Again, sorry for the delay. I get sidetracked fairly easily as of late. I hope you all are doing well.
As promised, this post will be my personal story; my symphony; my testimony.
I begin to run around with a rougher crowd in junior high. I played football – was pretty decent actually, but never saw it through. I never went on with it because I was introduced to drinking, cigarettes, and pot.
High School was a whirlwind of drunken nights, stoned days, and complete inebriation. I lived to party; I loved to party; parties loved me. You could often find me surrounded by people who were just as wasted as I was and I would play guitar and jam and we’d have some singalongs with Bob Marley, DMB, Sublime, etc. Those were the fun years…or so I thought.
I begin peddling drugs to make more money to buy more drugs. I started getting in really deep with some very criminal people. I became a drug-runner, drug-peddler, drug user…I became a junkie. I was so strung out Senior Year it is a small wonder that I even passed, heck, even made it to class most days. We would drink in my car in the school parking lot before class, smoke pot, take any pill you handed me, used LSD, mushrooms, etc.
High school moved one and into college. Everyone moved away…but me. So I became an isolationist; an island. I begin to feel “sober” when I was stoned and stoned when I was sober. I begin to have these massive anxiety attacks. I begin using harder drugs to cope with the anxiety…and that worked…for a few months…and that’s when the bottom dropped out. I didn’t believe in God in the slightest. My life had been so hard, that the notion of a “loving” God was completely foreign to me.
The drugs began to make the panic worse. I can’t even describe to you the sheer terror that gripped me. I was 18 years old, and I was scared for my life. I begin to stop leaving the house. I sat in my mom’s lap and cried for hours. I stopped sleeping, I stopped eating…I stopped living. I begin to contemplate suicide. I begin to get excited at the possibility that this would all be over soon. I begin to sink very deeply into a dark pit. The next morning was my birthday…and I hoped I would die.
I was in a history class in community college. That’s the day my life changed. I woke up on my Birthday…March 2. Off to class I went. I got there, just hoping to die in a crash, have a heart attack, or at bare minimum get in and out without talking to anyone. A young lady came up to me and said, “Happy Birthday, Scott.” It creeped me out – I had never seen this girl…and she gave me a birthday present. It was neatly wrapped and had a bow. I said, “Thanks…I guess…” and class began.
I set out for home grabbing my present. I got in the door and unwrapped what was a book…a book about Jesus! “Perfect!” I exclaimed…”If I’m gong to get all religious it’s certainly not going to be with Christianity. They are the meanest, most judgmental, hypocritical, lying people EVER! The hardest drinkers in High School were the “Christian School” kids. I read the brief synopsis on the back cover and was immediately enraged. I threw the book in the trash; I laid down on the couch…and I fell into a deep sleep.
I woke up 4 hours later, and just couldn’t shake the feeling that I needed to go re-examine the book…so I did. I opened up the front cover and on the inside of the jacked was a hand-written note. It said,
“Scott, this book is a little slow starting out, but stick with it, I promise it gets better. I hope it leads you to where God wants you to go.” – Rachel.
Okay – so weird. The girl knew my birthday and my name. I turned over to the introduction and the first words i read were, “It’s not about you.” I was intrigued. Before I knew it, I had read this sizable volume and it was in the wee hours of the morning. It talked about Jesus, His death, His resurrection, a love that God has for me, that I have a purpose, and that God is so incredible…and He died to set me free from the punishment of sin and death. I was fascinated. I’d never heard of Jesus in this light. The book was The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, by the way.
The next day I found a Bible in my mom and stepdad’s house and I read The Gospel of John. I was enraptured. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. It was so incredible, yet so simple! I finished the book and realized how I had completely wasted my life…I had ruined every relationship I ever had, burnt all my bridges, was hooked on drugs…but Jesus…He loved me anyway…in fact…He died for me to save me. I begin to weep…I fell on my knees…and at that moment the unthinkable happened. I knew that I was being called by God to be a preacher. I knew that was the reason I was created. I knew I had been found by the son of God.
A few weeks later, I started attending church, was baptized into Christ, and enrolled in Bible College at Ohio Valley University. Today I’m the Senior Minister at the Crosspointe Church of Christ…I get to do what I was called to do every Sunday! I get to talk all day about Jesus. I get to live out the mission that I was created for. I get to share in God’s symphony…my story is connected to His.
A lot has happened between the time I followed Jesus and now. It’s been almost a decade. I’ve had highs and lows. My wife and I have lost two children to miscarriage. We have been through hard times…but through it all, my Father has been faithful to provide, guide, and discipline me. Jesus truly saved my life – twice. He kept me from ending my own life…and when He died on the Cross, He gave me eternal life.
I pray that my story can bring God all the praise, honor, and glory that are due to Him and Him alone. I wasn’t looking for God – He came looking for me. He set me apart to speak His word. He called me…and I answered. I pray that if you’re reading this and you’re on the proverbial fence that you’ll fall into the arms of Jesus. Your life won’t be all “sunshine and rainbows” and you won’t be immune to suffering…but it’s the most incredible ride you’ll ever take.
Thanks for listening.