Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Better Grab a Chair....

Well, I said I would tell about my spiritual life, and while it's going to be long winded. We will dive in.

I grew up with a "spiritual" father and a mother who watched church on TV (not that I'm dogging that, I just wasn't really exposed to church through it) My dad was the son of a Methodist father and a Jehovah's Witness mother. He had some bad experiences with the Jehovah's Witnesses and this created a skepticism of church and of organized religion in general. My father believes in God, but I'm not sure about the details. I know he isn't saved though.  I remember when I was little he would tell me how he grew up with this feeling inside that God had a greater purpose for him and he never knew what it was. He said once he had me he knew that purpose was to have me, and that he believed I had a greater purpose. That's something that I took to heart. I am where I am today because of a sweet, neighboring couple Larry and Nina. They always took me, and my buddies Mason, Malia, and Brandy to church and VBS and the local southern baptist church. I never got saved at that church, but thanks to them seeds were planted. Eventually I was about to turn fifteen, I had just started High School, which was terrible. That last spring, my mom and dad got a divorce, now that August, I realized not only would it be awkwardly different at home, but at school too. High school was vicious and hard and the first week itself was depressing. Also at this time, I was in the middle of a breakup. Shocking I know. That escalted things more and more. Finally, my summer project, my ducks, were gone. All Summer I rasied a group of ducks, they were pets and they kept me interested throughout the break. The first week of school, they all disapper. One night after a thunderstorm, they're gone without a trace. All my effors through the summer I poured out on them gone. On the surface, it seemed I was handling it well, but underneath I was falling apart. Then on August 27, 2006, I went for a walk. It was nearing dark and the summer heat was just right.  Stressed out, I went to walk my troubles away. During the walk, all of my failures, fears, stresses, worries and pain were swimming in my mind.  Without a conscious thought, I fell to my knees in my yard. I closed my eyes and cried out. I cried for Christ to come to my rescue. I begged for forgiveness. I came upon the realization I couldn't control my life. The wrecked childhood, the divorce, school, women, or even my own schemes (like the ducks). I needed directions, guidance, and hope. I asked Jesus if he would come into my life, I would aly down all the things that held me back from him. I'd put my trust in him to lead the way and make the choices in my life. I thold him I had doubts though. It was hard for me to believe. I told him I as going to ignore my doubts and just trust, but I couldn't promise they wouldn't haunt me later. WIth tears in my eyes, I accepted Christ in my yard that evening. It could of ended there, but it didn't.  I love rain, I love thunder, I love lightning. I can fall asleep when it rains, so easily. I'm pretty sure it goes back to my early childhood, but I don't remember that far. It's just the most comforting thing to me. Well while I was still on my knees, someting that cemented my faith happened. It was a dry summer, there was no rain in the forecast for the next two weeks.  Then in a way only God could of done, it started to rain. Slowly at first, but within ten seconds, just pouring. Then within a minute, it was all gone. That washed away any doubts I had. God spoke to me at the deepest level that day. My worries started to melt away, and I had a new confidence that everything would be okay. It could end there but it doesn't. I got involved at a local church with some friends. For a year and half I was there, I learned, grew and started to feel a very real calling from God to a leadership role. Sadly, I felt that I needed to move on. I left my church and for a year I was in search of a new one. That came to an end, when I took the invitation of Rachel and went to First Baptist Church of Springdale. I found home. I grew so much in short time. my faith became stronger, I became more knowledgeable and in March 2009 I was baptized, about time. I was having long talks with Rachel about God in our lives. I told her how I had felt God calling me to Africa, and also I felt this pull towards Youth Ministry. I told her about how I was unsure about it, how I'd explain it to my dad but he was very unsure of it etc. Then on April 1st, during the invitation, the speaker mentioned how maybe some people felt called to Ministry. Then he said if so, to pray to God about it, I did just that. I decided to put aside my fears and I surrendered to God's call to full-time ministry.  Now I feel a definitve and real call in my life, I just don't know where that is yet. I don't know if Youth Ministry or Missions is my calling, it may be both. It may be Youth Ministry with a Missions focus or a Missions Ministry with a Youth focus. I don't mind not knowing right now. God will reveal it eventually. When he does, I'll be certain. This is where college comes into play. Eventually I'm considering either a major in Bible with a minor in Youth Ministry or a major in Missions with a minor in Youth Ministry. Either way I got two and a half years to figure out though, so no hurry. Maybe after college, I might look into seminary. This is all within the last four years. I haven't even broke loose yet! God has big plans for me. It will be an exciting journey, ready or not here it comes.


Patrina said...

Exciting indeed! Ready or not, here you come. Thanks for sharing that, Luke. I feel I know you better now. This thing about the rain, The Lord uses rain in much the same way for me. I know exactly what you are talking about. I loved that story.

Also, I wanted to share a quote, since you love quotes :) this was is a great quote about weeping. Which is what you did in your front yard that day.

"Weeping is a place of redemptive work that strength can never take you. "
Bishop Joseph Garlington

You are an amazing 18 year old!


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