I always believed in God, as I grew up in the church, and was baptized in high school, with my father and younger brother. I never wavered in my faith, but I had a control issue. I did not let God be in control as often as I could, and it left me searching for a deeper purpose and selfishly striving for success, purely for my own personal gain.
As I grew wiser, I started recognizing this pattern of me being in control instead of God. I was coming up with my own plans and holding on too tightly to these plans and my own will. It took me getting to the brink of a total collapse of an intimate relationship that would have also tainted the view of Christ to someone who was desperately searching. I knew then, I could not succeed or do anything positive in the relationship if I did not surrender and let God take control.
I happened to be in Israel at that point, and the next morning, I was re-baptized in the Jordan River. This pivotal moment gave me a chance to reflect on what God had done for me and what my public display of faith and surrender really meant to God and to me. The fact that God sent His only son to die for my sins, become buried, and be raised again to conquer death and forgive me of my disobedience and release me of my stronghold of control was a moment of pure grace I will never forget. I did not deserve to have any man die for my sins in the first place, let alone the Son of God, the only perfect man. I did not deserve a second chance either, but God gave me grace and gave me the fresh start He knew I needed in life at this point. I felt a weight lifted and a burden taken from me that allowed me to have more joy, peace, patience, and compassion in my heart.
Immediately after surrendering to His lead and being re-baptized, my relationship improved, and the girl I was with found Jesus. I started holding on more loosely and try to stay out of God’s way.
That moment of surrender became the catalyst for the rest of my journey. I have become more relaxed and laid back, knowing that God is in complete control. My hopes and dreams are no longer about what I can do for myself, but what I can do, through Christ, for others. I now see that God made me to help lead others to Him and strengthen their relationships with Christ. I see this in my volunteer roles at my church, studying at Dallas Theological Seminary, working at New Horizons of North Texas, and following God wherever else he may end up leading me. I am what I am today because of God’s grace toward me and in me.