Resurrection Matters: How One Desperate Moment Carved a New Life
Resurrection Matters: How One Desperate Moment Carved a New Life

By Rick Chromey

Sometimes an entire life boils down to a single moment.

For me it was a solitary night of divine deliverance and holy intervention that changed everything.

It happened in the spring of 1982, about the time of Resurrection Sunday.

I was a freshman in Bible college.

I was also clinically depressed, struggling with sin, school, finances, family, and friends. I wallowed in selfishness, loneliness, pity, and apathy. I was a thousand miles from home, living alone in a dorm room that increasingly felt like a prison cell.

For weeks I contemplated my life. Who am I? Why am I such a mess? Why am I failing? Where am I going?

The more I descended into “stinkin’ thinkin’,” the more I questioned my entire existence. Why am I here? What?s my purpose? Where is God? My life had never been easy. I grew up modestly poor with few breaks and little opportunity in a small Montana town. My dad was abusive. My mom an alcoholic. By age 12, I’d essentially been abandoned by both.

I masked my adolescent angst by ignoring it. Or I channeled my pain through perfectionism and busyness, as I felt my religion demanded. But in my darker moments, and there were many, I wondered if anyone truly cared. Would it matter if I lived or died? I often felt orphaned by life and love. Alone. Empty. Desperate.

Consequently, that spring, as I licked my wounds and pondered my pain, the night began to devour me. I was sad, lonely, and felt hopeless. My darkness was the proverbial “hound from hell,” a thorn in my flesh. I isolated myself. I sat and ate alone. In my darkened dorm room, I put on headphones and ignored knocks at the door.

One particularly dark, desperate day I finally reached my end.

I put in motion a terrible plan to end my life. I had the means (a hunting knife) and (I felt) the reasons.

It’s difficult to describe what happened next.

I started by putting God to the test. I arrived first in the cafeteria for the evening meal. The test was simple: If someone—anyone—joined me to eat, I wouldn’t commit suicide, but if not, this would be my last meal.

I went through the chow line, sat down, and began to eat.

I watched as peers, including many friends, dined at various nearby tables. I listened to their stories, jokes, theological discussions, and other light conversations, but for whatever reason, no one chose to eat with me.

No one noticed me.

Looking back, I suspect my friends had good reason. It wasn’t personal, only coincidental. But their inattention pushed me forward in the plan.

I slogged back to my dorm room, locked the door, closed the curtains, and turned on some music. I took my large hunting knife from its holster, drew red crosses on my wrists and, for the next several hours, once again, I contemplated my life. It was all coming down to this one moment.

My heart grew darker with the night’s weight.

It was time.

I said a prayer and lowered the blade to my wrist . . . and then it happened.

I woke up.

The bright morning sun pushed through the drawn drapes, directly into my eyes. The hunting knife lay on the floor. My wrists were still sketched in red ink. I was fully dressed. The only difference: I no longer desired to die.

Rather, I hungered to live.

God promised to carry my pain, loneliness, and sadness. He was resurrecting my life for his purposes and plan. I was valuable, chosen, desired . . . and loved. I felt like George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life.

It’s a story I’ve judiciously told few people . . . until now.

Yet, I think it’s a necessary, relevant tale that might help someone else in similar circumstances. A life in ministry has its moments. It has disappointments and desperation, troubles and tragedies, choices and consequences.

This particular night was mine.

And I thank God every day he resurrected me from that moment.

I’m fully alive. I have purpose, joy, peace, and hope.

And so do you, my friend, so do you.

Dr. Rick Chromey is the founder and president of MANNA! Educational Services International ( He has empowered leaders to lead, teachers to teach, and parents to parent for more than three decades. He lives in Star, Idaho, with his wife, Linda.

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