Former Abused Child Given Purpose by God
By Randy Rudder
The 700 Club
CBN.com-When Charles Nixon was a child, his father often told him he was a mistake.
“I grew up in a home where alcohol flowed quite regularly. I had a good dad, except for when he had too much alcohol,” Charles says. “Then he’d turn mean. My father would come in drunk in a foul mood, and pull his gun out and point it at everyone in the house and say, ‘Which one of you should I kill?’ This kind of went on regularly as I grew up,” Charles remembers. “As a child I had nightmares about these things because, here is the person that’s supposed to take care of you, but is he going to come in at night when you are sleeping and really kill you?”
Although no one had ever told Charles about God, he knew what his parents were doing was wrong. “I knew when my parents were having people over and they were having parties and using the lord’s name in vain, I’d pray for God to forgive them, and yet, no one had told me about Jesus. So it kind of shows that even when you’re little, you know that God exists.”
The men in his family were all heavy drinkers and tobacco users and introduced these to Charles at an early age. “By the time I was six, an uncle had introduced me to chewing tobacco,” Charles recalls. “By the time I was 12 years old, I was drinking. The men in my family all said that’s what you do: you drink, use tobacco, and chase women. These were the things that I thought made you into a man, and made you valuable.”
The emotional abuse from Charles’ father eventually took its toll. “When your dad tells you several times that you are a mistake, you start wondering, ‘Am I a mistake?’ You just start wondering, ‘Why am I here?”
At school, Charles also discovered he had dyslexia. “When I was real young, I wrote a paper. A teacher came up to me and said, ‘That’s really funny.’ and I didn’t know what she was talking about,” he says. “She took it to another teacher and they were kind of snickering and laughing, going, ‘Look what he’s doing.’ Then they said, ‘He must be stupid or something.’ Here I was being told that I was a mistake, and now I’m thinking to myself, ‘You can’t even read; you can’t write. What’s wrong with you?’ So at that point, I thought, I might as well quit school because no one cared about me anyway.”
Charles dropped out when he was just 15. That same year, he married and became a father, but the marriage didn’t last long. “By the time I was 21, she had left me,” Charles says. “We were both just too young. You can’t build your life on drinking and going to bars. It just doesn’t work.”
Since he was functionally illiterate, Charles seemed headed for a life of low wage jobs and poverty. “I was really working just to get enough money to buy alcohol and find the next party,” he says. “And the friends I had weren’t friends; they were bar friends--people who, if you didn’t have a beer on you or money to get them drunk, they weren’t around to help you out. It’s a sad way to live because it seems like you’re having a good time. It seems like the party is always going. But the next day, when you wake up and you’re feeling broken, and you’re feeling horrible, you realize this ain’t no way to live, but then you drink again because you want to fill that void.”
Finally Charles hit bottom. “I remember one night after drinking and getting drunk and I got into a fight in a ba,” he remembers. “And I was lying there in bed and I said, ‘God, if you’re real, show yourself to me, because the only way that I think this is going to happen is if you bring somebody into my life to show me that you’re real.”
That somebody was Jamie.
“She went to church one morning,” Charles recalls, “and she accepted the lord. Later that day, when we were together in the kitchen at her house, she said, ‘I got saved.’ And I said, ‘From what?’ She said, ‘No you don’t understand. I’m born again.’ And I said, ‘What are you talking about? Have you lost your mind?’”
“She would spend hours reading out loud out of the New Testament,” Charles says. “And one day, she had to go with some friends somewhere. I was sitting there, and I went to the fridge and got a beer and turned on the TV, a channel I wouldn’t normally watch. It was a Christian channel, and there was a pastor on there who was talking about why we need a savior. He said, ‘Have you ever done these things in your life? Have you ever lied? Have you ever stolen something?’ and I thought to myself, ‘Wait a minute. He’s talking about me.’ Then it all clicked that I needed a savior.”
That night Charles also accepted Jesus. “From that point on,” he says, “I was delivered from all the chains that were holding me: the alcohol, the lifestyle I was leading.”
He then bought a children’s Bible and began reading from the New Testament. “As I started reading that children’s Bible it didn’t take me long until I was in the normal Bible,” he says.
Today Charles reads normally and has no signs of dyslexia. “The lord has blessed me to where I can retain scripture. Today, I’m an ordained pastor, and it’s all because of God. He took a guy who could barely read to where now I am teaching classes and preaching the gospel. So I know it’s a total miracle of the power of God.”
Charles and Jamie wrote a book together about their experience, entitled Two That Were Broken and Became One.” Today they are married and have a happy blended family.
“The Bible says in Jeremiah 29: 11, ‘I know the plans I have for you: plans for a future and a hope,’ Charles says. “And he definitely had a plan for me. He looks at us and says, ‘You are not a mistake. I made you just the way I want you, and I can use you.’”
Charles says he now knows what it really means to be a man.
“I always thought that being a man meant you had to be tough, and you had to be mean, and you had to drink. But I came to realize that what it takes to be a man is to have a relationship with Jesus Christ, and that he will make you the man that you need to be.”
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