I wish I could say that Jesus and I have been best buds since I was 6 years old, but that would be a lie. In all honesty, I did not personally meet Jesus until I was 17 years old contemplating the value of my life. But let’s backtrack a wee little bit.
At the age of 6, I was awoke by my father, whom I did not live with at the time, and was told that my little bro and I were going live with him. As any six year old would be, I was sleepy. It was like 4-5 in the morning. But, I did feel some excitement. Later that day my father explained why I was going to live with him. I don’t remember how he said it, but he revealed to me that my mother had died in a car accident. My mother had gone out on her birthday to celebrate when this happened. It occurred after midnight so she didn’t technically die on her bday. I remember looking for my mom at the funeral home, hoping and praying I could see her walk out and surprise me.
I sat crying between my grandmother and Nanny. I don’t remember where my dad or brothers were even at. My father was a rough man who tried not to cry in front of me. I knew he cried. He kept a strong face and even a smile at times to keep us all strong. The next difficult thing was transitioning to this new life. My father now had us all the time, not saying he couldn’t handle having us but it just wasn’t what we were used to. Boy, life with my dad was a lot different.
Before I go on let me explain that I love(d) my father dearly, but he was unorthodoxed when it came to parenting. He said things to us that shouldn’t have been said to children, There were time he cursed us our, flipped us off, and was physical at times. The environment was clearly not pleasant. That being said, there were times where my father went without food for our sake and I remember him curling up with me in bed to cry with me as we coped with my mother’s death.
From there I attended more funeral than any boy my age should’ve. My nanny (aunt Donna), Uncle John, Uncle Dale to name a few. I became very acquainted with pain and misery. This lead me to deny’s God’s involvement in my life. I attended church but I put on a charade of sorts. Part of me wanted this Jesus thing to work, but wouldn’t ever put in the effort. I claim the life of an atheist for season. However, Jesus is persistent.
In my junior year of high school I began a bout with depression. The thought of my importance began to decrease very passing day, I try to encourage my self through reading my bible and attending a local church, and of course listening to Skillet and Pillar cds. Nothing helped. My father wasn’t any help and seemed annoyed by my attitude. My best friend simply laughed at me. There was help no where. I began cutting my arms as a cry for help. No one noticed. There were mistaken for cat scratches, hmph go figure.
One morning was the worst. I remember walking outside and trying to figure out if I could make a noose out of a water hose and toss it over a tree limb. It had gotten that bad.
Then one day visiting my sister’s house, I sat in a room where I stored my stuff in. I began to look through my large duffle bag and discovered two books, my bible and Peace With God by Rev. Billy Graham. It clicked. I hadn’t even ran to Jesus for support. So I did, I ran hard. I accepted him a few months later in December. I was baptized the following month.
My father died in his sleep that August, I was devastated but not alone. Jesus had been there for me; if not I do not know what I would’ve done. I wasn’t angry at God this time. I was at peace with it.
Since my salvation the Lord has blessed me in too many ways. I have served in both collegiate and youth ministry, traveled to Mexico, sponsored a child in Ethiopia, have been licensed and ordained as a minister, served as a counselor, married to a woman eons out of my league, and was able to travel from Eunice, La to Shawnee, Ks with her to serve those in terrible need while creating a new life for us.
Life with Jesus is an adventure. He has taken me through a life I would’ve never experienced, and for that I am blessed.