Atheist is strong word but is was one that partly defined me.
For decades, I faced the stark reality that we are the result of billions of years of randomness and that the unfortunate answer to ‘what is the meaning of life’ was simple: there is no meaning. We’re here just by the happenstance of physics and chemistry played out. I was ok with that, thinking I was smart enough to face facts.
I grew up in a Methodist church, but I always thought of it as an extension of the country club our family belonged to. Church felt more like a weekly benefit event we dressed up for to gain status. The gospel message was spoken, but I’m not sure I ever really listened. As an adolescent I had questions that never were really answered. I just went with the flow.
I led a life and a marriage without moral guidance or boundaries, other than those I made for myself. When my marriage hit the rocks, I didn’t see my unfaithfulness as a sin, which lead to losing my relationship with my children.
But God didn’t give up.
Jesus was my steady pursuer, waiting for the time when I would accept grace where it was totally underserved. God used the person closest to me, my wife and friend, whom I love with all my heart. God showed me his power through her. God waited patiently while I studied and acknowledged that her faith was different from the “social club faith” I saw growing up. I was seeing the living Sprit within this person. I was still observing and studying from a distance, not fully accepting. Things changed when I needed a grace in my sin, grace that could only come from God.
There was a time after a disagreement with my wife that I felt entitled to be unregulated and unencumbered, and I quickly became unhinged. While disaster was luckily avoided, I felt the full weight of my shame and sin. In this conviction I needed grace and I needed God.
I was brought, thirsty, to Christ. My wife, Amber, was there in the moment, the Sprit working through her to offer the gospel gift from God. She prayed with me as I finally acknowledge my sin and accepted God as my Savior and Leader.
Since then, I’ve been led with the Spirit in my heart. Walking and seeing others around me in a new perspective, in a way that has been totally life-altering. Altering in my relationships, altering in the way I approach all situations and all decisions.
My relationships, while not perfect and still heartbreaking at times, have been covered in forgiveness and compassion. My transformation has led us to City Life and in a relationship with God that I have never before experienced. I feel that my life now is in solid hands that hold me in a community of faith. I am eternally thankful that my God patiently pursued, poured the grace of the Spirit into me, an undeserving vessel, which I now carry with pride and humility.