By Scott Thorson
My name is Scott Thorson. I was born in Chicago, Illinois to a loving mother and father; our family grew with the addition of my brother Robert and my adopted sister, Tina. I had a caring family but I often felt misplaced because my dad was closer to my baby brother and never really showed me much affection. I lacked any social life, had no real friends and was bullied on an almost daily basis. I was never done any harm by my parents, but I do remember my dad violently beating and raping my mother. I became withdrawn and the bullying I suffered ultimately led my parents to place me in a facility for emotionally disturbed children at 12 years old. My mom then filed for divorce and a protection order.
My dad was allowed to visit the house for two hours a day to run his business. It was suggested to my mom from one of my doctors that I be told that the monster that beat and raped her and the man who was incapable of showing me love was not my father. My mom contacted my real dad in California and we met a week later. He told me how much he missed me and how he regretted giving me away every day since then. He showed me the affection I had been longing for my entire life and we made plans to see each other again the following week.The next week came and when I saw my dad he was crying uncontrollably. He then held me and told me that my stepfather came home, murdered my mom, shot my sister and then turned the gun on himself.
My doctors felt like the move to California would be too much too soon; they sent me to another mental hospital and then to another one. Once I got to California I became withdrawn, quiet and an emotional wreck. I didn’t fit in and started doing drugs, drinking, fighting and isolating myself from everyone. I was heavy into the punk rock scene, pierced my face with safety pins and spiked my jet-black hair a mile high. My drug use escalated; one day my younger brother accidentally drank a soda that I had put some LSD into and that was it. My dad had enough. He took the money I had inherited and placed me into a long-term drug treatment program. I spent a year there and while there I cut off the jet black hair, removed the earrings and took off the makeup. I hit the gym hard and lifted weights every day. My body transformed; I entered that program a 120-pound skinny kid, and when I left I was a 165-pound monster of a teenager. I started my freshman year of high school and this once skinny, social outcast became popular; I had new friends and was suddenly noticed and desired by girls. I spent my high school years at the top of social cliques.
While in high school I started taking a kickboxing class and I loved it. I went to the gym every day and fought whenever possible. Within six months I became the amateur California State kickboxing champion. During one of my fights I was noticed by the producer of Baywatch and they asked me to be on their show. The short-lived fame really went to my head and my ego exploded. Shortly after filming I met my first wife, Lisa. We married and had two beautiful daughters. I was doing fairly well and fantasized about more upcoming fame and fortune. My ego was out of control; I was conceited, self-centered and cheated on my wife every chance I got. Ultimately, after years of unfaithfulness, she left me. When this happened–then I loved her–then I needed her. I begged her not to leave. All my childhood hurt resurfaced; I experienced the emptiness of losing my mother and being abandoned all over again. I lost my mind and began using drugs again. I took the coward’s way out and abandoned my family.
I drove to Astoria, Oregon and took a job as a bartender at a strip club. It was there that I was introduced to the needle. The second I felt the drugs hit my heart, in that very moment, it was like Satan wrapped his arms around me, almost as if he was embracing me and saying, “I have you now; you belong to me.” I spent the next four years of my life homeless. I robbed people and I became a thief and did unspeakable things to get drugs. I was lost, broken and at my bottom. I had overdosed several times and only by the grace of God survived. One day while on my way into a shooting gallery a pastor stopped me; this young man was passing out packages of Starburst and with a rubber band was a piece of paper attached to the candy. That paper was a Bible tract. He told me he could help me and begged me to stay with him and get help but I couldn’t fight the desire to get high. I left, and again God stepped in and saw to it that I got arrested. I spent just enough time in jail to realize that this wasn’t what I wanted. I had abandoned my precious little girls. I hadn’t seen or spoken to them in years. I got out of jail and got into rehab. I found AA and NA meetings and stayed clean and sober.
I was disowned by my wife and daughters but embraced by my AA family and the recovery church I was attending. I know God was with me every time I overdosed, that he was there when I was homeless and that he put that pastor in my life. Life started to get good again. I was sober for years and had a great job traveling all over the country for a large roofing company. I finally had my daughters back in my life and I flew to see them every chance I had. And I gave all the credit to God and to the twelve-step programs I attended. I met my wife Charlene while attending a meeting in Vancouver, Washington. We had an instant connection; we got married and started a family. I gave her everything I thought she wanted: money, cars and a beautiful home when what she really wanted was her husband home.
After all that time, and after her unsuccessful pleas for me to quit that job and find one closer to home and a traumatic miscarriage . . . she felt that the pain we were enduring was too great. I was unable to comfort her and she left me. That hole I felt my entire life came back and that void got bigger and bigger. I thought I had done everything right this time! I loved her with every ounce of me, I was faithful and I provided her with every material thing she asked for. In my despair, and after seven years clean, I put that needle back into my arm to kill the pain and attempt to fill that hole. My wife and I went through an ugly, very public separation. I became lost and confused and on the verge of being strung out on drugs again. However, this relapse was short-lived and I found myself in church on my knees crying out to God. “Why? Lord, help me! Don’t let me do this again; whatever you need of me I am willing to do. YOUR will be done.” God delivered me from my desire to hide behind that needle; that obsession was gone. I attended church, I prayed often, and after a long separation my wife called me. “Can we talk? I miss you. I’ve been thinking about us.”
I drove straight to where she was living and we began to talk. My wife agreed to let me take her on our first date since our separation. That night God showed up big! On that first date as my wife got into the car, our wedding song played on the radio and my wife lost it and tears ran down her face. Then towards the end of our date another song that was played at our wedding came on the radio. We both knew God was working in our relationship; he was speaking right to us.
He spoke to her and asked her to leave everything behind and to trust in him. She told me she wanted to leave and start a new life far away from Washington. We gave everything we had away and loaded up both our cars with our children and just a few personal belongings and drove from Washington to Milan, Tennessee. We didn’t even have a place to live yet so we stayed with my brother. I quit working for that roofing company because as soon as I transferred to their Tennessee office they wanted me to go to New Jersey for three months and I wasn’t willing to leave my wife again. I took a lower paying job working with my brother and the Lord led us to Temple Baptist Church. While there I rose my hand during a alter call; I was a sinner on my way to hell I needed a personal relationship with Jesus and asked him into my heart. I felt this overwhelming euphoria; the hole that I had felt throughout the trials in my life was suddenly gone! I had never felt more complete, I was no longer a sinner condemned to hell and I had been redeemed by the saving blood of Jesus Christ and on my way to a eternity with God. My wife and I jumped into service, we became willing to be used for his glory and we taught a Sunday school class and prayed together. We strive to raise our children in a godly home. We aren’t perfect, and we often fail, but we try to honor God with the way we live our lives. Thank you Lord for saving me.
I believe that God has performed an amazing act of grace in my life and it is my personal ministry to tell others about it. Through everything I can look back and see God’s mighty hand of grace applied at just the right time in my life. He sustained me for HIS purpose. It was only when I met Jesus that I truly felt loved and fulfilled. He has shown me how to forgive myself and others; he has taught me how to become a loving father and husband by his example. Now Christ Jesus is my joy !
Feel free to google scott thorson/kickboxer/baywatch. I want to share about Christ’s love and grace with everyone I meet. I have everything I need to prove the validity of my testimony: police reports, newspapers and videos. I would love to come share at your church or conference. I never ask for any money or compensation; I just love seeing people led to the Lord. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org