A year ago my life was full of anger, bitterness, and distrust. My wife and I had recently had two boys and I was unhappy with life. I was constantly impatient and mean to my family. My marriage was suffering and I sought counseling to get myself turned around. My counselor was very insightful and together we came to the conclusion that I was lacking a spiritual side. I was very skeptical as to how to accomplish this. I was raised in a Catholic family and quit going when I was given the chance to decide for myself. I felt that much of the Catholic Church was structured around dogma and was very hypocritical.
I was mystified, however, with some examples of Christians that I knew. My father in law, for example, always seems content. He always seemed to have patience. I’ve never seen him angry. My wife’s cousin and her family seem to always have their hearts in the right spot. Maybe I was just going to the wrong church.
My wife started attending HDC and a small group. I was skeptical at first, but it seemed to have a positive impact on her. It also introduced us as a couple to other church members. They seemed to have better attitudes about things than I was normally experiencing. When I left my job a little over six months ago I was pretty miserable. I was ready for a positive change in my life. I didn’t really understand what I needed, but I was willing to do something different in my life to make a change
I started attending HDC shortly after that. I was admittedly a bit wary at first, given my previous church history, but I enjoyed attending weekly. The messages shared by Pastor Tom and others week after week seemed that they were constructed just for me and what I was going through. Over the next few months I changed my viewpoint. Things were less about me against the challenges of the world. For once I felt that Jesus truly had my back. All that was required of me was to trust that he did.
This really started to help my attitude towards life. I was able to admit that my actions and feelings were not always things I could be proud of. I wanted to do better. I wanted to be a better husband and father. A better example for my kids. I began to question what would really happen at the end of my life. I finally believed that there was a better way to do things, and that way was through Jesus Christ. Then I realized I needed Him, and I began to accept the truth I was hearing about Him. I decided to start serving in a role for the Church. I was surprised how much it really made me feel a member of the Church Community. I had always felt more comfortable being on the outside looking in as far as any group was concerned. That was something hugely different for me. I would say that this really helped me decide to go ahead with Baptism and become a member of the Church.
With Jesus in my life I feel less like a one man army against the struggles of the world. I have more patience in stressful situations. I am less angry all the time. I am more accepting that God has a plan for me. I’m more capable of love. I’ve got a way to go yet, but at least I have a start.
This whole journey I could sum up like this: Belief in Jesus will take the weight of the world off your shoulders and give you peace.