Debt-Free College Degree
My name is Parick Session, and I am excited about my debt-free college degree with Christian Leaders Institute and CLI’s Leadership Excellence School. I live in Gaston, South Carolina. Where I live, being a Christian leader is incredible. I get to minister to a lot of people who have seen me at my worst. However, they also have a lot of the pain I had in their lives.
My Early Years
A little background on me, I was born in Los Angeles, California, and raised in Pomona, California. I went into foster care as a newborn when my mother dropped me off at Martin Luther King Hospital. There were drugs in my system, but when my biological mother did what she did, it saved my life. A spiritual couple adopted me when I was two. I experienced abuse as a child in all forms and by different people, but God pulled me through that. God and my grandmother Lucille.
She was the most influential person in keeping me close to the Lord even now as she is with the Father. She taught me to pray, she taught me about faith and love, and she loved me unconditionally. Her passion strengthened my walk with Jesus Christ. She always told me to keep my eyes on heaven. She brought me to the Lord, and she encouraged my singing and worship of the Lord. As John 6:44 says, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him on the last day.” (NASB)
Marriage, Military, and Suicide Attempts
After I left home at 18, I married for the first time. I then joined the United States Army to support my young family but failed miserably at being a man of God. My life up until that point was “sheltered” until I graduated my respective courses for my MOS. It was nonstop parties, drinking, fights, and everything unhealthy. I fell apart because I knew God, but I didn’t know God if that makes sense. I knew of the Bible, but I didn’t know the Bible.
And then came my deployment to Iraq and the mortar’s, the noise, the dust, the pain. Not only that, but I had a divorce looming over my head. But, I was there downrange, and things were in shambles. Now, these are all things and events that led me back to Christ. I was thrown down a hill in the back of a trailer due to incoming rounds that hit at the flat line. I woke up a while later, pounding headache, sore as can be and wondering what in the world happened. That’s when I first attempted suicide. Though I experienced many more events like this downrange, the Lord wasn’t done with me yet.
The second attempt to take my own life happened the night I returned home, and it was a bottle of oxy and a bottle of vodka. I was lost and hurt. My daughter was gone, and I was in a place where I thought I had no hope, and no one loved me. After that, I moved to South Carolina with half a duffle bag and my wits. All the cars and money I accumulated disappeared, just like that. I smile now because those things are worldly, but back then, I felt like I lost everything and I needed a debt-free college degree.
A Bounty Hunter from South Carolina
So, in South Carolina, I attempted suicide the third time with a shotgun. But it kicked, and I laugh as I write this now in 2019. However, in 2011, it wasn’t a joke because the Lord said no, not you, and not now. But still, my stubborn behind didn’t submit to God. I relied on what I thought was power in myself.
I went on to become a bounty hunter, and I ruined a lot more lives than I helped fix. The human heart can be evil, and I saw a side of me that I never want to see again. Hunting fugitives and criminals gave me a thrill because I was familiar with war. I enjoyed the hunt, but I was still avoiding the call on my life to sing and worship God, to live a life of worship. During this period, I also had an addiction to meth, cocaine, weed, and alcohol. As you can see, I was trying to die, trying to wipe myself from the world.
Met My Wife and We Met God
I left that career when I met my wife, Missy. I left every drug except weed and alcohol when I met her. She understood the pain that I went through as she has fought numerous battles herself, including cancer. We didn’t know or have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ at the time, and we sure weren’t walking in His grace. But God…
Ephesians 2:4-5 (NASB)
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead [a]in our transgressions, made us alive together [b]with Christ (by grace you have been saved).
January 22, 2015, was the last time I attempted to take my own life. Since then, I’m not perfect, but I’m striving to be the man that God made me be. No meth, no cocaine, no weed, just Jesus and building my life on Him.
Now, I go to the Rescue Church in Pelion, SC, and its a relief letting go of everything and fully trusting in Jesus and what He did on the cross. He’s given me a spiritual dream of seeing people that suffer be set free. It’s also to sing, and to worship, and to serve however I can. He also led me to CLI and a debt-free college degree. God became real to me when I stopped trying to control the outcome. He became real when I forgave myself for all the horrible things I’ve done. His peace is so amazing.
Study and a Debt-free College Degree at CLI
I plan to use my Bachelor of Ministry degree from Christian Leaders Institute to reach those who are lost and hopeless, to let them know there is joy on the other side of their pain. That there is true deliverance from addictions, depression, and hurts. Some people will walk with them in this life until we go to Heaven for eternity. This debt-free college degree is essential to me because I lost out on my college funding from the military, but God made a way through CLI.
Learn about ordination options at Christian Leaders Alliance.