Paul D.

Paul D.

from MO
Story #542
I’ve been hesitant to share my story because of the fear of judgement. What will people think of me? Will I lose my job? Will I lose friends? All these thoughts have led me to one conclusion. God is the Judge that speaks the truth and I do not fear God’s plan for my life. I WILL not let the enemy’s attempt to silence me be successful any longer.

I grew up in a loving family that I remember attending church with. I recall going more times with my mother than father. At a young age I started becoming involved with athletics. As I became more competitive it seemed that sports overcame Church. This continued throughout high school and I was fortunate enough to continue my athletic abilities into college. I really enjoyed baseball but I also really enjoyed partying. Where did that partying get me? A college dropout, back living with my parents and in a lifestyle of alcohol and gambling.

I floated through my 20’s and early 30’s with some “success” but still unwilling to let go of my sinful behavior. Why would I? God didn’t exist in my mind or my heart. I used people and did whatever I wanted to, when I wanted to. I was selfish and self serving and very much okay with it.

This all changed April 2015. I was drug to church, still hungover from the night before. “I hope I don’t catch on fire when I walk in.” I said. Sat in the back row slumped in my chair trying to figure out how to get out of there. What happened over the next hour was absolutely incredible. Worship music came on and the words just spoke to me and then this friendly, super happy Christian, Clay got on stage and preached the message that felt like I was the only one in the room. My heart was ready, and was stronger than my head. I wanted to know more.

By no means did I completely release my sinful desires from continuing but I learned about this man Jesus who loved me so much that he was willing to die for my sins even though He was the one and only Person to walk on this earth without sin and I can be forgiven through repentance. I struggled with acceptance, my past, my present and my future. How can one really give up that control of their life? December 13th, 2015 I chose to make that decision and started my walk through baptism by that friendly, super happy Christian friend that spoke that message into my heart 8 months earlier. One of my great friends and Christian mentor Jeff (story 525) told me “Now the real work begins”. How true that was. Satan came at me hard and often. In that next 3 years I experienced some serious losses with 3 very close loved ones passing away, struggle with sin and a failed marriage. Even with all of these difficult situations in my life I was able to seek peace and shelter with God’s grace and mercy.

So why am I sharing this? I would still be that lost ship at sea that I was before Christ and would probably be sunk in the ocean if I continued to try to do life without Him, my church and the people that encourage me everyday to go to God’s word and seek the Truth. You can’t do life alone and nothing is more reassuring that there is someone that loves you and wants nothing more than you to love Him with all your heart, your mind and your soul. I pray that this reaches the right person and can bring hope to the lost. Love in Christ—Paul