Monday, June 18, 2007

God's Providence, Part 1

I'm not sure how long this series will take, but I am calling it God's Providence because I would like to record events in my life where God's work and plan stood out.

Today I would like to describe the events that led up to my salvation in Jesus Christ...

It was my Junior year in High School, 1992, in AP History. A friend, Kieth Heaton, and I were discussing the purpose of life. I think we were just wondering if there was a greater purpose to life...Well, a classmate and aquaintance, Chanette Belamide, overheard our conversation and turned to me. Not sure if she got into the conversation or not, but I just remember her asking me if I was doing anything for the summer (as it was a few weeks away). I told her that I didn't have any plans and so she invited me to join a volleyball team with her. She explained that they were just starting this volleyball "league" and if I was interested, the first meeting would be that Friday. Well, I went to the first meeting and was quite upset and frustrated at it. The meeting was not about volleyball at all, but it was all about GOD. I thought, "How dare Chanette invite me to this meeting in such a deceptive way!" I felt so judged by her...The volleyball meeting was at the end of this GOD meeting and it only lasted about 5 minutes. Well, despite my frustration, I signed up for the volleyball team anyway because I wanted to keep my word about joining.

I believe practices for the summer season began before the summertime and so I attended those. At first, I was relieved because when I first arrived at the park the group was actually playing volleyball and not just sitting around talking about GOD. Well, to my disappointment the "preaching" came later, during the middle of practice. I sat there, but I tried covering my ears. As the summer season kicked off, the "preaching" continued during the half-time of the games. Again, I sat there, but I tried not to listen.

Then, one day, as I arrived at the park, I saw a group of "friends" sitting in a circle. I went up to them only to find one of the volleyball leaders going through more GOD talk with these girls. I didn't really want to stay, but the leader invited me to sit and join them. Not wanting to be rude, I sat and joined in on the "discussion". I don't quite remember what day that was, but that was really the first time I heard the gospel spoken, about how I am a sinner and the only way to be together with God for eternity is through Jesus Christ. From that moment on, the Holy Spirit convicted my heart towards His truth and despite my desires to keep away from any of this GOD stuff, the Lord gave me a passion to know more about Him.

That summer, 1992, I attended the summer camp that that youth group's church sponsored.

During my Senior year in High School, 1992-1993, I began attending the Friday evening youth groups and became a part of their drama team. My parents didn't allow me to attend their church, but I did get plugged in enough that I signed up to go on a missions team to Mexico that summer. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to go because I got accepted to the US Coast Guard Academy and left for training a few weeks after graduation, 1993.

In addition, my parents attended a military chapel at that time and wherever I could get plugged in, I did. I joined the teen Sunday School class. I volunteered as a helper for the Little One's classes and was even given the opportunity to "teach" a few classes. Over the summer time I helped out with Vacation Bible School (VBS) and got in contact with a couple who did backyard VBS. I was excited to join their team, but just like the Mexico missions trip, I was not able to follow through with those VBS plans due to being accepted to the US Coast Guard Academy...

So, those were the events that led up to my salvation and the changes that occurred immediately afterwards. One last note I do have to make is how the Lord also immediately worked on my dirty mouth. Before becoming a Christian every other word that came out of my mouth was "F*** this or that" and I used to have a store of dirty jokes I used to tell all the time. By God's grace, I immediately stopped with the dirty talk.

Well, I'm not sure what stories I will tell in the upcoming weeks, but to me they are all miraculous works from God. For God's saving a soul like mine, I am just amazed how Kieth and I were talking about the purpose of life and how Chanette just happened to overhear our conversation. It was by God's providence that worked all these events out so that I would be able to hear His gospel, and by God's grace that I was saved, and that I did "FIND" the answer to my initial question about the greater purpose in life!!! Thank you Lord for saving my soul and for giving me the greates purpose in life of glorifying YOU and enjoying YOU forever!!!

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