I never knew my dad.
He was married and had an affair on his wife, thus producing me. And my mom worked two or three jobs to try to provide for me and my three siblings and we were still not able to share a meal together.
There was a lot of abuse. My mom abused us physically and verbally and emotionally. Not a great home, not a pretty picture. I started drinking, doing drugs, probably maybe 10 or 11. I was the kid that didn't have a dad. I was the kid, even whenever we were very young and we went to church, we stopped going because we were gonna be the three wise men, my brothers and I, and they wanted us to use our fathers' bathrobes. We didn't have dads so we hid behind the couch when the bus came to pick us up one Sunday because we were so ashamed of that. And so there was a hopelessness, and so I think my drinking and using drugs, that became a way to just drown it out.
Finally, whenever I was 16, I crossed the line. I committed robbery and that got me sent to what's called a state school, which is just a pretty word for jail for teenagers, and I stayed there for three years. Started working right whenever I came out of the state school as what was called a roughneck. And so you worked 12 hours and then you get off and most of the guys would go to town and they would drink and so that just became my normal thing. These were the men in my life.
Somebody spoke one weekend about the discipleship program and after a short interview with the gentleman that leads it, I met up with Trevor Ming and here was this guy just willing to set aside his schedule and his life and his stuff to come and sit down and talk to me.
Early in 2017, I went to a conference in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and that weekend, I went out and I relapsed, I drank again. It wasn't long after that that there was just a day where there was this coldness in my marriage and it was almost to the point of hey, you know what, maybe we could do better for our daughter and for ourselves if we were just not together anymore. None of this was said. There was just this division there. And I went and sat down and it was the day that Trevor and I were meeting up and so I went and sat down with him.
I remember it was sunny, we were sitting outside, and he made me take my glasses off and made me look him in the eye and then asked me, "Do you really want this? "Do you want to be married?" And I was really beginning to feel this accountability and almost like I had a father disciplining me. And this was something I struggled with. I didn't understand how to receive God as my father. I knew the scriptures. I knew that when my father and mother abandoned me, that the Lord would take me in, but I didn't understand how he could do that because I didn't know what a father was supposed to be, I didn't know what that was supposed to look like.
That was a pivotal moment in my life. Things got a lot better after that and I remember leaving that day and calling Candace and telling her hey, everything's gonna be okay. I can't explain it, but everything's gonna be fine. God's got this. And it seemed like everything Trevor had tried to teach me that I wouldn't really let in for the last couple years, just all that training, all that educating, just instantly made sense to me. And he said something to me, that he was an adult, he was a grown man before he understood what that overwhelmingness of God's grace was.
And I started thinking that, maybe, maybe the shame that I feel, the guilt that I feel, all the dirt and the filth, it's not what God intended me to feel and my heart really began to soften. If Jesus died just so I could sit on the couch with a six-pack of beer and be entertained, what's the point?