Felton B.

Felton B.

from MO
Story #488
My story begins really with Panama the country I was born in. I was raised by a single mother and my grandparents early on. At a young age I knew of God and about Jesus his son because of the influence of my mother and grandparents. Like most typical boys, I really focused on play and although I was learning things about God none of it really sunk in until later. Then came a man that changed everything. My mother brought a guy home who became my step dad.

I wish that I could say everything was great and our lives changed for the better. The honest truth is many times I wished I never left Panama. My stepfather was hard nosed and quick to whip you if you disobeyed. I quickly resented him especially because I was happy with my grandparents and my mom. Things were rough for all of us when we first moved to the United States as we stayed in Oklahoma with his mom until we got to his duty station in North Carolina. Things there were rocky at best.

North Carolina was the true beginning of my spiritual growth. My mom, my siblings, and I got invited to a church by some neighbors and there things started to change for us all. By then we were getting comfortable at school, making friends, and us kids were attending Sunday school. Here I met my favorite teacher of all time, Mrs. Ransaw. This lady made you feel like you were special and her enthusiasm, love for the Lord, and teaching ability made learning about the Lord exciting. She encouraged me in such a special way that when we moved away she still kept in contact with me for many years. Although, we attended that church during the am. In the afternoons many kids in the area would get on a bus and go to a Children's Church called Berean Baptist Church. It was there that I really learned about Jesus and how much he loved us. Mrs. Ransaw was teaching about the bible and Berean Baptist Church introduced me to the Son of God in a way where I knew that I wanted to invite him into my heart. At this time I was 8 years old.

Overtime, we moved as military families do, and as I grew my interests began to change. I still loved God but I was struggling with identity, an attraction for girls, and my own insecurities. My stepfather was not always a good influence, although we did get him to begin going to church. Eventually, he accepted Christ but it was very difficult for him to totally change. I found myself getting tempted in ways that I had never before and not really having anyone who could help me understand what I was feeling. So, I found that I was getting ahead of myself, and moving way to fast with girls.

After graduating from high school, I joined the military, I met my wife, and things began to change. At first, I struggled with guilt as I felt like I let God down; by the way I was living before I got married. Later, after the military, I finished college and did student teaching in Lee's Summit. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise and truly the turning point in my spiritual growth. I began getting involved in the church and making connections with other Christian men who began pouring into me. I began attending several bible studies and eventually I got introduced to CTC (Character that Counts). There I made some connections with my accountability brothers who I meet with weekly. Those men and our small group are the people that help me stay focused .

God is using me to encourage others and that is truly my calling. So now, my wife, son, and I are continuing to grow in our faith. and it its is not always easy. I use all my gifts to try to encourage others to accept Christ without having to go through all the muck that I did. Currently through teaching, coaching, and a school club that I run, my focus is on educating boys and letting them know how much our heavenly Father loves us. At school I have to do that more through actions but I plug in Jesus by trying to be more like him each and everyday. So, I pray that my story would encourage you to accept that Jesus is the way the truth and the life, and no one comes to Father but through him.

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