From the man I was to the man God wants me to be.
A glimpse of who I was, and who I am now.
A young man at eighteen, setting out on a journey, and being prepared was out of the question.
I was free, and unrestricted as the waves in the ocean. Everything I was taught before eighteen seemed to fade away like an old memory. Being brought up in a Christian home played a big part in who I was, but didn't stop the evil from leading me away. I met my wife in the summer of "94", and again being prepared was out of the question. After several months of dating an incident forced us apart, it wasn't until June of "95" that we would be reunited. On July 8th we decided to make a lifetime commitment, and get married. I wasn't what you would call the" marring type", and we would both find out very fast what that meant. I now felt confined, and restricted from what I wanted or thought I wanted. It was no time at all that I was a Dad of a precious baby boy. But that didn't stop me from staying out all night, fighting with my wife, and finding pleasure in other women. This continued and before I knew it I was 21, and that's when all hell broke loose.
I was now 21, married, and a dad with no plan. I spent most nights at the bar drinking and womanizing, thinking to myself this is the life. The arguing became intensified as the drinking became heavier, and the nights longer. It was the beginning of 1999 when I was told there is going to be another baby, again things just became worse. Nothing changed how I lived my life or how I treated my wife except now on top of everything else we started to gamble what little money we had. I became aggressive to other people and myself to the point of self-mutilation. This behavior continued even after having two more children, you would think by now I would have grown up but I didn't. In 2004my wife was getting ready to go file for divorce when she stumbled across a Christian television station, and figured she would try God since nothing else has worked, little did I know that God was starting to do a work in my life too. We started going to church, and the drinking, going out, and self-mutilation stopped.
Growing up in church I knew the things I had been doing were wrong, but that somehow didn't matter when I was doing them. From 2004 till I left for basic training in 2007 I hadn't had a drink of alcohol, and it stayed that way until February of 2008. In January of 2008 I was injured while training in Ft Carson, Colorado and things went downhill for both my wife and I. We started hanging out, and partying with other married couples and forgot completely about God. As you can imagine the nights became long again, and everything I was working for in the Army was put on hold. In the spring of 2008 our oldest son had to be moved back to his hometown of Victorville, CA due to an enlarged heart, and leaky valves. We were given a compassionate relocation to be with our son, and ended up stationed at Ft Irwin CA. Not realizing that God was getting louder we continued with our partying and worldly lifestyle. I finally had a chance to move up in rank with surgery for my injury in 2008, but the surgery would be the very thing that would separate me from the Army.
It was now April 2009, and I was going in for a routine surgery which turned out to be anything but routine. The Doctor ended up taking part of my tendon out, and hitting a nerve that fried my circuits to say the least. It wasn't long after the surgery that we stopped drinking, and living in a worldly state. I noticed my ankle wasn't healing right and there was a lot of pain and swelling. After returning to the orthopedic surgeon a dozen times for the pain and swelling, they put me on OxyContin, Gabapentin, and amitriptyline for the damaged nerve, and pain. Zombified is what I was told the state I was in, being on so many medication that sedated me. My wife got to the point that she couldn't take it anymore seeing me drugged, and she wanted to end her life. In the spring of 2010 I was medically released from the Army and moved back to Victorville were I continued to abuse my medications. The fall of 2012 came upon us with news that our sons heart condition needed to be fixed with a "routine" surgery that ended up eight and a half hours long and a new mechanical valve with a life of blood thinners. Between the medications and everything going wrong that could, on January 4th 2013 I asked God to take control of my life, and to release me from the chains that were binding me down, and to fully submit to his will. God not only took my addiction to pain pills away but also the cigarettes that I struggled with since I was thirteen. My pain is still intense to the point that I am totally disabled but God controls it just enough so I don't need any medications, like Paul wrote in 2nd Corinthians 2:19 And he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest on me". God is using me in ways I didn't think I deserved, but I know why I went through what I did. I am leading the youth, playing the guitar, and singing in our worship band at my local church. God is only getting started with me, and if you are still living in a lifestyle that you just don't want any more or just want to know what God has planned for you, just ask Him into your heart by believing that He sent His only Son Jesus Christ into this world to be a sacrifice for all who believe, and turn from what is un-pleasing to God as 1 John 1:19 says "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness". May God be with you and guide you through all seasons, and may you spread His word to others.