A Rocker's Shocking Vision
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“At the age of 15, I discovered the guitar, and it became an obsession, says Colin Ireton. “I practiced eight hours a day almost every day. I wanted to be the best guitar player in the world. I used that to isolate from everybody. It was my escape.”
Colin was looking for a way out of his home life. His father had abandoned him when he was 8. Then his mother tried to commit suicide.
“It was my mom and two sisters. I was the man of the house, yet I didn’t know what that was,” he explains.
Colin was only at peace when he was playing his guitar. It was his passion and his identity.
“Playing guitar was definitely my god,” he says. “Music was my god. I had posters of rock musicians pasted all over my ceiling. I wanted to be the best guitar player in the world and I thought that’s what was going to make me happy, that’s the ultimate goal in life.”
Colin and some of the area’s top local musicians formed a band. They were developing a strong following, complete with groupies, road trips, and the beginnings of the lifestyle that many young rockers dreamed about.
“I thought I could have whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted -- money, cars, the girls, whatever,” notes Colin.
He immersed himself into the rock music culture. But soon he began to realize the music itself wasn’t enough anymore. His need to escape his emptiness soon took on different outlets. Drinking came first; then marijuana.
“That led to other drugs: mushrooms, cocaine, and eventually LSD. To me it was just a normal part of life. I didn’t know that doing drugs wasn’t normal at all,” he says.
By all outward appearances, Colin’s life and career were on track. Then, one afternoon, Colin took a trip he’ll never forget. While he was high on LSD, he had a vision.
“It was like my soul opened up to me. I started seeing myself for who I really was. I saw this procession of people going toward this light, and I saw myself in this place of darkness. I knew that when I died, I was going to be eternally separated from God because I didn’t have love in my heart.”
The reality of his vision terrified Colin. He began praying every night for protection from this vision of evil that seemed so real and so present. Yet his mind envisioned God as distant, existing in some “cosmic” astrological place.
“My picture of God was that He was far, far, far away,” Colin recalls.
Even though Colin’s band was wildly popular, he couldn’t explain why he was feeling more and more unfulfilled.
“I started getting tired of the sleeping around. I wanted a girl that I could love and who would love me back,” he says. “At one point, I prayed and I said to God, ‘God, I’ll give you two weeks to give me the perfect girl. And if You do, I promise that I’ll marry her and I’ll treat her right.’”
Less than two weeks later, Colin’s unique prayer was answered when he met Lori. He liked her, but Colin made sure that she knew his priorities from the start.
“The first time I met her, I told her, ‘You’ll never be more important than my guitar.’”
They moved in together. He thought he had the best of both worlds: a woman who loved him and the lifestyle of his choice. His goals had been achieved. He still couldn’t figure out why his life seemed so unsettled.
Colin was still looking for some answers, so he called an old friend.
“He came over and told me the Gospel and he prayed with me, and I was filled with the Holy Spirit,” Colin remembers. “And the next day, when I woke up, everything was different. When I walked out the front door, it looked like everything was a different color. It was like everything was clear. And the burden was lifted. I had this weight lifted off of me that I didn’t even know was there until it was gone.”
Within a week, Lori was saved. Colin and Lori decided to get married.
“I was very pessimistic about marriage and family because of what I had been through. But God began showing me what it really meant to be a dad and a husband and just took me really on a journey of love. The love that I always knew I needed was now in me, and God was showing me how to express it to other people,” he says.