My dad has been the Music Pastor at my home church for almost 21 years, so I have always been involved in the church. As a result of my high level of involvement in the church it is difficult to determine the actual moment of my regeneration and conversion, but I will explain my best estimation of when that transformation took place in my life.
In 1991, when I was five years old, my mom presented the gospel to me personally. Having grown up in the church I had heard the gospel many times at this point, but it was the first time that I really understood my personal need for a Savior. I didn’t understand all the complexities of sin and all the eternal implications of the depravity of man, but I did know that I had done bad things and that those bad things would separate me from God forever. I understood that Jesus was the Son of God and that He died for me. I understood that I needed to believe and trust in that. That day in my dad’s office I trusted in Christ, and as well as my five year old vocabulary allowed me to communicate, “I made Jesus the Boss of my life.”
As I grew older into my early teen years I began to have doubts about my conversion experience. I had little memory of it, and I wasn’t even sure if the memories I had were actual memories, or just memories I had manufactured based on what others had told me. Because of my young age at the point of my conversion there was no dramatic change in my lifestyle. At the age of five, the worst sin I had to repent from was simply lying about taking a nap or sneaking an extra cookie or two. There was no dramatic turning from alcoholism or drug abuse. There was no explicit sin in my past with which I could contrast my post-conversion lifestyle. The combination of these elements led to a period of doubt in my life about the authenticity of my conversion.
While I am still not positive of the exact moment of my regeneration, I sincerely believe that I was genuinely converted at the early age of five as previously described. I know that I understood my need for a Savior, and I trusted in and submitted to Jesus Christ and His Lordship over my life. I have come to realize that even though I was not dramatically saved out of a lifestyle of explicit sin, I was dramatically saved from that lifestyle all together. The amazing grace that saves the homosexual and drug addict is the same saving grace that saved me at an early age. It is the same saving grace that has kept me from fulfilling my sinful potential by falling into a sinful lifestyle. I know that I am redeemed because I am putting my trust in Jesus’ finished work on the cross on my behalf and I am submitting my life to His Lordship.
Around the age of seventeen I began to feel God calling me to ministry. I didn’t know what specific field of ministry, and quite frankly I couldn’t care less. For whatever reason, I was not sensitive to that calling and tried as hard as I could to ignore it and push it away. As a result of the hardness of my heart, I developed an apathetic attitude about my relationship with God. Looking back, it grieves me to even think about my attitude toward my Lord and Savior who selflessly sacrificed Himself for me!
Through a series of events and confrontations with my parents and especially my youth pastor, I realized that my apathetic attitude had to end. Once again, I committed myself to growing in my relationship with Christ. I began getting back into the Word and having a daily devotional time. I asked God to change my heart. As a result of my revitalized relationship with Christ, I submitted to His calling on my life for ministry. During the 2006-07 school year I attended the Word of Life Bible Institute in Hudson, Florida. My year at the Bible Institute was one of the best years of my life. I was totally immersed in the Word of God for a solid year. I developed a love and passion for God’s Word and for ministry. My submission to God’s call to ministry was transformed into passion and excitement. I was enthusiastic about ministry, but I still didn’t know specifically what field of ministry.
The next two years I continued praying for God’s direction as far as a specific field of ministry. In the last year God has given me a focus and a calling to the pastoral ministry. I am so passionate about God and His Word. I love to read it, study it, pray it, and talk about it. I have a passion for the preaching of God’s Word to His people. I am so excited about the direction God has given me for ministry! I am so thankful that God has not only called me to this ministry, but also given me a burning passion for it. Just as Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” God is my delight and He has given me the desire and passion for preaching His word.
This is not a testimony of my faithfulness to God, but instead it is a testimony of God’s faithfulness to me. God was faithful to save me at a young age. He was faithful to keep me from a graphic lifestyle of sin. Even during a time of spiritual apathy God was faithful to reawaken my heart and draw me back to Himself. God has been faithful to me in ways that are unimaginable, and for one reason: God is using my life to bring glory to Himself! I am so humbled to be a part of that!
By His grace, for His glory