Faith living has transformed my life.
It began in the year of 1995, I was 15 and dropped out half way through year 11, I was stoned nearly every day, I hung out on the streets trying to help all the other drop out kids, I was winning billiard games to make money, I was consumed with protecting my two nieces and nephew and I was travelling the wide road that leads to death and destruction yet I was completely oblivious to that fact.
Through all this I had a very close relationship with my Mum who I went to about everything and listened to all that she said. Mum always had a way of saying words that made life crystal clear.
One day I remember driving in the car with my Mum on our way home to Torquay and Mum questioned me about any drug use and I lied to my Mum for the first time and it was at that moment that I felt that speck in my eye and that squeeze in my conscience about the way I was living.
After that a series of events took place and looking back now it's clear that it was all God's grace reaching out to me.
In a nutshell here are some of the events - a man was shot where I was playing billiard, some close friends at the time were in real gangs and I saw the stabbing, I fainted due to drug use and lost my front teeth, I saw demonic spirits when I wasn't stoned and was wondering what on earth was going on.
It was one evening I was on my own babysitting my sisters children, I was straight, I had given them dinner, bathed them and put the three to bed. I grabbed a beer out of the fridge, sat down on the couch, lit up a cigarette and put on the TV. I was half way through the cigarette when a commercial for a church event came on and I distinctively remember thinking 'what a lame ad to represent God'.
Now remember I was completely straight, I never used any drug substance when I was baby sitting, but right after I thought that thought, it was like a wind came into the living room, a brightness that made the room light up and a warmness that reached through my mess and a gentle voice spoke to me and this is what He said-
"If Jesus returned right now would I go to heaven"?
Then as quickly as He came, He had gone. I sat staring at my half smoked ciggy and half drunk beer and I felt the weight of sin, guilt and shame turn in my soul.
The scales dropped off my eyes and I pulled my hair really hard (as you do) to make sure I was awake and alive.
Then I ran to the phone and guess who I rang, yes my Mum! I told her everything that had just happened and that I desperately needed to go to church.
So I went home and went to the very next youth service in Geelong that was called Teen Rock.
I walked in with my mask in hand trying to hide my mess but there was one who was not fooled by my mask, there was one I could not hide from, there was one who saw me sitting in the huge crowd. I had made up my mind that I was not going to break my reputation and walk out the front in front of hundreds of youth to commit my life to Jesus.
Well somehow I was no longer on my seat for the presence that I felt and the love of Jesus had such a powerful pull that I didn't want to run away anymore.
That day my faith journey began.
I felt Jesus' love wash over me as if I was standing under a waterfall. I wept and wept and said to the Lord, 'I give you my heart and life Jesus, I don't know you or trust you yet, but if you can do something with my life, I'm yours.'
Now 18 years later I sit here typing this with an eternally grateful attitude about that day and that decision I made. I know my Lord Jesus, He is my Father, my healer, my comforter, my teacher, the lifter of my head, the rock I stand on during all circumstances, I know that He is faithful.
So today I continue to do as this scripture says...
...for there is no other way to live.