Early in my life, I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. At the time, it was considered a form of autism. What this meant for me was that I was a very introverted kid. I was able to obsessively focus on one goal, but struggled to have an intelligent conversation, unless that conversation revolved around whatever I was focused on.
I had no real friends, because I had almost no sensitivity for others at all. I didn’t dwell in the real world; I lived in my own world. This was the realm where I sat and played, talked to myself, petted my cat, read books, dreamed up stories and adventures for my toys to have, watched my favorite movies over and over so I could recite them to myself in my spare time, and drew pictures of the things that I was focused on... Other people were annoyances, distractions, and potential enemies. My relationship with my parents and siblings varied between strained and flat-out adversarial.
No one could touch me without permission. As I got bigger, I got more aggressive, to the point where if I got touched, my reaction was to scream, flail, and hide under the nearest piece of furniture. My parents tried everything that the world recommended for kids with Asperger’s, but the psychologists were telling them that I would have to live in a special hospital, where I couldn’t hurt anybody. I was getting too big and unpredictable to live at home. I would have to live in a padded room, being medicated into compliance, unable to have an education, a job, friends, family, or religion.
Fortunately, God had other ideas. In December of 2003, we started watching Weigh Down’s The Last Exodus. I began to write in the workbook that went with the class, and that was the beginning of my new life. As the weeks of TLE went on, I got more and more interested. Slowly yet surely, I began to understand who God was, and what He wanted from me. And I began to realize that the people around me were people: not automatons or pawns made to enhance my private existence, but a complex and wonderful reality that I had been missing. Soon after, we joined Remnant Fellowship to be with other believers.
In the past 9 years, Remnant Fellowship has taught me the definition of Christianity through their wonderful and godly lives. The Bible was opened up to me, and I gained a hunger for the truth and a drive to study the Scriptures. In 2005, I began taking sermon notes, something that would have been inconceivable in my old church.
If you had walked up to me and my Mom when I was ten, and said that in the next decade, I would have friends from all across the United States and around the world, that I would be teaching history, driving, learning karate, working a job, and going to college, we would never have believed you.
To paraphrase Paul: if I am bragging, I am only boasting of what this message has done for me. I do not exaggerate when I say that Remnant Fellowship saved me from isolation and potential suicide. I owe my sanity, joy and hope I have experienced in life, to this truth that I have been so faithfully taught: That God alone is sovereign, and that He made us to love Him first and foremost, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.
For more information on how you can be set free like Nathan, sign up for The Last Exodus Youth Class.