I was raised in two places: Riverside, CA and Arlington, TX. I mostly claim Texas as my home state, but I will always have a little Valley girl in me- I bet that explained a lot for some of you. I was raised with good values and always tried to do the right thing. Like most people, I fell short. made mistakes and often the same ones repeatedly. I never really looked for the meaning of life, it found me. I had always loved and respected God, but it wasn't until my second year of medical school that I met Jesus. And it was love at first sight.
I remember that night like it was yesterday. Luke and I went to Grace Bible Church. It was very different from the church services I was used to, but I wanted to keep an open mind and give it a chance. At the end of the service, Dwight (the pastor) laid it out plain and simple. And for the first time I understood. I will never be good enough- in my thoughts, words, or actions. But I don't have to be because Jesus was.and He died on the cross for me. He was the perfect offering for my sins, so that I could be forgiven and enjoy the rest of eternity in Heaven with Him. All I had to do was ask- ask Him to wipe my slate clean and accept Jesus into my heart. It wasn't a hard decision to make and it was the best decision that I've ever made.
I'd like to say that my life changed instantly, but I would be lying. It is a learning process and I am a student for life (I must really love studying). That's the beauty of His grace though because He reveals things a little at a time, only as much as He gives us the strength to handle. And He is always there to pick us up when we fall. It's hard to put into words what a relationship with Christ has done for my life, not to mention my relationship with Luke. We have finally put God first. No wonder it took us so long to get to where we are today. Under His guidance, I know our lives will be blessed in more ways than we can even imagine.
As you read our stories, we ask that you continue to pray for us, as we embark on our new journey as husband and wife. Pray that we will always put Him first, above everything else. We also pray for you- that you too will have a story to share with others.
I too claim Texas as my home state, having lived here going on 19 years; but I was born on the opposite side of the continent as Kristy. While she was dressing Barbie and hanging in that sweet California sun, I was playing guns in the woods of Maryland and feeding the President's goats. Somehow in all our 20-something combined moves we ended up at the same central destination, the D/FW metroplex.
If you would have asked me growing up I would have said I was a Christian, but I was always living for me. I never really gave up my own agenda. I was still living with the idea that I just needed to be good, go to church, and be a 'nice' guy. I never got it. God doesn't want any of those things (especially 'nice' guys), He only wants a relationship. It was no wonder God never seemed 'real' to me.
And so I lived my life how I wanted. I got into the school I wanted, got into the graduate school I wanted, was doing exactly what I wanted (even loved) and yet I was totally miserable! It wasn't until I had been depressed for about a solid year, health problems rising, relationships growing rockier, dreams I'd had for years on the verge of ending, and the realization that my future was an 80 hour work-week at an endless desk-job. And for what? To get my name on a few frames of film, 10 minutes into the 12 minutes of credits. I felt like I was suffocating, so I did what I should have done years before. I gave up.
It was like the light turned on, like I had an epiphany. Or maybe it was finally clear now that I just didn't care anymore. I said God could have it all; I would do whatever job, wherever, whenever. Instead of trying to be good and look good, I only concentrated on daily learning a little more about God then I previously knew. Wow, no more religion. only a relationship! And that is the point everything just started changing! Not in an overnight process (by any means). Heck, it had taken me 26 years to get into that mess, I'm not gonna get out in one night. But things really did change.
I could write a novel on all the things that happened (and maybe I will), but just to quickly name a few. I got an absolute peace. I no longer felt antsy during commercials, or had to flip the radio station as soon as the music stopped. I was finally ok with myself and my own thoughts. There were even times when I would catch myself driving in silence just thinking. I no longer had to try and be good; I actually wanted to be good. It's crazy how easy it is to be good when you actually want it. (weird, but easy).
I also got over a life-long fear of playing in front of people. Symptoms I used to get from being nervous (cold-sweaty palms, shaking, knots in my stomach, unable to eat, lack of ability to mentally focus, etc.), things I used to just push through before (for 26 years) went completely away. Even my relationship with Kristy changed. I went from unsatisfied and unsure to totally satisfied and confident.
But in spite of all these, the best change came when God showed me my purpose. I can't begin to tell you how sweet life becomes once you know your purpose. Talk about the confidence and peace which comes with that knowledge. Decisions are a breeze once you can hold them up to achieving your purpose and destination. I also can't describe how good you feel when you already have peace but add in the satisfaction that comes from doing what you're made to do.
I could tell you a million more things, but I doubt it would get read. So I'll just tell you this. God made everyone for a specific purpose and His destiny for your life is far greater then what you can even think up. He put the dreams in your heart and will tell you your purpose if you ask Him. I don't see why it is so scary to hand everything over to Him, He will give you far more then you ask and He is the only one who knows how to get you to your destination anyways (I can't believe I wasted so much time doing my own thing)! I can't wait to see how my story finally plays out, but until then I'm just gonna sit back and enjoy the ride! And my prayer is that you will too!