A shot of a cross placed on a pedestal placed on a rocky hill

My spiritual journey began when I was a child. My family raised me in the church, but we were never fully invested in the house of God. We would go every other Sunday or so, trying to make it when we could. As time went on, I grew a true relationship with God. True in the sense that I would go to church, worship with my hands up high, and feel this overwhelming energy and love. However, once I got home it was like I never went to church. That feeling left me and off to sinning I would go, cussing, lustfulness, and living for the world instead of the God I had just got done praising. I would pick up my bible ever so often, and go through phases where I would be so passionate about the word that I wanted to tell everyone about it! At the age of twelve, no one around me was talking about the word of God, so I went back to behaving like every other 7th grader. I was trying to get girls and be popular. That didn’t work out so well for me. I would go through these phases throughout middle school, truly being a lukewarm Christian. 

My faith in Christ started to grow once I stepped into high school. This is where my faith would be tested to the max, and where I found my real heart for Christ.  Freshman year started and as time went on, I became more involved in the word. I read the bible with meaning, developing a better understanding of the word. I would take church home with me after Sunday services, and attempt to apply what was preached into my life. Easier said than done, but as time went on God kept pulling on my heart. It became easy for me to speak to people about their problems and give advice as I never have before. It was easier to open up about who God is to me and speak of Him to my friends, but I would still find myself struggling with the lust. 

Sophomore year began and I had a big year ahead of me. I was even more into God then I had ever been, going to the altar almost every other Sunday. I was pleading to God to forgive me of my sins, as I continued to struggle with temptation. It was almost as if the more I came to God, the more temptation I would face, always seeming to fail. 

Football was my biggest passion after God at the time. Sophomore year was looking up for me, I would start on JV and plan to move up to varsity. God had a different plan for me. In the first play of the first game, I broke my hand. Of course, you can play with a broken hand, but my doctor wouldn’t allow it. The whole season I would sit out, my chance to prepare for varsity next year went out the window. My spirit was broken, all the hard work I put in was wasted. Instead of being depressed, I felt this overwhelming peace that told me “God had me “. I told everyone that “God has me” and he did. The year was difficult but as time went on it got easier and my faith with God had grown tremendously during that time.  Onto junior it was. 

Junior year arrived with new beginnings and new trials. I set a goal to become a varsity starter, nothing was going to stop me; at least that’s what I thought. When the time came for me to play, I didn’t. Once again, I thought I wasted all of my hard work, just to sit on the sidelines. I did everything right, everything I needed to do. I should’ve been out there, but I wasn’t. This time I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I took this blow a lot harder than my broken hand, it seemed as though my world was crashing down on me.

At the time my family of four lived in a one-bedroom apartment, during this season this was the worst place to live in. I hated it. I begged my parents for years to find us another place to live, but the money was never right. This felt like the biggest weight in the world to carry, and my dad was an alcoholic. He would come home drunk the majority of the week and it would cause division in our household. It didn’t look like he would be stopping any time soon. 

On top of all this my cousin was on his deathbed due to cancer, which hit my mom hard. She was very close to my cousin; she would even call him her first born. It seemed like nothing was going to get better for me.  I was depressed, but if there was one thing, I knew I could do, it was to pray. I would use my voice to speak to God, and ask him why. Why is everything so hard right now? I put my hands together and asked God “would you please have your way in my life, would you take the cancer away from my cousin Ryan’s body so we can have him for a little bit longer”, “God have your way in my father, whatever you have to do, do it, do something that hits him, that makes him realize what he’s doing, that would change his life and ours”, “ and God would you please grant my family and me with another place to live by late April”. I prayed these prayers and prayed them again and again, every night believing in what God could do in my life and so He did.  

A sunny summer afternoon my mom gets a call, as she had been getting every day, receiving updates about my cousin. This time it was good news, he had continued to get better. A lot better in fact, so much better that they released from the hospital and he was declared cancer free! Later that year God took my cousin Ryan as his angel in heaven, but I would never forget that God answered that prayer for me. God gave us a blessing, Ryan being here for a little bit longer. A few weeks after that miracle, my dad would go out for the night, leaving me and my sister alone while my mom was with my cousin in Cedar Hill. It seemed like just another Saturday night, until he didn’t come home the next morning. We didn’t know where he was, my mom was worried so she called the local police departments searching for him. Soon enough she told us my dad was pulled over for a DWI. 

On the surface this seemed like a bad situation, but this was my prayer being answered. This is what needed to happen in order for my dad to change. I can’t tell you how proud I am of him for how far he has come and where he is now.  From that point on he has been sober, and that has had an extremely positive effect on my family. God answered that prayer. 

A couple of months go by and we start talking about moving into a new apartment. These talks would happen every so often and nothing would come of it. I would wave it off and go on with my life. Instead this time I knew it was going to happen! I knew all the blood, sweat, and tears my parents put into providing for us would result in a new home, a bigger home. I knew God had something big brewing for me and my family.  I kept the faith and the day came where God would show out in my life and answer the last request! Sure, enough the talks about an apartment came to fruition and on May 2nd, 2018 we moved into our new apartment. 

The overwhelming joy filled me to the brim, my depression was no more. That sense of hopelessness was no more. What stood left in me was God’s love, my faith in the plan God has for me, and the most spiritual version of myself. 

That year would forever be the year that changed me into who I am today. From that point on I chose to never go back to my old ways, and to make myself new, to pursue God with all that I have. It has been far from easy, temptation doesn’t stop and I do fall short, but because of who God is, because of His grace and perfect mercy, I am forgiven. I had to go to a place where I was alone in order to focus on God and only God, where I felt like there was nowhere to turn but to God. I had to go to a dark place to see that there is only one who can speak light into the darkness.

 God brought me to that place to prepare me for my overflow, to let people know that when you go through rough times it’s not always for you, but for someone who needs to know that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. We must remember that everything happens for a reason. The dark place you might be in right now is to get you focused on the light because true peace lies in the storm, and nothing else matters on this earth besides who God is.  Let me be a testimony for you. Hope you enjoyed my story and stick around for more content.

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