear of losing made me to avoid all responsibilities. I was a coward even though I was a boxer. I was afraid of love because there was the risk of losing.
Finally I got married and became a father. I still couldn’t stop drinking alcohol. I left my loved ones many times. I started to hate myself more and more. My willpower was not strong enough. All my decisions to change were just empty talk.
However, the day came when I had to face the truth.
There was no longer retreat. Otherwise I would lose everything. Giving up was the worst thing I knew. At least I thought so.
I confessed powerlessness in relation to my life. God touched me and gave the desire to sobriety. That happened in August 2000.
Soon I noticed that sobriety wasn’t enough. I felt mentally dead and dirty. The deepest longing was to be forgiven. I thought it would be impossible. I thought that the kind of personality did not exist, who could love a person like me – if he could really see inside my mind.
I was wrong again. Jesus is exactly that kind of person. He came to seek sinners, of whom I was the greatest. He came to look for the one who was lost and He came to give us a bounteous life. I heard the gospel of our Saviour’s death, resurrection and I felt that He lives. I realized that I could not be saved even though I would never drink a drop. I would still be a sinner on my way to hell without Jesus. Merely a good life does not save me.
I gave my life to Jesus in February 2nd 2002. After the baptism I was filled with the Holy Spirit and I finally got a friend that I had longed for my whole life. I wasn’t alone anymore. It is amazing to experience the love of God. It felt so good to forgive everyone – and myself, which was the hardest part. This didn’t happen overnight.
With Jesus I survived over hard days. His power and grace has not run out. I know where I’m going.
Jesus fulfills the longing also today and will certainly take you to your destination. Eternal life has already begun.