I had basically a normal happy childhood, with caring parents who loved us. I had no teaching though about salvation, or how to know the true God of the bible. My parents left that up to the catholic church. I spent half of my school years in catholic schools, and half in public schools. I was a quiet kid, and did not speak really unless spoken to. I had an older brother and sister, and I was the youngest for 8 1/2 years. Then my parents had another child. I was used to getting a lot of attention, and that quickly changed. Of course, the new baby needed more time and attention than me, but I felt rejected, I did not understand it all. I felt like my parents did not love me as much anymore. It was at this point in my life, I started becoming depressed quite frequently, and as time went on, I felt happiest when alone. I started to feel uncomfortable around family members, feeling like an outsider, and always felt like I was a burden to everyone. Later on in my childhood, I accepted the idea that I must just be a bad kid. I noticed that I did not enjoy being around my little brother, like the rest of the family did. Then I started having evil thoughts come into my mind about physically hurting my brother. This always made me sad and depressed. Because, I did not want to hurt him, I wanted to love & enjoy him like everyone else. At this time I didn't know much about Satan and how he works to destroy anyone he can! As a teenager I was rebellious, I dove into a life centered on myself, and seeking pleasure. I smoked cigarettes, and chewed tobacco. I looked at as much pronography as possible, magazines mostly, but some XXX movies. I smoked pot, took acid, snorted cocaine, and drank acohol heavily. I listened to the most evil heavy metal music available (Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, Iron Maiden, Motley Crue to name a few). I lived mostly for sex, drugs, and rock n roll. It was my god at the time, and my savior for a short while (it was actually, leading me quicker to my destruction). It was in these rebellious teenage years, that I started having thoughts about killing myself. I was afraid to do it, but it happened so much (thoughts), that I believed it was probably only a matter of time. I always daydreamed about people coming to my funeral, or how they would react when they found out I died. Would they cry? Would they say good things about me? By their reactions did they really love me? I didn't really feel like living, but I certainly didn't want to die either. At this point of my life I basically felt unworthy of anyone's love. Sometime during my late teen years, or early adult years, I started a new plan.I decided being mr. nice guy, would eventually make me happy, and solve all my problems. I tried to [be] everything to everybody. That was mission impossible, mankind is so hard to please. This did not work, it made things worse, I became very anxious, very fearful and very insecure, and not to mention, I lost my individual personality. I got to the point where I couldn't even make a simple decsion without constant questioning. I was always worried about what others thought about me. My life got to a point to where I could not even converse with family and friends. The pressure to please (to be everything to everybody), and feeling like I was always on stage in front of an audience, was to much for me. I would even have to muster courage before calling my parents, or going somewhere with friends. After a while I totally dreaded talking on the phone, or just coming in to contact with people. One night I was talking to my mom & dad on the phone. I could barely speak, everything was forced and jumbled. I was terribly anxious, and so afraid to even talk to my own parents. After the terrible phone call, Satan made his big move to seal the deal, and get me to take my life (therefore sending me to an eternal hell). I started hearing in my mind, over and over, without end, KILL YOURSELF! KILL YOURSELF! KILL YOURSELF! KILL YOURSELF! At the same time I had evil violent thoughts running through my head. I was trying to fight the thoughts (power of positive thinking), but that was fruitless, and I was losing the battle. I stopped eating, stopped sleeping, and stopped basically doing anything a normal person may expect to do. I did a lot of pacing around in fear, not knowing what to do. Mentally there were no reasoning skills whatsoever, I had absoulutely no control of my mind and what went through it! I really wanted to give up, and find a way to kill myself, but everytime I got real close, a thought came into to my mind, that said, you could not do that to your family. I agreed with that thought (which I know was from God), but could not figure out how in the world I could live anymore. My whole life had been getting progressively worse year by year. If it got any worse, I would either totally loose my mind, hurt somebody in an uncontrollable crazy rage, or what I felt was the best option kill myself. I didn't know, but God was getting ready to give me another option. What was it? A new life, a brand new start through His Son Jesus Christ. Let me explain. On the fourth day of Satan's big offensive, I was watching t.v. I was futilly trying to take my mind [off] of things. I was flipping the channels, flipping, flipping, flipping, finding no peace, no comfort, until it happened! I came upon TBN (note: I do not agree with most of what they do on that station, but God can even use them to save someone), and a man was about to be shot out of a canon. I stopped to watch. After he was shot out of the canon, he took his helmet off, and he started talking about his life. He talked about he had tried just about everyway of living, but always felt something was missing, never had complete peace. I felt like he was reciting my own life's story. Then he said after so many years of looking he finally had found what he was looking for. I was probably literally on the edge of my seat at this point. He said it was a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. He said Jesus Christ was the only one who could fill that void, and make us complete. No one but Jesus Christ could do it. Not drugs, not pleasure, not being mr. nice guy, not family, not friends, nor anything in this whole world could do it, but Jesus! He told us at the end how to start: Pray to God admitting first that I was a sinner, believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins and was raised from the dead, invite him into my life to be my Lord and Savior, and trust in him for my eternal salvation. It was at this point the Holy Spirit entered me, and I became a child of God. [After I was saved from a message I saw on TBN... I started reading the bible every day and praying all the time. When I decided I better start going to church again, probably a year later, I naturally went back to the Catholic Church, the only church I knew. By then I had probably read thru the whole bible, and heard many messages about the Lord. When I went back to the Catholic Church, I immedialtely felt something was wrong, I could not articulate it, but I felt the Lord pointing out many errors, that they were teaching, that were contradicting His Word. I left that Catholic Church after about six months, and started going to a conservative Baptist Church.] I am now a changed man, praise be to God alone. I do not even resemble the person I was seven years ago. I have a wife and two beautiful children, I'm happy even in the tough times, and I am full of hope for the future. I [have] peace in all things when I realize the Lord is my shield, and that he will never leave or forsake me. The best thing is, the One who created me love[s] me and always will. He loved me even when I was His enemy. He is truly an awesome God! [My parents, sister, brother, and many other relatives are Roman Catholics. My mom said she will never leave the church, but I know our God can do what is impossible for man, and save them all. ...Hopefully if God is willing, he will use me to lead others to the truth which is only found in the Lord Jesus Christ of the KJV bible.] I would like to mention one last thing, that all my years going to mass every Sunday, going to catholic schools I never heard any gospel that would lead me to way of salvation. You would think that someone so desperately looking for a savior, would find it, if it was to be found in the catholic church. I love all the people in [the] catholic church, and hope they will come to know the truth as I have and be set free! My parents, and many relatives are among those still trapped in the catholic church, not knowing they are on the wrong path. I have written this testimony for the specific purpose, to let people know they cannot be saved by adhering to the teachings of the catholic church, or by any other fruitless way of living, but only through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ! John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. A servant of the Lord Jesus Christ
How has life changed since knowing Christ?
At this time I am spending most of my time learning about the Lord, how to serve him, how to witness to others about him, and apologetics how to defend the faith against false cults (especially catholicism). As far as spiritual gifts it seems like the Lord has mainly used me to be an encourager to brothers and sisters in the faith. He has used me to witness to a small number of people in word, but alot I know in action. I feel the Lord leading me more towards sharing the gospel boldly. I'm not where I'd like to be concerning witnessing boldly about the Lord Jesus Christ, but that is a great longing of my heart, and I know if it is the Lord's will, it will happen. I have a young family, 2 children, 1 three year old daughter named Angel, and a six month old son named Christian. The Lord also has me building a strong bond with my wife and children, that I know the Lord will use as a witness to others one day, if not even now. Again in all these things praise be to God that he could use a man like me! The Lord can use anyone if they are willing to let Him! Peace of Christ Jesus be with you in all things, Love, Brother Steve Image by Shutterstock