Wade O'Quinn: Searching for Something More
By Aaron Little with Tim Branson
The 700 Club
Wade O’Quinn still loves the mountains of Virginia where he was born and raised. He remembers a happy childhood. But when Wade was in high school, his mother became ill.
“It started out as a breast cancer, and then it moved into her lungs and eventually tumors,” Wade tells The 700 Club. “Dad worked a lot, and my brother was older and in college. So, I would quit football and baseball. I would come home after school just to take care of her. So I got to watch her over the years start deteriorating, and it really impacted me.”
His mother passed away when he was just 16 years old. He struggled to make sense of her death.
“At one point, I had actually decided that there was no God. I couldn’t understand, because my mom was the biggest Christian that I knew. Then she died this death of suffering, and I couldn’t understand it. At that point I was just like, if there is a God, why did she have to suffer like that?”
Wade says he felt abandoned and confused. He longed for meaning in life, and he wanted to get out of his town and see the world. So, after high school, he joined the Air Force.
“There was something out there, and I don’t know what it was, what I was chasing, what I was looking for, but there had to be more than growing up in a small town.”
After returning home from basic training, Wade married his high school sweetheart. Three weeks later, he was deployed to Germany without his wife. While away, he reveled in the party lifestyle with his military buddies. Over time the miles that separated him and his wife became too much for the young couple.
“I was gone a lot, so I’d only see her when I’d come home. We were never home enough to get to know each other. I think our marriage started deteriorating at that time, and I gave up on my part.”
Wade and his wife divorced, and he finished out his years in the military traveling and partying with his friends.
“I thought I was having the best time in the world. Here I am, I’m young, I’m seeing the world, and all these guys are just drinking and having a blast.”
After eight years of service, Wade left the Air Force eager to start the next phase of his life. He moved to California to join the LAPD but had second thoughts. So he returned home to Virginia to sort out his life. Things didn’t go as well as he’d hoped.
“I was like, ‘How did I end up here?’ I was having so much fun. I was seeing the entire world. I was meeting all these great people and ended up back in the mountains,” he recalls. “I’ve got so much debt that I got out of my divorce. Everything was going wrong. I was miserable, real miserable. I’d go into a lot of depression, but I just kinda held it all in.”
Wade was feeling overwhelmed by his debt, loneliness and lack of direction in life. He was breaking down on the inside. Then one night…
“I just sat down, flipped the TV on like a normal routine to see what was on and the channel was right there it was on The 700 Club. It was featuring a story on a single mother living in San Francisco. She had a couple of kids and so much debt on her. Nothing’s going right in her life. To me, that was the exact same story that I was going through. I just got sucked into it; it just engulfed me. She accepted Christ, and it just turned out to be such a magnificent life. I was like, ‘That’s me and that’s what I want.’
“At that point, I had nothing else to lose. I thought I was at rock bottom. So, I just got down on my hands and knees, and I asked Jesus to come into my heart. I really wanted it. I really felt like, when I asked the Lord for forgiveness that, at that time, I was honestly, truly a new person. I could feel this release.”
Wade had discovered what he was searching for, peace and purpose for his life. It didn’t take long for friends and family to notice the change.
He says, “My dad noticed and he was like, ‘There’s something different about Wade. You know, he’s just a different guy now, just so happy.’ I was a different guy. I wasn’t locking myself in a room. I was getting involved in family and wanting to go to church.”
Today Wade works in law enforcement and helps with the youth at his church. He has a heart for those searching for that “something else” in life that he was always chasing.
“That’s how the devil keeps you down. He makes you think that that’s the perfect life: the drinking, getting drunk and partying. But eventually you’re going to wake up, you’re going to have nobody in your life, and everything has been taken away from you. I’m just telling you that there is an answer. Because I thought I was rock bottom and couldn’t go anywhere else. Now I’ve turned a complete circle.
"Ask God if He’s real and just turn your life over. He’ll show you that there is an answer. There really is. I mean, it happened to me. I know it can happen to anyone else.”
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