Since it’s Father’s Day, I thought I’d share with you today. As Missy talked about earlier, we had to write our testimony to be submitted to the Ethiopian government. Since this was the first time I’ve written down my testimony I thought it would be worth sharing with everyone. Patrick
Who Is Jesus Christ to Me?
In 2001 I would have answered that question very differently than today. Back then, I wasn’t a Christian and never claimed to be. I didn’t believe in God. All I cared about was having a good time. The world was my god and I felt that the more I could experience and control the happier I would be.
I had been divorced for a number of years and had joint custody of my daughter. I would live one lifestyle while she was home and another when she was away. I wanted to set a good example for her but those “rules” didn’t apply to me when she wasn’t around. I smoked. I drank. I looked to the things of the world to fill my life. I was never satisfied and never happy. I had always felt that something was missing but those thoughts were never allowed to linger in my mind. I would force them out. I was living my life for me. That’s all that mattered.
I met my wife through work. It was not an ideal situation for either of us. She was married and I was lonely. Lust, fear and distorted lies changed our lives forever. She had walked away from God at that point and I had invited her. We were married out of the church and I thought I would finally be happy. I wasn’t.
The three of us started to attend church together. I always tried to get out of it, but my wife always made me go. I went along and pretended to care and understand. I had been through it before. I was confirmed as a teenager and faked it then. I could do it now. I was concerned the day my wife recommitted her life to Christ. What would that mean for me? Where would that lead our relationship? The next thing I knew my daughter had done the same. I was almost scared of them. What if they knew how I really felt?
On evening, in 2005, it happened. We had just had, what I thought to be an incident that would destroy my marriage and my daughter’s life. My daughter had stopped believing in Christ, and my wife had found out and submitted a prayer request to our church and her friends. I was torn between what I saw as betrayal by my wife and the pain and hate for what had happened by my daughter. I didn’t know what to do. So I prayed.
I prayed to a God that I hoped existed. I prayed for answers to questions. I prayed for a solution to this problem. As I prayed I cried. The more I cried, the more I prayed. I was overwhelmed. I asked God for forgiveness for all that I had done, all the sins I had committed. I asked Jesus Christ into my life… and I felt changed.
It took a little time but we worked through our problem. I believe it was God using my family to get my attention. It worked. He used the only things I truly loved at the time to show me that He truly loves me and that He has plans for me that are bigger than I can comprehend.
I continue to grow daily in my faith. I still struggle with my faith on occasion, but God tells me what He wants from me. It’s amazing to hear Him speak to me through His Word and through my family. So who is Jesus Christ to me now? I can answer openly and honestly that Jesus Christ is my personal Lord and Savior.
I wish to pass this knowledge on to my children. The fact that God loves us no matter what we have done in the past. That God is a loving and caring God and through Him all things are possible. I pray that God would speak through me to my children and that they would hear and understand that even though we are all sinners, that God loves us.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13