There is a difference between faith, and faith when it is tested. That’s how Adam Davis describes his own battle to reclaim the faith he lost after life served him one test of his faith after another.
The former police officer and hostage negotiator who once contemplated suicide is now an author, speaker, and Director of Outreach for the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation, headed up by Taya Kyle. He is also a speaker with Marcus Luttrell’s Team Never Quit Bureau, and openly shares his story of childhood abuse, lifetime challenges, his struggle to cope with the evil he witnessed and experienced on the police force, and the moment his faith saved him from suicide.
From the time he was just a small boy, Adam Davis was exposed to the darkest sides of human nature.
He was just a child when he was sexually abused. The pain, shame, and bitterness traveled with him into adulthood, and was fueled by other struggles.
Determined to become a part of something greater than his pain, Adam set his sights on becoming a United States Marine. If only he could become a Marine, he believed, he would fulfill a purpose in life.
That dream was crushed before it had a chance to unfold. A cyst discovered in his ear meant the military deemed him medically unfit to serve. He was just 16 when he was told his, and spent the next five years desperately trying to find a way around the rejection. Time after time Adam attempted to convince the military to overlook the issue, and time after time he was rejected. Ultimately, he was “politely” asked to stop.
By then Adam was a husband and had a family to provide for. He did so by doing his best to hold down jobs he was ill-suited for. Not because he wasn’t a hard worker and not because he wasn’t smart or skilled, but because he has standards for himself and others he cannot lower- not even if you’re the boss’s son.
Firing the boss’s son for being late to work one too many times made more sense to Adam than it did to his boss. Firing the boss’s son on his own son’s birthday, when his own wife was pregnant with their third child, meant that Adam had to return home to a house filled with family ready to celebrate, after he himself was fired.
For six months, Adam scrambled to find enough odd jobs to provide for his family. Then he was given an opportunity to join the local police force, and changed the trajectory of life for himself and his family.
He believed he’d found his true calling. He loved being on the police force. He believed he would serve his entire career as a police officer.
His beliefs were shattered, along with his faith, after the reality of that life became too much for Adam.
“I was ill-equipped to handle the evil that really exists,” says Adam Davis
There was the bus driver who was murdered because he wouldn’t surrender the children on his bus, the 5 year old autistic boy held hostage in a bunker for a week, the children who were raped, on and on, all colliding within his heart and soul and he was unable to extract the emotion and the agony of those tragedies from his soul. He also still clung to the hate and bitterness from his own childhood sexual abuse he’d endured.
Adam Davis turned to alcohol. He turned to any outlet that offered any illusion of respite from this pain, and he turned down paths he is not proud of.
The inner angst built and built and built, until he was holding his gun convinced the only solution was to end his life.
He knew there was no hope left for him. He knew his wife and children would be better off out from underneath the burden of his presence in their lives, and he knew the only right thing he could do for himself and those he loved was to pull that trigger.
This was the moment he had an irreversible choice to make; end his life or surrender completely to the God he knew existed, but in whom he’d lost faith.
In a last ditch effort to clear his conscience and his soul, Adam closed his eyes and offered the most intentional, sincere submission of faith he’s ever uttered.
“God, I believe in you for no other reason than I choose to believe. I give you everything. Please help me because I cannot help myself at this point. I can’t do this life without you. “
When Adam relives that moment he takes the listener with him. It is impossible not to travel with him to that moment and feel as if you are sitting in the vehicle with him, watching the moment unfold.
When he speaks about the immense feeling of warmth and love he experienced at that moment those same feelings seem to beam out from him, and his entire body relaxes. It was that moment, says Adam, that he traded in all the alcohol for this new feeling of love and this new sense of hope.
Soon after, Adam Davis began to write.
At first he simply purged everything he’d been holding onto. It made him feel better, and he wrote some more. As he walked deeper back into the faith he lost and realized the impact it had on his ability to reclaim his life as well, he felt called to help others find the same help.
Adam knew he is not the first or last law enforcement officer to experience the extreme despondency he’d felt. He was not the only one who lost faith in God after bearing witness to the extreme depravity of evil. He was also not the only one who could find his way back into a life of grace and purpose with the help of faith.
So he took his love of writing with his renewed faith, blended those with his desire to help his fellow police officers, and has now written five books.
Behind the Badge is a book of devotionals for law enforcement officers. Bulletproof Marriage is a book Adam collaborated with LTC David Grossman to write. Each book Adam writes serves as a resource for others who may be grappling with troubled marriages, interpersonal anguish, and the extreme high pressure attached to the lives of the military, law enforcement, and first responder communities.
Adam Davis is well aware of the emerging trend of villainizing law enforcement officers.
It breaks his heart to see the truth distorted and the people who give so much in service placed at risk as a result of the ploys of politics.
“Police officers have become a chess piece on a playing board and it’s for whoever can get the most political gain,” says Adam. “We live in a climate where it is extremely politically divisive and it has become socially acceptable to divide a country based on beliefs we have instead of finding a common ground to come together and fight for.”
He reminds us that police officers are human beings. He notes that they are no more imperfect than any other human being in any other profession, and that those who do abuse their position, though important to remove, are vastly outnumbered by the overwhelming numbers of men and women who go above and beyond to serve and protect. These are men and women who are somebody’s son or daughter. They are aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, parents, and friends. They are people who are loved by someone else.
Today Adam is retired from law enforcement and working full time in his new purpose of helping to heal marriages, strengthen weakened souls, and mend rifts in this country, one person and one moment at a time.
He looks back at his unanswered prayers to become a Marine, his revolving door in the civilian workforce, and views those as blessings. “A lot of times our true destiny is not even in the place it would seem most likely,” he’s learned.
Common ground is an answer to divisiveness, says Adam Davis.
Common ground in faith, respect, and simple human decency can reverse a dangerous trajectory in a country and in a marriage. “It’s not going to change with one person but it can start with one person.”
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