My Christian Testimony of Conversion to Life from Death by God's Grace
The most important fact concerning my childhood is that I became a Christian in part because of the evil things that I had to endure. There is a saying that you can choose your friends but not your family. For me I wish that I could have chose a loving and caring family that cared about their children.
My mother was arrested for child abuse for breaking the bones of her infant daughter by grabbing her legs and then slamming her on the ground. My dad abandoned us when I was two because he wanted to chase other women. Unbelievably, my dad left us with our abusive mother and the system allowed it despite her previous conviction and subsequent jail-time for child abuse.
Of course, more abuse from my mother followed; no medical care, no food for days, one dentist visit in my entire childhood, verbal abuse, physical abuse, worn clothes, poor, and routinely being exposed to drugs and alcohol by my mother and her wretched boyfriends. During my childhood my father was nowhere to be found and he didn't care about the savage abuse we endured from my diabolical mother.
Some experts claim that emotional abuse is worse than physical abuse when looked at in the long term emotional affects it has on a person. I would tend to agree with this assessment except in the rare cases of extreme physical and sexual abuse.
You can succumb to abuse and let a person destroy your life or you can fight them with all you have inside of you and become a success to prove to them that they could not hurt you. I chose the latter and I know that really bothers my family. You can choose to be better, or bitter. The best revenge in life against your tormentors is living well and taking care of your body and staying in fighting shape.
Again, let me reiterate that it is only by God’s Grace that I am here today – This is the dichotomy which is my life story. My abusive childhood was a tool used by God to bring me to Him and for that I am eternally thankful. Whatever leads you to Jesus Christ is a good thing in the end no matter how painful it may seem at the present time.
What are present hardships endured on earth compared to an eternity with our loving Father in Heaven? You cannot compare the two and God is faithful and merciful and His name will be glorified for all of eternity because He is worthy! Thank you Jesus, you are worthy to be praised!
I would like to start out by saying that my birth is a miracle in itself. My mother was on a particular contraceptive (Copper I.U.D.) that is 99.4% effective. Here is a quote from the Mayo Clinic website regarding the Copper I.U.D.:
“The copper IUD is a T-shaped plastic frame with two threads attached. It's inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. Once in place, it inhibits fertilization, as the IUD impedes the sperm's journey to the fallopian tubes. If fertilization occurs, the device prevents the embryo from attaching to the uterine wall. ParaGard also slowly releases copper, which inactivates the sperm in the cervical mucus.
The effectiveness rate for the copper IUD is between 99.2 percent and 99.4 percent, meaning that six to eight women out of 1,000 who use it for one year will get pregnant. The copper IUD may remain in place for up to 10 years.”
When my mother's doctor discovered that she was pregnant he recommended that she murder me and get an abortion. The Doctor's reasoning was that the Copper IUD would keep my mother's uterus open and she would be at risk of losing her baby at any time.
My mother told him, "No!" Nine months later my mother gave birth to a healthy baby boy (Me)! In fact, the Copper IUD was delivered with me at my birth. This entire story about my birth was relayed to me by my mother a few years ago.
Not only were the odds against my birth because of the copper I.U.D. but the doctor wanted to kill me as well. The chances that I would even be born are so staggeringly low that it is nothing short of a miracle that I came into the world when I did. When you factor in my abusive upbringing the chances that I would be right here writing this story is about 1 in a billion!
Pastor Greg Laurie echoes my thoughts when it comes to his birth and God’s providence when his mother could have aborted him:
“I’m immensely grateful that once she discovered she was pregnant, she did not choose to abort me. But divinely speaking, I was no accident. God was present at my beginnings. He knew me before I was born. He knew then and knows now the number of the days I’ll walk this earth. He provided for me – a messed-up mortal with questionable beginnings, so that I’ll actually live forever with Him,” Lost Boy, page 184, Greg Laurie.
My childhood up to my 11th year it was trying at best. As I remember my upbringing it was without Christianity and any mention of God. So the common refrain "You were raised Christian that is why you believe" is proved wrong by my testimony and millions upon millions of others throughout history.
When I was eleven years old I was laying in my bed one night under my covers alone in the dark crying to myself, "This cannot be all there is, we cannot die and that's the end of our existence." This is where our merciful God stepped in to honor his word; "When my father and my mother forsake me, then Lord will take me up," Psalm 27:10.
Here I am, a child seemingly forsaken by my own flesh and blood, yet God honored His Word, as He will in every situation (Numbers 23:19). During my next school week in the fifth grade class a girl out of the blue gave me a "tract" during class. The girl’s name was Leticia and I had a childhood crush on her ever since I had first laid eyes on her.
The Gospel tract explained that our sin separates us from a Holy and Righteous God. It also explained that our Heavenly Father loved us so much that he sent His only Son to die in our place and that He wanted fellowship with me.
When I read those words about our Heavenly Father it made me feel so good inside that I knew I had found home. Below is a quote about a teenager who had a similar experience with our Heavenly Father:
“And now, ‘Just as I am,’ the God of the universe was offering to adopt me – me. No waiting period, no trial foster-home visits, no strings attached. I didn’t even have to become a better person first. He wanted to adopt me, a boy whose heart was covered with childhood dirt and wounds. As the bus made its way down the dark highway, I responded. ‘Okay, God. You’ve got a deal. I will call you Father, I will call you home,’” Castaway Kid, page 154, R. B. Mitchell.
I can still picture exactly what this Gospel Tract looked like in my mind. It was blue and white about 2 inches tall and 3 inches wide with about 15 pages in it. It was made very well and on the front it had clouds with beams of light coming from them and pointing down. I wish that I still had it in my possession, but sadly it is long since been lost.
I read the Gospel tract cover to cover in my bedroom that night and I got on my knees by my bed and I repeated the prayer for salvation asking Jesus for forgiveness of my sins. The funny thing was that I thought that God wouldn’t hear your prayer if your eyes were open.
So, I memorized the entire prayer and that took awhile for me to do. When I messed up while praying and I forgot what words came next I would open my eyes, read the prayer again and start all over. This entire process must have taken an hour to accomplish.
I joined the military during a time of war when I was eighteen years old and I earned an Honorable Discharge four years later. I also was awarded the "Good Conduct Medal" for my faithful service.
I am a husband of over fifteen years and a father a few times over. God is merciful even though I have been a Prodigal Son at times. The road has not been easy by any means, but God's grace is abundant and He is always right on time!
“In Christ Alone,” my favorite song:
In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.
In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev'ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.
There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious Blood of Christ.
No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow'r of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final Death,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow'r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow'r of Christ I'll stand.