I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
Knowing, believing, and trusting in Christ as my savior, I rest in the fact that Christ lives in me and it is no longer I who live! I still struggle at times with living by faith in the Son of God. My default is to trust in myself and live in fear and insecurity. Thankfully, God's word has been changing my heart, and the scriptures are changing the way I think about the gospel.
I knew I had a heart for the lost when I started working with a couple friends at the St. Paul juvenile detention center early on in college. There were kids that were more broken than I thought I could ever be. They had committed murder and were abusing drugs before even attending junior high and this was heavy on my heart. Yet even though I was pursuing a degree in Youth Ministry at Northwestern College, being a youth pastor didn’t feel quite right.
Then, God gave me an amazing gift, Monica! We were married November 2006. I came into our marriage believing that I was strong man of God, but I was relying on my studies and training in the past. I wasn't leading and loving Monica the way Christ called me to.
Our marriage became shallow and focused on self and not God or each other, which lead to a hardened heart. Things hadn't worked out completely the way I had planned and I was struggling with purpose for my life. I was involved in different churches around town playing music but I was holding onto my love of self. I wasn't held in check, and I wasn't a part of a church community where I let others know me on a deeper level.
God then rocked my world when we found out Monica was pregnant with our first daughter Iylah. God forced me to think about someone else. At this point, we decided we wanted to attend one church and call it home for Iylah's sake, and God lead us to Hiawatha Church.
I am humbled by what God has done in my heart and mind, how He has loved me through his church and bought me back from a hardened heart. I don’t know where He will lead me next but for now I will rejoice in this fact:
“You have bought me back with the riches of your amazing grace and relentless love, I’m made alive forever with you life forever by your grace I’m saved!”