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Allowing God to change me was a process

Unsplash/Just Jack
Unsplash/Just Jack

I wrestled with suicidal ideation for most of my life before I was transformed by Christ. I lived recklessly without any concern to protect my life — from the careless way I rode motorcycles, to skydiving while drunk, and wrecking countless sport bikes. 

When you battle suicidal ideation, you think about it constantly, planning when you’ll do it and how you’ll do it. Six years ago, I arranged for my wife, Jen, to go out of town for a few days. This was it; I wanted the ultimate out. I proceeded to ingest a massive number of drugs: painkillers, cocaine, anti-anxiety meds, vodka — whatever I could find in the house that was a depressant. I fully expected to die that day. 

Having been exposed to a lot of darkness as a kid, I rejected God and operated as His enemy. What I know now is that my anger and rebellion didn’t intimidate the Creator of the world one bit. It also wouldn’t disqualify me from fulfilling the plan He had for my life. 

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First, He healed me

My decision to accept Christ didn’t happen quickly. It wasn’t the result of one powerful church sermon or one moment of hitting rock bottom. It was a carefully constructed, progressive process that only our perfect, sovereign God could execute. 

First, He healed me. Then, He poured His love into me, and finally, He showed me how much I need Him. Each step prepared me for the next one until I was able to receive the peace, hope, and restoration that He was offering.  

Despite my anger toward God and a marriage that was failing, Jen and I made it to church regularly for the sake of our kids. I was often hungover, but we made it. On a Sunday morning one week after my suicide attempt, a pastor’s wife approached me and said, “God told me to tell you there’s a reason God gave you the family you have. There’s a reason He gave you the children you have. The field you saw with the manure is the fertilizer that God is going to use for generations.” 

She couldn’t have known about the vision I’d had of a field with flowers and a lot of manure underneath it. Then, she put her hand on my head and said, “Spirit of death, leave Luke Richey in the name of Jesus.” In that moment, I was healed of suicide ideation, and it has never returned. I did not want to die, but still could not grasp my worth in Jesus. 

Then, He poured His love into me

In the months that followed, God continued to make Himself known in my life in various ways, but I was still lost. Jen and I were starting the process of getting divorced, our kids hated us and everything was a mess. I no longer wanted to kill myself, but I lacked any sense of self-worth. 

On my birthday in 2019, God made His next big move in my life. Through a supernatural vision, He brought me to a place with clouds everywhere and a bit of light starting to come through. As the clouds parted, I could see the back of a head — it was gigantic and I was scared. As the head began to turn in my direction, I fell to my knees pleading, “Don’t look at me, please ... you can’t.” There was light shining all over me, even coming through my hands. I heard Him say, “I love you, Luke.” 

Suddenly I understood that the light shining on me was God’s love and it was filling me up. I had this keen awareness of the infiniteness of God’s love — there's literally no end to it. I woke up and told Jen what I had experienced, ending with, “The Creator of the universe loves me. He loves me infinitely.” In this moment I had true worth. 

Then, He showed me how much I need His mercy and grace

I was such a broken person, that it would take another miraculous encounter with God to fully open my heart to Him. One night as I was preparing to attend a business meeting the following day, God had other plans. He wouldn’t let me sleep. 

He began to show me my sins in painful detail. I could vividly see the depravity of everything I’d ever done that was against Him. I wept and wept, saying to God, “I don’t know what to do. How do I come back from that level of sin?”  

After three days of having visions of my sins not knowing what to do, and spending an all-nighter crying out in repentance, I woke up and knew I was a changed man. I saw colors differently. I saw people differently. Everywhere I went, I felt compelled to love others with the same love I’d been shown by God. He restored my family completely and today; Jen and I are united in heart and share an eternal perspective. 

My salvation has a purpose, and so does yours

Once I had given my life to God, I naively thought I had to abandon my growing tech company and become a pastor or something else overtly Christian. However, in my heart, I kept hearing God say no. He began to speak to me in my dreams, revealing how technology can be an incredible tool for sharing the Gospel across the world. It can be used to attract people to Christianity, to disciple new believers, and to reach forgotten people groups that don’t have access to the Word of God. 

It’s so clear to me now. Christians are meant to own the latest advancements and innovations in every industry. In the tech sector where He’s placed me and Jen, whether it’s augmented reality, artificial intelligence, the Metaverse, or Web3, we cannot give these things to the enemy. The success of our business could yield opportunities that have an eternal impact if we follow God’s leading. 

One of the most profound ways we experience God’s grace and mercy is the ways our hearts and minds change after accepting Christ. God is sovereign, He’s good and He’s intentional. He always had a plan to radically heal me and restore my higher purpose. My life is now dedicated to His radical plans. 

Luke Richey is the co-founder and Chief Visionary Officer of Gravity Jack, the United States’ oldest augmented reality (AR) and computer vision company. Richey began coding software at the age of 14, a foundation upon which he has built a life dedicated to businesses that bring society and technology into the future. His broad understanding of the industry, paired with a passion for both integrity and optimization within the business domain, led him to create many successful startups.  

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