Testimony: Steven John Hughes

6 April 2020


Elijah is one of my favourite people in the Old Testament. I keep an icon of him in one of my rooms and have long been inspired by his story.

I was a punk who also enjoyed extreme metal. Since I converted in 1998 the inclination to listen to such things fell away of its own accord. As my prayer life deepened and my faith grew I just didn't like anything that did not relate to God. I don't listen to anything like that anymore, but not to be seen as holy, but God removed the taste for unholy things. I no longer watch TV or mainstream films or listen to secular music. I admit, I'm a bit odd! I do love classical music though.

However, going back a bit - I suffered from severe depression for many many years of my youth and, up until I was 35, I was often driven to the point of suicide, yet the Lord held me back.

Darkness surrounded me and the constant despair almost killed me. The years of abuse I had suffered at the hands of my dad (physical and mental) and others in my life (I was sexually assaulted when I was 11 during a family holiday in Morocco), the self-abuse I'd indulged in myself (drug abuse) weighed heavily over me, to the point where I thought I was cursed and hated by God (Lord forgive me).

About 15 years ago, I attended a Mass of Reconciliation while in the depths of anguish and suffering. As I approached the priest to confess my sins - which are many - my entire being shook, I was physically shaken to the core. I wept (I am not one who easily sheds tears for myself) uncontrollably.

At that moment, as I stood before the priest, what I can only describe as a cleansing came upon me. It was if all the pain of my whole life was removed.

I struggle to communicate what this meant to me. Often words are simply not enough.

I felt the Lord's presence and an indescribable peace settle upon me.

Since that day I have never suffered from the darkness that once encompassed my life. I give thanks every day of my life for His loving presence. I am also grateful for those years where God allowed me such pain. It has made me the man I am today, utterly flawed, but grateful for His great Mercy and endless Love for such an appalling sinner.

This is why Elijah means so much to me personally.

One comment on “Testimony: Steven John Hughes”

  1. What an awesome testimony. Yes, God is indeed powerful, and when we approach Him in sincerity and surrender, He gives us the power to become the person we were created to be. Thank you for your frank and inspiring sharing. May God continue to work in your life as you grow deeper in you relationship with Him. Bless you.

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