My Ministry Calling Story
I grew up in Martinez, Georgia in the United States. At the age of nineteen, I started college at Augusta State University in Augusta, Georgia. I started off majoring in biology, pre-med. After years of slacking and wanting to be popular and have fun at the university, I was making horrible grades. So I changed my major to Criminal Justice and graduated in the summer of 2005 at the age of twenty-five. Afterward, I decided to earn a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice. In 2012, I earned my degree with a 3.9 GPA from South University based in Savannah, Georgia. In addition, I earned a diploma in paralegal studies in 2020. I graduated with high honors with a ninety-seven-grade point average.
My Early Years
My father is a pastor. So my sister and I grew up in the church. I accepted Jesus as my Savior at the tender age of twelve. As a young child, I was active in the church. I sang in the choir some Sundays, participated in plays, and became a junior usher at one of my dad’s churches.
However, a family conflict arose, and my parents divorced when I was in seventh grade. My mom lost the custody battle as she was deemed unfit because she was very sick with diabetes. So my sister and I had to live with our dad. My sister and I lived in a house that was very strict. We couldn’t see our mom’s relatives that lived up the street because my dad thought they were bad influences. It was messy.
Then the worst thing in my life happened. My mom died of complications of diabetes the summer before my senior year in high school. I could not sleep easily for a year. I blamed God for her death. As a result, I harbored a lot of anger against God.
Challenges and Change in Christ
In my late 20s and early 30s, I began to backslide. In my early 30s, I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. Additionally, I had to get on disability due to another mental illness. I really felt like God abandoned me. So I stopped praying and stopped going to church because of my mental illnesses. I could not handle the anger over my mom’s death and my mental issues. So I had five psychotic breakdowns over the course of ten years.
During my last mental breakdown, God spoke to me. If I continued to not pray and not believe in Him, I would not see Him in glory. In 2018, I gave the Lord control over my life again. Since then, I have read and studied the Bible. Now, I’m rereading it for the third time. Also, I watch ministers preach on Sunday morning television. I like to read religious self-help books as well. I’m working on going to church as my anxiety is still bad.
Youth Ministry Study at CLI
My calling is to help establish a youth ministry in a church or in a juvenile justice setting. I have the desire to help local youths come to the Lord. If they know Jesus, they can make the right choices in life and possibly change their lives for the better. I hope to help youths avoid some of the same mistakes I made as a young adult.
When I was a teenager, I struggled with self-esteem issues, my family was lower middle class. Therefore, I got picked on in school for being poor, nerdy, and fat. As an adult, I was in toxic relationships. I’m still in toxic relationships with my family. The list is long. If I tell my story, perhaps I can reach some youth and make a difference in their lives.
I’m grateful that I can earn a certificate in youth ministry at the Christian Leaders Institute. CLI is a stepping stone for me. Since I’m on disability now, I’m on a fixed income. I can’t afford to pay tuition. I used my stimulus checks to pay off my paralegal diploma, and that was a struggle. So I’m so blessed by the Youth ministry study at CLI for free. Many thanks to Christian Leaders Institute!