Urban Report

Divine Intervention

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript



Series Code: UBR

Program Code: UBR000271A

00:01 Stay tuned to meet a man who dealt with PTSD
00:03 and tried to end his life.
00:05 My name is Jason Bradley,
00:06 and you are watching Urban Report.
00:34 Hello and welcome to Urban Report.
00:36 My guest today is Tom Mann,
00:38 and he is a man with a powerful testimony.
00:41 Welcome to Urban Report, Tom.
00:43 Thank you, Jason. Glad to be here.
00:44 Good to have you here.
00:45 I mean, we've worked together for years.
00:47 Yeah. Yeah.
00:48 You used to work here,
00:50 and a lot of people at home have heard your voice,
00:51 but now they're getting to see your face too.
00:53 Well, that may be a good or bad thing.
00:55 I don't know.
00:56 Now you worked here before I even got here,
00:59 and this set...
01:00 This set.
01:02 Let me just,
01:03 we were just talking about this a moment ago,
01:05 and that is, I remember
01:06 when there was no dare to dream.
01:08 And I remember when it was a dream.
01:10 And I remember sitting here with your mom
01:13 and interviewing her probably for the first time
01:16 and coming up with a video
01:19 talking about a network that didn't exist.
01:21 Wow.
01:22 And I think this set had just been finished,
01:24 it was around that time.
01:25 So it's kind of like a unique thing
01:28 for me to sit here
01:29 because I remember the beginnings of it
01:30 and how it all started.
01:32 It was an exciting time.
01:34 Praise the Lord, and to see where God has lead it,
01:37 you know, this far.
01:38 Oh, yeah. It's amazing.
01:39 You know, when I worked with you,
01:42 I had no idea about your journey.
01:45 And I remember going
01:46 to the Marion Seventh-day Adventist Church in Illinois,
01:49 Marion, Illinois,
01:51 and you were preaching
01:52 and you shared a little bit of your testimony,
01:53 and I was blown away.
01:56 And I was like, "You know,
01:57 I have to have Tom here for an Urban Report."
02:01 Why don't you share with our viewers
02:03 just a little bit about your upbringing?
02:06 I had a great upbringing, and it's probably...
02:10 I think, for me, the thing is that it was such a blessing.
02:13 I grew up in a Christian home,
02:14 had a mom and dad that loved me, encouraged me.
02:18 I was a quite...
02:19 kind of a creative child.
02:21 Okay.
02:22 And they encouraged both my brother and I.
02:23 I had a brother, I still have a brother.
02:26 And we grew up in a wonderful environment,
02:29 went to a private Christian school
02:30 for 12 years,
02:32 steeped in Bible.
02:35 Everything you could think of that was positive,
02:39 I mean, I had, it was just, the word maybe charmed.
02:43 I mean didn't grow up in a very affluent home
02:46 but I grew up in a typical home.
02:47 My mom and dad both worked.
02:49 My mom worked,
02:50 helped put me through private Christian school.
02:51 It was that kind of thing.
02:53 Okay. Okay.
02:54 And I really had just a great life growing up.
02:59 I knew I was a little bit different
03:00 and I say that because I wanted to go in radio and TV
03:06 even when I was young.
03:07 I don't know why but I did.
03:09 I had a creative mind, I mentioned that.
03:11 And I found I had problems in school.
03:14 I understood everything
03:15 but I just couldn't read that well,
03:17 and I would kind of fake my way through all of that.
03:20 I got through school.
03:21 I spent a lot of time in summer school,
03:23 and my grades were great because of that.
03:25 And I got into college
03:27 because I was the student government president
03:29 of my high school,
03:30 they called it the student...
03:32 the student commission affairs or something,
03:33 commission of student affairs, one of those things.
03:35 And I was that.
03:37 I got into college because of that.
03:39 Okay.
03:40 My ACT scores, those things were pretty low.
03:43 And what I found out as I went along
03:45 is I had a little bit of what's called visual dyslexia.
03:49 And which I found out to be a blessing
03:51 because that's what kind of pushes me
03:53 in the creative side of things.
03:55 Okay.
03:56 You don't have to have all the facts
03:57 but you're able to kind of put things together
03:59 without the facts.
04:00 So what is the visual dyslexia? What is that?
04:03 It's a little bit different.
04:05 It's not when you're reading, turning things around...
04:06 And I had a gentleman
04:09 who was, I think, doing his doctorate,
04:12 his dissertation or something for psychology,
04:16 and he happened to be my principal at my high school.
04:19 And I was working on a radio show for him
04:23 and it was a...
04:25 I had to do this big creative process
04:27 and one day, he said, "Can I study you?"
04:29 And I said, "Sure."
04:30 And he said, "I think I know what's going on with you."
04:32 And he said, "Because you could do these things
04:33 but you have these."
04:35 He said," You weren't that great of a student."
04:37 I'm like, "Yeah, I know that."
04:38 And I avoided it with a passion, you know?
04:41 And I was in college till the time but he did that.
04:43 And the visual dyslexia
04:45 is where it's basically you could read things,
04:50 but I have to read them many times over.
04:53 Now I you could look like...
04:54 Here, you could look at a teleprompter
04:55 and I could read that for some reason on camera,
04:58 but if you give me a big book,
05:00 somebody says, "This is a great book.
05:01 Read this."
05:03 I could spend six months on the first chapter
05:05 just reading over and over and over again.
05:07 I found out I have to read out loud
05:09 and it's just something
05:10 where I'm not able to process going in.
05:14 And you just learn a little bit.
05:15 Some people call it, you know, auditory visual learning.
05:18 And really, that bent,
05:19 but it's a little bit more than that.
05:21 That's what I was diagnosed with.
05:22 So basically, is it like you're trying to read something
05:25 and in order to internalize it,
05:26 you have to read it aloud
05:29 and multiple times to get it to stay?
05:31 I say it's kind of like,
05:33 if somebody wears glasses like I do,
05:35 older I get, the more thicker they get...
05:38 If you take your glasses off, everything's not as clear.
05:40 It's kind of the same thing with me where I can read,
05:43 I could read out loud to you with no problem.
05:46 And those kids' books are great,
05:48 the little bitty ones,
05:49 the Dr. Seuss and all those things,
05:51 I'm great at those.
05:52 I never had a problem with that,
05:53 but anything deeper than that.
05:55 But other than that,
05:56 I really didn't have any problems
05:57 and that was really I felt and I said something,
06:00 "You learn differently, you process differently,"
06:02 and it's kind of a thing.
06:05 God made me that way.
06:07 Now it's okay, and I was fine, so.
06:08 Yes.
06:09 Now so okay,
06:11 and you were coming up,
06:12 you went to college, did you finish college?
06:14 No.
06:16 And the reason was,
06:18 part of it was, I just didn't like school.
06:20 I went to two colleges one time.
06:23 I was going to Bible College
06:24 because I kind of felt called to be in the ministry
06:26 or be a pastor.
06:27 And then I was going to a secular college
06:31 for broadcast communications.
06:33 Well, I begged the professors and everyone,
06:36 I wanted internship,
06:37 and I just started taking advanced classes,
06:40 I don't know how I got away with that.
06:42 And I got into the broadcast classes
06:44 at the same time.
06:46 Two weeks after I got out of high school,
06:48 I went around all the radio stations
06:49 saying I want to work on the air,
06:51 and they were like, "Yeah, kid, you can work on the air."
06:53 But this one lady said, "Listen. Go to the college,"
06:56 which I was going to at the time,
06:58 University of Memphis,
06:59 "They have a campus radio station.
07:00 Nobody's there."
07:02 And so I went there and volunteered my time,
07:03 five to six hours a day,
07:04 and learned how to work on the air,
07:07 two weeks out of high school.
07:09 And then I wound up working in radio,
07:11 I worked at multiple radio stations.
07:14 And by the time I was 21,
07:15 I was working at one of the top radio stations in town,
07:18 and it just kept growing from there.
07:19 So I was already in the business.
07:20 I was doing some TV,
07:23 all kinds of things at that time.
07:24 And I just...
07:26 I was doing what I was going to school for.
07:29 And I remember, I had a manager one day,
07:32 program director
07:33 at a radio station I was working at,
07:35 and I said, "Hey, can I get a raise
07:37 when I get my graduation degree?"
07:40 That was about a year from there.
07:42 And he looked at me and said, "No."
07:44 And I said, "Why?"
07:45 He said, "Why don't you change your manger
07:46 and go into business or something else?"
07:48 He said, "I didn't hire you because you have your degree.
07:50 I hired you because you're good at what you do."
07:52 And for some reason, I just took that as this thing,
07:55 "Well, maybe I should just not go to school,"
07:57 and I did that.
07:58 But it's interesting.
08:01 I had almost four years of college,
08:03 and then the high school I went to
08:05 was very academic and academically inclined.
08:07 Okay.
08:09 So it wasn't that, you know, I didn't have any of that,
08:11 it was just I guess me being me.
08:14 I'm like, "Oh, if I can do this,
08:15 and I don't have to do that, that's great."
08:17 If I can stay away from the books,
08:19 I'm happy if I can just go on the air.
08:21 You know, again, that was my thinking.
08:24 And it worked out really well.
08:27 Well, yes, and you have that voice.
08:30 Like sometimes, I'll turn on channel three, WSIL,
08:34 and then I hear you
08:36 and I'm like, "Oh, that's Tom Mann."
08:38 Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
08:40 You have the voice for it.
08:43 And the face, they sometimes say.
08:45 Oh, that's...
08:49 Okay.
08:51 So you went through a couple of situations,
08:54 three major, you had three major events.
08:57 But before we get to those three major events,
09:00 how long were you in radio?
09:01 How long were you in TV?
09:04 For about a decade,
09:05 I was on the air about six days a week,
09:08 which was normal in radio back at that time.
09:11 And I worked almost every kind of format every...
09:16 And I learned so much
09:17 and it was an amazing experience.
09:19 I could remember working at these secular radio stations
09:22 and I remember there was always one individual there
09:26 who was some kind of a believer
09:29 and that was the person that taught me how to do things
09:31 and everywhere I went.
09:34 And I learned, that's how I learned.
09:35 You learn, you know, from working in it.
09:37 And I went to working in television.
09:40 I went to working, you know, throughout,
09:42 so I had a really broad background,
09:44 and somewhere around, I got married.
09:48 And about the time I got married,
09:49 I started a production company.
09:51 I thought I'll do some commercials on the side,
09:53 and I started doing that, and that kept growing.
09:56 And then one of the things I was excited about
09:58 is a lot of ministries would hire me to do their work,
10:02 for everything from their cassette,
10:04 back in the day, cassette tape duplication,
10:07 their editing,
10:08 and putting their radio programs
10:10 or those things,
10:11 I did a lot of that, then I moved into TV later.
10:13 And my companies just started growing.
10:16 I started with one, then I had another.
10:19 So that went really well,
10:21 that was just, as I said,
10:24 it was more like charmed, it was just every...
10:26 it just kept growing, it just got bigger and bigger.
10:30 And I kind of got used to that
10:34 where it seemed very easy where you just did things
10:36 and you were able to make money at it.
10:38 And at the same time, I was excited
10:40 because I got to work with ministries
10:42 and other things like that.
10:43 And then during that time, I got an interest,
10:49 I had a fascination as a kid
10:51 about what firefighters and paramedics did,
10:55 and I always wanted to be one I think,
10:58 and that's really what it was.
10:59 Okay.
11:01 So I remember some of the television series
11:03 that were on networks
11:04 were showing up with police offices,
11:07 and what have you.
11:08 And I wanted to find out how they were taping that.
11:10 So I got involved
11:11 and I wound up riding with firefighters,
11:14 and paramedics, EMTs,
11:16 and the like for almost 10 years
11:18 and capturing them,
11:19 trying to develop first a documentary,
11:21 then working on a television series.
11:22 Okay.
11:24 And that went on for almost 10 years.
11:25 Wow.
11:27 And I had to go through training,
11:28 and so I could go inside a burning buildings
11:30 and tape them doing what they're doing.
11:31 Wow.
11:33 So you went inside burning buildings
11:34 and taped them in that?
11:36 Yeah. Yeah. It was a blast.
11:37 I mean, when I was in my 20s and my 30s,
11:38 that was like, it was just awesome.
11:40 It was an adrenaline rush.
11:42 I can't explain to you what that's like.
11:45 And at the same time,
11:46 I was just, I was fascinated with these individuals
11:49 that were willing to lay down their lives
11:51 and I started experiencing that.
11:54 I had friends that actually died.
11:56 I remember being on the scenes of incidences
11:58 where guys who you were working with,
12:00 they didn't come back.
12:02 And that was very hard. That was the reality of it.
12:05 Rode in New York City, this is before 9/11,
12:08 and that was an amazing experience.
12:11 Standing in front of the World Trade Center
12:13 back in the 90s,
12:15 and I was standing next to a guy
12:17 who was a battalion chief
12:18 that had been at the first bombing
12:20 of the World Trade Center.
12:21 And he was standing there looking at me one day
12:23 and he said, "You know, these buildings,
12:25 if you want to bring these down,
12:27 you can't do what they did back in the early 90s."
12:29 He said, "I was there."
12:31 He was one of the commanders or something.
12:33 And he said,
12:34 "You got to blow it up from above."
12:37 He said, "If you get a tank or truck,"
12:38 and he was pointing up at the top
12:40 of the World Trade Center,
12:41 and we're standing right below it.
12:42 He said, "If we put a tank or truck up there
12:44 and it's ignited,
12:45 these buildings will come down like in a pancake."
12:47 And he described what happened on 9/11.
12:49 This was like three or four years before that.
12:51 I was there, right at it,
12:52 didn't think about until that day.
12:54 Wow.
12:55 And I had these, you know, amazing moments
12:57 that I really love, I love doing that.
13:02 But at some point, you know, I went to mass shootings,
13:09 all kinds of things.
13:10 And at some point, it started to affect me,
13:13 and I didn't really realize.
13:15 And I was working on projects.
13:16 I remember learning about PTSD,
13:20 learning about how it affects you,
13:22 and developing things for firefighters
13:27 and paramedics, EMTs.
13:29 I worked for some training networks for them
13:31 and I got into that.
13:34 A lot of footage I shot wound up being on networks
13:36 and just saw anything and everything.
13:40 Just you name it, I saw it.
13:43 And so basically that took a huge toll.
13:47 It did. I didn't realize it. I was still just doing great.
13:51 I didn't bother.
13:53 I could walk into about any scene
13:56 and it got where,
13:58 "Okay, fine, this is such and such."
14:02 "You just got used to it," I used to hear that.
14:04 And that was going on.
14:06 So that was going on, business was going on.
14:08 I had the ebbs and flows, and things like that.
14:11 I had two kids. I mean, I talk about it.
14:15 Basically, the life was great,
14:17 two point two kids, you're living the dream.
14:20 Two point two kids? Yeah.
14:21 You know, I don't know, that's what they say.
14:23 Okay.
14:25 You know, why do they say that?
14:27 I don't know. Who knows?
14:28 But you know, you had all that...
14:32 You know, at the time, wonderful marriage,
14:33 everything that I knew.
14:36 I taught the young marrieds class
14:37 at my church,
14:39 and actively involved
14:40 in those kinds of, you know, those things were going on.
14:44 So I guess, as I think back
14:46 and I'm thinking right now, it's just like, it was great.
14:49 Charmed life, honestly. Everything was great.
14:52 And so at what point...
14:53 Where was the turning point?
14:54 Where did things hit rock bottom for you?
14:58 And here's the thing
14:59 and God turns a lot of things around how things work.
15:04 My first wife one day just up
15:08 and said she didn't want to be married anymore.
15:11 I did not see that coming in a million years.
15:14 And I think I shared a part of this story before
15:17 but it devastated me.
15:19 I was like, "Do what?"
15:21 In fact, we had our usual date night.
15:23 I remember we would go somewhere and eat.
15:24 Yeah.
15:26 She told me that, I thought she was joking.
15:27 I even laughed.
15:28 I said, "That's not a good thing to joke about."
15:30 She said, "I'm serious."
15:31 And within two weeks, she was gone.
15:34 And that was a huge shock
15:36 because, first of all,
15:37 nobody in my family had ever been divorced.
15:40 I kind of grew up in a background that in my mind,
15:44 if you were divorced or anything like that,
15:47 you could never really serve in church again,
15:51 you can never ever be in ministry,
15:53 you can never ever.
15:55 It was over with. I mean that's all it was.
15:57 So everything was over.
16:00 I mean, I stepped away
16:03 from all my positions and things.
16:07 It was hard to work with young marrieds
16:08 when your marriage...
16:10 And it's understandable. I get that.
16:11 Yeah.
16:13 But I had to do that.
16:14 It was very difficult, and that was tough.
16:18 At the same time, shortly after that,
16:22 I wound up, you know, getting a document
16:24 telling me these are the days I get to see my kids
16:27 and these are the days I don't get to see my kids.
16:30 Yeah.
16:31 Now that inside of me,
16:35 it's like, "You're not going to tell me what to do."
16:36 That's really the first thing.
16:38 "Well, these are my kids."
16:39 And I was the dad, I remember going every night,
16:41 I went in and prayed with them,
16:43 and I was busy, but I remember doing that.
16:45 That was a big thing for me to go in,
16:47 and you know, had fun or play with them,
16:50 you know, before they go to bed,
16:51 that kind of thing.
16:52 But I never saw that.
16:54 And they were things that were going on
16:55 with my first wife I didn't realize.
16:57 And this is again part of the healing
16:59 and things that come back.
17:02 And it just ripped my guts out.
17:05 I think Sherry Peters.
17:08 And we started talking about this.
17:10 She mentioned, one time, she said,
17:11 "You were just kind of like
17:13 all the life was drained out of you."
17:14 And I said, "That's what happened."
17:16 So I had that, and then I started having,
17:17 you know, I knew some things were going on with me
17:20 and my thinking
17:21 through all the things I was working
17:23 on through those years.
17:26 That was going on,
17:28 and then within six months after that...
17:29 All the things you were working on like the fire.
17:31 The fire and those things.
17:33 That was bothering me.
17:35 And the last one had happened during 9/11,
17:39 and I was invited to go to the Pentagon,
17:42 and I said, "No, I can't do it."
17:43 And before that, I had been to a mass casualty shooting.
17:47 I mean where two firefighters were killed,
17:50 the sheriff's deputy and several people,
17:53 and I was there.
17:54 There are so many details of that,
17:56 you're on the scene of that,
17:57 and you know, I had to sit in the room
17:59 with one of the victims' body for 20 or 30 minutes,
18:02 and you have these things.
18:04 And so you're dealing with that,
18:06 individuals watching people
18:08 burn to death, all these things.
18:09 These things where I'd witnessed
18:11 through those years,
18:13 shootings, I got shot out, I got pinned down by gunfire,
18:15 I had these things that happened to me.
18:17 That sounded really, you know, over the edge.
18:21 And at the time, I didn't even talk about it,
18:23 it was just kind of what I did.
18:25 And I didn't tell everybody these things were happening
18:28 because I was worried they would not let me continue
18:31 doing what I was doing.
18:33 So I kept these things really tight.
18:34 "What would happen to me?"
18:35 "Don't tell anybody," because I was worried,
18:37 I want to continue shooting and working.
18:38 And I wasn't a firefighter, wasn't a paramedic,
18:40 so I was just a videographer, I was just a video producer.
18:45 But you know, even the Bible says,
18:47 by beholding we become changed.
18:48 And so you were beholding all these scenes,
18:51 you're seeing all of these things,
18:53 taking it all in.
18:54 You weren't necessarily participating,
18:57 but you were capturing it in your mind.
18:59 And so it had an effect on your life.
19:02 So that happened,
19:04 and then the other thing that I wanted to tell you is
19:05 within six months, I lost my house,
19:08 I lost my businesses with an S, I lost everything,
19:12 went from having everything to having nothing.
19:15 So we go to... All of a sudden...
19:18 My parents were having to get me a car.
19:22 I have to go live with them. I have nothing.
19:25 I had everything just six months
19:26 to a year before that.
19:28 I have to go back and get a job,
19:30 and I was sent back working in television station,
19:35 and driving a satellite truck,
19:36 doing live shots, and pretty much by myself.
19:40 It was a very lonely time.
19:43 A friend of mine, he kept calling me Job.
19:47 And it was really...
19:49 And you know, the hard part was,
19:50 I would just sit there, "How did this happen?"
19:53 When I started looking at your story
19:55 and I was thinking about your testimony and everything,
19:57 I was like, "You know,
19:58 this sounds like a Job-type experience."
20:00 It was.
20:01 And because you look back and I'm like, "Okay,
20:03 I didn't deserve anything for this to happen.
20:06 You know, you're going,
20:07 "Okay, God, why did you let this thing happen?"
20:10 I literally had all these questions.
20:11 And in fact, the book of Job makes sense to me now,
20:14 those little questions and the things that were going.
20:15 I thought, "Wow."
20:17 I'm glad that you said that,
20:19 "Why did you let these things happen,"
20:21 because, you know, oftentimes, when we run into tough times,
20:25 people blame God,
20:26 but He's not the one who caused it.
20:28 He allowed it to happen.
20:30 And you're asking why did He let it happen.
20:32 And the other thing came to play,
20:34 for the first time, I realized that there is an enemy
20:37 that prowls around like a roaring lion
20:41 and seeking those who would devour.
20:43 In this life, you will have trouble.
20:45 I never read any of those scriptures
20:47 because everything was charmed and wonderful.
20:49 Yeah.
20:50 I didn't understand that, you know,
20:52 because I was thinking, "God, I was doing all these things,"
20:54 and I did a lot of things,
20:56 and I would go through that list,
20:57 and finally, I began to realize
21:00 God really wanted to change my heart for one thing
21:03 because I think my view up until that time was,
21:07 "Okay, God, I'm going to do this
21:09 and you bless it."
21:11 And it wasn't a conscious thing,
21:13 but I think we often do that.
21:16 And the whole point is "No, no, no.
21:18 Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. It works the other way around.
21:22 You know, I've given you these gifts,
21:25 I've given you these things,
21:27 and so I'm not along for the ride, you know,
21:31 I'm not in the back of the seat of this bus,
21:34 you know, or the plane, you forget.
21:36 I am the pilot."
21:38 And I think that was part of what I had to learn,
21:41 that's part of what had to learn.
21:43 Also, there's another thing took place.
21:45 I remember, just a year before that happened,
21:48 I remember a friend of mine
21:50 wound up getting involved in a relationship
21:53 and his marriage fell apart.
21:55 And I remember coming home.
21:57 He came and told me what happened,
21:59 how remorseful he was,
22:01 and I remember, I came home,
22:03 and I was so incensed,
22:05 and I remember looking at my wife
22:06 and said, "You know what, I'm glad I'm not like him.
22:11 I'm glad that, you know, how could he even,
22:15 how could those things happen?"
22:17 Well, here I was in a situation
22:18 that I didn't even do any of that.
22:21 But I found myself in the same situation
22:24 and God certainly teaching me through that.
22:27 The other hard part too was,
22:30 I remember going through this and two things happened.
22:34 Good friend of mine, pastor,
22:36 he was a pastor up at our church
22:38 encouraged me to actually leave the church.
22:40 And it sounds strange.
22:42 That really does.
22:43 Because of the rumor mill,
22:45 because it's like,
22:46 "There is no way that Tom's wife would have left
22:48 unless he was involved in an affair or something else,"
22:51 and people in the church were saying this,
22:52 it was a very large church.
22:53 Wow.
22:55 And that was very hard for me. I was devastated by that.
22:59 Not by him saying that.
23:00 In fact, I wound up going to another one,
23:02 another pastor who said,
23:04 "Listen, I find we have a very a lot of broken people.
23:06 You can come on in.
23:07 We have a lot of people like you
23:09 that are divorced, and there are drug addicts
23:11 everything else, so come on in."
23:12 It was a great place actually, I went too.
23:14 It was different. That was hard.
23:15 The second thing was
23:18 I had been doing some business
23:21 and a young couple came in
23:23 and I remember they came in
23:26 and I was late getting work done.
23:28 I had literally stopped doing things.
23:30 I had lost all my equipment.
23:31 And I gave money back to them, and all kinds of other things,
23:34 and they prayed for me.
23:36 And it was in two weeks later,
23:38 they, along with several others,
23:40 filed lawsuits against me.
23:42 So I was being sued,
23:43 all these things were going, everything was going on.
23:46 That shook me
23:48 because I was just like, again,
23:52 "God, how could you let this happen?"
23:53 Yeah, and so are those the things,
23:55 is that what led up to you making the decision
23:59 to try and take your life?
24:00 Yeah. It got where... It's hard.
24:04 I could have never imagined thinking this way,
24:07 but I got to the point where the marriage was gone,
24:11 everything I owned was gone, my business,
24:14 my whole plan to retire in life was gone.
24:17 I didn't even think of it that way.
24:18 I look back on it now.
24:20 That was, you know, almost 20 years ago.
24:22 And then all these other things,
24:25 it was just...
24:26 I couldn't believe it.
24:28 And then you felt like everybody abandoned you.
24:29 It was just...
24:31 And then I'm living by myself,
24:33 and my kids would come over and they would stay.
24:35 And then the nights they were gone,
24:36 I just remember crying myself to sleep.
24:39 I got where I couldn't work.
24:40 I couldn't remember how to edit.
24:42 And I edit, and I shoot, and I do all kinds of things,
24:45 I couldn't remember what I was doing.
24:47 Yeah, it's like your world was just turned upside down.
24:50 Oh, yeah, turned upside down. Yeah.
24:52 So for the first time in my life,
24:54 I thought, "It would be better if I wasn't here."
24:57 And I started thinking about that,
24:59 and another thing, as I mentioned before,
25:02 and I don't know if it's part of a factor,
25:04 but I had been putting on some medicines
25:09 because people were encouraging me,
25:11 "Well, you're very creative. You need to be more cognitive."
25:13 And basically they were serotonin reuptake inhibitor.
25:18 And one of many that were out there,
25:19 and basically people use it for anti-depression
25:21 and the other things like that.
25:23 And it kind of changed the way I was doing things.
25:25 I just got where I was started being...
25:28 I had a clean desk, you know, "Who was organizing?"
25:30 That's not me, I'm more creative,
25:33 I'm out of the box.
25:34 So at what point...
25:36 Okay, so you ended up in that spot of desperation,
25:40 the point where you were going to end your life,
25:43 at what point did God grab a hold of you
25:46 and how did he intervene?
25:47 We only have a short amount of time left.
25:50 It's very simple.
25:52 One night after my kids were leaving,
25:55 I just remember being so desperate about it,
25:57 I remember kind of crying out to God
25:59 and then I just decided I was going to kill myself.
26:03 And I was trying to figure out ways to do it
26:05 because I had seen people do it.
26:07 And I was going through, "What would happen?"
26:10 And then I remember, I went back in the room
26:12 and I was just in tears, and I shut the bedroom door.
26:16 When I did that, all of a sudden,
26:17 there was a posted note, two of them,
26:19 up on the door,
26:21 and it's my kids.
26:22 They were young at the time.
26:24 One of them wrote, "Dad, I love you.
26:25 Miss you very much."
26:27 The other one was like, you know,
26:29 "I love you daddy.
26:31 You mean everything to me."
26:33 And that stopped me thinking,
26:36 but I was so serious about doing it.
26:38 And then other things happened a few weeks after that,
26:41 that just got so desperate, I decided,
26:43 and there were more things that even happened.
26:44 Yeah. Yeah.
26:46 I just decided I was going to stop it.
26:48 And so I was figuring out how to get a gun,
26:51 how to do this, that and the other,
26:54 and I remember, this was about eight or nine in the morning,
26:56 and all of sudden, the knock on the door
26:57 came on the door
26:59 and my dad was there, and he looked at me.
27:00 He said, "You're not trying
27:03 to hurt yourself or anything, are you?"
27:05 And I couldn't even admit it.
27:06 "No, I'm not, I'm not."
27:08 And it was just like divine intervention
27:09 very quickly.
27:11 That's how that was.
27:12 Wow. Wow.
27:14 So the God...
27:15 First, it was through the letters,
27:18 the posters from your children,
27:19 then your dad asking you,
27:21 realizing that something was wrong.
27:24 What advice in the short amount of time
27:26 that we have left would you give to that person
27:28 who is thinking about ending their life?
27:31 You know, one thing I would say is first of all,
27:33 don't let your faith be dictated by your circumstances,
27:37 they're temporal.
27:38 And you're valuable in God's eyes,
27:40 and you were someone worth dying for,
27:42 He died for you on the cross, and He gave His life for you.
27:45 And knowing that,
27:46 that made the difference in my life.
27:49 Amen.
27:50 Thank you so much for joining us, Tom,
27:53 and thank you for being so transparent
27:54 and sharing your testimony.
27:56 Well, we've reached the end of another program.
27:58 Thanks for tuning in. Join us next time.
28:00 And remember,
28:01 it just wouldn't be the same without you.


Revised 2018-10-29