Find Hope

Assaulted four with a knife, but a prison friend modeled a better way.

Really, I wanted to die. I was doing all the things that were killing me anyway. I had so much pain, hurt, and hatred I didn’t know how to process any of it.

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I had a feeling that the girl I was living with was cheating on me, with the drug man. He was at [our] house with his brother. My little brother picked me up and took me over there. I took a twenty-two revolver pistol and a Ka-Bar military knife I was issued in U.S. Navy Seal training. Because I had been trained how to fight with a knife I knew how to conceal it. It was obvious from their slow behavior that they had been drinking. I had been smoking meth that night, so I was very *amped up. As I entered the kitchen I hit the girl [I was living with] in the back of the head, and I hit another girl there with her. As I did a guy came through the front door. I cut him across the face. I then hit his brother, and before I knew it I was wrestling on the floor with the guy I had cut. About that time I felt the hands of my little brother grab me around my shoulders, lift me up, and get me out the front door.

As we sped away he was crying. He said, “What are you trying to do, kill us?” I grabbed the steering wheel of his Dodge Intrepid, and we spun around, coming to rest just inches from a guard rail. He said, “Why are you doing this?” I didn’t know the answer. Really, I wanted to die. I was doing all the things that were killing me anyway. I had so much pain, hurt, and hatred I didn’t know how to process any of it.

When I was about nine years old I was molested. As a child I didn’t know how to handle it so I tried to stab my pencil through my hand. The emotional pain was so great I tried to physically hurt my self. No one should ever even need to know how to handle something like that.

Once while working at a welding plant I lifted my hood, and my coworker said, “Hey man, there are fifteen cops behind you. I lit a cigarette thinking it was probably my last smoke. I turned around, and they asked, “Are you Matt Hoover?” I said yes. That was the last time I saw freedom for a over a year.

As I was standing in the prison library where all new prisoners are processed, as guy I had bought cocaine from walked by. I said, “Jose’, what‘s up, man?” I was cussing as I began to talk with him. He said, “I don’t talk like that anymore.” I said, “What do you mean?” He answered, “I’m a Christian.” I said, “Yeah dude, I’m a Christian. I was baptized when I was twelve years old.” He said, “I’m not that kind of Christian. I’m a real Christian.” I said, “What are you talking about?” He answered, “I’m going to get you in church tonight.”

I went to church that night and heard a man named Vernon Snead, preach. The first thing he said was, “How do you unscramble an egg?” AS I thought about it he said, “You can’t. Neither can you unscramble your past. You can’t change anything you’ve done. All you have is right now. You have this moment to choose where the rest of your life is going. You can’t live in the past. You can’ live in the future. You have is right now to choose. God loves you, and Jesus wants to save you.” I thought, “Why would he want to love someone like me, after all I’ve done. I have so much anger and hatred in my heart.” I then began to realize he loved me so much that God loved me so much that he gave his son [to die] for me. I didn’t know St. John 1:3 at the time which says, “Behold what manner of love the father has bestowed upon us that we should be called the children of God.”

I teach a Domestic Violence program. I teach others how to get out of the same situation I was in. I was someone who sat in the program as the crack cocaine and meth addict. I now get to go back in as a victorious Christian. I am able to tell them, “It’s not a program that will help you. It’s Jesus Christ.”

*Slang - energetic due to consumption of a stimulant

Matt - Assaulted four with a knife, but a prison friend modeled a better way.

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