Lewisville, Texas, is the place where I called home for the first 18 years of my life. My younger sister and I were raised primarily by our single mom, though we saw our dad every Wednesday night for dinner, and every other weekend as part of the court ordered divorce agreement. Life was always problematic at home; my sister and I did not have much in common, and my relationship with my mom was distant to say the least. We were “Christian” by title, but that description created no framework for our daily lives. Outside of the occasional “we need to start going to church again”, I would hear from my mom whenever we had not been in a while, Christianity meant nothing more to me than a one way ticket to heaven when this life was over. My life, however, was characterized by one thing: getting out of Lewisville and making a better life for myself.
I finally tasted what I thought was freedom when I went to the University of Texas at San Antonio. However, I did not realize that this freedom to live how I wanted only trapped me in a bondage of sin. I quickly pursued a party lifestyle, filled with alcohol and lust. My hope was to come to college and find myself and my purpose in life, all while having as much fun as I could possibly have. The portrait of my life was best characterized as deceptive. From the outside; I had friends, I was on track to be the first college graduate of my family, and I had a plan to make a lot of money. My life was as good as it could be. Everyone talked about what a great kid that my mom had raised. But, they only knew what I allowed them to see. What they did not know was that I was lost. My life was empty and void of real meaning. In this pursuit of purpose and what I thought would be fulfilling, all I found was guilt, darkness, and despair because of the life I was living. But how could I expect to find myself without knowing the One who created me? How could I possibly know myself without understanding the intrinsic value and abounding-love with which I was designed and created? The short answer is that I couldn't.
Then on October 4, 2012, my whole world shifted. In a moment that I never could have anticipated, alone in my college dorm room, I met Jesus for the first time. He lifted the shame and darkness from my life and filled me with His love and His Holy Spirit.
After this, my life was completely changed. Living for myself and everything I wanted had led me nowhere worth being, but now I knew the God of the universe, who loved me and gave His life for me! The only thing that mattered was living for Him. I began reading the Bible and allowing the Holy Spirit to transform my life from the inside out. This was not easy, of course, but I did not care because God was all I wanted. The Lord began bringing many people into my life, who discipled me and helped me continue to grow close to Him. Over the next few years, the Lord put a fire in my heart to see other lost people come to know the Savior of the world. I joined Chi Alpha, became a Small Group Leader, and eventually joined Chi Alpha staff team to work full time in campus ministry. My wife, Sarah, and I had the privilege to work with Chi Alpha Manhattan in New York City for the last three years before the Lord opened a door for us to return to Texas to serve Him alongside the other staff members here at the University of Texas - Arlington.
The most wonderful thing is that my relationship with Jesus only grows more beautiful. It has been a little over 10 years now since the Lord met me in my dorm room, and as I look back on my life, God has done things that I would have never dreamed of. I can easily say that the best day of my life was that night when I made the decision to walk with Jesus, and I look forward to being with Him for eternity.