Joyful despite trauma and abuse

Curtis Watchorn
Curtis Watchorn has been through life’s wringer but has come out praising God.

Curtis Watchorn's life has come full circle. From the loving family he grew up in, through difficult teen years and a horrific car accident, as well as molestation, depression and his mum's death, Curtis has eventually come back to the truth he was taught as a child – Jesus is the only one who makes it all make sense.

Curtis' "unrest in my soul" started when he was about seven and was molested.

In high school, this unrest revealed itself by his hanging out with the wrong crowd, getting blind drunk, stealing, disrespecting others and swearing. "I also became cruel and hard hearted," he admits.

Twice Curtis got arrested and, although never charged, the shame caused him to eventually cry out to God and his parents led him in a prayer to ask Jesus into his life.

"I examined my situation and knew I was heading in a very bad direction if I didn't turn to God, so I gave Him my life."

A few days later, Curtis had a dream of his parents praying for him and felt a warm, bright energy fill him from the feet up to the top of his head. He believes his parents prayers have had a strong influence on his faith journey, and encourages other parents to pray faithfully for their kids.

"Since that experience my life has never been the same. I was cleansed and made brand new and I was full of love where before I was full of hatred, bitterness and insecurity," he declares.

"Everybody who knew me saw the change and I wasn't silent about it. I became radical for Jesus Christ and He became everything to me and my only hope for life."

This experience also gave Curtis the ability to forgive and love his childhood abuser.

Two verses from the Bible that he has tried to live by are: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, strength and soul and love you neighbour as yourself' (Luke 10:27) and 'Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and everything else you need will be added to you.' (Matthew 6:33)

"I also noticed that all throughout the Bible God honours the righteous [those who live by Jesus commandments], so in all I do I seek God for the power to be righteous in all I do," Curtis says. "I like keeping my faith very simple."

However, life is not simple and shortly after becoming a Christian in 2004, Curtis started getting a bit lost again as he didn't maintain Christian fellowship and personal time with God.

When his mum died of cancer he became obsessed with nutrition. Then Curtis went through a period where he believed God had written him off and rejected him because he hadn't been completely obedient. This made him profoundly depressed and hopeless, and he imagined committing suicide.

For six years he turned his back on God.

"I was the biggest anti-God person you would ever meet. All I wanted to be was on God's side but I was convinced I [had done the unforgiveable and] was going to hell with the devil."

In 2012, during this dark period, Curtis and two friends drove from Kalgoorlie to Perth while under the influence of marijuana and beer. Their car was involved in an accident, in which Curtis was the only survivor.

Even though many people pointed out that his escape from death was a miracle, this incident didn't bring Curtis back to his faith.

Then, through a dream, God showed Curtis that he still had a choice to turn to Jesus and let Him save him; that God had not given up on him.

"I remember falling on my knees in my room trembling before God crying out to Him but felt no response. I even had a knife to end my life but I was afraid of going to hell.

"I came across a song by Keith Green called The Lord is my Shepherd. (In 2004 I had played this song on the piano outside my mum's room just before she died.) Now as I listened to the song the presence of God hit me for the first time in years and I started weeping for several minutes realising that my belief that God had rejected me was a deception and that I was going to dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

Curtis' Christian journey still has its ups and downs but he knows now to keep his eyes 100% on Jesus, read the Bible and stay involved with other Christians. Now in his thirties, wants to share Jesus on the streets of Perth, and writes and plays music.

Check out "Let's Party Forever" on Youtube.

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