As I pause and take a moment to look back over my life, I can recall that I was not always a Christian. I would use phrases like, “I’m a spiritual person,” or “I believe in God.” While not always knowing exactly which god I believed in. If we start from the very beginning of my life, which is a good place to start, we can see God’s hand at work in my life. Before I was born, my mother was informed that she would never be able to conceive, and if she did, I was more than likely going to be born with some birth defects. Low and behold the doctors were not completely wrong. I was born with a disease called pyloric stenosis, which was not fun. At five weeks old I was vomiting blood and could have died without the surgery the doctors had to preform. As time went by my health improved and life was good for a while until I was about nine or ten years old, when I was attacked by two Rottweiler’s and I ended up with five bite marks and twenty-seven stitches in my left arm. As if that were not enough, my father ended up with around five lung and several brain tumors caused by cancer he contracted due to Agent Orange. He ended up passing away a few months after I turned twelve. With all of these things taking place at such a young age I found a way to cope with the pain the only way that I knew how. I began to drink alcohol, at first in small amounts only with “friends” and then I began to do it more and more on my own, to the point that by the age of fifteen, I was a fully functional alcoholic; In order to support my drinking I started doing other illegal activities. By the time I was twenty years old I was drinking and smoking marijuana on a daily basis. I had also started selling weed as a way to help cover my own habit.
There came a point in my life when I had literally smoked myself straight, and asked myself “What am I doing?” It was at that point I realized I needed something greater than drugs and alcohol to fulfill me. For me it was not an overnight change, I contacted a good friend of mine who told me to read the book of Proverbs. It was as I read through the book, that I realized everything that was an unwise and despicable man, resided inside of me. I would later talk to my neighbor who would take me through a set of Scriptures that would convict my heart and point me to my need of Jesus to save me. I would be told that everyone is a sinner and the cost for sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life; That Jesus paid this price for my sin, and if I believed in him my life would be changed.
Immediately the biggest change that took place in my life was that I no longer desired to live the lifestyle I was previously pursuing. I gave up weed and alcohol that night, and smoking cigarettes came a few months later, which has been over twelve years ago this month. I call it my second birthday, I gave my life to the Lord on August 8, 2002, standing in my side yard talking with my neighbor. Since then I have not done anything associated with my former lifestyle. I completely stopped hustling and left my former friends alone explaining to them why I could no longer hang out with them. I was however, able to share with them the power of Christ. This does not mean I am perfect, I still have my struggles, but I know that through Christ I can over come anything.
May I share with you how you can experience a life change like mine?