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Man Loses Everything, Gets More Back

Stewart was confused when God didn't fix his parents' divorce, and began relying on himself for a good life. Then the real estate crash of 2007 destroyed everything, and he didn't know how to pick up the pieces. Read Transcript

NARRATOR: Stuart Williams has fond memories

of his early childhood.

STUART WILLIAMS: We lived on an acre of land with fruit trees.

I just remember balloons and smiles and happiness.

Just-- life was good.

I remember always being at church.

It was a big part of our lives.

NARRATOR: Those times were cut short when Stuart was six

and his parents divorced.

Not only did his dad move away, but his mom

stopped taking the kids to church.

STUART WILLIAMS: No one really counseled me

how to vent my frustrations.

I wasn't sure how to deal with it.

NARRATOR: Depressed and taking the lead from his mom's family,

Stuart turned to smoking and drinking.

Stuart was eight when his mom asked his dad to step in.

The first thing he did was take Stuart

to a local church service.

I accepted Jesus right there and then.

There was a light that got turned on,

and I was smiling the whole time.

I experienced a huge change in the way I was behaving.

I felt like I was supposed to trust Him

and I was supposed to read the Bible,

and I was supposed to become the believer

that He wanted me to be.

NARRATOR: There was something else Stuart wanted.

I wanted God to put my parents back together.

I wanted the life I had before they got broken up.

So I had high expectations for God.

NARRATOR: That didn't happen.

In fact, both of his parents remarried.

Discouraged, he started caving to peer pressure.

By the time he was in high school,

Stuart had given up trusting God.

I went to a lot of parties, had a lot of relationships.

A lot of drinking, even at school.

Smoking, marijuana, a lot of pills.

Anything I could get my hands on.

I didn't want the constraints of Christianity at the time.

NARRATOR: But there was something deeper driving

his rebellion.

STUART WILLIAMS: I had determined in my mind

that my father was responsible for the whole thing, divorce.

It always came back down to the divorce.

I was angry at God.

I was angry at my parents.

And I used the divorce as a crutch, to excuse my behavior.

NARRATOR: Even then, Stuart knew he needed change.

In the years following high school,

he went into real estate, married, and started a family.

He now pursued success and money instead of partying.

STUART WILLIAMS: I was very ambitious.

I guess you could say there was always a hole in my life,

and I was trying to fill it with money and with tangible items.

And I certainly didn't fill that hole.

I always wanted more, more, more.

And I tried to grow my empire bigger and bigger and bigger.

NARRATOR: Then, in 2007, the real estate market

crashed, and his empire along with it.

STUART WILLIAMS: I remember shaking my fist at God.

And just extreme rage.

It's kind of the same rage I had when I was younger.

NARRATOR: Soon, he was drinking heavily again.

The couple had just lost their house

when his wife discovered Stuart was having an affair,

and got a separation.

STUART WILLIAMS: I was basically in the house,

with no furniture, drinking gin and tonics all night

and all day, just depressed about my situation.

NARRATOR: Stuart ended up sleeping on a friend's couch,

unable to see any way out.

STUART WILLIAMS: At that point, I was, God, where are you?

I can't get myself out of this pit by myself.

I need a change.

Please, God, get me out of this.

The impression I got was I'm as close as the skin on your face.

I've always been here.

I'm right here.

The finger of God came down and brought that little spirit back

to life that's inside of me, the real me, my spirit man.

And I had a baptism in tears.

NARRATOR: He turned everything in his life over to God.

STUART WILLIAMS: I had lost all my money, all my properties,

and all hope.

But I finally got a father.

And I'm like, Lord, I just give it to you then.

NARRATOR: Stuart says, afterwards, things

started falling into place.

His brother-in-law opened his house up to him.

An old colleague gave him a job out of the blue.

He also went through a recovery program.

Most of all, he rediscovered his joy and passion

to follow Christ.

STUART WILLIAMS: I started scouring the Bible.

It helped me get to know the Lord a lot better.

There's so much of Him that I'm giving to others.

And you can't keep it if you don't give it away.

NARRATOR: Stuart later reconciled

with his wife and parents.

STUART WILLIAMS: My relationship with my wife's

never been better, ever.

By putting God first, it's improved our relationship.

I forgave my mother.

I have forgiven my father.

I have forgiven everyone that needs be forgiven.

I have asked for forgiveness.

NARRATOR: Stuart says God healed the pain of his childhood

and restored what he had lost.

STUART WILLIAMS: I have joy all the time, and He gives me joy.

And it's first and foremost in my life.

I give Him all the glory.


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