Coery Thomas


Due to cruelty from church leaders, Corey Thomas saw God’s love as unattainable - until messengers, both divine and human, taught Him God loved him all along.


Corey: I didn't see God more as the loving Father.  I saw Him more as the correcting father like you do something wrong and He's ready to just beat you back into submission rather than He had grace.

Narrator: Raised in the church, Corey heard a sermon at 16 that made him want to give his life to Christ.  However, the guidance he then sought from the pastor and church leaders only robbed him of hope.

Corey: They kind of treated me as a…I needed to work to earn God's love, but it wasn’t like they were saying that directly.  It was like how I was treated.  It was…I couldn't sing on the choir unless I reached a certain level of like holiness, or you know, I couldn’t go out to dinner with them, like they would take the youth on groups and leave me out because I needed to work on my salvation more, and I was confused.  I didn’t know what any of that meant.  I was getting ignored, and you know, eyes rolled at me and when I get prayer, it was always some kind of God is not pleased with me kind of word.  Being that they were the mouthpieces of God, they were, they were pastors, ministers, the way they treated me is how I felt like, this is how God is speaking to me.  This is how God feels about me and this is His view of me.  I thought because I had to earn their love, apparently, that's how God feels as well.

Narrator: After the constant rejection from those in the church, Corey fell into a deep depression.

Coery: It pushed me into like a, I want to say a season of isolation, where I just didn’t want to be around people and when I did, I never, I always found myself comparing myself to them because the other young people, per se, were being treated very good and some of them weren't even giving their hearts to God and it had me just crying and not even fully understanding what I'm crying about.  When they told me like I wasn’t good enough, I needed to get better, I immediately started fasting and I really prayed.  I read my Bible for hours.  I felt by myself and since I wasn’t being accepted, what am I doing wrong, and that's where the depression came in.

Narrator: Desperate to know he mattered to someone, Corey ran away.

Corey: I jumped out of my window and I ran away.  I left home for at least a month and no one ever sought me out.  I came back and when I went to church, the pastor had this, he said he had a revelation of the book of life and he was saying God revealed to him the names that were in it and he was like if you want to know if your name is in this book, you know, come get in line.  I got there and this man was like, oh, you're going to hell.  And I was like, you know what, I'm done.  I'm like I'm fasting, I'm praying, I'm reading my Bible.  I'm doing everything the Bible says I'm supposed to do to get there and you mean to tell me that I'm still not meeting the expectations.  I will never be good enough for you and I just didn’t want to be here anymore.  I gave up.

Narrator: Corey tried to erase his pain with alcohol and women.  Still feeling empty, one night he took enough pills to end the pain, permanently.

Corey: I was out and I had this vision.  It was a vision of an angel and it was this really big figure so I was a little afraid and it just, said, "And today, I'm going to break the power of depression off of your life, that you're called to reach the nations."  He said to pursue purpose and to not be afraid of the faces of people.  And I woke up.  I felt…immediately, I felt better.  I felt free of that weight.

Narrator: Soon after, Corey met a young Christian woman named Siobhan.

Corey: She was so on fire and meeting her and talking to her, it was something about how she saw me, and it was aside from how everybody else saw me that made me open up to her and trust her, you know because she saw things in me that I'm doing now that I had no idea that was in me to even do.  So that opened me up.  Like, man, let me, let me see what this girl's about, you know, and she pushed me into that place where I was able to get free and get out of that church.

Narrator: Coery and Siobhan fell in love and got married.  For the first time, Coery witnessed the unconditional love of Jesus.

Coery: My wife, is very observant, so she already knew that there was something broken within me.  So she was praying behind the scenes and she was always encouraging me as well, but it was through her love I got to really see God's love through her, like the right way. 

Narrator: Seeking direction, Coery took a prayer walk.  He asked God a question.

Coery: So as I was praying in the park, I asked God like what more do You want from me, what more do I got to do?  And he said, "you don’t have to do anything more, but what I do need from you is that depression."  That's when He revealed to me that the core was not depression.  He told me that it's really rejection is what I'm, my struggle is.  Depression was just a symptom of the rejection that I was faced with and He literally spoke and told me.  I just want, I want that weight you've been carrying around because it doesn’t belong to you because God's not just going to snatch it from you.  I got to freely give it to Him, so I yielded that rejection to God, which literally, I just said, "God, You take it," and that's when that burden truly lifted off of my life when I gave it to Him, and all of the pain and all of those memories that came with it and He set me free, right there in the park.  I felt it drop.  I felt it lift and I no longer struggled with not wanting to be here anymore.

Narrator: Finally knowing he was loved by God, Coery began public speaking and rapping under the alias Change, sharing openly about his struggles and the source of his freedom.

Coery: Grace isn't based on my performance, but it's based on my position in Him.  It's your position in Him that gives you access to His grace.  It's nothing you can work for.  He's rooting for me and He's not waiting for me to fail so that He can condemn me.  He's really loving me, but after that encounter with God in the park, when that spirit lifted, I was able to reach people deeper because now… it's hard to free people from something that you're not completely free from.  God had begun to use me to speak into the lives of countless people with the same testimony of breaking that chain of depression off of their lives and even other things like rejection and fear, be the giant slayer of depression.  I want to travel the whole world rapping and singing, but making sure people understand when the concert is over that no matter who you are and where you are, God loves you and He always will.  It feels great to be free.

Hearing His Voice Testimony

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