My Testimony

Well my story of my walk. Here I am 34 now (not to far away from 35) and I just am starting to feel like I have some things in life sorted out. It has been a long road but I like where I am at with the Lord so I guess I wouldn’t change anything.

The past is a scary thing to look upon, especially in the knowledge that one day we will stand before an all perfect God and be judged for the life that we have lived. All I can say is thank God for his plan of redemption and salvation through the blood of his son Jesus Christ. If it was not for his sacrifice there really would be no hope for this world.

Here lately I have had to do some soul searching, look back at my journey with the Lord and recall my testimony. Everyone has a story for their walk with the Lord, but I think it is always hard for one to admit the sins of the past.

I’ll give you my walk and try to be as brief as I can.

My mother and father really did raise me to know the Lord, I remember being a very young age, around the age of about 4 or 5 years old, I was at a Christian Youth camp at a Lutheran church in Eureka. I remember being in church and being by myself and asking Jesus into my heart, no one told me to do this, I just did this on my own. The Holy Spirit came into me that day, and I felt something different from that moment on. Looking back it really is crazy to think that the Lord was with me at such a young age. I think I was a typical kid, but I do remember being spiritually attacked by the children in the neighborhood, there is a darkness from my neighborhood that I can’t really place my finger on, I just know that it was there and that the Lord protected me through all of this.

Moving on to the teen years, my parents kind of fell away from attending church on a regular basis, I think that was a turning point in my relationship with God. I guess I saw that it wasn’t all that important anymore and so I didn’t put much effort into it. I still considered myself a believer and a Christian but there really wasn’t much behind it.

Then my Grandfather Joe became sick with cancer and began to die, so we as a family started to attend the Catholic church up the road from where we used to live so we could attend church with my Grandpa. Catholic Church seemed very odd to me. It just didn’t fit for me for some reason but I was too young to understand why or what was the problem. I then started attending classes so I could take communion and learn to confess my sins to the priest. (Now I just take them straight to God) The instructor that I had was a very strange fellow, he was married but to me his wife was old enough to be his mother. I won’t go into too many details but I almost sensed a perversion about this man, in respect to him and his authority he held over the young men that were at the church. I might have been reading too much into the situation but looking back at the very least it was a very, very uncomfortable situation. Through it all I was able to pass what ever classes it was that I was taking and I was able to take communion, and at the time I thought it was a pretty big deal, not so much because I really grasped the sacrifice that was made for me to be able to eat and drink, but rather the sacrifice that I had made of time to get to that point through the classes I was taking. I guess it was a religious pride that really held not power what so ever.

I believe at the age of 13 my grandfather passes away and I was pretty crushed, I really did love him and I even miss him dearly. I hope to see him again one day in Heaven. I hope he is there, for some reason there was sin from his past that was so great that he never really let go of it, he never forgave himself for this sin, even if Christ forgave him he couldn’t let it go. That is what makes me think that he didn’t fully grasp what Christ did for us. We all fall short of his glory, he did a work for us that can never be repaid, it is just a gift, we can either accept it or deny it. It really is that simple.

Moving on, I meet you in my teen years, you know you say you are sorry for not showing me what a young girl of God is supposed to be like, well I say to you I am sorry for not respecting you like the young woman of God that you were. My mother told me time and time again about the gift of marriage and the gift of saving ones self for marriage. Sad to say I did not follow my mothers teachings.

I can say that I do remember a time when we went to the Christian youth retreat, I know for a fact that in that setting I saw God, I saw what he was calling me to do, and I saw what I need to be as a young man of God. And I let the lust of the flesh consume me to the point where I cause you to fall and sin right along with me, so for that I am truly sorry.

But for me this was just the beginning of many sinful acts. And all through this I was saying that I was a good person, really good in fact. I was judging myself to my peers and I was the best around, how foolish I was back then to walk around and say “man I am soooo good compared to my friends.” “Look at me, I’m a Christian.” I really did feel as if I was better than everyone else. But in retrospect I was living my life for myself, going after my own fleshly desires.

When I was twenty one I was hear broken, the woman that I thought I would marry left me, and I didn’t see it coming. I really did think that I had it all figured out at that time and then the rug was completely swept out from under my feet. I went into a big depression. I would say I was really, really sad for a bout a good 3 – 4 years. And in this time I turned my attention to my friends. I started to do things that I thought I would never do. First it started out with smoking Marijuana on a regular basis. At least every weekend and some times during the week if we were hanging out. Of course we were also drinking heavily.

When I was around the age of 23 I met a young lady that came from a somewhat broken home, she was a beautiful girl and she really did have a great personality. But being the heartbroken fool that I was, I never fully lover her the way I should have because my heart was still living in the past. She had to move out of her living situation and so we moved in together. The relationship only lasted about 2 years. There really wasn’t any God in our lives at all, I know that my relationship with God was really pushed back in my life, I think in those 2 years I can count on one hand all the talks that we had about God. And yet I still called myself a Christian. I sure would call on God in the dark times but when things were good it really seemed like he wasn’t around. I now realize that was because I was pushing him away.

The girl I was with during these 2 years was for the most part a really good hearted person, and she despised drugs of any kind. We had a very odd relationship, since I was over 21 and she was not I would go out with my friends to the bars, I would later go to the clubs and that is when I started doing Ecstasy. This was toward the end of the relationship. I hid all of this from her, even though I didn’t love her I never cheated on her, that is about the only positive thing I can say about the relationship.

From here is where things really began to spiral out of control. I was living with a friend of mine, a guy from high school, I’m sure you would recognize the name so I won’t mention it. Let’s just say that living in his house with no restrictions at all wasn’t a good thing for me and my life, but I can’t try to lay one ounce of guilt at his feet because I allowed everything to happen to me happen and I have to take full blame for my own actions.

The club scene was really exploding at that time and I was in love with that life style and I was in love with the drugs and the music. Every week me and my friends would get more and more into the drugs. And before you know it the Ecstasy, Alcohol and Marijuana became Cocaine, Shrooms, Liquid G and Cat Tranquilizers. Also in this time frame I went from sleeping with just 3 women in my life time to well over 20. Once again I compared myself to my friends and those around me, and once again I told myself that I really wasn’t that bad. I really can’t say that I felt like much of a Christian those days. God was very far removed from my mind.

I remember the night that I hit rock bottom, but I had one really vivid encounter a few days before that. It was Christmas Eve and I was at my new girlfriend’s house with my buddy that I lived with at that time. His girlfriend and my girlfriend were best friends and they lived together, how convenient right. We were partying and smoking Marijuana, I then realized that I need to go and meet my family for midnight mass, so I went. While I was there in church I really was being attacked spiritually by wicked dark forces. I know that I was high in church, but I knew that I should not be there, I did something very offensive against God but I was being told to get out and it wasn’t by God. I was so knee deep in my sin at that point that even this was not a wake up call for me, and I immediately went back to partying right after this encounter.

Rock bottom happened to me shortly after, It was New Years Eve night the year turning over to the year 2000. That night I was on some sort of suicide drug mission. I just wanted to get as messed up as my life was at the time, and boy did I do a good job of trying. I started the night off with drinking, then some Marijuana, then some cocaine, then some shrooms, then to top the night off we did some Special K (Cat tranquilizers) I was to the point where I was blacking out standing up. One minute I was standing inside talking to someone and the next I was standing outside and I had no idea how I got there. There was a point where I really thought I could die from what I did to myself, but I wasn’t panicked, I just didn’t care. I remember that very early in the morning before the sun came up we went back to my girlfriends house to sleep. I was having trouble sleeping because my mind would not rest because of all the drugs that I had in my system. So I remember that I went out side and I watched the sun rise for the first time on the year 2000. It was one of the most beautiful sunrises that I had ever seen, and I begun to break down and cry. In that moment I was reminded of the glory and the splendor of our Lords creation and I was broken in that moment. I had true repentance and I asked God to forgive me for the life I had been living. I asked if he would return in my life.

There was a gradual change from that day and my life began to improve, I made progress and I moved forward. I moved in with another friend of mine and this house was less crazy than the last. I started to make a real effort to move out of Missouri and had my sights set on California. I built up my portfolio to the point where I landed a job in California; I was talking with God more at this point and even picking up a bible here and there.

The mistake that I made was I choose to have my girlfriend come and move to California with me. I choose to have her move with me not because I loved her but rather because I was a coward and I didn’t want to make the move by myself. We were only together for about 6 months before we moved to California, and I almost split up with her before we moved out together. This is again another situation where I have to lay all of the blame at my feet, I never should have put myself in this situation.

The minute that we arrived in California she was home sick for her family, she was deeply depressed, we fought constantly, and my way of dealing with things was to be high as much as possible on marijuana. We came to a point in the relationship where we almost spit up again, but I didn’t have the courage to send her home. A few months later she was pregnant and we had a little girl together. Trinity. Our relationship progressed in a downward spiral, so much so that I had to make a decision on weather or not I could continue or not. Looking back I did not explore every avenue of building our relationship up to the point were we could be a husband and wife and raise our child together. Instead I sent her along with my daughter back to Missouri. One of the hardest decisions I ever had to make. Now it seems like the right decision but no matter what I miss my daughter and the relationship that we do not have because of the mistakes that I have made.

I slept with quite a few women before I met my wife. And before you get comfortable the madness isn’t over yet.

It is very difficult to write this but my wife was a married woman when I met her, I perused her even though I knew she was a married woman, I committed adultery with this woman and she left her husband and took her two children with her to live with me in California. We started to peruse God together and started to attend a church together. Even though I was in great sin at the time, looking back, God was calling me back to himself.

I remember hearing the Lord speak to me and he told me to “let them go” I know the thought was not my own, when God speaks to you, you know it does not come from yourself. I wrestled with this, and told Tabatha that she needed to go back to her husband. I knew I loved her, and I was deeply in Lust with her but God spoke to me and I felt I had better listen. I wish I could say that I did listen and that I sent her home, but once again in my life I let the desires of my flesh have the best of me. I didn’t want to let her go.

Not too long after I heard God speak to me I got laid off from my job and things got tight, so Tabatha planned a trip to go and visit with her family. About 2 months later I was able to find a job in San Diego, I started working and was there for a few months when It was time for Tab to go back and visit her parents. She never returned. She decided to try and go back to her husband.

Even though God told me to let her go I still couldn’t put myself aside, my feelings aside and do what was right.

At this point I started to turn back to God again, I started to attend a church and I began to deal with my sin. I started to pray for Tabatha and her Husband and to pray for their family. One night, while I was in a deep prayer over the situation God gave me a vision of a little girl and a little boy. I knew that this was my little girl and boy and it was Tabatha’s little girl and boy. I didn’t understand for the life of me why I was being shown this. Here I was paying for their family and here I was shown our family that I thought would never come.

I could go into more details about how we came back together but none of it is honorable in the sight of the Lord. I will say this though, in order for us to be together everything had to come together perfectly the way it did, I would like to say that it was God willing that we are together but part of me knows the sin from the past is so great that I don’t see how there could ever be a blessing from God on the relationship. The only thing I can think of is that God for knew the future and he knew the people we would become. Still the whole thing is very confusing for me and there is still guilt over the situation. I did find in scripture where King David, committed adultery, and had the woman’s husband killed so he could pursue her, and David came to a place of repentance and he was forgiven for his sin.

And just like David I must not say anything other than “I have sinned against the Lord.”

I just learned this prayer tonight, Psalm 51:

Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your loving kindness; According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity And cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions, And my sin is ever before me. Psalm 51
Against You, You only, I have sinned And done what is evil in Your sight, So that You are justified when You speak And blameless when You judge.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.
Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.
Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me to hear joy and gladness, Let the bones which You have broken rejoice.
Hide Your face from my sins And blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners will be converted to You.
Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation; Then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips, That my mouth may declare Your praise.
For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; You are not pleased with burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.
By Your favor do good to Zion; Build the walls of Jerusalem.
Then You will delight in righteous sacrifices, In burnt offering and whole burnt offering; Then young bulls will be offered on Your altar.

2 years ago the Lord was pressing on me to get baptized, I was baptized as a child and didn’t know if I need to be re baptized or not. The Lord kept speaking to me, and I finally turned my life over to Christ, only this time I knew fully what I was doing, I fully knew the power of the blood of the messiah, I fully knew of his sacrifice, I fully knew of his love for me and his creation.

To this day I know that I was bought at a price, I know that I drove the nails into the hands and feet of my God, I know that I beat him, I know that I spit in his face, I know that I whipped his back, I know that I scourged him and ripped his flesh, I know that I made a crown of thorns and I placed it upon his head, I know that I pierced his side. I know that I made his blood pour out for my sin, for my transgressions, for my hatred, for my unloving and for my selfishness.

And even though I have done all these things, my God still loves me, and he died for me so that I might live.

My god restored me, he cleansed me, he washed me white as snow and he reclaimed me as one of his children.

This is why I am so in Love with Christ!