Hey man, I was really curious about your testimony. Just kind of what brought you from unbelief to belief(besides the grace of God). Like, what happened? I bet God did something pretty freaking cool.
You know, I wish I could say there was some thunderous magical world-rocking moment when God tore open the skies and slayed me. But it was really a lot of little things that uppercut me over and over. Most of it was from poor decisions, and other things were bodyslammed on my forehead.
I did grow up an atheist. I decided at ten there was no God. My parents divorced on my fourteenth birthday. There was tons of racism at my school. At some point in my teen years I drank too much and became addicted to strip clubs. There was some fighting, some stupid pseudo-gang stuff, a lot of girl problems, a porn addiction for fifteen years. There was a suicide attempt in 2004, and that was after I had become a “Christian.” I’ve battled depression on and off for years. There are actually whole months I don’t remember because I was walking in a depressed fog.
There was a bad girlfriend for over a year (I was not a good boyfriend to her either). When I tried to break it off with her she tried to kill herself. I stayed with her in fear of her life. In my lowest moment, I grew frustrated with her one day and pushed her to the floor. She broke her wrist.
I’m sorry if these stories disappoint some of you all. It’s a past I’m not proud of; full of regrets and bad choices and no excuses. Totally understand if you unfollow.
It wasn’t until about 2006 that God really blew me up. I began attending seminary in 2008. My mom found out about a month before I attended my first class. My mom and brother are still not saved.
I have done my best trying to restore some of the broken relationships and have quit my major addictions. But you must know: I do not at all relish what I’ve gone through. It’s not a “normal part” of growing up.
When I tell people even a little bit about my testimony, some assume this is just a part of life and we all have to make mistakes and go through some things. Oh hey: NO you do NOT.
If you feel like a sheltered church kid who hasn’t experienced the “other side of the world,” you need to know that there’s absolutely nothing you need to experience in the “world” that is worth the cost of the brutal lesson that will inflict you. You don’t learn that killing is bad by killing a dude. Don’t go out of your way to learn the hard way just because a younger-version of me did. I was a moron. My testimony or any other crazy stories are not permission for you to act a fool.
Having said that, God has turned it all around for the better. Yes, I still have nightmares about some things. There are still regrets, even if that’s not the Christian way to be. But I can use the “former atheist rebel” card for the rest of my life. And I will.