Hello all, the following is my Testimony of how I came to know the Lord.
I was quite a rebellious and angry person for most of my life. As I grew older, I became quite expert in what not to do, who not to hang around with, and where not to go. Sadly, I saw all those things as invitations to have “fun”.
Even knowing the potential consequences of my actions, I took the gamble every time. I thought I was doing great. I did what I wanted and what I wanted was to be “cool”. And to be “cool” meant to be willing to do anything the “cool” guys said.
I wound up getting on drugs on and off for a few years. My first drug related charge followed in my early 20’s, but that did not stop me from going home and doing the same stupid stuff all over again. After going to jail a couple more times from either failing to appear in court or getting another charge, I found myself in a routine of requesting a Bible as soon as I was booked.
Mind you I never once actually READ the Bible while I was incarcerated. I might have read one or two verses and then stuck it under my pillow. I never knew who God was or if He was real or just some type of false hope people talked about growing up.
A year or so prior to moving out to Grace Ranch, my wife and I were hooked on heroine so bad that I was homeless, begging for change and eating from trash cans and dumpsters behind fast food places. My wife’s parents obtained guardianship over our children. We were both sick from withdrawal when the Lord showed up in a mighty way.
My wife’s best friend Darrell plays xbox online with a person named Cheryl Eutsler. Cheryl happens to be a minister living at Grace Ranch in Texas. Darrell asked if my wife and I could come out to the Ranch. Cheryl said yes.
Darrell’s family even paid for me to go. When I arrived at the ranch, I found myself struggling to accept the fact that there was anything wrong with me. I thought that there was nothing God could help me with. Up until last year that is.
When I arrived at the ranch, I had significant charges pending in 2 states. In order for us to get our children back, my wife needed to go back to Maryland to sort out a plan. Steve Atherton, another minister at the Ranch, who is also a lawyer, made some calls and got me 2 court dates that were “must appears”. I was very skeptical that the Lord could do anything for me. I remember telling myself, “I’m going to jail and I’m not coming home for a long time.” Even though Steve spoke to me of what the Lord could do, I did not believe that the Lord was capable of handling the situation.
When we reached South Carolina, I was given a very hard talking to from 2 of our ministers about my lack of commitment to the Lord. After that and a LOT of praying, I finally fully submitted myself unto God and lifted all of my worry and doubt up to Him. I NEVER in a million years thought that any of what happened in the next couple months would have ever been possible.
Shortly after committing my life to the Lord, I got a phone call from Steve who informed me that he had just gotten off the phone with the Judge’s assistant in Delaware and was pleased to inform me that the Judge had dropped my pending charges and credited me as having completed my probation. I didn’t even have to show up for court!
All I could think and say was “PRAISE GOD!” over and over again. This was a must appear court date before a Judge with a reputation for being tough, who had also refused my requests to be able to come before him via telephone. Truly, the Lord moved extraordinarily as my expectation had been that I would go immediately from court to jail, not for the night, but for years.
Shortly thereafter, I had to meet my in-laws who had custody of our children and who were my accusers in the other criminal charges I faced in Maryland. In the past, I would have done just about anything to avoid such a meeting. But this time was different. When I met them, I did not justify myself at all. Within a matter of hours, my relationship with my in-laws completely changed. We were able to discuss things as adults and they were pleased for me to see the children. I spent the better part of the summer with my in-laws and my children and patched things up with my own family.
By the end of the summer, my wife and I had worked out a plan with my in-laws to transition the children out to the ranch. The felony charges I was facing in Maryland were resolved in an extraordinary manner with the Prosecutor arguing before the Judge that I should not be imprisoned and if I successfully completed one year of probation out at Grace Ranch, all charges would be forever wiped from my record.
I could not believe it. Instead of being in jail I was free and the plan, for my wife and I to take custody of our children, has now been accomplished.
While the Lord has obviously done a miraculous work in my life, I want you to know that I’m not saying it’s been a fun and easy journey. Rather, it has often been a slow, humbling process with many difficult lessons learned. I learn more and more of the Lord and all the good things He has for me every day. I still have a lot of correction to heed and find that I fall back at times, but at the end of each day, God’s blessings greatly outweigh any of the difficulties I have had to pass through.