After his third suicide attempt as a teenager, DJ Jonny Kane had a ‘Damascus Road’ experience that instantly changed his life. He tells his story to LORRAINE WYLIE
With a family chateau in Bordeaux, ski trips to the Alps and retail therapy on demand, Irish lad Jonny Kane enjoyed luxuries most teenagers only dream about. Yet, by the time he turned 14, Jonny had decided that life wasn’t worth living.
Fortunately, his first attempt to hang himself was unsuccessful. Two years later, he tried again. It also failed to bring the oblivion he craved.
At 18, Jonny’s death wish remained unaltered although, this time when driving at over 90mph, he steered his car off the road and crashed headlong into a tree. Incredibly, Jonny emerged unscathed.
Standing at the side of the road, surveying the scene, the tears began to flow. He felt lost, with nowhere to go and nobody who cared. It was at this moment that God intervened and, instead of death, gave Jonny a reason to live.
He takes up the story.
“My step-dad was an alcoholic,” says Jonny, “and it caused a lot of insecurity and stress. My mum’s work took her away a lot, which meant we kids were often shunted between relatives.
“Very often, we were sent to my grandparents who were strong Christians. Nana would read us Bible stories while Granda said prayers at bedtime. They did their best but couldn’t give me the stability I needed.
“At their home, I was sent to church and enjoyed playing DJ at their youth club. I’d always loved music.
“As I got older, things at home went from bad to worse. I was miserable, depressed and school bullying didn’t help. By the time I was 16, I was dabbling with drink and drugs. Life was pretty unbearable.
“Money didn’t matter – it couldn’t buy happiness, neither could it give me a sense of worth or direction. In the end, I decided that death was preferable to life and, maybe when I was gone, everyone would miss me and realise they loved me after all.
“Looking back, I’m still not sure exactly what was going through my mind on the night I drove my car off the road. All I know is that I was determined that, this time, I wouldn’t survive. But God had other ideas!
“Instead of death, I found my ‘Damascus Road’ experience. The overriding memory is the amazing sound of God’s voice.
“Standing beside the wreckage, I listened as he told me that death was not the doorway to love and hope. It would not bring the release I desired.
“He said that he wanted me to live and experience the joy and passion of the love he had for me.
“He told me I was precious – I was someone special. If I surrendered my life to him, he would give me a future and never let me down.
“Standing there, in the middle of nowhere, that’s exactly what I did. I took God at his word and, from that moment, my life changed.”
Today, at 24, Jonny is a reputable and talented DJ within the music industry. Known to his fans as JonnyK, his music described as ‘electro, funky, house’ is characterised by the zest and passion that belongs to those who have experienced the life-changing power of God.
“Ever since I was a youngster, I wanted to be a DJ. I never thought it would happen. But, when God is in control, there is no limit to what we can do.” Jonny says.
“Music is my career. More importantly, it is my service. Over the years, as a volunteer DJ at the Youth for Christ centre, ‘the Base’ in Ireland, I’ve had the privilege to tell other young people about Jesus.
“Since moving to Scotland, my regular church fellowship is at the Destiny Church in Edinburgh where I’m one of the worship leaders. I particularly appreciate having a best friend who is also my prayer partner. It’s a wonderful support.
“This year has proved really exciting as God has been opening doors for my ministry of music.
“I’ve come a long way since the night God turned my life around. He has given me hope, a real sense of worth and an endless supply of love.
“Now, I can say, I have everything money can’t buy.”
• Find out more about Jonny at www.facebook.com/JonnyKdj Twitter: @JonnyKdj
To read or search stories in our other categories please choose from the following:-
Kisses from Katie - how a US teenager started a ministry to orphans
When 18-year-old Katie Davis left the US for a short missions trip to Uganda, she had no idea she would become a mum to 14 girls. She explains how it all began ...
"I said to God: 'if you're there you've got to help me now because I've had it'"
The widow of entertainment legend Roy Castle once thought good deeds could earn her a place in heaven. Then she met Jesus ...
Why the answer to the UK's adoption and fostering needs ... could be the Church
Adoptive dad and foster parent KRISH KANDIAH explains why more Christians should consider opening their hearts and homes to vulnerable children ...
Pun believer - stand up star Tim Vine gets to the punchline
Joke machine Tim Vine talks faith and funny business with Russ Bravo ...
Telling other people’s stories
Actor Martin Delaney talks about his role in Zero Dark 30, the Bible's influence on his life and his latest fundraising challenge ...
Emmerdale star cycles across Europe to help end UK human trafficking
Actor Tom Lister is taking part in the Zoe Challenge to raise money for the British anti-human trafficking charity, Hope for Justice ...
Jackie Pullinger: 'Mission is what every single believer is called to'
Jackie Pullinger has written books and spoken to thousands about her ministry in Hong Kong, but her greatest joy is seeing “someone touched by Jesus” ...
Elsie, 87, raises cash to provide water for Cambodian village
A pensioner who grew up with no water, gas or electricity at her home in Wales is helping raise funds for children who also have very little...
Comment: The new Pope needs God’s wisdom and courage, says J John
We have our theological differences, but Christians need to respect, support and pray for Pope Francis ...
Praying for life
Dana Allen asks if your life lacks excitement – and believes prayer is one way to recapture it ...