I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.
My life growing up, before I met Jesus, was bittersweet you could say. I was being raised by alcoholic parents who were both abandoned by their fathers. Although my Dad was verbally and physically abusive quite often, my Mother was very loving. I wasn’t raised in the teachings of Christ at all. We only went to church a handful of times from the time I was born to when I moved out of the house after high school.
My dream and ‘idol’ since I was in junior high was to be a famous musician. I was in a somewhat successful metal band and we gained some radio play locally and got to play with a few national bands coming though Lubbock, Texas where we had our start. Having been fed music growing up since I was a kid, this basically marked an exciting time in my life and I thought I was achieving success in my passion.
As a person who had no fulfillment spiritually, I fell prey to the vices within that lifestyle. The band I was in lasted for about 4 years, playing all over Texas and around the age of 22 I started to get tired of the lifestyle which consisted of a lot of sex, drugs, and alcohol. I had many friends that encouraged who I was but my soul was going a different direction. My brother who had given his life to Christ about 3 years prior, had sent me a book called ‘Blue Like Jazz’ by Donald Miller. The book was about the logic of christian spirituality and is written from a non-religious perspective.
When my girlfriend, at the time, and myself had moved to Austin I really began to dig into that book and started to realize a lot of great principles that exist in the teachings of Christ, and how much the world goes in the opposite direction. It was appealing to my heart unlike anything else I had ever heard. My girlfriend also had been distant since we had moved to our new place in Austin. She was bar-tending downtown and her attention had seemed to be drifting away. Between having insecurities with her and slaving over my music aspirations, I realized I had become an indentured servant to an apartment lease that I co-signed with a shady girlfriend in a big city. I remember holding unforgiveness against my Dad and realizing that his abuse and lack of good fathering had a lot to do with my failings as an individual.
One day, during this time, I went to work at the group home where I was in charge of caring for four men with mental disabilities. I used to bring my marijuana pipe with me and take smoke breaks. That morning I chose to take some aderol along with the usual smoke break and then started to cook breakfast for the guys. I had, at this time, digressed from the book my brother had sent me and decided that morning to search on my iPhone “what does the bible say about trust”. I had realized, in a nutshell, that trust was my deficit in life. I wasn’t expecting to have such a big impact from such a tiny verse, but my search pulled up a link to the book of Proverbs chapter three, verse five which reads, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.” After reading this I literally closed my eyes and told God “I trust you”. I immediately felt a release of bondage in my soul and the Holy Spirit entered me. I sat on top of the washing machine in that house and cried for about half an hour and I started to see and think like I never had before. I knew without a doubt that I had just given my life to Jesus. I am not at all insinuating that drugs had anything to do with me being lead to Christ, but I do mention it because I feel that it is a testament to the grace and unconditional love of God. He grabbed me regardless of my drug abuse. That night, I slept better than I had every slept before. My girlfriend was shocked when I told her about my encounter with Jesus, and I eventually was led to break up with her due to our conflicting lifestyles and outlooks.
I was a lost, insecure, and depressed 23 year old when I was saved in the fall of 2011, and am now 29 with full assurance of faith in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be all the glory!! – ERIC PONCE
When I was little I got baptized but I was a little girl I didn’t know what that meant. My sister left my home because my grandma couldn’t talk care of her. My mom wasn’t able too. When I was 13 years old I moved to California with my uncle and lived there for 8 months. I hated it. I was away from home. After I moved back to Oklahoma, someone from church told us about this girl home in Madill. I had an interview in March, and in April I moved there. It was a Christian home with girls. Fast forward several years, I dated several guys. I had sex when I wasn’t married. I had a daughter. Well, that’s a different story for a different time.
I couldn’t get happy. I was depressed and suicidal because I got my heart broken. I tried to find happiness in guys and it didn’t work. A couple more years down the road. This couple who I’ve known since I was 14 years always asked me to moved to Washington state. She asked me again in July of 2016. In August I left for Washington state. I didn’t know what things were going to be like but I knew I needed to be an adult with my life.
Ever since I could remember I was always involved in church. I went to VBS, KBA (a church camp for kids), Falls Creek (Youth camp) and worked in the nursery at the church. But honestly I didn’t understand anything from what the pastor was staying, Until I moved to Washington state that’s when I really heard the gospel. The pastor and the leadership of the church are amazing. Things about me drastically changed when I went and was surrounded by Christian people I trusted. I grew up and learned the real truth about things. I found a great Christian guy who I trust and I’m interested in. I have several little jobs until I can get a real jobs.
I have amazing people in my life from church and out of church. Jesus is the only one I need. I realized that until I moved away from all the drama and bad influences. God has a plan for everyone. Don’t give up. God can forgive you because he can heal you. Listen to the song called The Cure by Unspoken. The lyrics are true. -ADA VAUGHN