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CBN.com Frank Welch was a policeman, and he was supposed to protect people from criminals, but years of witnessing violence on the streets left his own heart as hard as stone.
"I was like, 'Well, I don't need you. I don't hate you, but I don't need you, because I can do this on my own,' " Frank explains.
The streets made him that way. That's where he spent most of his time. He was supposed to make them better, but they got the best of him. The streets created a callous shell of a man who wore a badge.
"Once you get numb, then you become callous, and then there's no feeling whatsoever," says Frank. "But at any moment, it could trigger into pure hatred, which is the next step."
Frank Welch became a police officer because he wanted to make a difference. He was one of the best, covering a beat that no one else wanted. But seeing too much of the dark side of man changed him. It began when he arrested several pastors for homosexual activity.
"These are the people that I looked up to at an early age, and they had let me down," he says. "I can't trust anyone. I have to trust just myself."
That frame of mind became Frank's god. He was obsessed with becoming a man of steel, physically and emotionally. No price was too high. Frank became a crazed daredevil. He was already an accomplished police officer, but that wasn't enough. He worked his way onto the SWAT team. Still, he needed more. Frank took a leave of absence from his police duties to go through Special Forces training. Now he was the ultimate soldier, one of the chosen few to wear the Green Beret.
"I had one guy tell me one time that I was the epitome of a Special Forces soldier, and that stayed with me," says Frank. "I was strong. I was physically fit. I was a good weapons sergeant. It was just that everybody said, 'Frank, you can do the job,' and that was my biggest reward."
On the outside, Frank was in complete control, but on the inside, there was a slow burn. A war raged in Frank's mind. Every beat of his bitter heart brought him closer to the edge.
Says Frank, "People ceased to be people. They were just targets. I enjoyed individuals, but crowds of people I just didn't want anything to do with because they were mass targets. They were just faces that I would probably get the orders to pull the trigger on."
Frank's wife and children were the ultimate victims. They were trapped with him in an explosive combat zone of misery and despair.
"My family situation was shot and my kids were suffering. I'd lie in bed and just feel totally lost, totally empty," he says.
Nothing seemed to fill the emptiness that was consuming Frank. He had become everything he thought a man was supposed to be, but he was still coming up short. The drinking, the womanizing, the training, the profanity -- it wasn't working now. Frank wanted out. He looked for the only escape he knew.
"I had looked for operations to go on that could have been so dangerous that I might not come back from it. I felt that people who committed suicide were cowards. If it was done in the line of duty, with great violence, then it was something that was honorable," he explains.
Frank might have gotten his death wish if Christmas hadn't rolled around. It was Christmas Eve, and his young son was reciting Scriptures about the birth of Christ. His son was speaking, but it was God's voice that Frank heard.
"Every period was where it was supposed to be. It was like he was actually an angel of the Lord that was there," says Frank. "I almost lost it right there because God was talking to me through my son."
Shortly after that, Frank prayed. He hadn't done that since he was a teenager. But he knew the Christmas story was true. He knew he needed Jesus.
"I pulled over on the road, and I just got on my knees, and I just asked the Lord to forgive me. I felt myself being cleansed of everything," he says.
Frank began studying the Bible, praying, and going to church regularly. He says that Jesus has changed his life completely. His wife has also accepted the Lord. Frank says he is becoming the man he's always wanted to be -- strong and supportive, courageous, and committed. He is still a man of true grit. That hasn't changed. But Frank no longer lives for himself. Instead, he lives for the one who changed his life and set him free.
"Without Christ, I was lost," he says. "He came and left the 99 and came to find me, and I was unworthy. I deserved nothing but death, and He came and He got me. I know that without a shadow of a doubt. That's what we have to tell other people."
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