I grew up in a middle class home with 2 parents who loved me and 2 younger siblings. We never went to church growing up – my Dad was a staunch agnostic/atheist and my Mom was a Christian who took opportunities to expose us to the Bible but wanted to honor my Dad’s wishes not to attend church.
As college approached I had designs afterwards of either going into the military or getting a job in Information Technology. I had no interest in spiritual things and once I began college I worked and went to school so all my energy was focused on a worldly view of success.
Then, in the span of a year my world went into tailspin. My time spent in ROTC preparing for a military career came to a halt as commissioning slots dried up and my mother was diagnosed with a serious heart condition. For the first time I began to wonder about the meaning of life.
I didn’t realize it at the time but God was working in my life. I happened into the Baptist Student Center (BCM) between classes one day because I was bored and found I liked the people and having a place to land between classes. I began to go there for recreation and started to read the Bible my mom had given me years before on my own. My heart was being awakened to who Jesus is and the sin in my life that I had never realized or seen before. I was taught self sufficiency growing up and for the first time in my life I was understanding that I couldn’t handle what was happening in my life on my own and that I needed forgiveness for my sins.
I also began to find real fellowship in the Baptist Student Center people who invited me to a college worship and bible study service at a local church. I’d never even been in a church but God was continuing to work on my heart singing contemporary worship songs and opening up God’s word. Finally one night, a friend at the student center and I were talking and he put me on the spot. He asked if I understood what it meant to be saved. I told Him that I thought life was about being a good person and doing the right thing because its the right thing. He explained to me that I could only be saved through faith in Christ and that my best efforts at being a good person were never going to measure up to a Holy God.
That conversation stayed with me in the coming days and weeks. My life seemed more and more uncertain with things with my Mom and my future. Then one day driving to class everything came to bear on my heart and it all finally clicked. I asked Jesus to be Lord of my life and he fundamentally changed me that day. I was such a private person that I didn’t really share my transformation with alot of people immediately but I know people saw the change in me. I sought out a church and began going on Sunday nights and became very involved in the Baptist Student Center.
That circle of Christian friends helped me to understand the bible and grow in my faith over the next few years along my college journey. Despite a dim diagnosis my Mom lived another 25 years. The Air Force was not what God had for me as a career and it turned out to be a blessing because that time was the beginning of a period of cut backs. I pursued IT and served on the council at the student center in my free time (there might have been alot of table tennis involved too) and God opened the door for a job with an excellent local company for me in the midst of the Y2K boom in 1996.
In 2001 I met my wife (at church – I know it’s cliche) and we were married in 2002. After years of struggling with infertility and walking through a season of wondering if we were supposed to be parents God led us into adoption and our son came into our life in 2016. The day that call came was one of the happiest days of our life.
I look back now and see how so many things difficult and seemingly accidental at the time were actually God working on me through His Holy spirit and His plan was unfolding in my life. Part of that was the circle of friends he gave me through the BSC/BCM and the church he placed me in. If you don’t yet know this God who gave up His Son to save you, If you don’t yet know this God who is pursuing you just as he pursued me, I pray that you will begin to listen for His voice and follow it. Here are some resources to help you understand God’s plan for your life.
The Four Spiritual Laws – Why We Are Separated From God and Need A Savior
Finding The Real Jesus – A Book By Lee Strobel For Anyone Wanting To Understand More About Who Jesus Is
Can Man Live Without God – A Book By Ravi Zacharias For Anyone Questioning What They Believe