When I was in high school, I fell in love with the Lord. It happened when I was driving to town one day and my faith was questioned on the radio. The pastor talked about the power of the Holy Spirit, and in that drive the Holy Spirit became evident to me. I reflected on my life and began to realize just some of the many works the Holy Spirit had been doing in my life. This set my heart on fire and created a hunger in me to seek out this Jesus person.

My drive to know this person became insatiable. My activity in the church was increased dramatically for the next two years. I attended all three services, became a janitor, projectionist, setup and takedown specialist. My life became the church and I was constantly vigilant of the impending rapture. At the same time I fell in love with a girl in high school name Megan. She wasn’t interested in me, but I was a teenage boy. Eventually my heart was broken, and I moved on.

Soon I graduated high school and began community college. While in college I immersed myself in the pursuit of seminary. I increased my work in the church and pressed forward with a high intensity. I was accepted into Simpson University and only had one-quarter to go before I could transfer; then I would be well on my way to being a pastor. Shortly after, my mother informed me that she would cease to support my studies were I not to complete my associates of arts degree. Basically the door to seminary was slammed in my face for two more years.

I lost my motivation and began to fail classes. After a while I had another crush on a girl named Katie. She was very intelligent and had her heart set on being a doctor. She totally blew me off and I was heartbroken once again. At this point I hit my all-time low and lost all hope in myself and my schooling. I ended up going through a few ups and downs, but finally in the end I decided to give up. I walked into Worksource and sat down with a recruiter for Job Core. I signed up for the cooking program.

All I needed was a phone call from Job Core and I was out the door, but things began to change. I ran into a girl from high school named Sarah. We ended up going on a few dates and she was really nice. There didn’t seem to be anything serious to me, but what would I know? I had never had a girlfriend before and was oblivious to most things. One morning I got a call from Job Core and they told me it was time for me to ship out. I had one week till I had to leave.

Later that day I went to visit Sarah and told her all that was going on. She was a bit upset because she hadn’t even had a chance to kiss me. That evening, she backed me against a wall and kissed me. The next day I called Job Core and told them I wasn’t going. They got really angry with me but I just wanted to stay with Sarah and be a better man than the slacker I had been.

With this new-found love the intensity for my schooling was rekindled and I graduated the following year. I ended up working three jobs, during which time Sarah and I got married. I worked my tail off and so did she. Children started appearing, degrees were being completed, and many hard times later I was accepted into seminary. Things certainly weren’t always great for Sarah and me, and they are still rocky at times, but the Spirit of God kept working in our lives.

Now we have four children and I am within a year of completing my Masters in Divinity. It has been a long, hard road full of challenges that I could have done better in, or worse in. One thing remains through it all and that is the Holy Spirit’s presence. As I have grown, I feel like I know Jesus better because of all my mistakes, all my times of heartbreak, and all of those times of blessing.

photo credit: vbecker via photopin cc

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