From as young as I can remember my dad has been a heavy drinker, this environment made my childhood and early teens hard and family life was troubled as a result of the drink especially as I got older. Being the youngest of four brothers and not drinking myself, I have often felt last. My relationship with my dad has suffered and I don’t have much of a connection with him. Growing up like this made me question God, why would he let this happen?
My mum did take my brothers and I to church, although they stopped coming eventually. I continued to attend every Sunday morning, but I never took it seriously, I just went to play the games. However, I kept attending even though I didn’t really know what I believed or felt about God. I also wondered what my friends would say if I got into this thing in a big way!
I was praying that God would show me who he really is, and one Sunday morning at church I really felt something on my heart saying “You are really loved” I knew this was God. I was 14 years old at this time.
When I was 15 years old, I started to think more seriously about everything! I soon realised not only that God loved me but that the people in the church I attended also loved me. This was the start of real change for me, and made me more determined to know who Jesus was because of it. I started to stay in the services on Sunday mornings to listen to the Pastor preach.
At the of 16, I had made the most important decision ever - I gave my life to Jesus. Something in me changed, I felt different. I didn’t care anymore what my friends would say, I just felt loved by my heavenly Father, something I have not had much of from my earthly father.
In 2011 I attended a Christian festival called New Wine. I went up for prayer and someone from the prayer team shared with me exactly how I was feeling – knowing that I was carrying much in my heart. I was encouraged to give it all up to God, who sees your pain and sees your suffering. But it`s him who heals the broken-hearted and heals the suffering in life with his strength. Psalm 18:2 The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I felt free and knew I should get Baptised.
Later on that year I did just that – it was awesome. Since my Baptism I just simply know that Jesus is walking with me everywhere I walk. Yes, there are still times when I struggle at home with the same family situation but I know Jesus is with me in it all. I know Jesus is working behind the scenes. Jesus never said it’s going to be easy on the journey. The righteous will flourish like a palm tree (Psalm 92:12); when the storms come, the palm trees bend but they snap back into shape. I definitely have a long way to go and much to learn (God has a lot of work left to do), but because of God’s promises I will keep following and trusting him with my life.
I am so excited about what God is doing in my life and all I want to do is keep getting to know Him more. He is the core of my life.