My Story

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1 Corinthians 15:10

“But by the grace of God, I am what I am…”

It was a typical school year, I was 15 years old and like most teenagers I was searching for my identity. I lived a pretty simple life. In school I wasn’t involved in sports, but spent some time in band, mainly because the band trip was a week long vacation to Disney Land. I was one of those “under the radar kids,” I had potential to do well but lacked the desire to try. Like most kids my age my friends were important and I had plenty of them, but none really worthy to be called my best friend. But then when you have a twin brother there really isn’t the need for a best friend. My brother and I enjoyed hanging out, having fun and just being kids. My dad made pretty good money and so we often splurged on all the toys and gadgets we could find. We had a boat, jet-skis, a beautiful camper, 4-wheelers and wouldn’t have been caught without name brand clothes and shoes. Our identity was entangled in stuff; it was who we were and we loved it, but life as we knew it was about to change…

Like most kids around Christmas, my brother and I would raid the house looking for hidden Christmas presents and were always pretty successful at finding them; either that or my mother was pretty bad at hiding them. That particular Christmas as we searched the house, digging through drawers and looking under couches, we made a discovery that would change our lives forever. We were stunned at first, looking at each other then back at our discovery. “Is that what I think it is?” I asked my brother. There was a pause and then speechless we turned away and never mentioned it again, moving on with our lives as though nothing ever happened. However, in the back of my mind I began to dwell on the events of that day and could not ever quite shake the feelings of confusion, fear and uncertainty that was now present. …

As the months went on things got worse. I began to see my parents drifting, seeming to be present in body, but absent in mind. Information began getting out as people began to ask questions. How was I supposed to continue acting normal and pretending there was nothing was amiss in my family. Then one day it happened; my worst nightmare. I remember walking outside only to stare in shock as I watched my parents being handcuffed and shoved into a cop car. The two most important people in my life, my strength, my protection and my provision. I can still hear my dad’s voice. “Everything is going to be ok,” he promised. But, I could only shake my head, how? Why? What now? My body seemed numb as my world came crashing down around me. My identity, security, future and family, gone in an instant. …

The next few days were the longest days of my life. We moved in with our grandparents and I can remember lying awake in bed at night wondering if there was even a God. I would ask, “If You’re really up there, then why is all this happening to me?” I couldn’t understand, even on the limited knowledge of religion I had, how a loving God would allow such pain and confusion to interrupt my life. …

My Aunt, who also lived with Grandma, was one of those religious people who were always talking about God and had always tried to drag us to church growing up, but we had developed a pretty good ability to stay up so late on Saturday night that no one would expect us to get up Sunday morning to attend church. She never did allow that to discourage her. She replaced all of our board games at Grandma’s house with Christian board games; for example, Monopoly became Bible-oply and Uno became Amen. Now that we lived in the same house as her she was a lot harder to deter. We began attending church with her at a Pentecostal church in Tyler, Texas. Although I had attended church with her when I was much younger I had never had the privilege of attending a true Apostolic church service and it was here that I experienced a feeling I had never before felt. I didn’t know what it was, but it was like something or Someone was reaching for me. I didn’t know what to do, so I just followed what I saw everyone else doing.

I made my way to the front of the sanctuary and lifted my hands, reaching out for the One who was reaching for me. I remember standing there crying, not sure why I was crying, but feeling a love I had never felt before and a peace that can not be explained. It was on this day that I received the baptism of the Holy Ghost and discovered God’s purpose. Suddenly it all became clear; the turmoil, pain, confusion and all the chaos wasn’t some form of God overlooking me, but the mercy of God intervening in my life! Psalms 23, David wrote, “…Thy rod and Thy staff comfort me.” The rod and staff were the same object. On one was side was the hook which was called the staff. This side was used to gently pull the sheep back into the fold when it began to stray. The other side was blunt and would be used to break the legs of the sheep if he continued to stray. The shepherd pick up the wounded sheep, wrap him in his arms and carry him to his destination. The love of the shepherd was so strong that he was willing to put it through severe pain in order to protect and save it. … 

Today, both of my parents are active members of their local church, getting closer to God everyday and consumed with His mercy! Our relationship has never been stronger, and they are the greatest people I know! Our family has never been closer and I am amazed at how God was able to reunite a family that was torn apart. My family is now bonded stronger than it had ever been because of the trials we endured together. I cannot describe the joy I feel as I watch my parents lift their hands and give glory to the God who redeemed them! Yes, there are scars from the past, but those scars don’t serve as condemnation, but rather as the testimony of God’s mercy. Did we deserve it? No! But God’s mercy is not predicated on our goodness, it’s predicated on His goodness. …

my family

That’s one big happy family!!

My family serves as a testimony that no problem is too big and no storm too rough! If you will allow God access into your life, He will change your destiny!

mom and dad

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