I know the feeling; been there, done that. I got the t-shirt, the hat and the water bottle. It’s a terrible feeling to be put in the failure category. You may feel like your failures have disqualified you from God’s calling. So, how do you handle past failures?

Before Jesus came into my life, I was filled with fear and doubt. I didn’t grow up in a Christian home. I was born in a family with a mother who was a devout believer but a father who was a dogmatic atheist. Growing up, my father had a major anger problem and physically abused my mother and us kids. I was in great fear of him. Things only worsened as I grew up. 

Whenever I was afraid, scared or hurt, I turned to the things of the world. I abused alcohol, smoked and even did drugs and hated myself because of how powerless I was. I couldn’t protect my mother, my brothers and my sister from my father – I was so young. Then, I began to desire after power, money and fame and thought that I needed respect and authority to be able to protect my loved ones surrounding me. In fear I gained all things.


 

Question: What areas in your past life do you struggle to let go?

 


This was the beginning of me joining the world of violence and pain—the life of a gang. 

By age 15, I was an angry, depressed youth. I knew, down deep inside, life had to be more than indulging in fights, gambling, immorality, disrespect and other destructive behaviors. I always wore a mask. 

  

In spite of my emotionless life, I knew it wasn’t good. I acted tough yet in reality, I lived in great fear. Then, I was caught by the police. I got kicked out of school, left the gang and left the girl I was dating. Then, I began to seek the Lord. That same year, I became a carpenter without any hope but Jesus. At age 16, I met a Pastor who shared the gospel with me and for the first time in my life, I decided to profess Jesus Christ as Lord.

My life has never been the same since meeting Jesus. 

After I came to know the Lord, I was filled with passion for His Word. My first thought was, “I don’t want to waste this life that has been entrusted to me. I want this life to count for His glory.” God saved me from a life filled with open, vile, rebellious sin – I wanted the whole world to know about Jesus as my hearts desire was to dedicate everything back to Him. I wanted to use my life to serve Him as a pastor.