My life journey began when I was born on November 10, 1986. I was the first born son but the second child. Early years of life were spent going to church on Sundays. I had a passion for preaching the word of God early in life. My Mother likes to say I would preach the Bible to her from as early as the age of 4. I was strong in my belief into my teenage years. We grew up with not a lot of wealth but with a lot of love. As I went into middle school, I got caught up in being tough and my spiritual life suffered. I started to go to church and youth services less an less. I ended up dropping out of high school and getting my GED at 16. I started to smoke pot and drink, only caring about those activities.
When I was 17, my uncle was part of a 6-month school called Purpose and Destiny in Christ. My mother convinced me to go, but the only way I would go was if my girlfriend at that time went with me. She said yes, so we went traveling across the country from Florida to Texas. We arrived to find Pastor Jerry and his wife Diane. They were so sweet and nice, but I was not ready to receive them yet. As we started classes, I rebelled against them and their teachings, but Jerry would not allow me to just leave. Every day, Jerry would pray with me and counsel me. Two months in, I was reading the Bible. One day during my alone time with God and His word, God gave me a word. God told me, “Love.” At that time in my life journey, I surrendered myself to Him and gave my life to Jesus again. In the final month at school, we were asked to find our mission statement for our life in Christ or find our purpose. So, we were praying and meditating on God’s word to find that purpose.
With two weeks left in school, we did a mission trip to New Orleans. A pastor and I went out and did some street ministry and went into the juvenile dentition center. Our last night there, the pastor said that I would be a great preacher one day and gave me a book about preaching. We headed back to Texas to get ready for graduation. The first night back, God gave me a vision of me standing on a hill overlooking a house with lots of children playing and my wife standing next to me. When I woke up the next morning, I found my mentor and told him of this dream. We prayed on it and both came up with my mission statement which is to be a father to the fatherless by lovingly leading them in Christ.
We graduated and my girlfriend and I were now engaged. We headed home to Florida full of passion and energy, but once we got home things started to change. I got a job and started to work but was not making much money. I wanted to marry my finance so I joined the army. That stirred things up. While I was in basic training, my finance stopped taking my calls. One day, I called my mother and she told me that my finance had come by and given her the ring. I went into anger and depression, a dark time in my life journey.
I ended up getting out of the army not long after due to medical reasons. I went home to nothing or at least what felt like was nothing. I spent a few years working dead-end jobs. Then my uncle from Texas called and invited my family to move there. I jumped at the opportunity because it was a place I had been happy. I spent the first couple of years there working a dead-end job. I was having some issues with my mouth and this caused lots of pain. I could not afford to have the surgery I needed. I was angry, depressed and living in fear. One night while I could not sleep because of severe pain, I was lying on the floor of my apartment crying out to God. He heard my cry.
About a year later, I was able to find a job that I was really good at and worked my way up the company into leadership. Life was going well and then I met a girl on my life journey. We fell in love and she became my wife. Then we had a son and that day changed my thinking forever. I wanted to be a better man for them both. Then my mom called six months after my son was born and told me she had cancer. A week later our apartment burned down, and then a month later my mother find out she actually had two cancers. So my wife and I decided to move to where my parents were which happened to be across the country again to Pennsylvania.
We went up there for three years helping my mother through this time, my mother had two surgeries and they were able to remove all of the cancer. My wife was pregnant but the fetus never developed. I could not find a job in the career I had in Texas, so I became a caregiver helping individuals with developmental disabilities life was going well again. One day, my mother came to us and asked if we would like to open a business with her and my uncle in Florida doing in-home care. We were excited and everything was moving along nicely until my dad had two strokes. Then we started having trouble getting the two licenses we needed to operate the new business. My wife had a miscarriage, our second failed pregnancy, and I was having the work done on my mouth. This was a hard time for all of us.
I was searching for answers for my life journey. So I turned on some motivational videos and found one of Steve Harvey talking about God and the works of Jesus in his life and the difficulties he had gone through. It hit me and I cried and started seeking Jesus again praying and getting back into the Word. I was praying to God and meditating on the Word and listening to His voice. I heard three simple words: “Remember your Promise.” It had been twelve years since my time at the school and six years since that promise I made in my room. I put my headphones in and walked around the trees and the river listening to Christian music, sermons, and the Bible. Then I saw the hill with the house and children playing again, but this time there were also adults of all ages. I remembered my mission statement to be a father to the fatherless by lovingly leading them in Christ. I started searching for knowledge to get this done with no money. All I have is a computer so I searched and found Christian Leaders Institute. With a smile of disbelief, I started taking classes and that is where I am right now. I praise the Lord for his work on my life journey thus far!
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