As a boy I was raised knowing who God and Jesus were, but I never took stock in truly believing and following their teachings and lessons that were written in the Bible. As I grew up, though I knew who God was, my priorities were shaped around all of the sinful things that teenage boys are routinely tempted by, and these sins manifested themselves into practices that led me into adulthood. By the age of thirty-one, I had been married for four years and I was a new father, and I began to realize that I was not living and providing the type of life that is conducive to a healthy family. Though these thoughts were running through my mind and the occasional conversation would occur with my wife, neither her nor I did anything about addressing the problem. It was after we had our second child that our perspectives began to change. My wife and I had our family, and it was time for us to take the future of our family seriously, so in September of 2012 we began to attend High Desert Church,
Attending church for the next year was somewhat sporadic. My wife and I bounced back and forth between the campuses of Phelan and Victorville. We would listen to the message and talk about it on the way home, but my heart was not one hundred percent invested into it. It was in August when my wife and I began to hear the summer messages about getting involved within the church that we realized that in order to grow as Christians, we needed to make more of a commitment. After some discussion, we decided to join a small group.
I have to tell you, if there is anything that will test your faith and/or help you grow in it, it is going through the small group process. Attending “The Gathering” was like the Christian version of rush week. You were uncertain of which fraternity to pledge to and you sort of wondered what the hazing would be like once you committed to the group. I’m glad to say that Kristin and I chose a good group, and that is where my testimony truly begins.
Joining a small group for me was the key that opened the door and my eyes to what being a Christian is all about. It was in the course of just our first couple of meetings that I knew I had to make a commitment to Christ, if I ever wanted to truly understand who He was and what He sacrificed on my behalf. It was sometime in October, after a couple of small group meetings, that I chose to truly follow the Lord. Upon making that commitment, the two weeks that followed felt as though I was going through a spiritual detox. As I began to re-calibrate my mind and heart to push out all of the sin that had controlled me for so many years, I felt a numbness and burning throughout my body and soul, sort of like a two week hangover for lack of a better example… As this sensation worked its way out of my body, I felt empty, but ready to receive the Spirit of Christ as I began my walk with Him.
For the last year and a half, my life has truly taken on a better form. In no way is my life perfect, but I can honestly say I’m a better person – a better father, a better husband, a better professional, and a better follower of Christ. It is a relief to me that I can always count on Christ to be there for me, to guide me, to support me, to push me, to shake His head at me (figuratively) and love me. I know my sins do not make me worthy of saving, but Jesus has saved me anyway, and this is something that has truly humbled me. I’m glad I learned my ABC’s at HDC – it has forever changed my life.