My Journey to the Lord and His Calling
My name is David M. Transue from the United States, and what follows is my journey to the Lord. To quote the actor Denzel Washington, “I didn’t always stick with Him, but He always stuck with me.” While I accepted Christ as my savior at twelve, my walk hasn’t always been right and pleasing to Him. I am a sinner redeemed through faith and His blood, resurrection, and ascension. We serve an awesome God, a faithful God, a God full of abundant grace. For that, I am so grateful that the Lord has always held me close.
Even though I am an author, I don’t care to write about myself. Because it’s not about me at all, it’s about Jesus. And to His glory…that we write, train, read, pray, minister, support, uplift, and humble ourselves before His greatness.
My Early Years
I had a somewhat tough childhood. One of five kids, God blessed me with Christian parents, although my father struggled with alcoholism all his life. My older siblings were “children of the sixties.” Drugs, alcohol, sex, extramarital affairs, sexual molestation from a grandparent, invaded our household with great fury. The enemy attacked us hard. And it seems like all we did was a retreat from the Lord as a family.
On top of this chaos, my father, a “corporate” man, pursued his ambition to rise to the top. He wasn’t around that much—married to the job only. He left my mother in charge of the five of us. She did her very best to have us attend church. She often played Christian music around our meals—the infrequent times we all ate together, and verbal fights and tension didn’t surround our table. My mother was not well, either. Her coping mechanism was through terrible migraines. When they struck, she stayed in her room, sitting in the dark, leaving us to our own devices.
We also moved around a lot as my father’s company demanded he took new posts. It was during a time that corporations ruled over their personnel. They said, “Move.” You moved. And, you moved your family with no debate. That meant lots of new schools and very few genuine friends. As a child, anxiety, and fear filled my soul. I mainly stayed in my room with my cherished books as my escape from the constant turmoil of our household.
My Journey to the Lord and First Feeling My Calling
After I accepted Jesus into my life, I felt a calling to ministry…which I ignored. My little sister and I set up a small church in a large walk-in closet in the home, following my decision for Christ. I can remember preaching to her from the Scriptures. She was my audience, and we stuck close together as determined survivors of our childhood. Maybe I didn’t understand the calling then. No excuses, however. But I know it now and regret the lost time of forty-three years.
When my mother walked out on my dad to pursue an extramarital affair, the bottom dropped out. There were two ways to react to her decision—either collapse at a time when college beckoned. Or push forward, believing that through my efforts, not the Lord’s, I could succeed. Despite the horrors of my parents and older siblings, I was all too glad to leave them behind in the rear-view mirror as I drove off to college.
Political biographies were one of my “go-to” reads as I grew up. I gravitated to the field of public service, ambition, and power. And I did pretty well, climbing the ladder through college, marriage to a wonderful Christian woman—my high school sweetheart—two terrific children, and lots of promotions and additional responsibility. As I took on more leadership roles in outside organizations, and within each office that I managed, I convinced myself I was “Superman.”
I guess to salve my conscience, my wife and I had our children educated at two Christian schools. I told myself they were receiving what they needed. While we attended church pretty faithfully, and I tried to say prayers with them before bedtime, work consumed me. What other example did I have other than my old man? I told myself my sons were getting what they needed spiritually from school. How wrong I was about this and so many other things.
The Bottom Dropped Out on My Journey to the Lord
When I was in my early forties, the bottom dropped out again. I suffered a major nervous breakdown and went into severe depression. I took a leave from work and everyone except my wife and children. Many nights I cried out to God to tell me what to do and to save me from the darkness I felt. He picked me back up, as He always has. But I didn’t stay in His lane for long. I went right back to pursuing my ambitions and dreams and not His plans for my life.
About five years ago, I suffered several health scares, including hospitalization for pneumonia and chronic asthma. The prescriptions from doctors mounted. My blood pressure soared. One night I came home and cried myself to sleep while my wife held me. The “Superman” I told myself I was had once again collapsed. I told my wife I had to get away from the life I had created in politics.
Egos, power, ambition, constant stress, putting out fires had wreaked havoc on my soul. While I had a “tough” exterior, I was deep down still that sensitive kid in conflict within myself and with God.
Early Retirement on My Journey to the Lord
So, I took an early retirement. The Lord blessed us so we could do that. While I have many faults, I always tried to be generous with our giving because everything we have comes from Him. I am so grateful He has always provided for my family.
Through much of my retirement, I drifted and struggled with who I was—and looking again to myself for fulfillment. I also looked to my peers and how they were succeeding, making big money while I had taken myself out of the fast lane for health reasons. Failing to understand God had another path planned for me. I wrote two books, did lots of volunteer work—helping the poor because the Lord has always placed that on my heart—went to the gym, and enjoyed life at the shore.
God got little time from me. When I opened the Bible, it was at church. My prayers were about my needs. I thanked Him for providing, but for very little else. I have given God so many opportunities and reasons to give up on me. And He never has. Thank you, Jesus.
Renewed Calling from God and Study at CLI
In the past few months, I’ve felt a strong calling from the Holy Spirit not only to strengthen my walk with Him but to pursue ministry opportunities. This calling came out of another health scare on my journey to the Lord. With a stubborn personality, the Lord knows to get my attention by shaking me up. And He did with love, but a very firm hand. After three or four significant episodes in my life, I admit I’m a hard learner and a sinner.
I’m not sure where this walk will lead, but I trust God to guide me. He is in control and always so good. When I found the classes available through the Christian Leaders Institute and the ability to continue education beyond the initial coursework, I felt moved again by the Holy Spirit to sign up. I am so excited to get started. As I write this public testimony, I’m just about ready to move to the next class! The scholarship is an enormous blessing since we live on a fixed income. Thank you, Lord, and to the vision partners who make this possible.
My Journey to the Lord Led to a Spiritual Dream
As my walk with Him strengthens, my spiritual dream is twofold:
First, I am to be a prayer warrior as God leads me. My daily prayer list grows after I ask for forgiveness and thank and praise Him above anything else. Lifting various people in need, I find myself not worrying at all. Nor do I pray much about my own needs. I am at peace for the first time in my life. Praise God. The CLI prayer group has been an enjoyable experience and a source for my growing list, which is never too big for our Lord.
Second, with deep humility, I have asked God to give me a heart like one of my favorite Old Testament warriors, David. I know this is a huge ask. Like David, I am a flawed man with a repentant heart. Through faith, I am saved by Christ’s sacrifice. The deeper I’m drawn to Him, however, the more I desire to please Him in my daily activities.
Learn about ordination at the Christian Leaders Alliance.