How did I get here……

Posted: February 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

How it all started

I was 21 years old just wasting my life away. I had somehow got myself into major debt, collections agency’s calling me daily, a credit score around 400, I was a raging drunk, I had a bad drinking and driving problem, loved to fight for no apparent reason, a womanizer and to be honest I was completely ok with all of it. As far as I was concerned life was good. I had what I considered a good job, I had a nice truck and girls. It may have looked good on the outside to some but I was a mess.

Up until this point in my life I had never met a Christian. One time in high school I went to church with my girlfriend but I didnt know what it was all about, she never told me anything about Jesus, we were basically going to humor her grandparents. I had no concept of sin and salvation. I had never thought about where I would go when I die. I never thought about how the world was created or even thought about what the purpose of life was. Somewhere in 2004 I met a girl who I was willing to do anything to get the chance to hook up with. So after talking with her for a few weeks she invites me to church and being the dirtbag that I was I told this huge lie about about how I had been wanting to go to church but didn’t know where to go.

Little did I know that from this point on, my life would never be the same. I can clearly remember hearing the pastor preach with such passion, as if he really believed this Jesus stuff. I can remember him preaching out of Matthew 18 with such passion that it almost brought him to tears. I remember him saying,”Don’t leave this place until you get this, I will stay here all night if I have to. Its this important, don’t leave until you get this!” For the first time in years I felt like someone actually cared about me.

I moved shortly after I began going to church and spent the next 2 years sitting in the pews at a church where I knew nobody. I went to church every sunday and every wednesday. I absolutely loved it. I bought my first bible and began to read it everyday. I started feeling convicted about the things I was doing but I didn’t know what to do. During these 2 years I was always early to church, I was always last to leave and I always sat in the same place. Somehow not even one person every introduced themselves to me or talked to me. My friend who brought me to church was the only christian I knew and she had moved away. I had so many questions and nobody to talk to. I knew deep in my heart that this whole Christian thing was real but I just couldn’t do it alone. I can remember trying to change things in my life but I just couldn’t do it. I’m reading in the bible about how the church is suppose to be a family and live in community, yet I was alone…..fighting for my life. That is until the day a guy named Amil came up and introduced himself to me.

The turning point

Shortly after I had met Amil in 2007 I went to my first small group and finally got a glimpse of what I was missing. I needed christian friends, I needed accountability and I needed to be discipled. I can remember getting called out for my drinking, my foul mouth and my sexual sin. I remember thinking that I would never be able to stop drinking, quit being vulgar 24/7 and stop sleeping around. Within the next 6 months I had completely stopped drinking, I couldn’t remember the last time I cussed and I made a vow not to have sex again till I was married.

Somewhere near the end of 07 I visited a small church plant with a very good friend of mine. She had been serving there and loved it. I really only went to humor her and to see what all the talk was about. I had no desire to be at that church. It was small, no single girls, mostly married couples, they met in the mornings and I liked church in the evenings, it wasn’t near my home and the pastor preached way to long. I loved the church I was going to. I was learning on sundays, I had met a lot of new friends who loved Jesus, I was finally understanding this whole Christian community thing and there were lots of single women (as you can tell this was an important factor at this time in my life….I was an idiot). This is when I really heard from the Lord for the first time and he told me that this small church was my new home. I couldn’t believe it! I had to leave everything that I had been investing in for the last year. However I knew God had a plan and purpose for me in all of this. I immediately began serving at my new church and for the first time began to lead others. In my year and a half at that I church I found my identity in Christ, I realized my calling as a leader, I fell in love with the bible and most importantly I fell in love with Jesus. When God called me away from that church in July of 09, I looked back at all that had happened during my time there and was amazed at how much my life had changed. If you had told me the first day I was at that church that within the next year and a half my life would change like it did, I would have told you that you had lost your mind. Me not having sex? Not drinking? Not trying to hook up with girls at church? Leading other men? Giving up my entire sundays to set up and tear down everything for our church service? Bible study 2 to 3 nights a week? However that is exactly what God did and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Where I am today

It’s now been 6 years since Jesus saved me. I am debt free. I haven’t been drunk in 5 years. I haven’t had sex in over 4 years and that will continue until the day the Lord blesses me with the gift of a wife. All of my sins have been forgiven, those I have committed against others, as well as those committed against me. I couldn’t ask for anything more. Jesus is my everything. Thank you Angelica for bringing me to church and showing me the love of Jesus. You have been a dear friend over the last 8 years and I will do anything for you. Thank you Tommy Green for not letting me leave church that sunday until I got it and showing me that you cared. Your passion and zeal for the Lord has been a huge encouragement for me over the years. Thank you Amil for going out of your way to talk to me, who knows how much longer I would have sat in those pews alone before I walked away from it all. Thank you Brady for calling me out in the midst of my sin and giving me the truth. Thank you friends from Sandals Church for playing such a big role in my story when I first got serious about Jesus. Thank you friends from 777 Church for believing in me and allowing me to be part of your family. You all have a special place deep inside of my heart and I am eternally thankful for all of you. Thank you friends from Tithemi for being so real and letting the Holy Spirit move as He pleases. Thank you friends from Mars Hill Church. You have become my family and I don’t know what I would do without all of you in my life. You will never know how big of an impact you have all had on my life over the last 8 months. I am so thankful to be part of this big family of believers from churches all over So Cal and across the globe. Thank you all for being for me through thick and thin, I love you all and I am your brother till the end.

Jesus I really just stand in awe thinking about all you have done in my life and in the lives of those around me. It blows my mind to think that you would pick me, that you would die for me and that you think I was worth it. You laid down you life for mine and I owe you my life. Jesus you are my everything. Life does not exist apart from you. Thank you Jesus for never leaving me to fight alone. Thank you for always being there for me. I should have died on numerous occasions but you saved me. Thank you for bringing me out of the darkness and into the light. Here I am Lord send me, to the ends of the earth. I rejoice in laying down my life for you. I will spend my entire life sharing my testimony of how you changed my life and reflecting your glory. I will never stop telling people about you and what you did for us on the cross. I am going to run this race you have laid in front of me and I am going to finish well. I am going to leave a legacy that makes much of you. Jesus you are the hero of my story. I love you with all of my heart. Thank you for saving me!

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