Growing up, I had little concern for spiritual things, and, unfortunately, my life reflected that void during my teens and early twenties. Most of those years were wasted bouncing from this to that, seeking my place in this world in many foolish pursuits. I was blessed, though, during that time to have had several divine “interventions” that at least gave me the foundations of the faith, but it would take many years before those seeds would take root.
While I was not hostile to the faith, I didn’t really know who Jesus was. I knew what others said about him, but I didn’t know if he was the Son of God or not. And to my shame, I never took the time to find out.
I met my wonderful wife in 1988, and her gentle spirit and warm nature drew me to her (not to mention that she laughed at my silly jokes). She was raised in the Church and challenged me to look more deeply at my faith. I attended church with her, but only made Jesus “a part” of my life. I figured I could give one hour a week to church, especially for the health of my marriage and as kind of an insurance policy—just in case what everyone said about Jesus happened to be true. I respected Jesus and certainly wouldn’t say anything bad about Him. But in truth, I didn’t acknowledge him as Lord and Savior. I was as lost as I had ever been, just a little better at concealing it.
When my wife was pregnant with our oldest son, the doctors delivered the devastating new that our son had hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid on the brain and a leading cause of retardation and death in infants. As we got the news, we were both crushed. But I couldn’t share with my wife everything I was feeling. I truly believed that God was punishing my son for my sins.
I went to the only place that I could. I prayed more in the short amount of time than I ever had in my life at that point. I begged God to give my son a fair shot at life. I promised to be in church every week, to stop swearing, to be a nicer person and all the things I could pledge in my own strength—another boneheaded move. But thankfully we serve a gracious and understanding God.
Plans were made when my son was born to have a shunt placed into his head to drain the fluid from his brain down into his stomach. The day after he was born, he was given an MRI in preparation for surgery. I’ll never forget the look on the doctor’s face as he told us that there must have been some kind of mistake: our son didn’t have hydrocephalus at all. No one could seem to explain how all of the numerous ultrasounds showing the fluid pooling in his brain could have been wrong.
Naturally, my wife and I were overjoyed at the news, and I set about to be a better person and please God (in my own strength, of course). After several months of relentlessly pursuing my plan, I failed at every turn. The Lord had miraculously healed my son and I couldn’t even keep the simple promises I made. I was disgusted with myself and slipped into a deep depression.
At the point of my brokenness, when I could do no more in my own strength, God brought a strong Christian man into my path. This godly man gently ministered to me in my time of need and provided me with tapes about the inerrancy of the Bible and the Creation vs. Evolution debate. Halfway through the tape series, I realized that every word in the Bible was true and could be trusted. And for the first time in my life, I understood who Jesus was—God’s one and only Son sacrificed for my sins—and that salvation was a gift from God, not earned in any way. I fell on my knees in my living room (in front of the TV of all places) and gave my life to Jesus Christ.
Immediately I wanted to know what God’s Word said. I devoured the Bible, reading it every chance I got. I praise God for the work He’s done with my family and me. All three of my children have accepted Christ as their Savior, as well as both my parents. Now it is my desire to share the message of God’s grace and redemptive power to anyone who will listen.