I was born in Twenty-Nine Palms, California. For those of you who don’t know anything about that little town in the Mojave Desert, it is best known for the large Marine Corps base located there. It was on this very base where I was born. Less then a year after I was born we moved to Okinawa for a year. After that year we returned to the States and went to Beaufort, South Carolina. While in Beaufort my sister was born. After three years in Beaufort we moved to Atlanta, Georgia and spent a year there. We then moved back to Beaufort and it was while Beaufort this second time that I gave my life to Jesus.
I don’t remember much about this time in my life, but what I do remember is spending a lot of time at the church. After three years in Beaufort we moved to California. This time we lived in Oceanside (famous for being home to the sprawling Marine Corps base Camp Pendleton). I do remember a great deal about this time in my life. I remember again spending a lot of time at church and being there every time the doors were opened. The one thing that I don’t remember was developing a close intimate and personal relationship with God.
Fast forward another three years and my dad has retired from the Marines and we have now moved to the upstate of South Carolina. By this time I’m 11 and in the 6th grade. I still remember spending a great deal of time at church, but still I don’t remember developing that personal intimate relationship with God. By the time I was in high school I was essential living two different lives. While at home was something different, no foul language and things of that nature. However, when I was away from home I became a completely different person. This trend continued through high school and became even worse when I graduated.
After I graduated from high school I went to the University of South Carolina. I was only there for 3 semesters. The two different lives that I had been living had come back to haunt me. Once I was away from my parents and home I started to do things that I should not have done. Let me back up and lay a little bit of ground work for this time period in my life.
My dream all throughout high school was to get accepted into a school that had an NROTC (Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps) program. And after graduation from college was to serve as officer in the Marine Corps. This dream was dealt a death blow in my senior year. I have always been short and during my senior year of high school I started taking human growth hormones. This, however, had a side affect that I never saw coming. The growth hormones did something to my pituitary gland, which caused me to develop type 2 diabetes. Once I came off the growth hormones the diabetes went away, but it still ended my dreams of becoming an officer in the military.
When I went to USC (NOT Southern California) I was basically a drift with no dreams and no plans. And to add to that (this is coming from hind sight) I was mad at God. My entire first year at USC I did not go to church unless I went home for the weekend. I began to look at things that I never should have looked at in the first place (yes this means pornography something I still struggle with to this day). I started going back to church the last semester I was at USC (the first semester of my sophomore year). However, I just quit going to classes that semester. This resulted in me being placed on academic probation and having to return home.
I finished my college education at USC-Upsate. However, the same problem that I had had through my early life still plagued my. Even though I was once again actively involved in Church I still did not have that personal intimate relationship with God. Fast forward to 2012 and the church that I had been a part of since high school decided to close its doors. By this time I was at least reading the Bible everyday. In early 2013 we founded the current church that we are attending.
After 5 years of attending and serving at this new church and I took part in a course that is offered there called Freedom. It was this course that really started to change my life. It opened my eyes to things that I had kept hidden for a long time. About a year later I took part in a Bible study that involved writing journal entries everyday and posting them online to maintain accountability.
I’m not saying that my life is now perfect but it is much better than it was. My hope is that my story will resonate with you and make you consider where you are in your life journey.