September 25, 2018

Catching a Break

As my sister and I returned from our hike, we saw from afar that all of our car doors were wide open. We quickly realized our car had been broken into and my sister’s new shoes, a speaker and my saxophone were gone. Who could’ve found our car in this desolate area, I thought? Little did I know that this was one of several examples of God’s divine interferences in my life. 

I had been living a self-destructive lifestyle for the past five years, dropping out of school and making other poor choices that were affecting not only my physical well-being, but also my mental health. I remember coming home every day from my factory job extremely tired, but unable to fall asleep because of all the substances I was abusing. At this point, I realized how much I truly hated myself for whom I had become. 

For years, my older sister and her friends at Ouachita Hills College were praying and consistently inviting me to different Adventist conventions and conferences. In the winter of 2016, I finally gave in and decided to attend the GYC convention in Houston. There I was introduced to a very different way of living. The men and women speaking on stage were dressed so well and very clean. I could tell what they were speaking about had meaning and that they had true purpose. Deep down, I truly desired that, too. 

Months later, I finally agreed to go back to school because I wanted to have some sort of purpose and success in my life, and the only way to do that was to go to a Christian school where I would not face the distractions to which I had grown accustomed. My sister’s solution (which was her answer for everything in my life) was to go canvassing. This would allow me to save enough money to attend Great Lakes Adventist Academy. I had no idea what I was getting myself into!

When summer arrived, I began knocking on doors and was met with rejection after rejection. Lord, I need help, I prayed in quiet desperation. After the Lord provided me with the words to say and the Divine appointments, I recognized what He had been trying to say all along: Look at what we can do together when you seek Me, instead of looking for answers within yourself. From then on, I knew I wasn’t alone and that there was power in prayer.

 At a worship program soon thereafter, a specific appeal was made, and I knew I had to make a stand to leave the world behind. At the end of that summer, I publicly surrendered my life to Jesus and was baptized. After the ceremony, I revealed to my sister and leaders that the saxophone case that had been stolen at the beginning of the summer, while we were canvassing, not only contained my saxophone but also a bottle of tequila and a pack of cigarettes. If the Lord hadn’t stepped in that day, I believe I would’ve been caught and sent back home, not getting the opportunity to accept Jesus as my Savior. 

The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy; but thank you, Jesus, You come that I might have life and have it more abundantly.