Thank you for your interest in what God did in the life of Shane West!
It is my prayer that God ministers to you through “My Story” – Shane West
I wish you could see where God’s brought me from. The best testimony that you can have is your own, whatever God has done for you. Let me start by saying that on July 25, 1966, a big bouncing baby boy, 5lbs. 6 oz., was born in Fresno, California. I don’t remember much about a family life but when I was about 5 years old my father, Carl West, sat at the kitchen table with me at my home in Fresno and with tears in his eyes he said, "Son, your momma and I are going to go our separate ways". At the age of 5 years old, I looked up at my daddy and there was a look in his eyes that I knew things would never be the same. He told me how much he loved me but still today I can’t see how a man like my daddy can leave me all alone.
When they separated I started seeing things that I would love to say I’d never seen. I saw things like a father that would pick me up and take me over to where he was staying and introduce me to his girlfriend. The divorce was not yet final and he had met a woman sometime before he told my mother. The woman’s name was "Elaine". She had the same name as my mother. My father told me not to mention her to anyone and I hurt because I knew my father was doing wrong.
Through the young years of my life I was in the hospital most of the time. I was a very asthmatic young boy and spent several weeks in oxygen tents and I believe a lot of it was my nerves, the things I was seeing and feeling. I can remember being rushed to the hospital in the midst of a foggy night. They would throw me in a tub of ice to get my temperature down and put me in a little oxygen tent. I will never forget and cannot explain this but I will tell you what happened. At the age of six I was in an oxygen tent with my family members sitting around spending the night with me. My mother was off work and sitting next to me. She has been a waitress for 49 years. She had to work because my daddy wasn’t around and she had to put clothes on my back and food on the table. It seemed as though I went to sleep. I saw a countryside, hills, a meadow and grass waving in the wind, the sun was so bright and the day was so pretty, and there was such a peaceful feeling coming over me. When I came to, the doctors and nurses were by my side working on me. To this day, I don’t know what happened, except I’ve never felt that feeling since that day. But I was sick most of the time and I remember my father getting mad at me because I was always having to go to the hospital, always having adrenaline shots. Once the doctor told me that my arm looked like a pin cushion.
When I was eight, I remember going to my father when he was on a bar stool. He threw some change down, cussed and told me to buy him some cigarettes in the machine. I bent down, picked up the change, put the change in the machine, hit the button and the pack of cigarettes came out. I carried them to my daddy and he looked at those drunk men around him and said, "See, I told you my son was worth something". That’s what sin will do to a family. There were times my father would get drunk and come over and beat on my mother, even though they had been divorced for years. I would pretend I was sleeping. Christmas was not about a big tree, family get togethers and happiness. Every holiday I would dread and fear because I knew that Thanksgiving and Christmas meant people coming over and drinking wine at the dinner table. Soon that wine would be drunk in excess and there would be drunkenness and then fights. My mother had men who lived with her and she would be fighting with them, scratching their faces. They would be beating on her. I remember when I was about 11 or 12, seeing a man that lived with my mother slap and knock her down. She would yell for me but I could not do much at that age. I would just look at him and he could see that if I could, I would have ripped his face off his head. I had bitterness and hatred in me. Every time I’d walk away my mother would get back up slapping and cussing and he would knock her down again. Christmas time would come and we didn’t have presents like other kids, we had fights. We had people calling police to our house because of the disturbance. We had momma being beat up and daddy coming over drunk trying to pick me up for Christmas and he’s beating up on momma’s boyfriend and everybody’s fighting and this is supposed to be the time of rejoicing. I never had any Christmas’s as a young person. One time, my father came over drunk at Christmas, and my mom’s boyfriend, Elliott, walked out of the house and my father asked him what was in his back. Elliott had a big down jacket on and a knife was hanging out of his back where someone had tried to knife him. That’s the kind of holidays I had.