#145 Little Church by the Creek

Photo by Trevor Rapp

I grew up in a house where my mom was a believer but my dad not so much. There wasn’t much exposure to church or religion. I got married when I was 20 years old to my high school sweetheart. I was immature and apparently not really ready to be married. We had some rough times the first year of our marriage. We decided to separate. I stayed in our trailer and my wife moved out.

During this time, my brother and I played in a band around town and in bars. I did a lot of partying and drinking. This went on for three months. One night I sat on the edge of my bed and said in my head, “Why did I ever get married? This is the life that I want.” I woke up about four hours later, my eyes wide open and said, “What in the heck am I doing?  I’m screwing up my marriage, and I’m screwing up my life.” I called my wife and said, “What are you doing?”

She said, “I’m up. I’m at the apartment. Come up and see me.” I went to see her and when she opened the door we both started crying and hugged. I didn’t know it that night, but her dad had her scheduled the next day to file divorce papers. To me, this was God telling me that what I was doing was stupid, that it needed to stop, and that there was much in the future for my wife and me.  

That was my first brush with God. I was thinking the exact opposite four hours earlier. It wasn’t me that woke me up to transform the way I thought. It had to be God. There is no other explanation. That got the ball rolling for me to really believe in God. I feel like when God decides to work in you—He WILL do it. For me to change that much that quickly…it was like being hit by a truck, but that’s what it took—something really dramatic to change the way I was thinking.
The life I lived those three months is one of my greatest regrets. My wife has forgiven me but I hate that I hurt her. We have been married over 20 years and have a very strong marriage now. When I talk about it with my friends, I tell them I didn’t think enough of our marriage covenant.  It was like I was dating my wife. I didn’t see it as a covenant with God. But I do now and the experience has actually strengthened our marriage, showing us that with God’s help we can overcome anything. God has used it for good.
God wants us to know that even in our darkest times He is still there. He was speaking to me on the edge of that bed even when I wasn’t a believer. He speaks to all of us if we are only ready to listen. He changed the way I thought in the snap of a finger. It was a powerful moment for me and the beginning of my journey as a Christian. At first it was a slow incline, but the last few years it has shot up like a rocket. Once I started putting God first, everything started falling into place.
A Million God Stories is a Christ-centered ministry which offers a platform for Christians from all streams of Christian faith to give praise for how God has worked in their lives. Christ heals in infinitely creative ways and we acknowledge that His way of helping may differ from person to person.

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