Creflo Dollar - Hatred Turned Inward
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Creflo Dollar: Our guest today had lost his way and his will to find joy and happiness. His second attempt at suicide happened only a few months ago. He's here today because he knows he needs help. Ladies and gentlemen, would you please welcome Jonathan to "Your World" today.
Creflo: Jonathan, God bless you. Good to meet you, son.
Jonathan Parker: Nice to meet you as well.
Creflo: Thank you for showing up today, man. First of all, I wanna congratulate you on your courage to show up here today because what we're gonna do is a little tag team here today. Your story is gonna minister to thousands because this is something that's so prevalent right now in our nation and around the world. And I believe God will use you, and your testimony, and the journey you're about to take us on into your world to really help a lot of people to see some things and to understand some things. And I'm gonna believe God for the wisdom for us to go through this journey together and to come out with some answers, okay? So, we really appreciate you. Let's get started. Take us into your world. You know, this word "hate" is strong.
Jonathan: It is.
Creflo: And it's really strong when the direction of it goes towards yourself. How did this seed get in place there? Tell us about how you were raised and maybe we can see some clues that will help us to understand where you are emotionally today.
Jonathan: As far back as I can remember, I've always kind of had an internal doubt and turned that inward. I would say it probably grew through my parents' relationship. They have fought a lot. And I just watched how they treated each other and how my mom would feel, 'cause my dad was more the abuser. I realized that that was not something I wanted to put out into the world to make other people feel, so therefore I think I started to internalize it to avoid conflict. So, if you and I had a conflict, instead of addressing it, in the fear that it would become an anger and degrading or something like that, I would just turn it inward.
Creflo: So, you spent years bottling things up on the inside.
Jonathan: Yeah, and then that would turn into anxiety. The anxiety would turn into depression. And then the mixture of those two things would turn into, "It would just be better if you weren't here".
Creflo: Yeah. Would you have times in your life where, maybe out of anger, a loved one said some hurtful things to you? Because a lot of times, you know, hurt will produce anger.
Creflo: And you know, then you begin to express it in different ways. So, can you recall any of that happening?
Jonathan: One specific time that really stands out is I guess one of those pivotal, influencing moments in your life. It was after my parents had divorced, I went and visited my dad, and we got in, I wouldn't say an argument. Well, it's an argument.
Creflo: Talk about it.
Jonathan: Yeah, but he told me he wished I had never been born.
Creflo: Your father did?
Creflo: Yeah, that tends to stick with you forever.
Creflo: For a long time.
Jonathan: It's one of those moments to this day that I still remember very, very well.
Creflo: And you internalized that as well, right?
Jonathan: I did.
Creflo: And you never spoke to anybody about it?
Jonathan: Yeah, I think my dad had some demons of his own and he just didn't know how to handle those and express those well, and therefore he took it out on me and took it out on my mother beforehand.
Creflo: Your first attempt at suicide, what was the final straw that pushed you to attempt to commit suicide the first time? Was there a final thing or a combination of things?
Jonathan: I think it was a combination of things. There had just been a lot going on and it was a lot of multiple factors. And like I said, it was the anxiety, and then it built into the depression, and then the depression went into the self-hate, the, "It would just be easier if you weren't here". And actually, that was one of my closing statements for my life was, "I never wanted to be burden," and I felt like I had become a burden at that point.
Creflo: Yeah, you were looking at feelings on the inside that come from thoughts that weigh you down.
Jonathan: One hundred percent.
Creflo: Yeah, and that's how you would define depression. And then more comes in, and it weighs you down, and you can see what's gonna ultimately happen. It begins to build, build, build, and somehow it's going to come out. And most of the time, it'll come out in a negative way because as we internalize all of that stuff, then we wanna turn on ourselves now to try to deal with it. Is that pretty accurate?
Jonathan: Yeah, but it's also hard too, because as it's happening, you kinda see it, but there reaches a point where you don't see it anymore. You're so deep into it that it feels normal and you're making decisions that are completely unhealthy and irrational decisions.
Creflo: Because they're emotional decisions.
Jonathan: Exactly, and at that point the emotions have taken over and this is like, "We got this. We're gonna handle this and we're gonna get you out of it. And the way to get you out of it is to remove yourself from the universe".
Creflo: Now your emotions are leading your life.
Creflo: And it was never God's plan to allow our emotions to lead our lives, especially negative emotions to lead our lives, because negative emotions are gonna lead us away from all of the good that we should be experiencing.
Creflo: And it's gonna lead us to a place where we're gonna end up there, and one day, when we kinda have those moments where we wake up and we say, "How did I get here"?
Creflo: Listen, first of all, I want you to know I can complete relate with you. I've had my struggles with depression where it put suicidal ideations in me. I knew if I had to deal with these emotions or they would deal with me. And the first thing I saw, Jonathan, was I was always in the center of the circle. It's about me, it's about my pain, it's about my hurt. It was serious because I found myself getting angry, and I'm trying to figure out why am I angry. And what that was was an expression of what I was afraid of. So, I see these things building on the inside of me and I'm becoming this person I don't wanna be, but I know that life should not be led by negative emotions. What stopped you in that first attempt to commit suicide? What stopped you?
Jonathan: So, actually, nothing stopped me. I went on social media, 'cause I didn't wanna write a letter, because at the time nobody except one person had my address, and they lived in Germany. So, I was like, nobody's gonna get in touch with them. I'll be long gone by then. So, I went on social media and I said, you know, "I don't wanna be a burden. I love all of you. It's been an amazing journey. I'm grateful for every experience I've had with each and every one of you," because they all have added to my life. I took as many pills as I could and I thought that was it. And through God, or however the universe wanted to pull it together, they were able to get in touch with the one person in Germany.
Creflo: You're kidding me.
Creflo: Ladies and gentlemen, he just defined grace.
Jonathan: They got the address, got in contact with the police. The police came and did a wellness check, determined that I needed to go to the hospital. And then from there I went to an in-patient care facility and was there for about a week. So, once I got out of that, my friends pulled together and we were able to get me on testosterone, which played a major factor in my anxiety and my suicidal thoughts. I wouldn't have thought low testosterone could do that. When you think about it, women who are going through menopause, people always make jokes at their expense like, "Oh, they're going through the change". Well, you are going through a change. Your hormones are out of whack and it really can affect your mentality.
Creflo: The hormonal parts, believe it or not, how they're affected by the emotional parts, and those emotional parts, how they are affected by the spiritual parts, and now you're dealing with a three-part situation. How do I deal with my spirit? How do I deal with my soul? That's where my thinker, and my feeler, and my chooser. And how do I even deal with my physical body?
Creflo: Look, we're gonna take a break, and when we come back, we're gonna get the answer to that. We're going to discover some things that I believe will help Jonathan to see new light. And I'm just excited because the same Jonathan that walked out here just a moment ago is gonna be a different guy that walks away. I'll see you in just a moment.
Creflo: Welcome back. You know, we were during the break talking about how this is gonna have to have a holistic approach where we deal with the spirit, where we deal with the soul, that's where your emotions are located, and where we deal with even the physical body, balancing of hormones and understanding that testosterone is not just to do deal with sexual issues, but there are a lot more issues that are affected when a man has low T. And you're probably hearing more about it than we've heard in the past, but we need to hear even some more about it.
So, one of the things I wanna start off with is, let's set a platform for us to have this conversation. This is what I call the anatomy of life, and the anatomy of life is first of all what we are exposed to. What am I exposed to? What do I see? What have I heard? And then my exposure now, whatever that is, is gonna determine, number two, the way I think. So, I think in line with what I've been exposed to. And the way I think will determine how I feel. So, my exposure determines the way I think, the way I think determines my feelings, my feelings or emotions determine the decisions I make.
Now, those decisions I make will now determine the actions I take. So, I'm gonna start doing based on my decision to do. When I look the actions that I'm doing, it'll take me to my habits. Actions, habits, it's the thing I now start doing most of the time. Your habits will take you to your, watch this, your character. Where we are today, wherever you are today, negatively or positively, because you took all of the proper steps to arrive at that place where you are. And so I started thinking Jonathan, well, what if I wanna change, what do I have to do? So, I need to now know the things that are gonna help me to end up in the destination that I wanna be in.
Now, here's how I address this and here's where my whole life changed. I grew up in church. I went to church. I have to be honest with you, I went to church, I never understood what the guy was talking about. I went to church because it was like, you know, it's a good thing to go to church. I had no idea what this guy was talking about. And I just thought, "That's not gonna work for me. I've gone to church before. It doesn't work". And then I met someone who says, "This is not about going to church. It is about you understanding how to rightly divide the Word of God and applying it to your life".
So, I've been exposing myself now to the Word of God. Whoa, all of a sudden my thinking changed in line with the Word. My emotions started changing in line with my thinking in line with the Word. My decisions started changing in line with my emotions in line with my decisions in line with the Word. It went all the way down to my destination and I thought, "Wait a minute. When I'm hanging around negative people with negative words, they take me all the way to a negative destination. When I hang around good people who are positive about their words, they're taking me to a destination". And I had to ask myself, "What have I contained on the inside and what let go"?
I contained the thing I was exposed to, and that thing that I was exposed to governed my thinking, governed the way I feel, governed my decisions. You said it a couple times. You know, I would let things out, but I don't know how they're gonna take it. I know how they're gonna say this. That goes all the way back to the day where your dad said, "I wish you wasn't born". And you bottled that in like you bottled everything else in, but now you just got the results of having it bottled in; an expression of anger, an expression of fear. Have you ever felt like you are like the walking dead? Like you're living, but you're dead on the inside?
Jonathan: Plenty of times. I can remember being younger, and you know, you would run, and you could feel your heartbeat, and you knew you were alive. You could feel it. Later in life, especially as those darker moments became more intense, it was like I couldn't even feel the heart in there. But it was like I'm just kinda going through the motions. I'm taking care of everybody else around me, making sure that they have the support they need.
Creflo: But not you.
Jonathan: But not me.
Creflo: Yeah, there's a part of you that's dead, and that part of you is your spirit. And that's what I had to realize, that this is not about a religious thing. This is me trying to figure out how to turn the lights on on the inside and he's the only one that can, and that's when it changed. I guess you could probably have had people say, "Go to church. Just need a church. Just pick a church out and go to church". There's a Scripture in that Bible that says, "In all your getting, get understanding".
And I began to pursue, Jonathan, understanding. I gave my life to Jesus. I was able to say, when somebody would say something bad to me, "That hurt me and I would appreciate you not saying that". I realized, how can I really love people if I didn't love myself? I gotta love me. And when I love me, I can love others better, and God taught me how to love me. And that love that I have for myself began to come out, but something greater happened. I didn't have to learn how to love me from my soul. When I invited him to come in, he brought with him a supernatural love that enabled me to love myself when I didn't think I was lovely. And Jonathan, I am telling you, take it from somebody who knows where you're coming from, I will not look back. I have not. I don't wanna look back because there's so much to look forward to.
Now, I'm gonna ask you a question in a moment. I want you to hear what I'm saying. I'm not talking to you from the perspective of a therapist, a doctor. I'm talking to you man to man. Jonathan, you gotta invite the light to come into your life. And when you invite the light of Jesus Christ to come into your life, he feels that, here's what it is, void. Based on what we've talked about, would you let me pray with you and you ask Jesus to come into your life?
Creflo: Can we do that together? And I'm telling you, Jonathan, we believe that the best is yet to come. I want those of you who are watching by television, that same advice will work for you, and I want you to join me in this prayer. Join me, and Jonathan, and our audience today in this prayer. And listen, if you pray this prayer with us, I want you to write us. I want you to go online and tell us what's going on and what happened to you. Catch hold my hand, John.
Father, in the name of Jesus, I thank you for this man's life. I thank you for all of his unsuccessful attempts to kill himself. Now Jesus, we look to you.
Jonathan, repeat after me:
Heavenly Father. Come into my heart. Fill the void that I've tried to fill. Lord Jesus, today I make you the Lord of my life. Save me. Help me. Heal me. I receive you now. Be the light that I need. And I declare: no more depression, no more self-hate, no more self-doubt, because of you. I receive my freedom. In Jesus's name I'm saved. Amen.
Creflo: Welcome, my friend. I wanna give you something to remember this day. It's a grace covenant. To Jonathan Todd Parker. "I, Jonathan Todd Parker, accept this grace covenant provided to me by Creflo Dollar and agree with the following statements. I believe Jesus loves me and nothing will ever change that, and I will daily flood my life with the Word of God and the praises of his saints". I signed above "Pastor and Encourager". I want you to sign above "The Righteousness of God," because that's exactly who you are. Jonathan, I also wanna give you something to just kinda, when you get home. it's a teaching I did on how to win over depression. Every time that sucker knocks on the door, stick that in somewhere and listen to it, and that'll help you out. And I also wanna give you the book that's gonna change your life. Give you a Word of God to change your life.