My life before I surrendered it to Christ was to say the least full of difficulty. From family problems and anger issues to battling addiction to alcohol, there were so many things I was trying to fix on my own that I was completely unable to fix.
I began attending Bible study and in studying God's word it was revealed to me how much I needed the saving power of Jesus Christ who had died for my sins and was the only one who could fix my life and give me hope.
One evening I neglected to go to Bible study due to a situation that arose. I was sitting in my truck listening to a Christian radio station and drowning my sorrows in a bottle. It suddenly dawned on me that there was only one answer to the problems that were plaguing me. The answer came in repenting of my sins and putting my faith in Jesus Christ! Immediately after I gave my life over to Christ I felt a tremendous relief and need to dump the remainder of the bottle on the ground.
Since I surrendered my life to Christ I have seen amazing changes. I have found the strength to cut way back on the drinking that once consume my thoughts daily. My business has become more successful and steady. My life has done a 180. Relationships that were broken are being healed. The changes are too numerous to name them all.
I have a desire to lead my family and worshiping God and want to see others come to know Christ's saving grace. I am grateful to be part of the family of God.
There was nothing good in my life before I came to the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Problems abounded everywhere including lots of conflict between me and my family. The hopelessness that I felt was overwhelming. I began searching for answers to my problems. The question ran rampantly through my mind. How can I fix my life? What can I do to make things right? I couldn't find the answers and I couldn't fix things.
I begin attending Bible study and as we poured over the Scriptures, I started to see how broken my life really was. I needed Jesus Christ! Only His mercy and grace could bring me up out of the pit I was in.
One night while lying in bed I came to realize that I needed to turn my life over to Jesus because only he could fix my brokenness. I begin to pray, repented for my sins and professed my faith in Jesus Christ. As I prayed I felt an amazing sense of relief wash over me as if the weight of the world had fallen from my shoulders.
I am in awe of the changes God is working in my life. Since my repentance many of my family members have joined me in Bible study and have also turned their life over to Jesus. There is now peace where there was no peace, understanding where there previously was none. Relationships are being healed and family members that were separated for the past decade have been reunited. The amount of love I am experiencing in my life is amazing. For the first time in a long time I am looking forward to the future and I have hope again.
I long to see all of my family members, friends, coworkers and everyone I happened to meet come to know the saving grace of Jesus Christ! Lives can be mended and hope can be found in Jesus!
I wasn't brought up in a church going family. When I was about 18 years old I started having a lot of trouble and thinking bad thoughts. I decided to go talk to a Catholic priest. This seemed to help for awhile. I went through a one year program to become a Catholic and was baptized in the Catholic faith. After attending the church for about a year, I found myself wondering about the meaning of it all. The church services seem to be the same and centered around money. I learned little about Jesus or the Bible and eventually stopped attending the church altogether.
I believed there was a God but did little to serve Him or seek him out. My mother passed away about three years ago and I found myself slipping back into depression. I had a Christian friend who was like a brother to me and he helped me through that period of my life. About a year later I met my wife Natasha. She has been a true blessing to me and a testimony through her strong faith in God. I know that God works miracles because my twin girls were born prematurely with many health problems and after much prayer God healed them.
I met with Pastor Daniel to speak with him about baptism and he asked me where I was in my faith. After speaking with him, I realize that I had never turned away from my sins and given my life to Jesus. Sitting with Pastor Daniel, I prayed for forgiveness and put my faith in Jesus. I felt an immediate sense of peace and uplifting.
I am eager to lead my family and faith and service to God.
I repented myself because I was done living my old life. I was done doing the things I used to do. When I repented that meant I open the door to let Jesus Christ in my life. I believe this was good for me, because I could put all my sins that I have made in my past behind me and everything that I have done from now back is my old life and I started fresh, and God can now only see what I do from now on. He don't see all the sins I've made in my past. I have always wanted to open the door for Jesus, but I didn't know if I was ready for that big step but now I know it's the right thing to do, and I know that my life will be alot better from now on. I know my life won't be like roses but it will be amazing for me to allow Jesus Christ to be in my heart now. He has broken that shell off my heart. I know Jesus has done everything for us. He died on a cross for us. I want to talk to people about allowing Jesus Christ to be in their life in their heart because he can and will help you through your pain and struggle, but you also have to allow him to do those things for you. You have to be a believer and all he has wanted us to do is to try to get people to believe and that's what I'm trying to do and will keep doing, because that's what he would want the believers to do for him.
Over french fries at Burger King Charlie discovered the amazing forgiveness of Jesus on November 12th 2015. He declared that he is done with his former way of life and is ready to follow Jesus on the narrow way that leads to life. We will get to celebrate his baptism and his testimony soon! Salvation is from the Lord! Praise God for his power to make the dead come to life!
Luke's Baptism Video
Well into our second year at Crossing Church, we have corporately affirmed these new members as they have covenanted with us to delight in God, abide in his word, and overcome darkness.
Having been brought by divine grace to repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and to submit to His Lordship over our lives and having been baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, we do now, in the presence of God and His people, most joyfully enter into covenant with one another in this local church.
We will work and pray for the unity of this local Church through walking together in brotherly love, edifying, admonishing, nurturing and caring for one another, speaking truth in love, esteeming others above ourselves, and praying for one another. Further, we will seek to avoid those sins that greatly hinder the unity of the Church such as gossip, bitterness, anger, and pride, and we will never act as a stumbling block to our weaker brethren.
We will work together to sustain the ministry of this Church through participating in corporate and community gatherings, observing the ordinances, practicing church discipline, promoting sound doctrine, and giving cheerfully of our finances. Further, we will submit to, and pray for those who lead us, even as they submit to Christ.
We will seek to be men and women that conform our lives to Christ, husbands and wives that pursue God-honoring marriages, grandparents and parents that educate our children in the Holy Scriptures, and sons and daughters that honor and serve our parents. By God’s grace, we will be a people who delight in God, abide in His word, and overcome darkness together!
Before Jesus saved me my heart was a bad heart, and I just wanted to have things my own way. I lied, I argued with my sister, but when Jesus died for my sins, he made me a new me. Even though I deserve to be punished, Jesus took it for me. I believe that he rose from the dead for me. I now know that God is not mad at me for my sins because he’s forgiven me. God gave me the Holy Spirit, and when I wanted to lie, I said “No” to myself, and I told the truth. I thought that I would go to hell, but when Jesus saved me, I knew I was not going to. I know that my life belongs to Jesus now, and I’m really excited.
Taylor Roberts Writes:
Ever since I can remember, I always believed in God and Jesus, but I never truly acknowledged it. I didn't have knowledge to share with others, I had nothing. I thought I was living my life perfectly but I was way wrong. This past week while at church camp [not Crossing Church], I was very moved by the words of the camp pastor Rob Turner. He taught me the different types of faith, none of which are saving faith. I realized I had what he referred to as "comfort faith," which is basically having faith in God to make yourself feel safe. Not to glorify him. That's what I had for so long, and I just now realized it.
At that moment I wanted give my life to Christ, I need him. He is my savior, my God. Matthew 7: 13-14 says, "enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it." I went through the gate, I experienced destruction. But Christ changed my heart an saved my life. I love my God, and I am ready to become a sister in Christ Jesus.
Trey Pugh Writes:
Before I started my life with Christ, I did not know nor understand a lot about him or what it meant to be a Christian. I heard about Jesus Christ from family and friends, and some who even questioned his very existence. For the longest time, I just believed that things just happened without any meaning or cause. It just happened. The more I became intrigued with astronomy, the more I felt closer with God and felt the urge for a better understanding of him and his creation
I know now what God wanted from us. He created us for him to worship him and join him like a family.
I know I have to surrender my past life even at my young age to him. I know Jesus paid for my sins both past, present, and future sins. I do believe He died and rose from the dead so I can live. I know I have to turn from my sins and try to not repeat them, but if I fail, I must confess to him my sins and repent.
My life now must be to tell people about him whenever I can, help lead them to him, and tell them Jesus truly is the Son of God, and he is our savior and we must trust in him. He is the only way to God the Father.
*Scroll down for updates
Anonymous Writes (May 6):
Two or three weeks ago, I prayed that God would send financial provision out of the blue. Last week, we got a check for $800 from my cousins who have only the faintest hint that we have any hardship. The next day, the A/C in our car broke. We took it in and had everything else in the car fixed for $758.80. God provides.
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you (Matt 6:25, 33).
Daniel just preached a sermon on taking comfort in God and not money, for God will provide for our needs. Amen.
Update (May 11):
I was feeling the stress of finances with the prospect of some future income not coming through.
Since I was depending on this, putting some of my emotional security in it, the news came as a let down. I drove home as anxiety sank in. I sat in my driveway praying again that God would drop provision out of the sky. When I went inside, my wife told me her parents decided to give us some money to support us temporarily. As my eyes teared up, I confessed, "God is good" (and possibly "The sermon was right"). I had never asked her parents for money.
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever! (Psalm 107:1)
Update (June 17):
My family and I have recently been financially strapped awaiting approval for long term disability. Months of little to no income have seen God's provision, as witnessed in some of my previous prayers submitted to The Trellis. Our latest provision was running dry and some hard decisions were going to have to be made.
We could no longer wait for long term disability to replace my former income. I had to find a job I could do, no matter how little it paid, which would forfeit my chances of getting long term disability. Such a job wouldn't support my family like disability pay would, but it would put more food on the table than waiting.
So my wife and I prayed, "God, 'give us this day our daily bread.' We really need something to drop out of the sky again." We prayed that with full confidence that God can and with full confidence that whatever happened was God's plan for our lives and was better than our plan. We were effectively praying, "Your will be done." We were trying to pray according to the James 1:5–8 sermon anyway. We prayed that on Monday night, June 15. On Wednesday morning, June 17, I got a call from my long term disability agent. After four months of review, we were going to get back-paid a sizeable amount, plus continuing monthly disability pay, plus the option of working a limited amount without penalty. God is generous. He provides. Amen.
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil (Matt 6:9–13).
A praise report worthy of sharing! God was swift in my answer to prayer. My questions were basically, 'How can you be submissive to your husband if he's wrong, and not seeking rightly after God.' The answer came after just a couple weeks of inner struggle, and ONE DAY of sharing that struggle in the Sermon Q&A. Wow. I'm overwhelmed all over again just typing it. LOL.
Anyways, the answer is 1 Peter 2:24–25 and Ephesians 2:1–11 [see below]. Perspective. We are ALL sinners. And we ALL have sinned and satisfied our sinful craving. I asked myself at what point can I be angry? At what point can I stop and say, "Enough is enough" [and I stop forgiving]? When Jesus did. And "while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" [Romans 5:8]. So there is never a time when enough is enough.
God showed me that by focusing on my husband's weaknesses and how they really hurt my feelings, all I was doing was building a pride wall. Subconsciously, I was telling my husband, "Grow faster!" Even when my feelings are really hurt the idea still says the same. I can be angry and spiteful towards my husband when God [is angry and spiteful towards me and] decides that enough is enough. So, never.
God gave me grace, which sheds a whole new light on submission. Anyway, I could go on. And I have, like, a billion more things to say about it and what God has taught me, but I'll stop here. God is good! And I can stop being submissive (aka grace filled) when Christ quits on me!
1 Peter 2:24–25
24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. 11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands.
(Updated April 14)
- Jessie Wilson: "Family worship!!! Yay! Zac did an amazing job keeping our weekly goal-family worship 2 times a week!!! :) It was awesome!!!!!!! With two little ones-family worship is a struggle! But I was a blessing. We read, sang, and prayed! Yay Zac! Yay Wilson kids! YAYYY JESUS!!!!!" (April 14).
- Anonymous: "A couple started attending Life Groups, felt connected, and invited more people to learn about the Bible and family worship" (April 14).
- Anonymous: "[Someone] said he was excited to be talking about the Bible with our Life Group and committed to start reading the Gospel of John!" (April 11).
- Brian and Sarah Jennings: "Great night of family worship tonight! first time we actually sang as a family in our home" (April 10).
- Phillip Roberts: "We have met our Life Group goals for the week!!!! The kids are excited about having family worship!!" (April 1).
- Many other families, including couples without kids and couples who are dating or engaged, have started family worship.
More to come!
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen (Romans 11:36).
Jean Roberts Writes:
Perspective. That's what I gained today (April). I had 3 breast biopsies done. I was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. After completing my treatments in July, I had hoped to close this chapter in my life. Well I haven't yet. A breast MRI revealed several suspicious areas of concern. So now I wait for results. Results that could change my life.
While I was laying face down on the MRI table today, getting very uncomfortable, I began to pray. I prayed for the procedure to be over so I could get out of the position I had to remain in for 2 hours perfectly still. It was in those moments that I realized that what I was feeling was nothing compared to what Jesus felt when he was on the cross. My discomfort was minor, where His must have been excruciating. Mine had an approaching end within a short time frame. His was slow and agonizing.
It occurred to me that it didn't matter what the results of my MRI were because my ending had already been written in the blood that Jesus shed for ME! Like a parent that would go to the ends of the earth to protect their child, so also did Christ give all for me, His child. I can't tell you what a comfort it was in those hours in the MRI machine to know God's love for me. I only wish that the whole world could know what I know, could feel the peace that only comes from a personal relationship with God.
John 15:8 "By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and prove to be my disciples."
Here are some of the next steps reported in response to the challenge issued in the sermon "Walk While You Have the Light!"
Fighting anger when my children misbehave
Reconciling with my father
Being disciplined to read my Bible and pray
Witnessing to my neighbors
Becoming less selfish
Obeying Christ's call on my life
Being more forgiving and loving
Showing the kind of love and humility modeled in Philippians 2
Add yours here!
Ryan Hay Writes:
I have always thought that I had too much sin in my life and that God would not want to be in it. And that much could not be wiped clean. Then during a sermon here on sin, everything made sense. There is no such thing as too much sin that Jesus has not paid the price for. In Matthew 26:28, Jesus says "For this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins."
It does not say that there are sins that are too great that can not be forgiven.
John 3:17 says, "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him."
I have come to realize that there has not been a sin or will be a sin in my life that Jesus has not paid for with his own blood. And I know that I will be with our heavenly Father in eternal life because Jesus has paid that price for mine and everyone's sin.
Katie Hay Writes:
Before I was saved, I suffered often from self-doubt. I didn't understand how God could love someone like me, though I had been taught all my life. I was nothing special, just an average person, trying to live a relatively good life. I was taught as a child that in order to be saved I just needed to do good deeds, follow the Commandments, go to Confession and Church. As I got older I found that harder to do, and my faith in the Church and God began to wane. I believe that’s when my depression really kicked in. For a long time I have struggled with anxiety and depression.
Things changed when I began coming to Crossing Church. Slowly, but surely, the Holy Spirit started to change my heart. In John 6:44 Jesus says, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.” Looking back, I believe that Jesus has been calling me for a while, but I was too stubborn to listen.
In January of this year, something changed. I felt a longing like never before to learn more and become closer to God. I started coming to service on Sundays and then the Membership Class. Daniel did a sermon about guilt and how we don’t have to feel the guilt of our sins anymore because Jesus has already paid for them through his death and resurrection. That was a truly thought provoking statement, since I have felt guilt most of my life. I always felt that I couldn't measure up and couldn't do everything that God commanded. Then, to hear that it didn't matter that I wasn't perfect and Jesus had already paid the price for me -- It was life altering.
I began to listen to sermons from last year, and the one that hit my heart hard was the one called the, “Mark of the Beast.” In it Daniel talked about how anxiety is the Mark of Beast, and I realized that every time I have let anxiety into my heart I have been allowing the devil in. I haven't been trusting in God and his mercy. I was allowing the devil to whisper in my ear that I was worthless and unworthy of God’s mercy. And then, on the day I listened to the sermon, the Holy Spirit spoke into my heart, and Jesus claimed me for his own, though it took me a bit to truly accept it. I realized that I had never been worthless to God, and so I no longer was unworthy to my own eyes. In 1 Peter 5:6-7 he says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
For the first time in my life, I truly began to rely on God to let him rule over my heart, to give him all my fears and worries and just trust in him. This has made such a huge transformation in my life, faster and more powerful than I could have ever imagined. The Holy Spirit has truly moved my heart and changed me in ways I can’t fully explain. Jesus has wiped away my worries and fears, replacing them with a hunger for God’s word and the truth that Jesus is my Lord and Savior.
On Sunday, February 1, 2015, three individuals were baptized at Crossing Church: Joe Allen, Sarah Simpson, and Anna Grace Lawson. Two of their stories are below.
What is Baptism? More Info→
Sarah Simpson (Age 11) Writes:
When I was about 5-10 years old, I wanted to go to church just for fun. When my family started Crossing Church, I wanted to start learning and understanding the gospel. One day I realized that my heart and attitude had changed, and Jesus had paid for my sins. I am a new person, and I am a child of God. Jesus is now my Lord.
Anna Grace Lawson (Age 9) Writes:
My parents have always taught me about the gospel, but I never really understood what it meant until one day I was really mad and could not control my anger. That is when I realized that I could not do it by myself. Jesus had to help me!
On that day, I understood what my parents had been trying to teach me.
I realized that I was a sinner and that God hates sin. I can not earn salvation. Jesus already earned everything I need by dying on the cross for my sins. I know I can not save myself, so I am trusting Jesus to do it for me. Romans 10:9 says:
"If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."
Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. I wanted to be baptized today as a symbol to show that Jesus has washed away my sins.
JESSIE WILSON WRITES:
As I read my bible this morning, after an evening/morning of being confronted with my sin....I realized something. And I realized it partly because of the words in this sermon! (The first sermon 'Light' on 2/1/15) My sins...the sins I struggle with most, and would rather hide from people are jealousy, pride, my quickness to anger. and self-righteousness. I don't mind sharing my history of sexual immorality. Or drunkenness. I'm not terribly ashamed of those. But I would prefer to hide how quick I am to be jealous and prideful. How deep I fall into self-righteousness. It's DISGUSTING. My sin is DISGUSTING. I am mean, I put my husband down and I micro-manage him. But this morning, as I am faced with all that sin - I remembered an illustration in this sermon.
That when light shines, all the cockroaches run and hide. And when light shines on our sins, we tend to hide it. Ashamed maybe even pretending like it doesn't exist. Or that specific sin doesn't exist (that's me)...but we need to let those cockroaches out. We don't need to hide our sin. It's there. It's a part of the fallen man. And because of the work done on the cross - I am no longer considered guilty. No need for shame...because Christ carried that shame for me. And because of his love for me (Romans 5:6-11), I don't have to hide my sin. I can deal with it. And BECAUSE of his love for me I SHOULDN'T try to hide it. He died on that cross so I wouldn't have to hide from the light, but so I could be FREE.
So this morning, instead of trying to hide my sin from my husband, and my family - I was able to confront it and say 'hey-this is my sin...this is my struggle! And by bringing it into the light, Satan no longer had a hold. But Christ took a hold of me in light. (The Scripture I was reading to bring all of this about was Galatians 5:16-26, and for the first time I actually realized the sin they talk about is MY sin. OUR sin. I've tried to hide it for so long, that I had gotten to the point I didn't even pay attention to it in scripture! THANK YOU JESUS! You abound in love!)
Alician Allen Writes:
This past September, my husband and I found out we were expecting our first child (found out when I went to doc for strep – haha). We were thrilled since we had been "doing nothing to prevent it" for two years. At seven weeks, I started bleeding. My blood was clotting and lead to a miscarriage. I didn't react as strongly as my family or friends. I had peace (at least so I thought) that it just wasn't the right time.
As the months progressed and we did not conceive again again late emotions began to surface. I pushed them back until mid-January when I couldn't take it anymore. Once again, I wasn't pregnant, and I was invited to a baby shower the following Sunday afternoon. I sobbed and cried more than I ever have. I didn't know what to do with myself, who to turn to, or what passages to look for in the Bible. I wasn't close to anyone who had ever experienced the same thing. I mean, my best friend isn't even married yet.
I found myself questioning God, venting the anger I held in. I wanted to figure out why God had made a child inside me just to take him or her back! My husband and I had just started visiting Crossing Church at the first Sunday of the year. I felt like God was telling me that if I contacted Daniel I would find peace. This made no sense to me, since he is a guy and all, but I emailed him anyway. Daniel connected me with a fellow church member who had also experienced two miscarriages. She referred me to a blog by a Christian woman who had miscarried five of ten pregnancies. God answered my questions: "Why?".
This was the answer: God blessed me by choosing me to conceive another person for Him, another person who would praise Him for eternity. I am a mother, and our baby is in heaven. One day I will get to meet my child! I cannot wait until that day. I now have peace in waiting for His perfect timing. I trust His plan, and am at peace. I will continue to pray for a child to raise up in this world to honor God, and I'm sure it'll happen when God says it is time.
Daniel Kidd writes:
I was your "typical guy" before Christ, caring only about one thing. My life was filled with pornography, lust, drinking, cussing, and pretty much whatever my sinful flesh desired (Ephesians 2:3). I could not have cared less about Christianity. I had gone to church for a season and even said I was a Christian, but my lifestyle didn't change at all. I was in danger of hearing Jesus tell me, on that last day, that he never knew me (Matt. 7). Something had to change, and it did.
While in my sophomore year of high school, I met the girl who became my wife. As we dated, she brought me to church. Though I cheated on her several times, She was an example of God's grace as she stayed with me. Roughly a year after our wedding I finally became a Christian and began to grow.
So the point of my story is this: God's grace can bring some of the most disgusting individuals to a saving knowledge of Him. He fixed my broken relationship with him. My wife showed me major grace but Christ showed me so much more.
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).
This is my story. And now I am changed, I am no longer a slave to this world but a slave to the King Jesus Christ. This is my life now:
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20).
Since my conversion, Crossing Church has helped me continue to grow. My walk with the Lord continues and I am so thankful for the men that he uses at Crossing.
Jonathan Heffley writes:
After high school, I took a gap year before attending Asbury University this fall. I faced a lot of heartache, trials, and conflicts in this year. I went through a small bout of depression, lost a few friends, had no social life, and lost direction with my life. Once the summer came and went and I went to Asbury, I fell in love with it and didn’t want to come home to Shepherdsville or my family. I was so excited about starting this new and thrilling life full of new people and experiences that I tried to forget what I had here. This caused some conflict with my parents.
I love my family deeply, and I am extremely grateful for them, but I just didn’t want to be here anymore. I started to argue and fight with my parents a lot about coming home and keeping them updated with my life. To me, there wasn’t a whole lot to update them on from week to week because it was just school, and coming home was not important to me because there wasn’t much for me here anyways. I came home about once a month, plus breaks, wasn’t that enough? I was just ready to be away and be independent.
This prideful state of mind held a place in my life all throughout this Christmas break (12th of December, 2014-11th of January, 2015). It started out fine. I spent most of my time working and when I wasn’t working I was playing video games or occasionally out with some high school friends. But after the first week I was ready to get back, and get away, to Asbury. Once again I do love my family and my parents, but I just had this anxiousness I couldn’t explain that made me want to leave.
Once the New Year hit and I had spent a majority of the break either working or gaming, I grew a very hard shell around my emotions. I developed a very negative attitude and became angry, upset, and irritated by the smallest of things, which especially showed at work. After a few bad shifts and a few coworkers working on my nerves, I let the anger take control. As I continued working, I began cursing these people out in my head and not allowing myself any room to forgive or help them. A few particular coworkers really irritated me and I could literally feel my blood pressure rising and my hands shaking when they started talking. By the grace of God I was able to keep control and not yell at them, even though I wanted to so badly. I cooled down in the break room for a few minutes and finished out my shift. The rest of that night and the nights following went about the same. I had a very cold shoulder towards these people and some of my customers as well. I did end up snapping at a few people, but no mental breakdowns or yelling matches with people. Once I was home from work, I’d do the same thing to my family or friends who were trying to talk to me. This just caused more unrest in my house.
On Sunday I almost didn’t wake up for church (sorry, Daniel). But I decided to go and see everyone and maybe cheer myself up a bit. The very first Sunday of the New Year was one of the most impacting sermons I’ve heard in my life. Daniel began to preach on James 4, as well as my favorite verse, 1 Corinthians 9:27.
What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions (James 4:1-3).
But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified (1 Corinthians 9:27).
God definitely meant for me to hear this sermon. He went on to say this at one point in the sermon: “Name-calling is essentially telling a person where they fit into your kingdom.” I immediately thought of all the names I had called people in my head in the past week and how ashamed I was of it.
Essentially everything I had been feeling was summed up in these two verses. I wanted to be away and to be back but I couldn’t, so I was murdering (not literally, but I was being very rude). I was fighting and wanted my own agenda satisfied that I didn’t think about the other people in my life. Most of the time my coworkers look to me to be the uplifting guy at work. I always have a song to sing, joke to say, or word of encouragement to help someone out and I was being a hypocrite this week.
After the sermon, I went home and apologized to my family and my coworkers that I had been rude with. I repented that day and let the anger leave my body and mind. Even when I felt it coming back, I just prayed that the Lord take control over it and let his spirit shine through me.