Confession Part 1: My Story
Honestly, I have been procrastinating in writing this series of post but it is needed. So today I will begin with my story that will hopefully give some context for the forth coming confessions. So here it is……
As a young boy I was blessed to have parents who cared enough to provide me with the opportunity to grow up in a place where I was relatively safe. In the place, in Kansas, where we lived there is virtually no crime and is a safe suburban/ rural community. The only problem was that it was 98% Caucasian and I just didn’t fit in (I’m black if you didn’t know). To help with this my parents took us (my siblings and I) to a predominantly African American church in the inner city of Kansas City, MO. Now living on an acre and a half of land on the outskirts of Leavenworth and going to a dominantly Caucasian school and driving 45 minutes to a black church on Sundays I did not fit the mold in either community. As I went through school, I was seemingly more out going but increasingly lonely as I searched for a place to fit. No matter how hard my parents tried by middle school I had given up, on my church, on my family, on my so-called friends, and on God. At school I privately declared myself an atheist after researching the term. I knew the repercussions if I had done so publicly, so I made this a private matter and, along with a group of a few others, started my quest to “free myself from these religious bonds that had entangled me for so long”. Over the next several years I grew in knowledge and hatred towards the religious (especially at the Christian church). When I attended my parents church, I would privately engage in debates to destroy others faith by asking venomous and loaded questions meant to destroy there faith . I wanted everyone else to feel how I did, alone, angry, but free. I would also terrorize the believers in Christ at my school by taunting them in subtle ways and just making there life miserable. I joined the debate team, which served as fodder to the fire, and researched increasingly to “break others free” and it grew into an obsession by college. My senior year I chose to attend the greatest school on earth Kansas State University. Once there my complete estrangement from everything (church, family, God) began and I was completely content with that. I was free, free to do whatever I so chose and quickly jumped into a river in which I could not stem the current. At this point the only thing keeping me “close” to God was my then fiancé who went to a Pentecostal church who told me that if I did not “speak in tongues I was not Christian”, little did anyone know I could care less but I went to appease her and to show that my family was religious too. The thing that I loved about K-State is that it was so far from everything, I knew no one, they did not know me, and I felt that a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I thought I was free. I started to meet as many people as I could by just going around and speaking to whomever I saw while neglecting my schoolwork. I met many people of different religions and started questioning their validity while trying to figure life out. By the spring semester of what was supposed to be my sophomore year my high school sweetheart had left me for another man, my “friends” had left me cold in the dust and there I lay alone, broke and bitter once again at God for everything. I decided to fight back and do what damage I could. So every young person that I met I did everything that I knew how to not only learn about their specific religion but make them break each and every tenet that I could. Little did I know God was using this as a training time for my future ministry. There was this one young lady, a believer in Christ, that no matter what I did she would not run away but would keep coming back and forgiving me. I never understood this; I actually just thought she was masochistic because she inevitably knew what I would do. For 2 ½ years we went through this dance, she would sometimes bring me tapes of sermons, and trinkets from her mission trips, all the while praying for me. Everything culminated in an indescribable event that even today I am saddened to think of. However I am thankful for its result. The crux of the event is that I needed to not only explain myself to another but also seek forgiveness in the process. I was given the chance to show that I was repentant and asked to attend church and I did it because I know it was the right thing to do. While in church that Sunday and for the first time that I remembered, I heard the gospel in a clear way that made sense. I felt accepted for who I was, and I felt God smiling. That day I did not know or completely understand what was going on but I told God that I would keep searching for him until I found what I was looking for. When I moved back to Kansas City I chose not to attend the church of my upbringing but instead found a different community than I was used to. Reluctantly I became a believer in Christ and I knew that I would and will do anything to teach as many people the redeeming gospel of Jesus Christ. Shortly before the day I was baptized I had this very thought, “For all of my life I have been a mouthpiece for myself and my endeavors, a pretty good one I might add, so why not use the gifts that God has obviously blessed you with to do for others what was done for you.” and so I began to look, learn and prepare to go into fulltime ministry. God has blessed me with opportunites to teach in the church in which I attend working with young adults. I know after teaching that it is exactly where God has called me to be. I am in my last few semesters of a very long and arduous path towards through learning rightly what I have used as ammunition towards others for so long.
Sorry that this is been so long but that is my story, but better yet that is HIStory in which i am involved and thankfully so.
Soli Deo Gloria = Glory to God Alone