I was the consummate middle child of three. I longed for attention. Both my
parents worked very hard. My father worked two jobs. He put in many hours
as an electrician in a factory, and then he came home to work on customer’s
vehicles in his garage. But this caused him to be fairly absent as far as a
relationship with us kids. He loved us and wanted the best for us. However, I
had unrealistic expectations from an absent father. Because of this, I was
constantly seeking his approval.

As I began my teenage years, I was shy, yet still seeking attention and
approval. Trying to get the attention from friends led me to do things that no
one else did. I found myself trying to stick out from what was “normal”.
Everyone else wore normal clothes, I wore leather pants and a cut off shirt.
Everyone else had nicely cut hair; I grew my hair out very long. Everyone I
knew seemed to be wanting to be successful in other people’s eyes. I
rebelled against that too. 

I rebelled against the appearance of success which typically led to doing
things that sabotaged my own personal development such as skipping school
and not doing day to day routines. I was even lost when I considered how I
related to life itself. Not knowing how to navigate through life made me find
ways to escape and avoid responsibility. Getting stoned and drunk seemed
to help free me from the need for approval and help me “fit in”. I actually
developed an alternative reality. This led to years of substance abuse, failed
relationships, and flat out bad decisions.

It wouldn’t be until age 30 that a good friend told me about having a
relationship with Jesus Christ. One that wasn’t part of an institutional
religion that I was rebellious toward, but an actual relationship with a living
God. When I devoted my life to Jesus Christ, I experienced the intimate
relationship with a Heavenly Father that I was always searching for.
I now had a relationship with a God who loved me and gave me his full
approval. I lost much of my desire to rebel and because I was now approved
by God himself. Galatians 1:10 says, “For am I now seeking the approval of
man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please
man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
I lived for 30 years before my life began being transformed. In Jesus Christ,

I am now approved. I am not perfect, but still continue to grow and be
strengthened. One of the major results in my life since committing my life to
Jesus is that I am now sober. As I have continued to grow closer to God, he
has blessed me beyond what I deserve. Not only do I have a renewed peace
and confidence but God also has enriched my relationships with others
including an amazing woman, my wife Mary, whom I get to share my life

Jason Rich