Everyone has a story to tell, a story about how they were made new through the acceptance of Jesus Christ into their life. Our stories are important to tell as they give us each a living testimony regarding God’s goodness, and mercy, and grace. The wonderful thing about our stories is that they are ever changing. God doesn’t just work in our lives once and then leave us, He cares for us and is always at work in our lives. It is through the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives that addictions and strong holds are broken from our lives, that healing from past hurts and regrets occurs, and that we are made more into the image of God everyday. So if you would be so courageous please just click on the comment button below and share with us your story. Thank you all in advance for sharing and I just pray that people would be blessed immensely by reading your stories about how God has redeemed you and has lifted you up from the grave.
Here is my story. . .
As a child I grew up in church. My parents made sure that we were at church regularly. I was sprinkled with water as a baby and then went through my Sunday School and Confirmation classes. I was confirmed and was then able to receive communion; unfortunately though I walked away from God and church once I joined the military. Looking back I guess I never really owned my faith, I would say I was simply living on borrowed faith. I spent six years of my life living how I wanted to live, well not exactly how I wanted to live, but I got to a point where I didn’t even know if God existed anymore because I could not see Him in my life. In 2008 I got transferred to Missouri to be a training instructor and my life transformation began. I was blessed to have had my realtor’s family take me in to live in the apartment in their garage while I waited to close on my house. We lived in a very small community and I was not fully aware of what I was getting myself into at the time, but they asked if I went to church and I said yea…I’m a Christian, it’s funny how things change so quickly.
Well my life didn’t necessarily change right away, but I definitely knew there was something different about these people and the way they lived their lives compared to how I had been living mine. Like I said it was a small community and the church was literally made up of basically a couple of families so when church was completely enmeshed into the lives of those who I was staying with. I quickly learned what it really meant to know God and to live for God. The more I heard of the Word the more hungry I became, then in roughly January of 2009 I gave my life to the Lord and was baptized as an adult. I still did not fully know what I was getting myself into, but I knew that I had seen the real thing in the people around me and I wanted it. I was lonely, scared, and I felt alone, but God began to rescue me from that.
My baptism was just the beginning of the story. I began to get heavily involved in church. I was on the board, I did the communion devotionals, I led the youth group, I led singing from time to time, and numerous other things. I was engaged, but I had not yet fully surrendered, I guess I probably still haven’t but I am working on it. Without getting into too much back story I had a house in South Dakota and my house in Missouri and as things would have it my renters that were living in my South Dakota house were moving and I needed new renters or for my house to sell. Needless to say neither of those things happened and I ended up having to put my Missouri house up for sale, but it was not selling either. I had finally reached the end of my rope when I no longer had food in the house, even though I had been getting meals from everyone that I knew, I didn’t have money for gas to get to work, my credit card of $500 was maxed out, and I could no longer pay my bills. I was desperate and broken. It was a Friday evening and I was waiting on a ride to a Men’s Retreat that we were having when it happened. I was done …I dropped to my knees and sobbed while praying for God to help me. I was sorry for being greedy, for wanting more than I needed, and for not following Him and trusting in Him. Nothing happened, at least not in that moment.
That night at the retreat I received a phone call from one of my realtors saying that someone had looked at the house and was extremely interested. I was elated! The next morning the same thing happened, except it was the realtor of my other house calling. By that afternoon I had received calls from both realtors telling me that offers had been placed and that my houses were sold if I accepted…I did. It still gives me chills to think about it, but in less than 24 hours God had done what only He could do. He picked me up out of the depths and gave me life. Now as anyone who has ever been in debt knows this was not the end, but it was the beginning to the end and I had a new outlook on life.
Eventually I would come to receive a calling from God to be a minister after being blessed and inspired so greatly by the wonderful people around me. I quit my degree plan that I was working on and started what has been a long journey of schooling and ministry. I do not know exactly what God is calling me into, but by His leading he has led me to a wonderful woman who has given me great joy and has been a wonderful blessing to me. He has led us through many trials, because surprise I am still a sinner and mess things up, but God is so faithful and has taken me on what is only the beginning of a long journey of giving myself fully to Him. I am so thankful that He reached down and picked me up when I need Him the most and I have not regretted giving myself to him since. I know that God will continue to shape me into what He wants me to be and I am so blessed to know that I have a Father in heaven who loves me and cares for me, even when I mess it up, and I look forward to the journey ahead with my lovely bride.