ELEVEN YEARS AGO, the LORD reached deep into my heart and stirred within me a longing for something more in my life. He started my quest for answers to a life going nowhere.
Four years into my search — in November 2010 — I turned my life over to Jesus Christ.
Since then, Jesus has made a home in my heart and began a massive overhaul, remaking me in His image. The change has been dramatic, with a lot of heavy lifting left.
I’m amazed at His patience (it took a long time for me to commit), at His grace (His gift of Jesus Christ’s work on the cross for my sins), and His commitment (His willingness to slog through the mess of my heart and stay with me).
The change He has brought about is a small replica of the Fruit of the Spirit — He has brought more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control into my life. While I am not “there” in the sense that Jesus is or where He wants me, He has taken me down the road.
IT TOOK ME FOUR YEARS to read through the Bible, attend Bible study courses, meet with Christians, and watch their lives before I was ready to surrender to Jesus.
My biggest stumbling block was accepting Jesus after having raised my two daughters in a home where Jesus didn’t exist. He helped me jump across that hurdle by telling me that anyone who loved their daughters — or any other family member — more than Him wasn’t worthy of Him.
I wanted Jesus, and I knew I wanted Him more than anyone else. Mostly, I knew that He wanted me. I accepted His call.
Eleven years ago, I was a broken man. I had burned through two marriages, half-a-dozen job losses, failure to avoid debt or even plan for the future, the product of alcohol abuse that kept me from making any progress.
JESUS TURNED ME into a man with hope and a future.
In the place of despair, I have a beautiful and spiritually blessed wife; in the place of dependency, I have no need for alcohol in any quantity; in the place of debt, I have a generous retirement policy and assets that I hadn’t known were available.
Now, with God’s grace, I can praise Him and honor Him through my words and my life.
Even so, every day I am convicted of sinful thoughts, words, and deeds, but I am no longer walking in sin, committed to it, and finding ways to indulge it.
Instead, I am committed to learning more about what God reveals to me, living out the Gospel in my personal life, and sharing the Good News whenever I find an opportunity.