My story really begins back when I was eight years old in the summer of 2011. Recently my uncle had passed away in a tragic motorcycle accident. Not long after that event, we had a bit of a different Sunday morning service. I remember splitting up into small groups and just talking about things that were going on and taking prayer requests. In lou of the recent accident, I began to ask questions about what happens after death. I do not recall what I said for sure, but I know they were related to what happens after death. When I start asking these questions my dad took me down to the basement of the church. He shared with me how Jesus is the way to enter heaven after you die. He explained to me that if you do not accept Jesus you will go to hell. He explained what it meant to put your faith in Jesus. That day I made the decision to accept Christ as my savior. The next week I was baptized proclaiming that Jesus was my lord and savior. My spiritual growth journey would continue from there. A large part of my spiritual growth was the study of the gospel of John. As I began to study this passage and many other passages in the Bible I began to draw closer to Jesus.
My journey would take an unexpected turn at camp when I was in eighth grade. At the end of that week at camp, the other guys and I were having a devotional in the cabin. I suddenly had the idea of going into the ministry pop into my head. I had never even considered the idea of going into the ministry. My plan was always to go to a trade school and work a blue-collar job. Going into ministry was not on my radar.
I thought that surely I must be mistaken, God would not want me to go into ministry. My thought was, “I can barely talk to people how will be able to speak in front of an entire church?” The Sunday after camp was the Sunday when students who went to camp would give their testimony. The students would share things at camp that they had learned or something that had really impacted their life. I felt God leading me to share a testimony about camp. This would be the first time I had ever spoken in front of a crowd of people before, but for some reason, I felt confident sharing this particular Sunday. That Sunday I shared a testimony about apathy in the church.
During the week, the speaker had talked about apathy in the church. I really took what the speaker had said to heart and started thinking about it. As I thought about this idea I began to research it more. I found some passages in 1 Corinthians that talked about the problem of apathy in the church. I cannot recall exactly where those passages are found now, but I remember that being the basis from which I shared that Sunday morning. Using those verses I talked about apathy in the church and how it is necessary that the church resist apathy and continue to be on fire for the gospel.
I felt that the testimony had gone well. Following the testimony, there were people in the church who told me that I had done a good job. I knew that it wasn’t me who did a great job, but God has given me the words and strength to share what was on my heart. The testimony experience seemed to have gone well. When I reflected on the experience, I thought, “if God can me the strength to share that, then surely he will give me the strength to share in front of audiences of people.”
This experience gave me the confidence to pursue ministry. Unfortunately, this would not be where my journey ends. Throughout the next few years, I began to waiver in pursuit of ministry. Ministry did not seem like an appealing career. I wanted to do something that would be “cool” and make me a lot of money. God’s plan was not what I wanted to do and I rebelled against the idea.
My perspective shifted at camp 2018. That week at camp I was really trying to get into the word more. Wednesday morning I wake up and I went down by a small creek we had next to the cabin. I open my Bible to John 1. John 1:1-3 talks about how God was in the beginning and how he created all things. At that moment, I realized I had been rebelling against the smartest most powerful being and surely he knew more than me. “Would not God know what is best for my life?” The other verse that was a big part of my journey that week was Matthew 10:39 which says “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. ” (Mat 10:39 ESV). This verse hit me like a ton of bricks as I was thinking about it. I realized that true fulfillment in life only comes through doing the will of God. If you try to seek fulfillment by yourself you will only lose what you were trying to gain.
From that moment forward I made up my mind, I was going to follow God and pursue ministry. Now I am studying pastoral ministry at Calvary University. I am doing my best to walk with God and continue to do His will.