I grew up in a Christian home and my parents tried to instill Christian values into all of us kids. My family attended church activities on Sunday morning and evening as well as Wednesday nights. By a young age, I had memorized most of the bible stories through Sunday school and I could answer most of the questions asked by my Sunday school teachers.
I was homeschooled through the 5th grade and had little interaction with friends who were not part of the area homeschool group or my church. As I became more involved with sports in junior high; I began to meet many people who did not share my beliefs and who lived differently than I was brought up. I wanted to fit in. I wanted to be accepted. Up to this point in my life my faith and what I had been taught had never been tested. Wanting to be accepted and not stand out I began to do things I knew were wrong.
At first it was what most would consider small things. I began to swear, tell dirty jokes and look at images that were inappropriate. I felt guilty about doing these things because I knew they were wrong. Over time, the feelings of guilt seemed to subside as I suppressed my knowledge of right and wrong and fed the desires of my own selfishness. By the time high school came around, I probably showed little sign of my Christian upbringing, unless, of course, I was around my parents or someone from church.
By my senior year, I was addicted to chewing tobacco and drinking alcohol whenever I could get my hands on it. Dating was all about fun and I poorly treated those who I dated because I was consumed with own gratification. It was all about me, nothing else mattered but trying to fill the hole I felt inside with pleasure. I mention a hole because that’s exactly what there was. Nothing I tried filled that hole. I was sad and angry with my life. That hole in my life was supposed to be filled by God and I knew it. Sadly I did not want to change. I was determined to live life my own way, even if I knew I was walking the wrong path.
In college all of the aforementioned lifestyle characteristics exponentially increased. The more I consumed myself with these activities the worse I felt. Thankfully, a change was coming. Between my junior and senior year, I started to feel wrong about how I was living. Which was strange because I had not felt wrong about anything for many years. That fall many things started to fall apart. The relationship I had been in for several years ended and drinking had become where I went to get away from all the stress of my personal failures. At this point I started to realize what had been happening over the last six months. I had started to feel wrong because God was convicting me of the way I lived. He wanted me to turn my life to Him. One night on my way home from work I finally realized there was only one way to set my life right. I called up my best friend, who incidentally is also my cousin and I told him that in order to get my life back on track I needed to give up my selfishness. I needed what he had been praying about for years, I needed to give my life to God. We both prayed together on my drive home and I put my faith in Jesus.
That night was the first night in many years I felt truly happy. Many areas of wrong behavior changed instantly that night but for other areas it has been a process. I am ever changing as God reveals himself to me and the path he has led me down has been remarkable. The hardest part of my process was forgiving myself for how I had treated people in my life, especially those I had dated. God had forgiven me, but I needed to forgive myself. God spoke to my heart and told me I should not date again until He said I was ready. This was a huge act of faith for me for I longed for female companionship. It was over two years before God gave me the go-ahead to pursue a wife.
When I became a Christian and put my faith in the Creator of the universe, my life changed drastically. God filled the void that was inside that I could not fill through my sinful behavior. For the first time I knew I was in the right frame of mind and life began to have meaning, joy, peace, and love.
God has now blessed me with a wonderful wife and two energetic boys. My faith is ever growing and I am striving to mature in a life of faith in Him who created me. This voyage of life is not all smooth sailing nor will it ever be, but my life is joyful through the trials because I know my Savior.
Why post this online? Why on our business page? I want you to find the joy of Jesus. Maybe your story is similar to mine. Maybe you were never raised in a Christian home and know nothing about that which I am speaking. I would love to talk to you, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are called to share the good news of Jesus! I was given an undeserved gift of love; you also can receive this gift. He is calling you.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.