My family, including my older and younger sister, attended church
weekly. Even when we were out of town we would find someplace to go to
church. My dad’s father was a severe individual who didn’t seem to have
genuine faith, although he attended church at times. I remember my Dad
always wanting to be more loving than his Dad. But my great uncle was a
passionate follower of Jesus. His life greatly affected my dad and caused
our family to live committed to Christ and our church. My mom’s life of faith
also affected me. I remember her going into their room after breakfast and
spending time in prayer. 

My life has been full of miracles. I believe God has saved me multiple
times from injury and death. When I was in kindergarten at a park, I fell 12
feet off a slide hitting my head first. Thanks to God, I only fractured my right
arm (reason why I’m left handed). Another time, I fell off an extension
ladder. I fell backwards hitting my head and experienced no injuries. 

I gave my life to Jesus in 5th grade. I remember being in Sunday
school. Another kid prayed aloud for the Minnesota Vikings to win. I
remember praying quietly in my heart in agreement, but then adding in my
prayer, “If the Vikings win today I will give my life to Christ next Sunday.”
They won and the next Sunday, again in Sunday School, I committed my
life to Christ. I didn’t tell anyone at the time, but my commitment was real.

When I was 15, my dad and I were in a summer fishing tournament.
We were out for 7 hours in 93 degree heat. As we were attempting to load
our boat after the tournament, we were struggling. Then, I started to get
very tired and fainted from heat stroke. Like a movie, my life flashed before
my eyes. I saw a bright light and it seemed I was standing before the gates
of heaven begging God to bring me back to life. In that moment, I knew I
wanted to serve God and him only. There was a new desire birthed in me
to make disciples. Then a very strong sense of power came over me.
Something told me to get up and I did. I then walked to the car, turned up
the AC and slowly drank water. I believe the Lord Jesus Christ is the only
reason that I am alive today.

I continued attending church and serving regularly. But in my early
20s, I struggled to find community and struggled with depression. But it
wasn’t until attending a Men’s Retreat and finding a new church family, that
my depression fled away. I found freedom in worship and community. I am
thankful for God for all he has brought me through and excited to serve
Jesus with my life.