Thursday, February 25, 2010

My Testimony

I was born in 1987 in Las Cruces, New Mexico. I grew up on a farm with two sisters and my supportive parents. I grew up learning Christian values, but the older I got, the more involved I became with the way the world did things and my relationship with God was not what it should have been. But I won't jump ahead. I had a great childhood and was active in several sports: soccer, basketball, track and a few others. I also raised several animals which taught me responsibility and patience, and the value of hard work. My home-life was quit different than most of my peers in elementary school, and while I didn't always have the best attitude about it at the time, I am unfathomably greatful for the way my parents raised me. Growing up on a farm with Christian parents gave me support and advantages that a lot of other kids my age didn't have. Once I got into middle school I really started identify more and more with the world and less with the principles I was taught when I was younger. I wanted to be like everyone else, too bad everyone else around me was acting like heathens. There was an internal battle between doing what I knew was right, and what everybody around me was doing. In the end, being like everyone else seemed more important to me, and I gave into the ways of the world. My attitude became worse the older I got and by the time I started high school, I wanted independence as much as possible from my parents. Even though I would make more money working for my parents I chose to get a job in the city. In 2003 my family was devastated with the death of two family members, first my grandma who was one of my best friends and my biggest supporter. If I ever needed support or wanted help persuading my parents to do something she was always there for me. She was an amazing woman of God that could endure anything. I will never forget how tough she was and how selfless she was; always willing to give anything she had to me. I love her and miss her. The next family death was unexpected and life changing for me. My healthy, National Guard Soldier sister died at the age of 21. The days surrounding her death are an unreal blur in my mind with moments that are still so clear in my mind I will never forget. The moment that a doctor came into the room and started talking about no recovery situations... the reality of the situation hit me like a freight train. I cried. Words can not describe the whole in my heart that was created in that moment. I will also never forget the Military Chaplin that was there: a total stranger that I hugged and cried on. Thank you Jesus for Godly men and women that you place in our lives to comfort and support us. My sister was a Christian and I know that she is in heaven with my Grandma and that I'll get to see her again someday. I am very thankful that God gave me 16 years with her. As most kids our age my sister and I did not get along to well when I was younger, but the few years before she passed our relationship grew and grew. We became great friends and the words "I love you" were spoken between us often. I love her and miss her. I was devastated with the pain from my two best friends and allies both passing all in one year. In my mind, I made the decision never to be hurt again. I closed off all emotional ties to the world. I pushed every bit of emotion so far down that nothing affected me anymore; good or bad. I was an emotionless shell. The only people that I semi "let in" were my parents and my sister. But my life continued on. I liked school for the most part and I had great teachers in high school. I feel very blessed to have had such great teachers in such an awful institution as public schools. I started looking more and more like the world everyday. My clothes, my friends, my attitude and my behavior. I started drinking alcohol on a regular basis, which was the common thing for my peers. Thank God, I never got an MIP or a DWI. God's grace and mercy were there even when I was acting the opposite of what a Christian should act like (except on Sundays, I still acted like a Christian on Sundays at church). After high school I moved to Albuquerque to go to the University of New Mexico. I lived on campus in an apartment style dorm with five other guys. I wont describe the awful and stupid experiences that my dorm life involved, but I will say that my bad behavior only became worse. However, by the beginning of the second semester in the dorm I really started to hate dorm life: terrible food, terrible people, and I lived in a place where I had little control on anything that went on and to top things off, two of my roommates were drug dealers. (I HATE drugs and thankfully I never got involved with them.) Then one weekend I decided to go home to Las Cruces on a whim, (looking back it was God keeping me safe) when a drug deal went bad in my dorm and it ended up getting robbed at gunpoint. Two guys weilding guns came into my dorm looking for payment for a good deal of weed that one of my roommates stole from them. Once they realized that they were not able to get their weed back they decided to recover their costs by robbing everything of value in my dorm. Thank God again that my room was locked and none of my possessions were stolen. The good thing that came out of the altercation was that I was allowed to move out of the dorms. Now I'm going to fast forward a little bit about a year or so. It was my Sophomore year at UNM and I was living in an apartment with a roommate from the dorms (not one of the drug dealers). I met a guy named Skip at my campus job and we became good friends and started hanging out a lot. He was a newly reborn Christian and was always talking to me about Jesus and what a Christian life was supposed to be like every time we were at work. We even did a few Bible studies and I went to the Church he attended once. But despite all the seeds Skip planted, I wasn't willing to change and I continued to live my life the way that I saw fit. But towards the end of the fall semester of my Sophomore year God interrupted my plans, and praise Him that He did. One night I was sitting in my bed about to go to sleep when all of a sudden my heart started racing up and down for no apparent reason. I had never experienced something like this and I was terrified. In that moment I thought that I was bout to die. I felt that I must have had the same heart disease that my older sister had that caused her to have a heart attack and I figured it was my turn to have a heart attack. I was scared, but I didn't know what to do. Should I call 911? Should I wake up my roommate and have him take me to the hospital? Or should I just sit in my bed and let it happen? I started praying and God showed me in that moment that I could die at anytime and that I wasn't living a life that He wanted me to. As you might of guessed since I am writing this, I did not die. I really thought hard for a few days about my life and where it was going. I really had to decide between my will and God's will, which was really difficult for me. I knew that I had to make a choice, and I decided to live for Jesus and not for myself anymore. I guess you could say that I rededicated my life to Jesus and started making a lot of changes in my life. I was a new person! My life felt so much better; a huge wait and burden was lifted off of my shoulders. I was going to a Church called Hoffmantown, but it wasn't the church that God wanted me to go to. Every Sunday morning Skip would call me ans ask me if I wanted to go to the church that he went to (the one I visited once several month's earlier) and every Sunday I told him no. Then one Sunday morning, like usual, Skip called me and asked me if I wanted to go to his church and, like usual, I said "no thanks I'm going to Hoffmantown". I hung up the phone and God spoke to me one of the most clear times I've ever heard Him, and He said, "No you're not. I want you in that [Skip's] Church". So I called Skip right back and told him that I'd be there, and I've been ever since (I became a member within the next few weeks). This church (New Covenant Christian Church) started teaching me how to be a Christian again. Many amazing things have happened to me since I started listening to God again. My life has really taken a 180 from the way I was just a few years ago. I thank God for the transformation in my life. I will not talk about the present because if you are reading this than you probably already know most things that I do these days.


  1. This is really powerful Josh! An awesome testimony to the power of the Lord!!!

  2. Joshua!! Wow. You are a very articulate writer. And some of this was hard to read, but very inspiring. Praise God for what He has done in your life......and in all of ours! Love you!