Friday, April 10, 2009

Proceed with Caution.

I was once again looking through old blog posts of mine, and I found one that was very near and dear to my heart. I only wonder how it has managed to slip under my radar for so long.

It is actually my testimony of how I was saved. I've updated it since it's original posting, but not too much has been changed. Just some wording here and there.

I'm going to post it here, but before I do I feel I must warn you that there is some content herein that may not be for the light of heart. So please do proceed with caution.

Anyways, I love sharing this. I used to be so unsure of myself that I never wanted to share this with anybody. But as God worked in me a ton, I lightened up and now I'm even confident enough to share it with complete strangers (if they are interested in hearing it).

Well, enjoy (I hope):
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"When I was little (around 4 or 5), my family moved to the house we currently live in. We’ve lived there for over 10 years now, and this house holds many memories. After we initially settled in, we started going to church at Terrace Heights Assemblies of God. We went there for a while (maybe a year or so), and then just suddenly stopped. By this time I didn't really know anything about God. I believed He was there, and that He created us and watched over us, but I didn’t know much more than that.

For reasons still unknown to me, I grew up as a kid who was very unsure of himself and who always pushed for the attention of the "cool" kids. I had no faith in my actions, and I was my biggest critic. I constantly found myself engulfed in the false ideas that I had nobody who loved me and that I had no true friends. I cried myself to sleep many times, and I was just genuinely depressed a majority of my late childhood. All of the people I chose as my "friends" made fun of me, pushed me around, and weren’t really actual friends to me. While I had plenty of people who were nice to me, instead of sticking with them as my friends (as I clearly should have) I chose to go for the "popular" crowd, just to feel "cool". It just wasn't a time of good decisions for me. I was young though, and had something that just wasn't working correctly upstairs, so what can you expect? Everything mentioned here just kept adding up and building on top of each other, right up I couldn't take it anymore.

I came home from school one day feeling depressed and down as usual. Something was very different about this day though. Initially, I reverted back to my usual thoughts: that nobody loves me, I have no true friends, and my family doesn’t love me or want me around (which truth be told, none of these were true in the least). But then, it escalated out of control. As I thought more and more, I somehow came to the conclusion that this world would be a lot better off without me around. So, without thinking it through I grabbed a knife and sat on my bed crying. I was ready to tempt fate and end it all right there, yet for some reason, I just couldn't force myself to do it. So I put the knife away and just sat there for a while, crying. I went to sleep very confused and scared that night. (Keep in mind that this was around 5th or 6th grade - I was only around 11 or 12 years of age at this point.)

Then one night after school in 7th grade, an old friend of mine called me up and asked me if I wanted to go to youth group with him. I said yes, only because my middle school's "Open House" was that night and I wanted a good excuse to get out of going. So after much pleading, I convinced my parents to let me go to the youth group. They dropped me off at my friend's house and went to my open house shortly thereafter.

That first night was an extremely awkward one. At that time, I still only believed that there was a God, and pretty much nothing beyond that. Consequently, it was a completely new atmosphere for me to see people standing there, worshiping God without a care in the world. I decided I would keep going, as the people were extremely kind and I needed to start getting out of the house more anyway.

The first few weeks I was very reserved. I didn’t sing during worship, I zoned out often, and I didn’t really listen to the sermons. I just wasn’t really that into it all - perhaps because I didn't know much at the time. Gradually, I started getting to know people more and more, and eventually I felt confident about being a regular attendee. Throughout all of this, I began listening to the speakers more and more, and learning tons more about God, who He is, and what He did for me.

As time progressed, the speakers we had continually asked if anyone wanted to give their life to Christ. I began standing up just about every time. However, I didn't actually commit my life to Christ in full as I claimed. I still found myself cussing every now and then, I lied, I cheated in school, and in essence, I had become the perfect model of a “Sunday Christian”. I acted like an awesome follower of God whenever I was around people from my church, but still acted like I normally did at school and everywhere else.

It was quite obvious that God was slowly working in me because I began to feel mass amounts of regret and shame concerning my behavior. I attempted to stop doing what I was doing on multiple occasions, but I always seemed to revert back to my "norm".

Later on, I went with my church to Creation Festival Northwest in the summer of 2004. (For those of you who don’t know, Creation Fest is the largest and longest running Christian music festival to date. It’s 4 days packed full of God, concerts, speakers, God, fun, and more God.) I heard a plethora of new bands, speakers, and in general, my knowledge of God and who He is increased tenfold. During those 4 days, I was so filled with God like I never had been before that is was almost unbearable - it was the absolute best feeling in the world.

I remember something that happened during the Delirious? concert the most, because it was the single greatest moment that changed my life forever. During their song entitled "My Glorious", I had become so broken about the way I had been acting that I just knelt down and started crying - balling, actually. I prayed, and prayed, and prayed some more. I soon decided and felt that I needed to completely and genuinely ask God to take control of my life once and for all, and guess what?

He did.
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That's about all I had in that initial blog. I absolutely love reading through this. I remember re-writing it into more of a sermon form once, I may just have to search for that sometime.

Comment if you wish. I don't really have much more to say.

Goodnight! :-)

2 comments:

Tré said...

Holy cow, Kevin! I am so honored and proud to be able to claim you as my cousin! Your story is an awesome representation of the Gospel working in real life; from the seeds planted long ago to the more recent ripe harvest. I wish I could have been more a part of your story; actually, our stories are very parallel. I too thought I was worthless and nobody wanted me around. Where you had Creation, I had Jesus Northwest (at that time, the largest and longest running concert festival).

Anyway, I'm glad you're my cousin and my brother. If you're in Portland, give me a call! My wife went to church with Don Miller around the time he was writing Blue Like Jazz. When you're over 21, I'll take you to the pub where he wrote most of it!

Tré said...

PS You should totally check out my church's webpage: www.coramdeofellowship.com/ Or, you should at least download all the cool music; if you like Deleriou5 you should love our music!