Nathan L.

Nathan L.

from MO
Story #587
The focus of my life as a child and teenager revolved around my physical abilities. I played as many different sports as I possibly could as a kid and eventually landed on baseball which I played all the way into college. Achieving great feats of athleticism was my main goal in life putting education and especially God way in the back. I wanted to be the greatest player on every team I was a part of achieving that by practicing sports at every moment of every day, but showing people with my bad attitude. I was an angry kid who always let my temper win on the field and at home with my family. For me I always had to be the best and I always had to be right.

My dominance of sport rolled over into my desire to be dominant as a man making me a womanizer not in the sense of sleeping with many women but doing my best to be with a woman at all times. In high school I devastated girls hearts often in relationships by speaking to them with disrespect and taking advantages of their emotions for my personal gain. Being the angry person I was I often belittled them to think they were of no importance which I actually found doing to both my parents often when I found I disagreed with them. To sum up who I was before God did a work in my heart, I was an arrogant young man oblivious to the realities of beauty of relationships and life thinking I could concur the world on my own.

Ironically God used my weakness of women to bring me into a body of believers that spoke the truth of the Gospel into my life in hopes to see a young mans heart change. The girl who brought me to church in high school and I eventually moved on and I began dating another girl from the church for six years. We were actually three months away from marriage before I called the wedding off due to many factors with the main being my lack of relationship with Jesus. It was, however, at the beginning of this long relationship in high school where my youth pastor shared the Gospel with me and led me by the power of the Spirit to accepting Jesus as my savior. From there I became a staunch church goer who failed almost every day in sexual sin, arrogance, and anger, but learning from the Scriptures and other believers the errors in my ways.

As this girl and I went off to college my faith was challenged constantly. I credit this to the men who surrounded me in my dorm room and classes as I studied to go into ministry. They were men who were not afraid to say, "Nathan, stop acting like you know everything and lose the temper." I never had a rebuttal to my friends as when I studied my past words and actions they were spot on in my behavior toward my girlfriend and others.

It was at college graduation when I realized marrying this girl was the wrong decisions for both of us and the decision to call the wedding off set in motion a desire to know God more in my heart and also a sense of extreme lonesomeness. I found myself living in multiple areas of the East Cost learning more about our God and often rejecting the truths I learned by making the same mistakes with women. My life was falling into a loop of seasons of hope and seasons of failure. This was when my one sister started having kids with a guy that was never going to present in my nephews lives. I made the decision it was time for me to go back home to Kansas City. In the almost three years I have been back in Kansas City I have seen the greatest change in my life because of the Holy Spirit. Humility has overcome me as I have family and friends constantly reminding me of my failures and encouraging me in my abilities. I met my wife who has shown me how to better love her and others that stand right in front of me. My church has sent me back to school for a Masters in Theology that challenges not only my knowledge of God but how I express my knowledge of Him in my life. Taking over a Youth Pastor position while in school has pushed my mental limits of knowing how to handle both justice and grace. And I have seen my family who does not know Christ nor seem to ever show much interest in knowing Christ start to have desires for more truth.

My story is much longer than the combination of words above, but it is a part of the one story that is Jesus Christ. He has/is taking a man and humbling me every day through His Word and His Spirit. I pray I seek His face in all things and remain humble to be a better husband, son, uncle, friend and pastor. For it is only because Christ I am not the angry young man today trying to concur the world on my own.

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