My entire life forever changed in June of 1986.
I was the quintessential good boy. The one everyone else kinda looked down on because I knew how to make the “grown-ups” happy. I made the best grades and followed all the rules. Mostly because I needed to be liked. It’s what I thought would get me the attention that I was sure my soul was longing for.
None of it was enough.
I still had this empty longing deep inside that nagged at me.
I remember playing with the neighbor boys. They all seemed so happy… so content. At the age of 15, I felt like I had already peaked and the rest of life was a spiraling endless downhill grind.
I was invited to one of those summer vacation Bible schools by a friend down the road. I didn’t want to go, but I wanted to see him. He didn’t show. As a matter of fact, no one else showed, at least not my age. I’m not kidding. I was the only one in the class with the pastor’s wife!
She surprised me with an unexplainable expression of love.
One she was not inherently capable of expressing, but one Jesus expressed through her.
For some reason, I came back the next day and I can’t even tell you why. I just couldn’t resist what I had found. And it wasn’t her. It wasn’t the stale sugar cookies and Kool-Aid. It was a peg just the right size and shape to plug that empy hole to keep me from slipping down into the endless grind.
After coming home from the second night, I lay in my bed and knew, in a way that I can’t explain, that I had found my destiny. I invited Jesus to change me forever.
I slept better than I’d slept in so long.
The next morning I awoke to a feeling that I hadn’t felt in a long time (if ever.)
The colors were so vivid. The air was so clean.
I knew somehow that I would never be the same!